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Office Soundproofing: The Ceiling is the Problem (most of the time)

Many drop Ceilings in offices environments are notoriously porous and allow sound to travel outside of offices and meeting rooms that are otherwise supposed to create private spaces.

ceiling-tile-system-soundproofing
Ceiling tile systems are often inadequate for soundproofing and room acoustics

For blocking noise between rooms, lightweight suspended acoustic ceilings are not the right tool for the job. As soundproofing experts, how do we solve the ceiling tile problem?

This article by Rockfon is a great reference for designers on how to approach office ceilings and what to do first. 

In the article, two key strategies stand out:

  • Sound absorption for noise control comes first, especially in rooms without carpeting or space for wall-mounted panels. In these cases, solution is to install high-performance, sound-absorbing ceiling tiles with a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) rating of 0.90 or higher.
  • After absorption is solved, we choose from soundproofing options to effectively block sound. This includes the installation of privacy board overtop of the walls to divide rooms within the plenum, or in some cases, the installation of framing and drywall is required.

Read more online here: Myth: Ceilings are effective at blocking sound