What Are Acoustical Ceiling Tiles?

Kristie Lorette

Acoustical ceiling tiles are a type of covering that is added to the ceiling of a room or rooms. They typically serve the purpose of soundproofing the room in which the tiles are installed. Typically, acoustic ceiling tiles are made of a different material than standard wall or floor covering tiles. This is because the acoustical tiles need to absorb the sound in the room or area where they are installed on the ceiling. Generally, acoustical tiles are comprised of a fibrous material. Some examples of acoustical tile materials include metal, wood or cork.

Acoustic insulation can help reduce noise between floors.
Acoustic insulation can help reduce noise between floors.

For example, in an auditorium where speeches and announcements are made, installing acoustical ceiling tiles can help to direct the sound out into the audience. Acoustical ceiling tiles are also possibilities for opera houses, stages and other areas where performances take place. While these are commercial spaces, it is also a viable option to install acoustical ceiling tiles in residential properties.

Soundproof room with acoustical ceiling tiles.
Soundproof room with acoustical ceiling tiles.

When installing the acoustical tiles in residential areas, the purpose is usually to soundproof the room. In a two-story home, for example, the homeowner may apply acoustical ceiling tiles to the ceiling of the first floor of the home. This helps to keep the sounds from upstairs, such as walking on the floor, the kids playing, or someone watching TV to drift down into the downstairs areas of the home.

In residential properties made up of multiple units, such as condominiums, acoustical tiles on the ceiling can prevent sounds and noises from drifting from unit to unit. In either condominium buildings or in single-family residential homes, soundproofing can be multiplied by adding soundproofing material to the floors as well as the ceiling.

While the primary purpose of acoustical tiles on the ceiling is to soundproof or control the sounds in a room or area, it can also be for decorative purposes. In some circumstances, people are trying to add a textured look or feel to the ceiling. This can be true of a commercial or residential space. People do not tend to install acoustical tiles solely for the look of the material, but it is an added bonus for installing these types of tiles on the ceiling.

As far as price is concerned, acoustical ceiling tiles do tend to cost more than traditional tiles or traditional ceiling covers. Installation costs for these types of tiles are also higher than traditional ceiling coverings.

Acoustical ceiling tiiles are often installed in condos and other multifamily homes.
Acoustical ceiling tiiles are often installed in condos and other multifamily homes.

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