What is an acoustic ceiling Tile?
An acoustic ceiling tile is simply a ceiling tile that a favourable NRC rating, (the ability to absorb sound). Ceiling tiles lay in a t-bar suspended ceiling, in a grid pattern. The tiles come in sizes from 1'x1' to 2'x'4' and range from 1/2" thick to 1" thick. Most ceiling tiles are found in offices, typically limited to commercial and industrial spaces.
Acoustic ceiling tiles are not the same thing as acoustic ceiling panels.
The sound absorbing properties of ceiling tiles range from poor, at a .1 on the NRC scale , to very good, .95 on the NRC scale.
Ceiling tiles perform a functional role of creating a ceiling below a ceiling, they used to be called false ceilings. When the physical ceiling is not attractive, ceiling tiles are often installed a few feet below.
If the NRC rating on a ceiling tile from Lowes or Home Depot cannot be found on the packaging, assume there is very little sound absorbing quality. Ceiling tiles are often used for aesthetic purposes, acoustic value is not always a consideration for the consumer.
The tiles can be cut to fit awkward sizes and shapes, or to go around lights and fixtures on the ceiling, A standard utility knife will do the job.
Where can high performance acoustic panels be found?
What is the difference between acoustic ceiling tiles and acoustic ceiling panels?
Acoustic ceiling tiles are designed to slide into a t-bar grid. They come in basic colours and have no frame, as the t-bar grid acts as the frame and support.
In contrast, acoustic ceiling panels, are panels that have been manufactured to support themselves, and are secured directly to the ceiling. Each panel is secured separately, either flush or with a small gap.
When would I used ceiling tiles?
When a dropped ceiling is preferable, due to aesthetics or obstructions on the ceiling. If the current space is noisy or has an echo, and ceiling tiles are already installed, you may want to consider simply replacing the tiles with tiles that have a high NRC value. This is often the most economical solution.
When would acoustic ceiling panels be used?
Ceiling tiles, are industrial looking, many offices and restaurants in Toronto are moving away from that look, stripping down ceiling tiles, and the t-bar grid, and painting the exposed concrete, metal or ceiling. This tends to make the room look bigger and modern, it also creates another reflective surface. In this case acoustic ceiling panels are a good fit to dampen the noise, while maintaining the look and feel of the room.
TheQuietRoom.ca is often called in to eliminate echo in offices, after ceiling tiles have been removed. Quite often the noise issue is completely unanticipated, when the decision is made to remove the ceiling tiles.
Acoustic ceiling panels range from 2'x2' to 4'x12'. See below for examples of acoustic ceiling panels installed in an office and a restaurant.
Does TheQuietRoom.ca supply and install acoustic tiles?
Yes, we do. Please let us know what your requirements are.
Are acoustic ceiling tiles fire rated?
Yes, all acoustic ceiling tiles purchased from major vendors are fire rated, for commercial, industrial and residential use.
USG has created an instructional video, outlining how to install a t-bar ceiling and ceiling tiles.