How to fit and install Acoustic Panels
There are a number of ways to fit acoustic treatment panels, here we will try to walk you through the various methods for fitting your acoustic panels.
Please note that the below information is just a guide and any installation should only be carried out by a competent and experienced person or professional.
The majority of acoustic panel products are open backed, meaning that there is a frame that you can use to mount the acoustic panel to the wall with. So there is no need for additional fixings for basic wall mounting. Additionally, having access to the frame enables you to add brackets if required.
Below are the most common ways to install acoustic treatment. If you require more information, get in touch and one of our team can advise you further.
Basic Wall Mounting
Before we begin, here are a couple of images that show typically what an acoustic panel frame looks like before it is upholstered over. The image shows the rear of a typical acoustic panel or broadband absorber.
Basic wall mounting.
Fix a nail, or a secured screw into the wall. Once you are satisfied that the nail or screw is secured into the wall, hang the panel off the nail or screw by the rear frame. This is the same method you would use to hang a picture frame to a wall.
Secured wall fixing 1.
Sometimes it is necessary to ensure that an acoustic panel cannot be moved or knocked out of position on the wall. This method ensures that the panel is not going to move once fitted.
1. Screw a mirror fixing bracket or similar (we recommend these from screwfix) into the rear of the frame, ensuring to reveal a fixing hole sticking out to the side of the panel. Do this to both rear sides as pictured below...
2. Temporarily hang the panel using a nail. Using a spirit level, level the panel into position. And then with a pencil mark the location of the fixing holes on the wall.
3. Then remove the panel and drill a small hole into both the locations you just marked on the wall, big enough to take the appropriate fixings/wall plugs (usually 3.5mm or 4mm).
4. Offer the panel back up and screw through the fixing hole to secure the panel to the wall.
Secured fixing 2. Blind Fix via split Batten
For a secure fix without any visible fixings, we can supply split battens, and have them built into the rear of the panel. Please contact us for more info.
If you are unfamiliar, a split batten is two pieces of timber than have been split equally with a rebate, one attached to the back of the acoustic panel and one fixed to the wall. The panel is then hooked on to the batten which is fixed to the wall as illustrated below.
Split Batten fixed to wall with appropriate wall plug fixings
Fitting Acoustic panels to a ceiling
There are a couple of options for fitting acoustic panels to a ceiling. You can mount them directly to the ceiling or you can mount them as a ceiling cloud. A ceiling cloud is typically a panel which hangs from the ceiling and allows for an air space behind. The panel hangs usually a minimum of 50mm and anything up to 200mm or greater depending on the ceiling height. An airspace behind any panel will increase lower frequency absorption and will also look great.
Below are a couple of images that illustrate good examples of CM Acoustics panels being used as ceiling clouds.
Before fixing any panels to a ceiling...
...check what your ceiling is made up of. They all differ and will require different fixings.
Given that acoustic panels do not weigh too much (based on standard sizes) it's not always necessary to locate ceiling joists for fixing to, especially if fitting to a plasterboard ceiling. Additionally, if you are fitting to joists, this will limit the location of where you can place fittings.
Plasterboard ceilings are generally 24mm thick double skinned (2 x 12mm).
There will often be a void behind the plasterboard. There are two types of fixings that you can use for these scenarios.
Hollow Wall Anchors or Spring Toggles.
Both of these fixings open up behind the wall or ceiling cavity when fitted and cannot return through or fall out.
Hollow wall anchors (although we're using them for ceilings), come in different sizes to fit different thicknesses of wall or ceiling.
Spring Toggles will offer the same secure fixing behind any wall or ceiling cavity, except with the added bonus that they work with any ceiling thickness, so if you are not sure how thick your ceiling is, spring toggles are your best option.
If you do hit a ceiling joist in your chosen ceiling panel location, then the type of fixing to use depends on the type of joist.
Aluminium furring channel - Its quite common for public buildings (particularly new buildings) to have stud work and suspended ceiling structures made from aluminium furring channel. If you do hit furring channel then you would need to use self drilling screws, but our advice would be to avoid this altogether as you are limited with the range of fixings you can use, and really a slight shift over by 50mm shouldn't make a great deal of difference to you hopefully.
Timber Joists - Any screw or screw hook will suffice. Pilot and screw.
If fitting to a concrete ceiling, you will need to drill a hole to take either a shield anchor / Wall bolt. These expand once fitted and screwed into and are virtually impossible to pull out. When drilling into concrete, use a corded drill or SDS drill as a normal battery drill could burn out quite easily even in hammer mode.
Depending on panel size and weight, a simple brown wall plug could be used to create a thread for fitting into the ceiling. But in the interest of safety we recommend shield anchors.
Concrete ceiling fixings - Shield Anchors / Wall Bolts / Wall plugs
Basic ceiling mounting of acoustic panels. (Flat against the ceiling).
1. Just as previously with mounting to the wall, you need to fit 2 to 4 brackets into the rear of the panel. These can be screwed straight into the panel frame at the back.
2. Have an assistant hold the panel up to the ceiling whilst you mark with a pencil through the bracket holes that are sticking out the panel sides.
3. Then remove the panel and drill a small hole into both the locations you just marked on the ceiling, the right size to take the appropriate fixings/wall plugs. Most fittings will advise of drill bit sizes to use for the fittings you have.
4. Offer the panel back up and screw through the fixing hole to secure the panel to the ceiling anchor or wall plug.
The below image shows how the above method should look when finished
Hanging a ceiling cloud.
1. Place 4 screw hooks into the rear of the panel frame. Either at the corners or set in just slightly so as to hide the fixings from view.
2. Measure the locations of the screw hooks that you have placed into the panels and mark those same locations on the ceiling where you plan to hang the panel from. Be as accurate as possible.
3. In the locations you have just marked out, drill holes, enough to provide a snug fit for the fixing (Wall Bolt / Shield Anchor / Spring Toggle).
NB* these fixings are available with eyes or hooks. For hanging a cloud you will need to use either of these types.
4. Using either a small chain or wire, hang the chain or wire from the hooks or eyes now fitted into the ceiling, and then attach the chain or wire to the hooks you have placed into the rear of the acoustic panel.
The below images show how the above method should look when finished
Below are some links to appropriate fixings that are used above...
Chain - http://www.screwfix.com/p/side-welded-chain-3mm-x-2m/66371
Gripple Wire - http://www.cef.co.uk/catalogue/categories/tools-fixings-gripple-hangers
Shield Anchors - http://www.screwfix.com/c/screws-nails-fixings/shield-anchors/cat840080
Mirror Brackets - http://www.screwfix.com/p/plain-mirror-plates-electro-brass-32-x-32-x-32mm-10-pack/14529#_=p
Tee Plates - http://www.screwfix.com/p/tee-plates-zinc-plated-77-x-16-x-76mm-10-pack/19534#_=p
Plasterboard Fixings - http://www.screwfix.com/c/screws-nails-fixings/plasterboard-fixings/cat840020?cm_sp=managedredirect-_-screwsfixings-_-plasterboardfixings
Wall Plugs - http://www.screwfix.com/c/screws-nails-fixings/wall-plugs/cat840026?cm_sp=managedredirect-_-screwsfixings-_-wallplugs