Preventing noises from leaking in and out of a room is very important, especially if you are a music enthusiast or drummer or just want a quiet home.
It is possible to rent a place but it can be quite expensive and inconvenient especially if you’re transporting instruments to and back into your apartment.
You can transform an unused space in your house easily into a studio or a soundproof place for your work. To make sure that it fits the purpose of your work, you have to treat it acoustically. This can be done by using acoustic forms.
They are easy to install and also pretty affordable. However, sometimes it gets pretty tricky to install these as they can also damage the walls. Here, we are going to talk about how to install these without damaging the walls and yet getting the desired results.
Why use/why not use acoustic foam to soundproof a room?
There are several different ways to soundproof a room and one of the most popular methods used is acoustic form.
It is very cheap and readily available online. It also comes in different colors which allow you to choose one that complements your studio décor.
Before you learn about how to install it properly, you should be cautious about certain hazards that it can cause.
- The material is a fire hazard and causes a lot of smoke when burned
- Acoustic foam if not installed properly will cause sound to bounce back and hence not only defeats your purpose of using it but also hampers it
If you feel like your DIY skills are not up to the point to install it, you can also hire a professional to do it for you.
Where to place acoustic foam?
If you desire to get the best out of these foams, the placement of these panels is extremely important.
You can attain different types of effects using these panels. For example, if you install the panels behind your sound system, it will project the sound away from the wall. With the proper combination of sound absorption and diffusion using these panels, you can maintain the sound balance and also amplify its quality of it.
Most sound engineers would recommend you to decide on a listening position and place the panels according to it. It will allow you to imagine how the sound will bounce on the walls and help you decide which walls need foaming the most.
Prepare the wall for installing acoustic form
To install the foam panels properly, you will need to prepare the surface. You can start by cleaning them completely and making sure to remove any sort of adhesive leftovers from the previous installation.
You can also clean them using rubbing alcohol to remove any sort of dust if you are planning on using command strips. Be careful not to use solvent-based or isopropyl alcohol solutions as they could damage the paint.
How To Hang Acoustic Foam Without Damaging Walls?
- Plan out the arrangement: Firstly, you have to make a plan and figure out how you want to arrange these panels. You will have to take the measurements and figure out exactly how you want to arrange the panels for the best results. You can either draw on a notebook, a map of your wall or you can draw it on the wall itself and follow your own instructions.
- Glue your foam to a cardboard panel: If the panels are directly stuck to the world by using spray adhesives, they can be very difficult to remove. If you try to take it out forcibly the adhesive might even take out chunks of the wall with it, and also destroy the foam itself.
You can take a cardboard panel and mount the panels on it and then apply the adhesive. Let it dry for some time and cut out the excess material.
If you want to cover small parts of your wall, then you can also skip this part and do it directly on the wall.
- Use command strips to mount everything on the wall:
Command strips can be used to mount almost anything on the wall. It is easy to use and safe for your walls and the foam panels.
A strip covers the adhesive from one side. Remove that and press it onto the foam panels. It’s that simple and easy.
Take another one and repeat the same process. After that, mount the panels by pressing the tapes that are on the strips.
Apply these strips to each one of the foam panels you have. You can use two or four of these strips per panel depending on where you want to mount the panels. However, this involves using a lot of strips which might end up costing you a lot more than you expected.
If you go for single larger panels and use stronger strips, it will be cheaper and a handful of strips will be enough to cover the whole wall. Take the cardboard panel with acoustic foam on it and put a few straps near the top. Use two strips or more per panel and if you feel like it is falling off until the panel is stable and secure.
One of the greatest things about the command strips is that it is absolutely easy to remove. If you ever plan to move your studio someplace else, you can still use the same form panels as it also does not destroy the panels. These strips make them a lot easier to replace.
- Command hooks: Command hooks are almost similar to the strips as even they use adhesive to securely stick to the wall. However, the biggest difference is that these hooks don’t use Velcro and instead rely on a single large hook. You can also hang pictures, clothes, and other décor items using command hooks.
For acoustic foam panels, you can easily insert them into the hooks and place them in front of the hooks and just push until it reaches the hook’s base. If you feel like the grip is not strong enough, you can also place additional command hooks to increase the coverage.
You must be very careful while installation as you can also end up breaking the panel entirely if you are not careful. It can be hard to detach the panels after using the command hooks though.
- Self-adhesive pins: These pins are similar to the T-pins but they have a flat adhesive bottom instead of the T shaped head. These pins are used to install all types of insulations making them perfect for foam panel installations.
Some of these pins even come with a cap that you can use to cover the tip of the pin to prevent any sort of injury while handling it.
Self-adhesive pins have a long pin and you have to remove the bottom cover and press the adhesive bottom onto the wall. Hold it for one minute and then insert the foam into the pin until it touches the wall leaving almost no space in between. If you notice the tip of the pin sticking out, you can use a cap to cover it.
- Garden lattice: This is one of the more unusual methods that can be used to install your foam panels. You have to start by attaching the panels to the cardboard or directly to the lattice using an adhesive.
Now you can either lean the garden lattice against the wall or use command strips to fix it on the wall. However, you have to keep in mind that using a garden lattice will drastically limit your foam placement, making it your last resort for the solution.
The do’s and don’ts of acoustic foam installation
There are a lot of factors that come into play in a successful acoustic foam panel installation. You will need to know a lot of things about them before you even start installing them. Following are some of the tips that will help you out.
- Planning is one of the most important parts of the installation. You will have to pay close attention to the placement of it. Randomly installing it throughout the room will reduce the overall sound quality
- Check out your measurements and dimensions and plan the installation accordingly. Placing too many foam panels will make the room lifeless, unnatural, and unbalanced
- Low-frequency resonances can often side towards the corner. You can place a few foam panels across the corners of the room to get better results
- Use rubbing alcohol or similar cleaning compounds to remove any residual dirt. Avoid using household cleaners as they can reduce the adhesion of the form or even damage it
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Overall, acoustic foam panels are one of the quickest and easiest ways to transform any normal room into a studio.
Professional recording studios are way better equipped to provide you with better sound quality but choosing these panels can get very close to those.
Installing them properly is very important as a poor installation could ruin the panels as well as the sound design of the room.
With a little bit of attention and knowledge, you can easily enhance the sounding of your room.
These are some of the easy DIY solutions that you can try for installing without damaging your walls, by yourself or with the help of someone else. If you think you are not equipped enough, you can always hire a professional to help you get them installed properly.