if you’re ready to take the plunge and attach acoustic panels to your ceiling, here’s what we recommend. This is not a project for the faint of heart, but by going slowly and planning every step, you will get through perfectly.
1. Plan the placement of the panels in relation to the ceiling beams
This may seem like a pretty straightforward step, but it gets more complicated if you create your own panels. If you’ve already purchased 2-by-4-foot panels, such as the ATS Acoustic Panels (on Amazon). Then you’ll want to inspect those panels and make sure the border is thick enough to accommodate a few screws.
If it is a wood panel about an inch wide, you have a lot of material to work with. However, if it is metallic, you will have to follow a different strategy for securing the panels.
If you make the panels yourself, you have complete control over how you intend to attach them. If you’ve already decided what materials you will use for your acoustic panels, perhaps referring to our guides on the best fabrics take a look at the frame.
You will almost certainly be using 2 by 4 or other wood building materials, but as mentioned above, make sure there is at least an inch of width for you to play with. Now that it is clear that you will need wood material for the job, determine your dimensions.
Whatever the size of your panels, take the time to plan where on the ceiling you want to place them. Use masking tape to mark the borders of the panels. Then use a finder or other method to determine the configuration of the ceiling beams. If you are using masking tape to mark them, it should be really clear if any of your panels need to be moved so that their panels line up with the posts.
2. Install grommets in panels and beams
Once you have decided on the placement of the acoustic panels in relation to the beams. You can now install some fasteners that will allow you to attach them correctly. We recommend using eyelets such as the AxeSickle 2 Inch Metal Eye Hooks (on Amazon). This method will allow you to set an air gap between the panels and the ceiling, which will increase their effectiveness.
Using the masking tape from the first step, double-check where the panels should be placed so that they are evenly supported by the joists. Then install eyelets in the ceiling that line up with where the acoustic panel will be located.
Use at least four of them and make sure at least two of them are in the beam to keep the panel securely in place. And you want to place them evenly so that the panel doesn’t hang at an angle.
Now let’s turn our attention to the acoustic panels themselves. You may need a second pair of hands at this point. Take the panel and bring it up to the lugs you have installed on the ceiling. And mark the corresponding points on the frame of the acoustic panel. Then install the lugs in these locations on the panel frame.
You don’t have to hold the panel up to the ceiling to match the eyelet positions if your measurements are really accurate. But we recommend this method because it is cheap insurance.
3. Use screeds to install panels
Now you are at the last stage: we hang the panels on the ceiling. If you’ve followed the steps above, it should be very easy, although you’ll probably need a couple of hands.
Using zip ties such as the HS Premium 12 Inch Heavy Duty Zip Ties (on Amazon). Align the panel with its position on the ceiling and then secure the zip through the appropriate eyelets.
Do not fully tighten them at first, just thread them so that you can attach the panel to the ceiling. Then take a step back and assess the location. If the panel looks skewed, determine which set of eyelets to shorten and tighten that zipper. You can use the level here to double-check things
The beauty of this method is that it leaves an air gap between the ceiling and the panel. Which actually increases their effectiveness. You should aim for a final gap width of about two inches. Which shouldn’t be an issue with eyelets and ties.
As you can see, this kind of work can be a little intimidating. Punching holes in the ceiling is always difficult! But if you take the time to plan the job, mark the beams, and arrange everything methodically, the job can be an easy task.