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Soundproofing office false ceilings

Technical Performance and Soundproofing Guide

Content Overview

  • Introduction
  • Soundproofing office false ceilings
  • Sound Absorption
  • Sound Blocking
  • Articulation Class
  • Airborn and Impact sound absorption
  • False ceiling soundproofing recommendations
  • Recommended Articles



There’s no denying that the architectural statement of a false ceiling has recently become synonymous with modernity and sophistication.

A false ceiling aesthetically hides the ductwork, pipes, electrical wires, lighting, heaters and door frames to impart a clutter-free office. But beyond aesthetics, the acoustic performance of a ceiling is vital. You may have the best wall acoustic soundproofing and insulation. Still, if you install a standard office ceiling, the soundproofing benefits you would have achieved will be drastically reduced.

Office bulkhead ceiling design
Office bulkhead ceiling design


Sound Proofing Performance Considerations

There are three primary performance criteria to consider when choosing a soundproofing solution.

  • Sound Absorption
  • Sound Blocking
  • Articulation Class


Sound Absorption

Sound absorption treats sound waves within the space, utilising products made of soft materials to absorb noise. Sound absorption is measured in dB (decibels). This value will reflect the amount of sound the product can absorb.
For example, A whisper is 20 dB, normal speech is 60 dB, and someone shouting at you is 85 dB.


Sound Blocking

Sound-blocking materials will reduce sound transfer through the walls of your space, but the sound within the room will be just as loud. This is where sound absorption comes into play. Sound blocking is also measured in dB (decibels).


Articulation Class

Articulation Class is a measure for rating the attenuation of reflected speech passing over the top of wall partitions or furniture into the adjoining workstations. A ceiling system with AC < 150 is low performance, whereas one with AC >180 is high performance.

Office false ceilgins
Office false ceilgins


Airborn and Impact sound absorption

For each room, two types of sound need to be considered; Airborne and Impact.

Airborne noise is created by talking, and phone and video meetings, whereas impact noise is caused by footfall, such as people walking around, doors opening and closing or items being dropped.

The soundproofing measures required to stop the transfer of these different types of noise are different. Impact noise requires a dampening system to absorb the vibrations, and Airborne sounds require extra mass to be added to the ceiling.

To make it a little more complex, the higher the dB figure for airborne noise, the better and the lower dB figure for impact noise, the better.




Soundproofing Office False Ceilings Recommendations

Your options for soundproofing your false ceiling will vary depending on the ceiling height space available.

If you have suitable height space in the ceiling, you can soundproof your ceiling by installing acoustic insulation in the cavity above the ceiling. If space is limited, you can use soundproof ceiling panels instead of conventional plasterboard.

Click on a room to view our soundproofing performance recommendations.

Get Advice


The Changing Designs and Performance of False Office Ceilings

Selecting the right office false ceiling is important to ensure it can fulfil both the style and performance needs of your office. We’re here to help make spaces healthier and safer, from reception areas to cafeterias, open areas to offices requiring privacy. For further help and advice, please get in touch.


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