Regardless of whether you’re a budding music artist looking to build your own home studio, or you have a teenager that likes to play loud music in their bedroom – one of the best ways that you can soundproof a room is with the help of acoustic foam.
Without the addition of acoustic foam, you’ll discover that the sound waves from the noise or music produced will be free to travel to other areas of the home, and that can cause plenty of disruption.
Luckily, installing acoustic foam is super easy to do – and this guide is going to show you how to do it. We’re going to be talking you through the step-by-step instructions for installing your acoustic foam without causing any damage to your existing wall underneath.
So, let’s jump right in.
How To Select The Right Acoustic Foam:
When deciding which type of acoustic foam to go with, one of the most important factors that you should consider is the thickness of the acoustic foam.
Generally speaking, most acoustic panels will usually either come in a thickness of either 2” or 4”, although the thickness of acoustic foam panels can vary depending on quality and brand.
As a general rule of thumb, you should aim to select acoustic panels that are at the very least a thickness of 2”, as these are widely considered to be the industry standard thickness.
However, if you would like to soundproof your room as much as possible, you will likely find that you benefit the most from opting for acoustic foam panels that are at least 4” in thickness.
The next factor you should take into consideration when choosing acoustic foam is the pattern. So, even though the pattern isn’t going to necessarily affect the quality of your acoustic foam panels, they are going to be on show in your room – so it’s important to keep the pattern style in mind if appearance is important to you!
3. The amount that you need
If you’ve already begun shopping around for options, then we’re sure that you’ll have already noticed that there are a variety of different acoustic foam bundles on the market to buy, and all of them come in different pack amounts.
To help give you an idea of the different sized bundles that acoustic foam panels tend to come in, then we’re going to be breaking down the following standard sizing bundles below.
The standard bundle sizings are as follows:
By taking the time to consider how many acoustic foam panels you’re going to need to completely soundproof your chosen room prior to actually purchasing any, then you’ll be potentially saving yourself a whole lot of money while ensuring that you’re also going to be getting the best value, too.
In addition to the pack sizes of the acoustic foam panels, you should also consider the dimensions of the acoustic panels, too. Acoustic foam panels can come in a variety of different sizes, and it’s important to keep this in mind when choosing the right panels for your needs.
As a side note, if you are planning to soundproof a large room in your home, then we recommend opting for smaller panels where possible, as smaller panels are much lighter than larger types of foam panels, which means that they will be able to be more easily mounted and, in turn, run a much lower risk of causing any damage to your walls.
Installing Acoustic Foam Correctly: Step-by-Step Instructions
1. Clean and prepare your walls
So, after taking the time to select the right acoustic foam panels for your room, then the next step will be to clean and prepare your walls ready for the acoustic foam panels to be mounted to.
Just like in the way you would if you were planning on painting your walls, we recommend that you take some rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth, and then gently begin cleaning over your walls to ensure that all surface debris has been effectively cleaned and lifted.
It’s highly important that you make sure that you are cleaning your walls thoroughly prior to actually mounting your acoustic foam panels, otherwise, you may find that your panels are unable to properly adhere to the surface.
As a side note, avoid using any of your household cleaning products while you are cleaning and preparing your walls, otherwise, you may find that the adhesive of your acoustic foam panels becomes less effective due to the chemicals in the formulas used.
2. Measure the foam panels to make sure they fit
After you have selected your acoustic foam panels, you are then going to need to make sure that you are measuring and cutting the foam so that they will fit correctly in your chosen room.
This step won’t matter so much if you are only planning on installing your foam panels on your walls, however, if there are any additional areas that you would like to soundproof (such as directly behind your speakers if you’re creating a home studio) then you are going to need to potentially cut and adjust the standard sizing of your panels to be able to accommodate this.
As we have already touched upon above, if you are concerned about causing any damage to your walls, then we strongly recommend that you opt for smaller acoustic foam panels, as these will be very lightweight and able to mount on your walls without causing any damage to the surface underneath.
It’ll also mean that if you ever wanted to take your acoustic foam panels down for whatever reason, you wouldn’t have to worry about having to repair any of the walls underneath the panels, whereas if you were to use larger panels you might very well find this to be the case.
3. Mark out the areas on the wall
To check if your foam needs to be cut, then we recommend that you take your foam panels and place them directly onto the wall that you are planning on installing them on.
Then, once you have done this, take a tape so that you can measure their total length and width, and then make a note of these measurements.
Once you have done this, you should then take those measurements and mark them out on the wall so that you have a visual aid when the time comes to actually mount them to the wall.
By taking the time to mark out the areas on the wall, you will not only be ensuring that you install them correctly, but you’ll also be able to gain an idea of how much space they are going to be taking up.
4. Make adjustments as needed
If you happen to discover that your foam panels do not fit for whatever reason, then you should take a carving knife and cut through your foam so that it will be able to fit onto your walls.
To do this safely, we recommend that you take a knife with a clean edge, and then hold the panel firmly against a stable surface before cutting the foam in one swift motion to prevent any jagged ends. Repeat this until you have cut your acoustic panel foams to the desired size.
5. Spray the foam pieces with adhesive
Once you have made all of the necessary adjustments and marked out the areas on the wall, you will be ready to mount your foam pieces to the wall.
Take your chosen adhesive spray (if you do not have one, we recommend that you use this one) and lay your acoustic foam panels with their bumpy sides face downward. Then, take your can of adhesive, give it a shake, and begin to spray your acoustic foam panels.
As a side note, this may not be necessary if you have already purchased acoustic foam panels that already come with adhesive pre-applied.
6. Stick your foam to cardboard
This next step is extremely important if you do not wish to cause any damage to your existing walls. Take some large pieces of cardboard and stick them to the back of your foam.
By gluing your foam to cardboard first, you will be ensuring that any damage to your walls will be prevented, while also making your acoustic panels more durable.
Then, after you have done this, leave the foam to dry for a period of around 1-2 hours, making sure that you are leaving them all to dry in a well-ventilated area of your home. If you would like to speed the drying process up, you could even opt to place the foam near a fan or open window with a breeze.
7. Cut off the excess cardboard
To make sure that your walls look neat and presentable after you have given your foam enough time to dry you can then go in with a pair of scissors and carefully cut away all of the excess cardboard before you proceed to stick them to your wall.
8. Stick your acoustic foam panels to the wall using command strips
When you’re ready, it will now be time to install the foam panels on your walls! Seeing as you’ll have already glued your foam panels to cardboard to prevent any damage to your walls, you’re going to need to take some command strips in order to successfully adhere your panels to your walls.
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To do this, we recommend sticking the command strips at all four corners, and then firmly pressing them down onto your wall, ensuring that you are sticking to the marking you have already made to make sure that they apply evenly and straight. Then, you will be done!