Decorative Absorption Panels: Common Q & A

Many people call us about Decorative Acoustic Panels aka DAP’s, thinking they are a cost-effective and attractive solution to stop room-to-room noise transfer. While they are inexpensive and do improve a room’s interior acoustics, their application is different than many assume…

Common Q: Do Decorative Absorption Panels (DAPs) block room-to-room noise transfer?

A: In short, no.

The difference is in the unique qualities of barriers versus absorbers. Hence the name Decorative Absorption Panels.

Put simply, a barrier blocks noise transfer from room-to-room while an absorber controls the acoustics within a given space. Decorative Absorption Panels (DAPs) therefore don’t stop sound transfer from Room A to Room B; rather they improve the sound within Room A.

They are best used in spaces where reflective sound is prohibiting the normal use and enjoyment of a room – like loud restaurants or halls – or where reverberation needs to be reduced to improve acoustics – like studios or home theatres.

Is this what you’re looking for? If not, and you’re looking to control room-to-room noise transfer, check out some of our other Soundproofing Products for Walls and Ceilings, like Resilmount Sound Isolation Clips. If DAP’s are what you need, read on to find out how to use them and how they can help improve the acoustics in your home or business.

First, consider Minimum Acoustic Treatment (MAT). The MAT rule for any given space is 40% of the ‘Talk Zone’. What’s the Talk Zone? It’s the area in a room where the average person, seated or standing, would project their voice. It’s the area above average pieces of furniture like couches but below the ceiling.

For easy calculations of the Talk Zone, use the 3-feet, 1-feet rule: ignore the wall 3 feet from the bottom of a given room and 1 foot from the top. Treat 40 per cent of the remaining area in between to achieve MAT. Click here to download a diagram to help with calculations.

While the walls are most important, you can achieve increased acoustic performance with calculations using the MAT rule and DAP’s on the ceiling as well. This will help decide what size and how many DAP’s you might need. Once you’ve determined this (and we can help – feel free to contact us with any questions) you can decide what style and color of DAP you might want.

DAP’s are versatile, fabric-wrapped fiberglass panels that come in a variety of colors. They can also be printed with a photo. Available in 1 and 2-inch thicknesses, they are easy-to-install with specially designed angled impaling clips, which we provide with the panels. See below for a performance chart of both 1- and 2-inch thick panels.

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