The Ultimate Guide to Portable Acoustic Panel

Portable acoustic panels. They’re perfect for rooms that require a visual design element, and they’re wonderful for spaces that don’t quite fit your needs or aesthetic. Portable acoustic panels can be used to hide unsightly objects and features, and they also provide the added benefit of sound dampening. But how do you choose the best ones? Here is everything you need to know about portable acoustic panels.
Portable Acoustic Panels are the ideal design feature for rooms with minimal space.
There are two main types of Portable Acoustic Panels – suspended ceilings and suspended walls.
Recently, I designed a beautiful bedroom that featured both types of paneling to provide the perfect backdrop for the beautiful aqua wallpaper chosen by my client, as well as eye-catching lighting features. However, if your room is not large enough for this type of paneling, you can still use it to create a great visual effect with portable acoustic panels on walls or ceiling. It’s the ideal solution for adding detail to an already existing room without adding too much extra clutter or furniture.
The beauty of portable panels is that they can be used for small spaces.
Also, be sure to select the right paneling for your space. If you’re adding panels to an already existing wall or ceiling, then opt for panels that are made out of acoustic fabric. While some fabrics are designed to reduce sound, others are not as effective at dampening sound, so you’ll want something that’s on the superior side (like “Sound Shield” or “SoundBlocker”).
I’ve used portable acoustic panels in a variety of rooms and I’ve found that they work best when the room is not too large. When I was decorating a great room with an open floor plan, the walls were just not cutting it for me – they were too thin! So I decided to add panels to add visual interest. The bedroom proved to be the perfect space for this type of paneling and it worked out perfectly.
It’s important when you’re choosing portable panels to choose fabrics that work together and match your decor and style.
For instance, you don’t want to use light-colored (or white) fabric on a dark wall or ceiling because it will make the wall or ceiling look washed out.
For this bathroom, I wanted an interesting and beautiful feature – bubbles! So I chose a yellow/orange color combination and used color blocks to create the bubbles. 
Some fabrics, such as Ultrasuede, work much better than others when it comes to sound.
Ultrasuede is an amazing fabric that mimics suede in appearance and makes it the best choice for anyone looking to add visual interest. Generally speaking, when it comes to sound, Ultrasuede is great because Vinyl-based products (such noise control) don’t absorb any sound in the first place.
If you choose Ultrasuede for your panels, you can also go with metallic finishes to give it a more luxurious look.

How do you make portable acoustic panels?

It’s generally quite easy to make your own acoustic panels.
The first thing you’ll need to consider is the space where you want the panels and how much you want to cover. You want to use a mount that can work with your ceiling or floor so as not to harm the surface upon which it is placed. An easier route is to simply buy an acoustic bubble wall kit and install it yourself, but if you’d like something more customized, then this may be for you.
I’ve had great success with these acoustic panels using this method: 
Create a design (this can be done by hand or computer), and then cut it out of fabric, keeping in mind that the finished size should be 0.25″ larger than the actual space you are covering. It’s important that you create a pattern that fits your space, or the panels won’t fit well. Use double sided tape to attach the fabric to an acoustic board. Don’t fasten firmly, because your panels will need to be able to be moved around without ripping the fabric itself. Decide on the spacing between each panel. Depending on how much space you have available, 1/2″ is a good starting point for spacing at 12″ apart (although I’ve had great luck with 5″ spaces). Ideally, you’ll want 1/2″ of space between each panel, but this is entirely up to you and your desired visual effect.
To attach the panels to each other, you’ll want to use another type of double-sided tape.
First, position your panels and then apply the tape on the underside of one panel and that same type of tape on the top of the second panel.
Press the two panels together and pull away. This ensures you don’t have any air bubbles in your tape.
Remove the backing off one piece of tape only, leaving the other sticky side exposed. You’ll want to attach this piece to the first panel you installed, making sure that there are no gaps or holes between the two pieces of tape. Then, apply that same type of tape to the top of your next panel using another double-sided adhesive strip to connect them firmly.
Follow these steps for each set of panels you install.
Remember to pull at the fabric gently before you let go, and try not to pull too hard, as this can cause undue stress on the tape and lead to ripping.
Use a leveler (this is optional) and move it along the panel lines repeatedly to ensure that they’re straight and that there are no large gaps between panels.
Finally, you’ll want to install a spacer bar between each panel in order provide room for an electrical wire or your speaker wire. If space is limited, you can install your wires behind the boards on the inside of your wall for a hidden effect.
I thought this method worked great because I was able to make my own panels whenever I wanted, but if you’d like to purchase the complete setup, you can find it here.”

Do acoustic panels really work?

“I wanted to make my own acoustic panels to help control the sound in my bedroom. I bought a sheet of acoustic foam, cut it in two pieces larger than the area I was trying to block, then used double sided tape in an X shape to affix the pieces together. The space between each piece was 1/2″. Since I used ceiling mount, it blocked out all sound perfectly.”

Do you have any tips for making them look good?

“To keep your panels looking good, keep these points in mind: 
Suspend your panels so they are slightly off the floor when hanging them on the wall/ceiling. 
Avoid taping the panels to the wall/ceiling too tightly, as this could lead to ripping. 
Some panels can be cut by hand, but others may need to be cut with a power saw. 
Try not to leave your panels in one place for too long because this can allow dust and other particles to accumulate on them, which may make your ceiling or wall look dirty or dusty.”
If you need any other tips or advice for making your own acoustic panels, check out this video:

Do acoustic panels help soundproof?

“I’m using fabric to build soffits for my kitchen, and I’ll be covering them with foam board with 3/4 inch thick foam. Is this enough to dampen the noise so the kitchen seems more private?”

“I’m planning on building some shelves out of wood, and I want to know if sound proofing them will help with the sound, considering where they’re located. They’re going to be in a corner of my living room that’s angled into my primary seating area.”

“I’m planning on building some floating shelves for our living room. I’m looking for advice on what material to use to build them, and whether soundproofing them will help with the sound. They’re going to be located in a corner of our living room which is right by a window, and they’ll be above a sectional sofa. The only thing I know about soundproofing is that it’s not 100% effective.”

“I want to make an echo chamber for studying, and I was wondering if there are any materials you can put behind your bookshelves to absorb the sound from getting back into your rooms.”

“I’m thinking about building some shelves above the fireplace in my bedroom. They’ll be above the floor, and I’m planning on using some acoustic foam board to build them. What gives me the best soundproofing result?”

“I just completed my basement. It has a concrete floor and stone walls with concrete detail. I’m thinking of installing floating shelves that run along all four walls of the basement, and will be resting on special under-shelf brackets so they don’t slide.”

Are acoustic panels safe?

“I’m looking to build acoustic panels for my living room, but I’m having some concerns. I’d like to use them over the concrete flooring, which is quite cold during winter. My concern is that if they are too close to the floor, they might absorb enough heat from the ground through the concrete.”

I was wondering if acoustic panels work on bathrooms with no carpets?

“I would like to build some floating shelves in my living room that will be suspended above the hardwood floor. Do you think this is a good idea? I’m looking for suggestions on materials.”

Acoustic panels are an easy DIY project that will give you the soundproofing you’ve been looking for. It’s very convenient to tile them onto your walls, but there are other options too. You can make them out of fabric, wood, metal or even pvc pipe. Just make sure your panels are well-sealed and fixed firmly to the wall or ceiling by double sided tape, staples or wood glue. When it comes time to make your own acoustic panels, there are several types of double sided tape that can be used (and even some specialty ones like packing tape). The type of adhesive you choose will depend on how well your panels are attached to the wall with the adhesive, so be sure to test it out first. Additionally, choosing the right size for your panels (remember that the larger the panel, the better soundproofing quality you’ll get) is very important. You can always buy acoustic panels to start with if you’re not sure what size will work best for your room.