[ecis2016.org] To help you make an informed choice, here is a detailed guide about fibre false ceilings and things you should know before installing one
Fibre false ceilings have gained prominence in recent times. Fibre false ceilings are also known as acoustic or sound-proofing ceilings. They are used in high noise and sound areas as they have sound insulation properties.
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What are fibre false ceilings and types of fibre false ceilings?
Fibre false ceilings are made by mixing natural and synthetic materials such as tar, vegetable fibre, asphalt, wood and stone. Due to the reinforcements, fibre ceiling tiles become tough, hard and fire-resistant, and have an excellent acoustical ability to reduce noise.
Fibre false ceilings are suitable for home theatres, home offices, meditation yoga rooms, and noisy areas such as retail showrooms and offices.
Acoustic ceilings are made from different materials. The two most common types of fibre false ceilings are mineral fibres and glass fibres. Mineral fibre is made from various materials such as clay, perlite, and recycled newsprint. It’s the most commonly produced acoustic false ceiling material and is also the most affordable.
Acoustic ceilings are also made from fibreglass, which can come in different variations, such as polyurethane or PVC bagged fibreglass and woven fabric. Fibreglass ceiling tiles are made from glass fibres coated in polymers.
Mineral fibre ceiling tiles are heavier and denser than fibreglass. On the other hand, the low-density feature of fibreglass panels gives it the extra benefit of being more resistant to sagging and moisture. When these two types of panels are used together, they provide a maximum range of acoustic control.
One also gets painted PVC-faced fibreglass that is designed to appear like painted drywall.
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Pros and cons of fibre ceilings
Choosing the right ceiling panel material makes a difference in the acoustical response of a room. There are many advantages of fibre false ceiling. The most important function is efficient noise reduction when mounted directly to a ceiling or used as a drop ceiling. Fibre false ceilings absorb sound and reduce echo to keep the acoustics balanced.
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The need for a sound-proof room at home has increased. Today our homes have the noise of TV, radio, mobile phones, as well as lots of other equipment. Even the noise from kitchen appliances can be annoying. With WFH and online school, home noises can disturb and distract when one is working.
Another advantage of suspended fibre false ceilings is that it helps in concealing electrical and plumbing installations and enhance the overall appeal of a home.
False ceilings can reflect and disperse light, preventing the need for excessive artificial lighting and also improving air conditioning efficiency, thus reducing energy consumption.
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Fibre false ceilings go well with other false ceiling materials such as wood, POP, and ceramic. Combining fibre ceilings with other materials can make the false ceiling design interesting.
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Disadvantages of fibre false ceilings
Fibre false acoustic ceilings have their share of disadvantages as they reduce the height of the room.
Most of the acoustical fibre ceiling tiles are porous fibreboards that are prone to water spots and sagging and attract mould and mildew. Few brands now offer humidity resistance in ceilings, which can be used for areas subject to high humidity.
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Fibre false ceiling design and light ideas
Select a fibre ceiling design as per the theme of a room. Suspended fibre ceilings can be designed in various ways like linear panels, curved, grille and baffle, and cubes. One can also have square, rectangular or circular designs. Fibre false ceiling tiles come in a variety of sizes, finishes, edge details, patterns and colours. Most ceiling tiles have square or bevelled edges. One can also opt for a tile with an imprinted design and decorative pattern to enhance the appeal of the false acoustic ceiling tiles. Acoustical ceiling tiles are available with special finishes that are resistant to chemical fumes and scrubbing.
One can choose fibre false ceiling with coffered design, extended panels, canopy ceiling, layered false ceiling, asymmetrical false ceiling designs, and tray false ceilings.
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Lighting and false ceiling design should together add to the aesthetic appeal. The simplest way to make the fibre ceiling look elegant is to have uniformly-spaced grid light units. One can go in for recessed LED fixtures paired with cove lighting units in fibre false ceiling. Artistic lights and cove lighting work well with round-shaped recesses. Depending on the room and function, design the fibre ceilings with cove lighting, track light, recessed lighting, spotlights or chandelier.
Tips for buying and installing fibre false ceilings
- When buying fibre false ceiling tiles check the colour and texture options, cost, fire rating, and sustainability.
- When shopping for acoustical ceiling tiles or panels, consider Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) and Ceiling Attenuation Class (CAC). NRC reveals how much sound a ceiling panel will absorb within a specific room. The CAC rates a ceiling’s efficiency to block sound to adjacent rooms.
- Most drop ceilings made from fibre can reduce noise by 55% while special ones can reduce noise by almost 70%. In rooms where more sound reduction is needed, such as in home theatres or home offices, go for a high-performance ceiling panel that can absorb up to 70% of sound.
- A drop ceiling is a common way to install fibre tiles and panels. A metal frame hangs below the current ceiling. The drop ceiling tiles will just drop into the grid and be set in place. Some tiles can be glued directly to the existing ceiling. This is a simple and easy method, but it doesn’t work for all tiles.
- Avoid fibre ceiling tiles with air-polluting chemicals. Many fibreglass and mineral fibre ceiling panels use formaldehyde, a carcinogen and respiratory irritant, as a binding agent.
- Ensure that the height from the floor to the false ceiling slab is sufficient to allow a false ceiling without making the space seem cramped.
- Provide extra support on the fibre false ceiling when hanging heavy light fixtures or swings.
- There are various brands of fibre ceiling and fibreboards to choose from such as Armstrong, Gyproc, Everest, USG Boral, Dexune, Ji Tex, Minwool Rock fibres, U Tone, and Bubos.
- Fibre ceiling prices vary as per thickness, NRC and CAC feature, design, material components (glass or mineral), dealer, and city. Tiles per piece start at Rs 30 and go on to Rs. 450 per sq ft (approximately).
How do you clean mineral fibre ceiling tiles?
Most mineral fibre and fibreglass ceilings are cleaned with a damp cloth or sponge and mild soap. Wipe the soapy film off with a clean, damp cloth or sponge.
What is an acoustic ceiling cloud?
Acoustic clouds are made up of ceiling panels and designs meant to absorb sound. Acoustic sound clouds come in a variety of colours, patterns, and styles. They can completely cover the ceiling of a room or be placed in areas that need better sound control. Rather than a solid ceiling covered in acoustic material or drop ceiling tiles, acoustic sound clouds are made with stylish lines and designs.
Are drop false ceilings good for acoustics?
Yes, as acoustical drop ceilings (suspended ceilings) provide sound-proofing in two ways – one by absorbing sound waves and preventing sounds from bouncing around the room. Another way is by blocking the sound from travelling to another room. Some drop ceilings have both features, while some may have one or the other.
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