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Acoustical Ceiling Tiles

CertainTeed Commercial Ceilings

Can ceiling tiles enhance the acoustical characteristics of a room? Most definitely. When shopping for a new ceiling tile, it’s best to evaluate the whole package.

Builders and interior designers who are searching for an affordable method to lower the height of a modern room as well as deaden ambient noise turn to acoustic ceiling tiles. Using this method, cooling as well as heating ducts can be hidden behind these ceilings, alone with unsightly wires used in overhead lighting and pipes for plumbing fixtures.

Consider this before purchasing:

The phrase ‘acoustical ceiling tile’ not only has as much to do with marketing as it does with making a difference in the sound environment within a given room. Originally, conventional drop ceiling tiles were used because they were easy to install and provided convenient access to the areas above the ceiling and were inexpensive. They were not the prettiest tiles and weren’t first purchased for their acoustics.

A conventional room has, at a minimum, six surfaces which include four walls, a floor and a ceiling. Sound moves equally in all directions. Sound also has the potential to be reflected, to pass through, or to be absorbed by all surfaces. Not all tiles are rated in all three categories. Please note that each persons results will be different, due to where you are using the tiles and how. Accoustical Ceiling Tiles

Noise Reduction Coefficient

Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) is a rating which informs how much sound surface will absorb. The higher the decimal or percent of rating, the more sound the tile will absorb.

Sound Transmission Class

Sound Transmission Class (STC) this type of rating is used to learn what the ability to block sound is. This is helpful, but does not tell you what will happen to sound once it is blocked, and it is usually used for walls.

Ceiling Attenuation Class

Ceiling Attenuation Class (CAC) is really a completely separate rating system. It does deal with sound absorption but it is a bit more specific. This rating is commonly misunderstood as a rating that describes how much sound reflects off the face of a tile.

When looking for a ceiling tile, consider the following: if a tile completely absorbs about 50% of the sound it contacts (NCR), the other 50% has got to go somewhere. If the tile has a good STC, most likely most of the remaining sound will bounce back into a room.

It is important to think about ratings when shopping for tiles. Hard surfaces tend to reflect sound, while softer surfaces absorb sound. There are many various companies which carry acoustic ceilings such as CertainTeed. CertainTeed ceilings carry a variety of styles for all your needs.

Why We Carry CertainTeed Products

We carry CertainTeed products in all of our locations because we believe in their products. In fact, Wallboard Supply Company is CertainTeed Ceilings' "Master Distributor" in New England and we are proud to carry the largest inventory of acoustical ceilings in the region. We are also the exclusive distributor of CertainTeed's Ecophon® which was used in the case study video below for the School of Visual Arts in New York City.


In addtion, CertainTeed provides Health Product Declarations (HPDs) and continues its commitment to transparency with its Environmental Product Declaration (EPDs.) They offer 5 EPDs encompassing 23 different ceiling panels and 7 HPDs encompassing 30 ceiling panels. CertainTeed is also a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and they lead the way in the effort to provide solutions that promote sustainable design. CertainTeed incorporates sustainability in every step. From the products raw material content to how it’s handled through manufacturing and shipping as well as throughout life of the product.

If this has sparked an interest in CertainTeed's product lines, be sure to download our free CertainTeed Acoustical Ceilings Product Guide below. It's full of data for engineers and is a great resource for those looking at acoustical ceiling solutions.

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Photo credit: stephenshellard / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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Wallboard Supply Company is a third generation, family run business that has been serving New England's building needs since 1970. Bob Filion started the company with a commitment to provide quality drywall and finishing products with unmatched customer service. The company has grown over the years, expanding its' product range, but never wavering from its' core values.