What Is the Best Soundproof Foam for an Office?

If you are in an office space and have multiple people working on different projects both on the phone and with each other, it can get loud very quickly. One of the best ways to make your workspace quieter is with soundproof foam. 

Soundproof foam will not isolate your office or cut off all sound, but it will help control the level of noise in the room. The purpose of soundproof foam is to absorb and dampen sounds. It reduces reflections that increase the levels in a room. 

What to Look for in Soundproof Foam

Since soundproof foam is great for reducing noise in a room, it is common to see it used in almost any office setting. There are some safety factors you will want to consider as well as design considerations to take into account when you are choosing soundproofing foam. Here are some important features to take into consideration. 

Fire Safety

If you are using plain foam instead of a treated piece, you will likely need to check with a fire marshall or safety inspector to make sure you will not violate any codes. Depending on the material, soundproof foam can be extremely flammable and become a fire hazard if placed incorrectly. 

Layout/Visibility

Many companies and office spaces will use soft cubicle dividing walls to designate offices and workspaces. This is a dual purpose of controlling the layout and the sound of the room. The way cubicle dividers are designed is very absorbent of the sound waves that go around a room. Make sure that if you use this method to address sound in your room, you are not cutting down on the functionality and usefulness of the office space. 

Design

If you are looking to keep and/or improve the look for your space, sound treatment materials can help you reach those goals. You can find treatment panels in a wide variety of designs and colors that complement each other and their surroundings while improving the acoustic design of the space. 

The Best Soundproof Foam for an Office

With these simple factors in mind, you will be able to make an educated decision on how to treat your office space. You should also consider utilizing a professional installation company that can help you determine the best way to address the acoustics in your office space. 

Partitions

Cubicle partitions are a great multi-use way to improve the sound quality of the work environment while addressing employee privacy. They provide a space for workers to perform phone calls and remain focused on their tasks at hand, all while absorbing and preventing reflections that could cause distractions to others. Partitions come in all sizes to match your desired office aesthetic. This could look like wide panels that are short enough to pop over and talk to your co-workers, or tall panels that divide the room from floor to ceiling. 

Pros:

  • Mobility
  • Size variety

Cons:

  • Cuts down visibility
  • Can make workers feel isolated

Best for: Multi-function

Pricing: Starts at $120

Because of the variation in size and weight, some partitions will cost more than others depending on the supplier you go through. Just remember that if you are wanting to use it for any sound treatment, you want it to remain rigid but soft. Softer material is better for absorbing sound waves. Your supplier will be able to guide you to the best option for dividing your office while addressing acoustics. 

Ceiling Tiles

Believe it or not, one of the biggest factors that can manipulate how a room sounds is the ceiling. If you have a very high ceiling the extra space along the walls to reverberate sound waves more than a shorter ceiling. Fiber-based ceiling tiles are a perfect way to absorb sound without reflections on the ceiling. 

Pros:

  • Inconspicuous
  • Multiple design options

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to install
  • Will reduce ceiling height

Best for: Hiding in plain sight

Pricing: Starting at $1.97 per square foot

The material you choose will be a determining factor in the overall price of the product. If you are having issues with reverberations and echoes within a room, consider using angled tiles intermittently to help disperse the sound. 

Clouds and Baffles

Clouds and baffles work very similarly to ceiling tiles by reducing reflections from above. These options are more visible as they hang down from the ceiling at the height deemed necessary. They come in a variety of patterns and forms. Some are partitions hanging by wire mounts while others are a special cloth fabric that is hung in waves across the ceiling. You will see this sort of treatment mostly in conference rooms or small rooms off of the main work area. 

Pros:

  • Can add a fun design element to a room
  • Tames reflections from top and bottom

Cons:

  • Difficult to install
  • Can block lighting of the room

Best for: Ceiling Reflections

Pricing: Starting at $80

The pricing will be impacted by the design options you select. Your supplier will be able to provide you with options to choose the right aesthetic for your office. 

Wall Panels

Wall treatments can range from foam panels attached to the wall to framed and visually appealing panels made of fibrous materials. When designed and placed properly, wall panels can stop reflections and deaden the sound of a room immensely. You will need to calculate to properly line up the spacing, but it is well worth it in the end. For a more upscale look, panels can be designed with artistic wooden features. 

Pros: 

  • Artistic and colorful choices
  • Can be installed to be inconspicuous 

Cons:

  • Installation requires drilling holes for mounts
  • Certain materials are flammable

Best for: Visual Appeal

Pricing: Starting at $17 per panel

As with all the other options, the pricing for wall panels can vary greatly depending upon the design option you select.

Test Your Soundproofing Treatment 

If you are planning on treating more than one room, consider first applying the treatment to just one room. Ask yourself if it meets your needs or if you still are experiencing acoustics that you are not happy with. You can experiment with the first room before implementing soundproofing throughout the rest of your desired area. When you treat a room correctly, you will improve the overall sound, appearance, and productivity of your work environment.