Creative Ways to Divide a Room

You may need to divide a room in your home or business for various reasons: creating separate spaces for two kids sharing a bedroom, multiple coworkers working together in an office, or a group of friends gaming at separate computers.

But constructing permanent, floor-to-ceiling walls isn’t always the answer. Building walls is time-consuming, costly, and may require you to get special permits from your local government office.

Thus, it’s important to understand how to divide a room without the need for permanent solutions like framed, insulated and painted walls. This guide will offer some creative wall partition allternatives that effectively divide a room, minimize noise transfer between its various sections, and don’t require permanently changing your space’s interior design.

Understanding the Need for Room Dividers

Room dividers let you maintain a sense of privacy and confidentiality in a shared living area without having to completely cut them into smaller spaces. They’re effective ways to divide a larger room into separate, functional segments.

Some prime examples of room dividers in action include:

  • Cubicles – Dividing a large office space into an array of smaller cubicles allows staff to work on their own projects while still maintaining a communal atmosphere and enabling them to quickly confer with colleagues should the need arise.
  • Open-concept schools – Open-concept floor plans have been a popular choice for kindergarten and elementary schools for decades. Most, however, aren’t truly free-range and use room dividers to separate classes. Studies show both students and teachers have high opinions of open classrooms and they prepare kids for real-world scenarios better than their closed counterparts.1
  • Restaurants – From classic, cozy booths in romantic eateries to singular cubicles in Japanese ramen joints, room dividers provide a sense of privacy to diners even when they’re eating amongst a full house of other patrons.

Whether it’s for peace, productivity, privacy, or pedagogy, room dividers can enhance a space and make it more suitable for your needs. So then, what are the best ways to divide a room without a wall and still control noise in the process?

Popular Room Divider Options

You can utilize numerous materials to split rooms into separate sections. But while all of them will provide similar levels of visual cover, their noise isolation potential will vary as widely as the materials themselves.

Some of the most common methods of dividing spaces include:

  • Curtains – Curtains are perhaps the quickest and easiest way to divide a room from floor to ceiling, are cost-effective, and come in all the colors of the rainbow. If you’re going to use a curtain as room dividers, however, be sure to choose soundproofing curtains that can help keep noise contained to its separate sides.
  • Bookshelves – Bookshelves are a popular choice as they provide visual cover and serve the dual purpose of storing your novels, knick-knacks, and other small items. They’re excellent choices for schools that need somewhere to keep all of their materials. While they will absorb and diffuse some sound, they generally don’t reach all the way to the ceiling—leaving significant space for noise to travel to adjacent areas.
  • Projector screens – Projector screens are a modern and multi-functional way to split up a room. They provide privacy for those quiet working hours and entertainment during your free time. Like the bedsheet example above, however, they’re very thin—meaning noise glides right through them. Additionally, they only come in white, as any other color would interfere with the projected image.
  • Acoustic partitions – Products like Poly Max panels and Sound Silencer can act as acoustic partitions to provide visual privacy and maximum sound-absorbing potential, immediately turning any ordinary table into your private work area. They’re the ultimate choice for office setup, work-from-home couples, and distance learners alike.

Contact us to find your perfect acoustical fit today!

Advanced Room Dividing Strategies

To make the most out of your divided space, pick the correct acoustic materials so each section remains both private and quiet via sonic separation as well.

Acoustic partitions absorb the clicks and clacks of keystrokes, the screech of desk drawers sliding open, and other common office noises. They also filter out background noise from different areas of the room, improving audio quality for quiet calls and low-volume listening.

In addition, acoustic partitions are highly customizable and:

  • Can be clipped together and constructed in a variety of configurations to meet your space’s unique needs
  • Come in a wide array of colors to match your room’s aesthetic
  • Are simple to scale—just purchase as many partitions as you need and they’ll clip together endlessly until your larger space is split up to your liking

Utilizing Acoustic Panels for Sound Reduction and Absorption

If it’s essential for your divided space to be as quiet as it is visually private, you’ll want to utilize acoustic panels to absorb excess sound within the room.

Generally, if you’re splitting a larger space up, it’s already a decent size to begin with. Larger rooms have more potential for echo and reverberation as they have more open living space for sound waves to reflect and travel around. Whether you’re dividing a home studio or commercial office, acoustic panels can mitigate this rebounding effect by covering hard surfaces and absorbing the sound.

Types of Acoustic Panels

Generally, the different acoustic panels available on the market are distinguished by the material they’re made of. The three leading kinds being:

  • Fabric-wrapped panels – These feature a dense fiberglass core that’s excellent at preventing reverberation and a fabric-wrapped exterior available in hundreds of different colors. They’re optimal for spaces with aesthetic concerns as they’re sure to match your current color scheme and home decor.
  • Wood wool panels – As they’re made from compressed wood fibers, these panels are not only super sound-absorbent, but they’re supremely eco-friendly as well. Likewise, they offer incredible insulative properties—meaning they have the potential to help you save on future heating and cooling bills.
  • Foam panels – Acoustic foam panels are scientifically designed to absorb the largest possible range of frequencies. Their unique, spiky exterior diffuses sound waves before they get the chance to build up. Foam panels are available in a wide range of colors, but may not be as aesthetically pleasing as other materials. So, they’re best used when maximum sound diffusion and absorption are the number one priority.

Strategic Placement

It’s not only important to pick the right kind of acoustic panels but, likewise, to place them in the right positions. Be sure to cover major reflection points—such as large, empty walls, low-hanging ceilings, and different areas near major noise sources.

Furthermore, it’s essential to use enough acoustic panels to provide sufficient wall and ceiling coverage. The minimum square footage you’ll need to cover is equal to 3% of your room’s cubic volume—though you may need more depending on the specifics of your living space.

Aesthetic Integration

For most people, sound control isn’t the only concern when seeking out acoustic panels. They want something that’s going to look excellent on their walls too.

For maximum choice in color and design, go with fabric-wrapped panels that come in hundreds of different materials, patterns, and colors. If you want to go all out, you can even customize your panels with artwork and designs for a totally unique look.

Benefits Beyond Sound Reduction

Besides reducing the overall level of noise within your space and amping up your walls’ aesthetics, acoustic panels offer a bounty of other benefits, including:

  • More privacy – Not only do acoustic panels keep noise levels down within a room, but they also help keep it contained to a singular small space. That means increased privacy when discussing business plans, industry secrets, or anything else you don’t want neighbors to hear.
  • Increased speech intelligibility – Excess echo and reverb make it difficult to discern what others are saying—even if they’re right in front of you. With acoustic panels filtering unwanted sounds out, it’s easier to hear and understand what your colleagues, family members, and other space-sharers are trying to tell you.
  • Higher productivity – 70% of employees claim excess background noises break their focus and reduce their productivity.2 When your staff can hone in on their own thoughts amidst a peaceful environment, their productivity and satisfaction greatly improve.

DIY Room Divider Projects

If you’re on a budget but still want to split up a room, there are several at-home solutions you can try before investing in acoustic room dividers. For cost-effective DIY room partitions, consider:

  • Wardrobes – If you’re dividing a bedroom so two siblings can have some private space, try putting a couple of wardrobes right down the middle. Not only will they provide visual cover, but they’ll also give the kids somewhere to neatly store their personal belongings.
  • Shoji screens – These traditional Japanese room dividers are made from wood, paper, and similar materials, making them both eco-friendly and aesthetically pleasing. They may not necessarily be the most cost-effective room-dividing solution, but they have a unique look that can complement various different styles of home decor.
  • Bedsheets – Second-hand stores are teeming with white bedsheets ready for you to decorate and hang as partitions. Simply paint them with your custom design then use some wall anchors and fishing line to string them up across the living area you want to divide.

Maximizing Small Spaces

Room dividers can make your small room more functional without sacrificing style or floor space.

If you have a remote job but don’t have a dedicated room to use as your office, you can easily cordon off a corner of your living room to use for work. You’ll still have the majority of your main space for recreation, but also have a spot to buckle down when it’s time to get things done.

Similarly, room dividers can help provide a sense of privacy in shared bedrooms and other spaces. Nearly 32% of American adults have roommates, so setting up partitions can afford you some personal space even if you live in a shared household.3

Room Dividers Let You Reimagine the Possibilities of Shared Spaces

Whether it’s splitting up your living room for a better Work-From-Home setup, dividing bedrooms for increased privacy, or compartmentalizing your workspace into cubicles to bolster productivity, room dividers have a plethora of private and professional uses.

Effective partitions are flexible and can be configured to meet your personal needs and the unique parameters of your floor space. Get creative with your solutions, combine different kinds of dividers and, if you want your space to be both visually and sonically-isolated, use sound blocking materials to mitigate echo, reverberation, and external noise leakage.

Create Sound-Controlled, Subdivided Spaces with Materials from Acoustical Surfaces

There’s a wide variety of sound-absorbing and blocking materials beyond partitions and panels. From sealants to soundproof doors and ceiling tiles, Acoustical Surfaces carries everything you need to split your room into segments and keep your sound levels in check.

Look over your project, consider the structural and aesthetic solutions you want to install, and then browse our inventory to find the right products to get the job done. With the correct materials, dividing your space into separate, sound-controlled sections is easier than you think.



  1. Foundation University. Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Classroom Instruction: A Basis for an Improvement in its Implementation.
  2. Gitnux. Workplace Productivity Statistics [Fresh Research].
  3. PEW Research Center. More adults now share their living space, driven in part by parents living with their adult children.

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