How Much Do I Need?

Hi. Wonderful web site! I was hoping you could answer a basic question: I have a “grand room” shaped like a trapezoid. The shorter wall (about 16ft.) is the exterior wall. The tall wall (about 25ft.) reaches the peak of the roof. The ceiling is wood. The floor is ceramic tile. The walls are drywall and there are lots of windows. The sounds echo terribly. I can make acoustic tiles, but I don’t know if I should hang them on the tall wall, short wall, or if I need them on both walls. Also, I don’t know how many I need. Can you give me some general instructions?


How Many Panels Image

Over the years, I have put together a simple equation that I have had plenty of success with. This equation is used to “take the edge off” of a room and make it much more usable. When dealing with listening rooms or recording rooms, it gets much more complicated. In this case, though, I am very comfortable stating that it WILL make a significant difference in the sound quality of the room.

To determine the SQUARE FEET of product or surface area to cover

Cubic Volume of the room x 3% = square footage of product

Height x Width x Depth x 0.03 = Sq/Ft

You don’t have to be spot on, so average the ceiling height and go from there.

Where To Put The Panels

From an acoustical standpoint, that doesn’t make much of a difference as long as they are spaced out fairly evenly throughout the room. If you had two rooms and put the identical amount of the same material in both of them, one room putting it on the ceiling and the other on the walls, you or I could go into those rooms with our eyes closed and would most likely not be able to tell the difference.  The location of the panels is not nearly as critical as the overall square footage of panels/product introduced.  So you have a lot of freedom here to work with the desired aesthetic or the functionality of the room.

Do you have anything you would add to help figure out the amount of materials to use in  a room?


  1. Mitch

    Thanks for the rule of thumb! I have a critical listening room that is 30’L x 15’W and 8’H. The stereo speakers are along the long wall. The room is comprised of hardwood floor, windows, and bare drywall, inlcuding the ceiling.

    I am interested in your dBA panels as it looks like I can just glue them on the drywall. Using the calculation, it appears I need 108 sq ft of product. Is that right? Also, how do I choose between the 1″ or 2″ thickness?

    Finally, where should they be placed? I presume the ceiling and back wall where the stereo is pointing? How far apart do I install the panels from each other in order to be effective?

    Many thanks!

  2. Ted W

    Thanks for the Comment, Mitch.
    We may want to talk a little bit about a critical listening room as the “rule of thumb” is really a better formula to “take the edge off” of a room and simply reduce the overall reverberation time. A critical listening room is likely going to need a more room-specific approach.

    Would you be able or willing to send me a sketch of the room showing the general location of everything and maybe a digital photo or two so that I could have a look at it and help lay out a plan of attack for you?

    The dBA panels may or may not be the best for you, that is going to depend on the room itself. Most of our products can be glued or mounted directly to the wall. The “best” approach may be to use a few different products in specific locations.

    If you are able to send me a bit more information about the room, please use [email protected] and include your contact information.

    Thank you!!!

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