Restaurant Noise Problem

L.L. Writes:

Ted – I just read the Quieting a Noisy Restaurant article on the blog. I have a question specific to my restaurant space.

Details:

  • 1600 sq ft.
  • Built in 1904
  • Fir Floors & Wainscoting, Maple Counters, & Wood Tables & Chairs
  • 9.5′ ceilings
  • Open kitchen – so there’s refrigeration sounds & venting sounds
  • Very loud and “tin” sounding

Attached is a photo (it’s taken from the kitchen – which is open to the restaurant)

The restaurant is in Haines Alaska, so we have limited products available for sound suppression. At the lumber store we have 4 x 8 sheets of 1/2″ sound barrier – which I was going to make batons on the back and hang from eye-hooks in ceiling – with about 2.5″ between ceiling and sound board. Any other kind of advice? Should I be looking for a much better, more specific product – one that would come from the lower 48?

Thanks immensely for any assistance you provide.

I don’t think that the sound barrier will do much good for you, you need to get some “soft” surfaces into the space to help. Based on the size of the room and the surfaces that are in the room, I would suggest trying to get about 60 (2×4) panels into the space, or 480 total square feet of product either on the walls or the ceilings. I would definitely recommend you sticking with the 1″ thick option for whatever product you choose in order to have the installation be as visually conspicuous as possible and it will be the best allocation of funds.

I have had a few customers try to put product on the bottoms of the chairs and tables, but this is usually a last resort. It will help, but getting something onto the walls or the ceiling is ideal.

The two most common products that are sold to people in similar situations are the Fabric Wrapped Fiberglass panels or the Echo Eliminator. Each has their own pros and cons, which I can explain further if you would like. Each would be adhered to the structure and soften up the surfaces in the restaurant so the sound was not so live. Pricing is going to depend on the quantity ordered, but either way, I can get shipments up to you relatively easily. The ballpark price for the 1″ Echo Eliminator panels is $4.00 per square foot and the 1″ Fabric Wrapped Fiberglass panels usually sell for $6.50 per square foot. The size of the fabric wrapped panels significantly revolves around the size and quantity of the order because all orders are custom made. Another thing to consider is the cost of shipping. The cotton panels can ship in boxes via UPS, and the fabric panels need to be put onto a pallet and sent via LTL carrier which is usually more expensive.


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