Recording Studio Replaces Ceiling Tiles To Improve Air Quality and Acoustics

OC Recording Co. decides to replace twenty-year-old ceiling tiles with panels from Ceilume.
OC Recording Co. decides to replace twenty-year-old ceiling tiles with panels from Ceilume.

The owner of OC Recording Co. in Santa Ana, Calif., was completely over his old acoustic ceiling tiles. Asaf Fulks, an audio engineer and music composer for TV and movies, says that he’d simply had enough of the flaky mineral fiber ceiling panels that were shredding at the corners and shedding fibers that would fall on the equipment he uses to record, mix and master music.

Fed up, too, with the indoor air quality in the room, Fulks decided it was time for an upgrade. He ripped out the twenty-year-old ceiling tiles and the itchy fiberglass insulation above them. Then, he set out to find a new ceiling that would create a unique space for artists, music producers, students and industry executives to come and make musical magic happen.

While searching online, Fulks learned about Ceilume. “Their decorative panels look awesome — clean, crisp and artistic. They combine a touch of old-fashioned flavor with modern details. Since they’re made of thermoformed rigid vinyl, I knew they wouldn’t flake or release particles like ordinary ceiling tiles,” says Fulks. “I called the manufacturer directly. They were really helpful, sending samples and spending time to ensure I got what I needed.”

Achieving great sound in the room was a paramount consideration for Fulks. “To fine tune the room, it was important to have a Noise Reduction Coefficient of at least NRC=0.50,” he explains. From the acoustic test data on the manufacturer’s website, he discovered he could get the required performance with Ceilume’s ultra-thin 0.013-inch thick panels topped with Soniguard itch-free polyester batt insulation.

Ceilume panels are GreenGuard Gold certified for indoor air quality.
Ceilume panels are GreenGuard Gold certified for indoor air quality.

From an array of patterns, faux finished and colors, Fulks selected the deeply molded Westminster panels to create height with the coffered ceiling. The highlights and shadows from daylight entering through the windows added playful textures. He chose Latte for the color to complement the existing finishes and bold original artwork. He found that it also caused less glare on the mixing equipment screens than there had been with the previous white ceiling. Finally, Fulks opted to leave the existing ceiling suspension grid white because he enjoyed the color contrast between the grid and tiles.

Ceilume panels are also GreenGuard Gold certified for indoor air quality, free from mold and allergens, waterproof, and clean and maintain with ease. Additionally, they come in three grades of light-transmitting materials which can facilitate colored light shows.

Once the materials arrived, Fulks chose a do-it-yourself installation. “I’m not a handy person,” he laughs. However, he was able to install the entire 360-square feet ceiling in under a day. “It was a one man job,” he says. “These panels are so much easier to work with than the mineral fiber ones I had before. Most of the tiles just popped right into the grid and for those at the edges that had to be cut, the only tools I needed were scissors and a tape measure.”

“I’m very happy with the sound within the room.” he continues, adding that the new ceilings seem to have made the sound more exciting. “And importantly, the air quality has improved since installation of Ceilume panels.” That’s music to everyone’s ears.

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