When designing or remodeling, the acoustic properties of a room should always be considered, and ultimately be based on the type of activity intended within the space. Each activity has its own challenges, and therefore would benefit from its own acoustic design. Oftentimes large spaces and hard surfaces result in unwanted sound that interferes with the function of the given space. This can vary from room to room because what is disturbing and unacceptable in one design application, may be acceptable to another. When sound reflections are focused rather than dispersed, it can cause reduced speech intelligibility and adverse effects on music.

Here are 3 things to consider in order to optimize the acoustics for your design.

Sound Absorption

Unlike regular wall surfaces which can reflect sound, cork wall panels can help absorb and reduce acoustic noises. Cork is often used in music recording environments as noise reduction material because of its excellent sound absorption. All of our cork bricks and panels are easy to install for a great-looking solution for reducing excess noise and reverberation. For example, the Noise Reduction Coefficient for our cork bricks is 0.15 NRC (absorbs approx. 40% of sounds in the human voice frequency range, which is where cork excels). Using cork on the walls in conference rooms and office spaces is a simple way to create an ideal meeting room.

Noise Reduction

Cork is naturally good at noise reduction and it also prevents sound and vibration transmission. Using cork on walls and floors can reduce the sound level of noise due to impacts on the surface, such as those resulting from movement of people, dragging furniture or falling objects.cork acoustics

In multi-family construction in the United States, there are minimum IIC and STC values that a floor/ceiling assembly must achieve. The Uniform or International Building Code (U.B.C. / I.B.C.) call for a minimum 50 IIC and 50 STC values. Each of our cork flooring options (Ceramicork Tiles, Ceramicork Planks and Comcork) exceed these requirements, with an example being for the Ceramicork Planks that have the following acoustic values: over an 8” concrete slab: STC – 58dB, IIC – 68 dB; over an 8” with dropped ceiling: STC – 60dB, IIC – 73 dB. For a summary chart of these values for all other products, please see here.

Acoustic Insulation

Cork products are a great choice for building projects such as apartment buildings and office spaces where there is a need to reduce sound from adjoining rooms. Our cork bricks and blocks are a quick and easy way to add sound insulation to any wall while also looking great.