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How to install acoustic panels in a gym

Introduction

Among the many soundproofing possibilities for a sports centre, acoustic panels are the most widely used option due to their low price and straightforward installation. If you have already purchased or are considering purchasing soundproofing panels, it is sensible to consider how to correctly and effectively install acoustic panels in a gym.

We’ll start by outlining exactly what acoustic panels are, and later we will look at how to install them, including commonly used fixing materials. We will discover that, conveniently, we can fix our acoustic panels without using any type of adhesive.



What are acoustic panels?

Acoustic panels (also called sound-absorbing panels) are usually rectangular-shaped panels whose primary function is to absorb sound waves from different sources. In sports centres and gyms, these panels are attached to walls and ceilings, as these surfaces ordinarily comprise hard materials that reflect sound causing echo and reverberation.

The materials used for these panels display varying features and price points. Without a doubt, the most widely used are polyurethane foam (or copopren ) and mineral wool. The former has a higher price but is very easy to install, while the latter is cheaper yet requires delicate and complex installation.

Contrary to what you may have anticipated, these panels come in various designs, providing a vibrant aesthetic element on top of their primary acoustic purpose. If it’s function before style that you’re after, and you prefer a smooth surface, the traditional rectangular acoustic panels should fit the bill. However, it is always worth considering the extra benefits where design is concerned, and geometric shapes with bright colours can give a touch of flair to your facility.



Methods of Installation

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to install acoustic panels in a gym. Essentially, there are two ways to install acoustic panels: 1) stick them to the wall and 2) attach them using Z clip hangers. Below we will review how to conduct the installation in each case, but as you may have already guessed, one method is less intrusive than the other.

Adhesive installation

The less intrusive option is to use adhesive. Evidently, you won’t need to drill holes with this method, although there are several pre-steps that you mustn’t skip. First, be sure to sand the surface on which you will install the acoustic panels to ensure a quality ‘sticking’ surface. Next, use a spirit level to ensure you set the panel at the desired angle and make reference marks for placement. Lastly, assuming you are using a liquid adhesive such as silicone, apply the adhesive both to the reverse perimeter of the acoustic panel and in an X-shape across the middle; this way, you ensure a firm hold and prevent the panel from falling off the surface.

Now, one obvious question remains: which of the available adhesive options should I use? The answer, frustratingly, is as almost always: it depends. The weight of the acoustic panels and your budget will feature in your decision, but here are some other options to help you out.

For panels that do not exceed 7 kg in weight adhesive strips are a great option. They offer great hold without leaving any marks on the wall. Bare in mind not all are the same, so not all support the same weight. For panels up to 10kg, there is nothing better than adhesive hooks, although you will need to ensure you can attach them to your panels. If you prefer something more traditional, you can use silicone or glue suitable for your attaching surface. Velcro strips also provide a handy and perhaps more flexible option.

Fixed Installation

If you don’t mind making holes in the walls and ceilings of the gym, fixing with Z clip hangers may be the best option. The installation of these pieces is simple, although you will need some tools for their installation.

Before you begin the installation, ensure you have a spirit level and a drill to make fastening easier. In addition, you will have to consider possible obstacles on walls or ceilings and act accordingly, either with a different layout or by cutting the panels so that plugs, switches and spotlights remain unobscured by the panels. If unavoidable, a jigsaw could be just the answer.

With everything considered, you’re good to go. Remember that for every receiving hanger you put on the wall, there must be an attaching clip on the acoustic panel, and they must fit together. Start by levelling the hangers on both the wall and the panel – it’s good practice to mark where the screws will go. Afterwards, just use the drill to fix the hangers and join them together.


Conclusion

As we have seen, soundproofing panels are a great solution for any gym or sports centre. Knowing how to install acoustic panels in a gym will boost their effectiveness and save unnecessary trial and error. Conveniently, there are various ways to install them based on preference and necessity. 

If you have any questions or would like more information, we are here to help. Simply fill in the short form, and we’ll contact you as soon as possible to provide a solution to your enquiry.

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Disclaimer: The opinions and positions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the professional fitness community.

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