Soundproofing a Cafeteria

Why soundproof a cafeteria?

School cafeterias, churches, hospitals, offices, prisons, and others will serve thousands of diners over the holidays.   Soundproofing your cafeteria is important. The venue takes on a social component as diners enjoy a break in the routine of their day.  

More and more people are using the cafeterias as an alternative to working in their offices.  The typical cafeteria is more open with access to WIFI for laptops, tablets, and phones.

What about the noise in these often rather large rooms?

Cafeterias share a common acoustic challenge common to a variety of dining rooms…the presence of a number of harsh, reflective surfaces in the room which are cleanable, but highly reflective for sound wave behavior.   These surfaces amplify the noise in the room produced by the voices of those dining.

soundproofing large roomThese hard, reflective surfaces present in cafeterias facilitate ease of cleaning but are also a source of diminished sound values.  The rooms become filled with echo.   As multiple people begin to converse within a cafeteria, a portion of the sound produced by their voices will reverberate from the reflective surfaces throughout the room. 

These sound reverberations reflect back into the room, resulting in background noise that can interfere with sound quality within the cafeteria. As more diners converse within the cafeteria, background noise is heightened and people begin to speak more loudly in order to counteract higher noise levels. 

The clang of dishes, shoes on the floor, often serving carts all contribute to even more soundwaves bouncing off ceilings, floors, walls, and tables.

Understanding reverberation makes it easy to see how noise levels within a cafeteria are exacerbated as the number of people present increases.

What can be done to alleviate the issue of cafeteria noise?

Noise control is a better way to describe how to reduce the noise in cafeterias. The goal in improving acoustics within a cafeteria is capturing excess reverberations such that background noise is cleared out, in turn allowing conversation among diners to return to normal levels. Acoustic treatments that serve to absorb excess sound reverberations are surprisingly easy to implement within a large dining area such as a cafeteria.

Sound absorption panels

Sound absorption panels are the key to clearing out background noise in a cafeteria such that diners can enjoy comfortable, audible conversation. Treatments can be in the form of wall panels or coverings situated throughout the cafeteria, or the more common arrangement of absorptive ceiling panels suspended from above. 

Several acoustic panel products are available today to serve just this purpose, and treatments can be easily self-installed. There is even some flexibility with regard to the positioning of each panel. 

In applying sound absorption treatments within a cafeteria, the quantity of panels present is more important than their positioning. This flexibility makes it simple to adapt treatment to accommodate the individual characteristics of a cafeteria, such as doors and windows.

These fabric wrapped acoustic foam panels are easy to clean, hang vertically from walls or horizontally from ceilings.  They reduce noise levels and even prevent hearing loss from continued exposure to high noise levels.

Fabric Panels

Fabric acoustic wall panels are cloth wrapped in a multitude of colors to match any decor.  Panels are class A fire-resistant, decorative, durable, and easy to install.

Blush Panels

These soundproofing panels are wrapped in a paintable fabric finish. These panels can be painted using 100% acrylic latex paint in the color of your choice.

Picture Panels

Acoustic art panels can be wrapped in graphics, images, logos, fine art, vintage images, school emblems, and photography.  These panels are great solutions for dressing up the cafeteria and restaurants and bars.

What products do you need and how to apply them correctly?

soundproofing designWith information about the size and unique characteristics of a cafeteria, a soundproofing consultant can provide invaluable guidance as to the quantity and type of sound control products necessary to achieve the desired results. 

Due to the individual nature of each sound control project, it is advised to consult with an expert prior to attempting to install a soundproofing treatment.  Call us and talk to an expert on how to best solve your cafeteria noise problem. 1-800-638-9355

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