Quieting a Noisy Cafeteria

Cafeterias are notoriously loud. The rooms are built with hard reflective surfaces that make it easy to wipe down and keep clean, but do not lend themselves to noise control. When you combine concrete, brick, tile, glass, metal, and drywall, they absorb on average less than 5% of the echoes in the room. As sound waves continue to reflect off these surfaces, the decibel levels in the room begin to spike your cafeteria noise. The people seated in the space then begin to raise their voices up and over the level of the background noise. Because of this, it’s crucial to introduce sound panels into your room to help control the noise levels in your cafeteria.

Questions?  Call 1-800-638-9355

How to Soundproof Your Cafeteria and Lower the Noise

To resolve the noise issues, the goal is to lower the level of ambient echo in your cafeteria. A series of sound panels can be wall or ceiling mounted inside the room, capturing and converting the unwanted sound wave reflections. After soundproofing, a cafeteria will have greater clarity to original sound and a more comfortable dining experience. Sounds panels, wall or ceiling mounted, play a key role in controlling your cafeteria noise levels.  As we tell our clients, we don’t make people less loud — we make the room less loud.

Questions?  Call 1-800-638-9355.

soundproofing a cafeteria for noise control with sound panels

Cafeteria Noise Control:  How to Soundproof Your Space

The most popular sound panel option designed for soundproofing a cafeteria is our cloth wrapped acoustic Fabric Panels. These panels will combine to absorb the echoes in your cafeteria, collapsing your levels of background noise, and restoring the room to premium sound quality. These soundproofing panels are available in 60 color options, and are designed to be flush mounted to perimeter walls or ceilings inside your room. The key to a successful treatment lies in our Room Analysis. It is there that we will gather your room’s dimensions, and define the square footage totals you should be targeting for your project.

See Fabric Panel

Related Soundproofing Panels for Loud Cafeterias

We could upgrade the Fabric Panel and make it tackable for kids to tack seasonal projects up to the perimeter walls in the room. These are called FabricTack Panels. We could also upgrade the Fabric Panel to a PicturePanel, which allows us to print school logos, graphics, artwork and photography onto the face of the panels. For clients with exposed joist metal deck ceilings, we could also switch the product out for a set of VET Baffles. These are sound baffles that hang vertically between the rows of joists, and combine to produce the same values as the Fabric Panels. Any of these sound panel options will produce the sound values you are seeking, so long as the quantities are accurate. Use our Room Analysis tool below to determine your coverage amounts.

Noisy Cafeterias Love Our Fabric Sound Panels

Fabric Panels are class A fire rated sound panels. They are decorative, durable, easy to self-install, available in 60 colors, and can be upgraded to double as bulletin boards or have graphics printed onto them. They can be placed as you wish around the room’s perimeter, wall or ceiling mounted, evenly dispersed with nice site lines, and will combine to control the echoes in your room. When it comes to cafeteria sound panels, this is the most popular product that we’ve sold for over 25 years.

Questions?  Call 1-800-638-9355.

See Fabric Panel
acoustic sound panels in walls to control noise and soundproof a loud cafeteria

Four Steps to Lower Cafeteria Noise:

1. Measure Your Cafeteria

We need the cubic footage of your space. Measure your room’s length, width, and height.

2. Submit Room Analysis

Use the button at the top or bottom of this page to submit your room’s dimensions.

3. Approve the Quote

We will define the framework for your treatment and submit back your quote for approval.

4. Self Install

Your sound panels will drop ship to your doorstep.  Our treatments are cost effective, and designed for self-installation.

View Case Studies

Our clients tell us that it helps to see a variety of sound panel treatments on our website, to help them visualize their own upcoming soundproofing project. We invite you to check out a variety of recent NetWell acoustic projects and call our help desk for any related questions!

See Case Studies
cafeteria noise is controlled with perimeter wall mounted sound panels

Cafeteria Soundproofing:  Q&A

How to design a Cafeteria for noise control

The reason that cafeterias are so loud is because they are built with many hard, reflective surfaces. While these surfaces are great for cleanup, they make it easier for sound to reverberate and spike the noise levels within the room. This background noise forces voices to raise to hold communication. To properly design for cafeteria soundproofing, keep the floors and perimeter wall surfaces hard and washable, but offset the resulting echoes by scattering a set of sound panels, wall or ceiling mounted, around the room.  These panels will combine to absorb the echoes, collapse the level of crowd noise, and restore the cafeteria to premium sound quality. See our Fabric Panels.

How to soundproof a loud cafeteria

In order to combat noise levels for cafeteria soundproofing, you need to absorb the echoes within your cafeteria. Our most popular acoustic option is our Fabric Panel. These are class A fire rated sound panels, durable, decorative and easy to self-install. You can flush mount them to perimeter wall or ceiling surface space as you wish for soundproofing your cafeteria. Note that these acoustic panels can upgrade to serve as a tackable bulletin board for posting school and seasonal messages. See our FabricTack Panels. These sound panels can also be custom printed with school mascots, artwork, photography and other digital graphics. See PicturePanels.

What impact does Cafeteria noise have on student performance?

Because cafeterias are designed with hard, reflective surfaces, they absorb less than 5% of the echoes within the room. As these echoes continue to bounce around the space, they spike the decibel levels to an unbearable amount. This creates a noisy atmosphere that induces more stress than relaxation, during lunch periods in the cafeteria.  As a result, student performance can be compromised.  A lack of focus, a draining of energy and an inability to concentrate can stem from exposure to high noise levels during the lunch period.  For premium student performance, get premium sound quality in your classrooms and cafeteria settings.  This will calm the students and help them stay focused on their education in a safe learning environment.

What impact does a noisy Cafeteria have on hearing loss?

According to Consumer Reports, school cafeteria noise is a contributing factor to hearing loss.   In a loud industrial factory setting, when noise exposure readings push past 85 decibels, by law the employees are required to wear hearing protection.  But average noise levels in a cafeteria at peak hours can push past 100 decibels, and require no hearing protection for the students.  Repeated exposure to this level of noise in a cafeteria with no soundproofing can be detrimental to the health of the student body.  That’s why it’s crucial to invest in soundproofing a cafeteria. The cost of children’s health outweighs the cost of building materials.

How do wall mounted sound panels lower noise levels in a Cafeteria?

Cafeterias are built for cleanability, not acoustics. The hard reflective surfaces in a cafeteria will combine to bounce echoes, absorbing less than 5% of the sound wave reflections in the room. As a result, background noise levels spike as students begin to raise their voices up and over the level of this background noise. Sound panels for cafeterias will combine to capture these echoes and convert up to 80% of the background noise out of the room.  What remains is lower levels of background noise, and the students are able to converse in normal conversational tones.  They no longer need to shout over one another to communicate.   Sound panels will combine to deliver premium sound quality for a soundproof cafeteria. See our Fabric Panels.

Why is acoustic foam a bad idea for soundproofing a Cafeteria?

Sound panels work great to absorb echoes and soundproof your cafeteria. Care must be given, however, to the type of acoustic panel introduced into the room. Acoustic foam panels are typically not class A fire rated, and the ones that are Class A fire rated will decompose over time and sprinkle dust particles into the air and your ventilation system. Acoustic foam works great for recording studios and radio stations, but it should never be placed inside a school or cafeteria setting. Opt instead for the compressed fiberglass panels, which meet the class A fire code requirements and do not decompose over time. See our Fabric Panels.

Can sound panels in a Cafeteria double as bulletin boards?

Yes!  An upgrade to our standard cloth wrapped sound panels for walls is our tackable soundproofing panel called the FabricTack Panel. This upgrade includes a thin, tackable membrane that is adhered to the face of your sound panel prior to the panel being wrapped in acoustic cloth. Have us cut your boards horizontally, for example, at 4’ tall x 8’ wide, so seasonal messaging can be tacked to your panel system on the lower surface of your perimeter wall. In turn, the acoustic panels will double as both a bulletin board and a soundproofing panel system designed to deliver premium sound quality to your soundproof cafeteria.

Can we custom print images onto acoustic panels in our Cafeteria?

Yes!  Another upgrade to our standard cloth wrapped sound panels, which are called Fabric Panels, is to have us wrap your sound panels in graphics. We are able to customize your school’s sound panels by printing your school’s mascot, as well as custom themed colors and images, onto the face of your sound panels. For questions on custom image sound panels, call our help desk at 1-800-638-9355 and visit our PicturePanels website page.

Why are ceiling mounted sound panels more popular than wall mounted for Cafeteria noise control?

When soundproofing a cafeteria, the coverage amounts will play a key role in the success of your acoustic treatment. If you under treat the space, you will leave too much echo in the room, and as a result you will still have noise issues. However, if you place the correct amount of sound panel in your cafeteria, you will gain premium sound quality. The answer to your coverage amounts depend on the size, shape and surface textures of your cafeteria. Call our help desk at 1-800-638-9355, or submit a Room Analysis form, and we will calculate the coverage amounts for you. From there, you can select panel size, color and location within your cafeteria as long as you aggregate the correct overall coverage amounts.

What are the benefits to using NetWell’s sound panels in a loud Cafeteria?

The sound panels in your cafeteria will capture the unwelcome level of echo in the room and deliver a more comfortable acoustic environment for the students’ dining experience. Without sound panels for walls, your room will continue to bounce and reflect noise, spiking the decibel levels and forcing people in the room to continually raise their voices. In turn, this will spike the noise levels even further. Sound panels will alleviate your noise issues by restoring the room to premium sound quality, helping your students eat and converse in a more calm and relaxed environment.   Keep your cafeteria setting safe and your school a more positive learning environment for the kids by surface mounting sound panels on the walls or ceiling of your cafeteria!

Sign Up for StartSmart

StartSmart for Affordable Sound Control

Budgets are a part of every conversation we have with every new client. Our goal from the start will be to control both your noise and your pocketbook. As a gift to our clients, we offer a short email series called StartSmart. This support tool is designed to help educate our clients on steps they can take to help curb their expenses on their upcoming soundproofing project. The messaging is easy to understand, it contains valuable insider tips on cost control, and it’s timed just right with your soundproofing projecting looming on the horizon. Sign up today!

Free Cafeteria Room Analysis

The sound values you are seeking for your Cafeteria start with a measurement of your room, so that we can calculate the appropriate amount of sound panels based on room size.   Submit your dimensions here and we will quote your project back.

Get Room Analysis

Your Room Analysis

To get your cafeteria noise under control, feed us your room’s dimensions so that we can properly equate to the right amount of sound panel for your upcoming soundproofing project.  For questions related to your application, call our help desk at 1-800-638-9355.  Thank you!