Home Theatre Ceiling Tiles
An Introduction to Home Theaters
As home entertainment technology becomes less and less expensive consumers are renovating basements, spare rooms, and garages into spectacular home theaters. Here at Ceilume, we are constantly getting requests for a ceiling tile that works well in the theater environment, and our customers' main concern is almost always regarding sound absorption, or the general acoustics of a particular ceiling tile (see the Acoustic Ceiling Tiles article to learn more about the different sound ratings and what you should know before purchasing a ceiling tile).
The color and design of a home theater ceiling tile can also play a major role, as many people will try to match the look of old style, ornate theater ceilings and others may simply be looking for a darker colored tile that doesn't reflect a lot of light. It is also widely accepted that the mood that is created by the decor in a home theater can change how you experience the movie. A nice, subtle theme will allow viewers to keep their focus on the movie (where it should be) and not on the design of the room itself.
Your standard home theater is generally going to have a carpet floor, several plush seats and/or couches, and an audience (at least during showings). All of these things are going do a significant amount to lessen the reverberations and echo from a surround sound system. For this reason, many people like to go with a ceiling tile that is not extremely sound absorbent. A "live" ceiling will allow the sound from the speakers to develop and sound more pleasing to the ears. A completely "dead" room is just that - DEAD.
On the flip side, a home theater with hard surfaces and reflective elements in the design will need a bit more sound absorption built into the ceiling. This will absorb a lot of the reflections coming from a hardwood floor or glass doors, and keep the stereo system sounding like it should. It's all about balance.
Home Theater Ceiling Tile Options
Here at Ceilume Smart Ceiling Tiles, we have many customers that use our ceiling tiles in their home theaters. The Ceilume line does not offer much in the realm of sound absorption, so these are best used in carpeted theaters with plush furniture. The light weight tiles are easy to install, and will keep the room from sounding too "dead". Priced affordably and available in over thirty styles and several designer colors (white, sand, latte, merlot, black and translucent), Ceilume Smart Ceiling Tiles will enhance any home theater installation.
Silent Source offers many sound control solutions, including some great ceiling tiles. Most of their tiles offer very high Noise Reduction Coefficients (NRC), and are great for really soaking up sound in a theater. There is a higher cost associated with acoustical ceiling tiles like these, so they are generally used when sound is a particular concern.
AlphaMidnight Tiles from Acoustical Solutions are great for home theaters, as they are highly sound absorbent and offered in a flat black finish. Cost may be an issue, but for the level of sound control you will get they may be worth it. Acoustical Solutions also offers a wide range of other ceiling tiles and sound control products that are specifically suited to the home theater environment.
American Micro Industries offers a ceiling tile selection that is mainly, but not limited to, simple designs and lots of noise reduction. If you'd prefer your ceiling to disappear, then these are the folks to talk to. Their Commercial Plus and Tufcore lines are both available in black, and most of their lines offer NRC ratings of 1.0.
If you are renovating your home and adding a theater, or would simply like to upgrade your existing home theater, you might also want to check out the AVS Forum. This is where audiophiles meet and exchange info. There is a lot of information about home theaters there, and while some of it is for the elite hobbyist or professional, there is also a lot of digestible info here for the consumer, and a ton of experience among members who are more than welcome to answer any questions you might have. Forums like these are very helpful in that they can usually supply unbiased consumer info before you buy equipment or furnishings for your home theater.
Of particular interest, a search of "Ceilume" brings up pages containing a wealth of unbiased opinions from actual Ceilume Home Theater customers, like this popular one: Ceiling tile question (ceilume).