How to Hang Acoustic Foam Without Damaging Walls

SilentHomeHub is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Silent Home Hub How to Hang Acoustic Foam Without Damaging Walls

If you thought learning how to hang acoustic foam without damaging walls was daunting, you don’t really need professional help, especially if you’re trying to cut costs.

Whether you’re building an entertainment room, setting up a recording studio, or trying to improve sound quality in your home or apartment, this quick and easy guide has got you covered.

Ready to get started? Read on for 3 easy steps on how to hang acoustic foam without damaging walls!

Table of Contents

What Is Acoustic Foam?

Usually made of open-cell polyurethane, acoustic foam enhances sound quality by controlling the reverberation of sound waves in a room.

Because it absorbs sound waves and converts them into heat energy, it is able to reduce—if not eliminate—echoes and background noises.

Although they absorb sound, acoustic panels are not meant for total soundproofing.

They work up to a certain extent, but they’re ineffective at completely blocking out external noises or preventing sound from escaping the room.

In these cases, solid, heavy, and sound-insulating materials are required.

Practical Applications of Acoustic Foam Panels

With that said, how can acoustic panels be used?

Well, they can be placed wherever you want to improve sound quality!

Homeowners often hang acoustic panels in their personal theater, makeshift recording studio, and even home office spaces to minimize sound interference and improve concentration.

In more professional settings such as auditoriums, cinemas, and churches, hanging acoustic foam panels is also a way to improve visitors’ overall experience.

Because these foam products are affordable, effective, and relatively easy to install, they’re quite popular in the market.

How to Hang Acoustic Foam Without Damaging Walls

Step 1: Purchase Acoustic Foam Panels

Before anything else, make sure to purchase the right foam products for your specific project.

After all, acoustic foam comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, patterns, and designs, so it’s important to choose ones that are durable, effective, and suitable for your room’s aesthetic.

You can use any panel shape you desire (square, hexagon, etc.) on a flat wall surface, but make sure to get wedge-shaped acoustic foam for wall edges.

Acoustic foam usually comes in 2-inch thick panels too.

As a general rule, try to search for products that have high NRC (noise reduction coefficient) ratings.

If a foam panel has a 0 NRC rating, it means that it absorbs no sound. High-quality acoustic foam can have NRC ratings of around 0.95, which means it absorbs 95% of the sound and reflects only 5% of it.

The Burdurry Acoustic Foam Panels is a great choice that we highly recommend.

You can also choose to make your own DIY acoustic panels if you want!

Step 2: Measure Acoustic Foam Panels

Once you’ve chosen your acoustic foam panels, make sure to measure your wall surface before installing them.

Afterward, compare the size to your panel dimensions, and use a sharp cutting tool such as an electric carving knife to remove excess material.

You want to cut the acoustic panels into sizes that will fit your wall perfectly for a neater appearance. If you completely cover your walls, you will also achieve better results overall.

Step 3: Hang Acoustic Foam Panels

Now that your panels fit the walls, it’s time to install acoustic foam! You’ll find our recommended techniques below depending on the type of wall you’re working with.

Generally, gentler adhesives will adhere to smooth surfaces and drywall, but textured surfaces and rougher walls will require a stronger construction adhesive.

For Smooth Surfaces and Drywall

Spray Adhesive

When using spray adhesive, make sure use it on the back of the acoustic foam instead of directly on the walls, as this could damage them over time.

To use spray adhesive correctly on your acoustic panels and install acoustic foam without damaging the walls, follow these instructions:

  • Mark the exact spot you want to cover on your walls with masking tape or a pencil.
  • Clean the surface with isopropyl alcohol.
  • Wipe the area dry.
  • Cover surrounding surfaces with protective plastic, cloth, or paper before using the spray adhesive.
  • Apply the spray adhesive to the back of the panel, and wait for around 10-15 seconds for it to set. Note that this works best when the room temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place the panel on the wall and press on it firmly for around 30 seconds.
  • Repeat for the rest of the acoustic foam panels until the room is completely covered.
Adhesive Squares

Adhesive squares are a lot neater than a spray adhesive, but they take more time to apply.

Usually, adhesive squares come in a pack of 24, 1 x 1 inch pre-cut squares, so they’re ideal if you’re trying to cover a smaller surface.

Here’s how to use them to hang acoustic foam without damaging the wall:

  • Mark the exact spot you want to cover on your walls with pencil or masking tape.
  • Clean the surface with isopropyl alcohol.
  • Wipe the area dry.
  • Remove the paper liner from one side of the adhesive square and attach the sticky part to the back of the acoustic panel.
  • Repeat with the rest of the adhesive squares until the whole panel is covered. Cut off any excess if necessary.
  • Peel the liner from the other side of the adhesive squares.
  • Install acoustic foam to the wall and press down firmly for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat with more acoustic panels to cover the entire wall area of the room.
Double-Sided Tape or Mounting Tape

Another quick, easy, and inexpensive option is to use double-sided tape as an adhesive. Although this works best on a smooth surface, it could be effective on some rougher surfaces as well.

Make sure to purchase ones that can hold a lot of weight, just to be safe! This should be indicated on its product packaging.

Now, here’s how to use it to install acoustic foam:

  • Mark the exact spot you want to cover on your walls with pencil or masking tape.
  • Clean the surface with isopropyl alcohol.
  • Wipe the area dry.
  • Measure out the exact lengths of tape you need to cover the back of the panels; cut these out and set them aside.
  • Remove the paper liner from one side of the tape and line the edges of the foam panel.
  • Peel the liner from the other side of the tape.
  • Install the acoustic foam panel to the wall and press down firmly for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat until the room is covered.
3M Command Strips

3M Command Strips don’t hold as much weight as mounting tape, but they don’t leave a sticky residue behind.

This means that they’re not the only cleaner but also more moveable as well, even after being installed for a while!

Use command strips to hang your acoustic foam panels by following these steps:

  • Mark the exact spot you want to cover on your walls with tape or a pencil.
  • Clean the surface with isopropyl alcohol, and wipe the area dry with a paper towel.
  • Clean the command strip with rubbing alcohol as well. Don’t use a solution with harsh ingredients, or you might damage the adhesive.
  • Apply the strips all around the panel.
  • Install the acoustic panel to the wall and press down firmly for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat with the other acoustic panels until the room is covered.

For Concrete and Textured Surfaces

Although the process for these types of surfaces are similar to the ones above, a stronger construction adhesive is needed for complete adherence.

Otherwise, the panel may not be installed properly, causing the sound to bounce off it instead.

Liquid Nails

Because liquid nails are durable and heavy-duty, they’re great for concrete and hard surfaces. They work just like any other type of glue, and they’re environmentally friendly too!

Z-Clips

On the other hand, Z-Clips are another type of heavy-duty construction fasteners.

Since they come in 2 pieces, you can easily rehang your acoustic foam panels and move them around even after installation if you’re not satisfied with the sound quality.

However, note that these have to be screwed onto the wall, so you might want to search for a different option if you’re just renting your apartment.

Other Reminders

Before starting this project in your home, recording studio, or office cubicles, keep the following in mind:

  • Before applying the foam panel, always clean the location and wipe it dry with a paper towel. If there is a lot of dust or dirt present, the acoustic panels will not strongly adhere to the wall.
  • Refrain from using push pins, as these leave holes behind. Good alternatives to push pins are command strips.
  • To maintain your walls, consider mounting the acoustic foam panels to a plywood board or another similar backing material instead.
  • Acoustic foam can be a fire hazard, so always have safety precautions in place if you plan on using it.

These techniques are simple ways to make sure both improved sound quality and safety in your home, so don’t ignore them!

After all, you want your acoustic foam panels to work effectively and last you a long time.

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve read through this whole guide, you definitely know how to hang acoustic foam without damaging walls!

Though there are many different ways to do this, all of our methods guarantee that you’ll be able to achieve the sound quality you want in no time.

Just put in the work, remember our tips, and you’ll succeed with this project!

About the Author

andrea_adams

Andrea Adams

Fidgeting with gadgets and electronics has long been Andrea’s expertise. She has assembled, disassembled, and tweaked almost every type of device you can think of. Through the years, she has come to realize that technology should never be fussy. And that’s where her interest in quiet products stemmed from. She hopes to become your go-to person for insight when deciding on noiseless goods to purchase.