Are Brutal Ceiling Tiles Acoustic?
Can Brutal tiles be Acoustic?
Yes, they can, but it requires a little extra effort. If you are doing a refit, save those ugly old mineral tiles. The nice ones can be used as border tiles or use our Zona border tile. Now you don't have to figure out how to get rid of them! Please note that Brutal tiles are not weight bearing (most ceiling tiles are not), so nothing above the grid may touch them. Insulation bats, electrical wiring, flex A/C ducting and lighting must all be supported from the structure above the grid. Brutal tiles do have acoustic dampening properties but will work much better when combined with a mineral tile or acoustic absorbing bat. If you are doing new construction, you may consider a product like Soniguard by Ceilume. If you need to isolate sound from the floor above or from next door (where the sound travels over the top of the wall, through the ceiling space and back down, then this would be a good idea. Note that if your space has carpeting and furniture and fabric skinned cubicle dividers, you may not need more sound absorption. Here we discuss installation options.
Using your old tiles:
With: Europa, Globen and SoBe
Simply place the mineral tiles on top of the Brutal tiles. You don't even have to take the mineral tiles down. Note that these Brutal tiles may only face downwards for this to work. The mineral tiles also add weight to keep the tiles from fluttering near doorways or drafty areas.
Enough space can be created by lifting the mineral tiles, rotating them until they are stable and placing them on top of the grid T-bars. This adds 1 1/2” of headspace. Working around the hanger wires may be a bit fiddly. Lay out your mineral tile arrangement first, as it gets tricky doing it on the fly.
Lift the mineral tile and slip the Brutal tile underneath. The mineral tile should not touch the Brutal tile. Test by lifting the Brutal tile. It should sit loosely. These Brutal tiles will not support the weight of a mineral tile if they touch. Some experimentation may be necessary, and perhaps a helper. Here you can see Blox in place with the mineral tiles above. Generally, you will always need access from a neighboring opening as the mineral tile will need to be lifted upwards to allow Brutal tile placement.
Here we can see Brasilia and Bilbao also work great in this manner:
Using Soniguard by Ceilume,
This product is an insulative square bat that is a bit bigger than the grid space and about 1.5” thick, so it gets compressed a bit around the perimeter when installed. This compression allows it to grip the grid and tent up a bit to accommodate the top surfaces of Blox, Bilbao and Brasilia. Tuck the bat around the perimeter all the way down (pic below which has a Blox under it!) and then push up on the underside of the tile until it the shape is no longer distorted. You need to stand high enough that you can see and reach over the tops of the tiles. The Soniguard just maintains the shape without distorting the tile. Soniguard also works great with Europa, Globen and SoBe, but only when facing downwards. Call them for a free sample to experiment with.