Acoustic foam panels are an iconic part of any studio space. They’re designed to insulate sound so that the sound of any instrument inside the room has a clear tone with no sound waves bouncing off the walls.
Hanging these foam panels up is often a risky task as there’s the potential to damage the walls.
You don’t want to be in a situation where you leave a rented space and realize that your acoustic foam ripped paint off or did further damage. So, let’s look at some ways to prevent that from happening.
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Should You Hang Acoustic Foam?
Before I give you some ideas, you should know whether you need to hang acoustic panels or not in the first place. You’ll most commonly see them hung up in drummer’s practice rooms or in studios.
If you play an instrument that makes a loud noise, acoustic foam panels may be the things that save you from having angry neighbors. The more panels you have, the more sound will be reduced. They’ll also improve the acoustics in the room.
The other benefit of acoustic foam is that the panels come in several colors. The wide choice of colors gives you the freedom to structure your space around a color scheme. The foam panels will add a great touch to the visuals of the room.
To answer the question, having a few acoustic foam panels will always benefit a musician in their practice room or studio space. So, how do you hang them up without drilling damaging your walls?
When planning to hang something up, many people opt for adhesive materials to get the job done. Adhesives tend to be a bit of a risk as some can’t hold heavy objects for long. They’re often used for things like keyring holders or hooks in kitchens.
Luckily, most acoustic foam panels are fairly light, meaning adhesives work wonderfully on most surfaces. There are a few adhesive options, a common one being adhesive sprays.
One product that I love is Loctite spray. It’s an adhesive spray that many people use for varying tasks such as hanging puzzles, nightstands, and paintings. It works fantastically for acoustic foam as it keeps the panel firmly in place and it dries extremely quickly.
To use this spray, you simply have to spray the back of the foam panel as well as the wall where you want to place it. Make sure you’ve cleaned the wall so that the adhesive spray sticks on properly. Place the panel where you want it and apply pressure for about half a minute.
Adhesive sprays only work on clear surfaces. They won’t work on wallpaper or textured surfaces.
The second type of adhesive would be a double-sided tape. If you have incredibly light acoustic panels, double-sided tape tends to work very well. Adhesive squares are affordable and easy to use.
These adhesive squares have served me incredibly well over all my years of drumming. I’ve used them to hang up pictures to decorate my drum room as well as dark curtains to set the scene for videos.
The 120 squares in the pack will be more than enough to hang all your foam panels up. Some lighter panels will only need two squares to attach to the wall. If you feel like that’s not enough, you can use three or four for extra security.
Similar to the spray, make sure your walls are clean before you use these adhesive squares. They tend to lose their stickiness on dirty surfaces. When hanging the foam up, give it a hard press to make sure the panel connects well with the wall.
If you have a home studio space that you don’t see yourself moving out of any time in the near future, Liquid Nails is a brand that you should consider using. Their products are designed to bond extremely heavy-duty materials.
This makes a Liquid Nails adhesive a bit more of a permanent solution when hanging light acoustic panels. You’re guaranteed that they won’t move or fall for an extended amount of time, staying securely in place.
I’ve found the best product to be the Heavy Construction option from the Liquid Nails brand. It works like a charm and surprisingly doesn’t damage the surface you put it on after years of use.
The previous two hanging options wouldn’t work for textured walls or concrete whereas Liquid Nails adhesive would. So, this is a great option if you’re in a garage or if you have wallpaper on your walls.
To use it, you just need to glue the acoustic foam onto the wall like you would glue something onto a piece of paper. As easy as it is, it will last years.
Command Strips and Hooks
Up until now, every hanging solution has involved sticking something to the acoustic foam in order to keep it on the wall. If you’re like me, you may shudder at the thought of applying sticky material to your clean acoustic foam. Unfortunately, you just have to in many cases.
However, some situations may allow you to use hooks. If you don’t have a lot of movement in your studio space, hanging the foam on hooks may work well.
It’s typically drummers that aren’t able to do this as the panels can fall off the hooks thanks to the vibrations from the drums.
If that doesn’t apply to you, look no further than Command Strips. These allow you to place them on the wall and hang a hook on them, putting a barrier between the wall and the foam panel. No sticky material will touch your precious foam.
You have no reason to worry about command strips peeling the paint off your walls, so these are very safe to use in general.
Each one of the hanging options I listed above works best in particular situations. Adhesive spray and tape work well on clear surfaces while Liquid Nails adhesives are fantastic for bricks and concrete. Command strips are a less permanent solution. However, they’re not as durable.
Pick one of these that you think fits your situation and you should be good to go!