Advantages of Commercial Wood Ceiling Systems

Advantages of Commercial Wood Ceiling Systems

Posted October 28th, 2014 by Christy Serafini

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When remodeling an existing building, using a wood ceiling system can often be an economical way to solve a number of cosmetic problems that may have predated your project. The most common use of a paneling system is to lower a high ceiling, often to cover up plumbing or other elements of the house which would better be left unseen. For such cases, wood ceiling systems have a few advantages over other panel types, but the two most important advantages are acoustic and visual ones.

The Acoustic Advantage of Wood Paneling

Most suspended paneling systems on the market today are foam paneling systems. They are lightweight, easy to use, and are not unpleasant to look at. Depending on the type of offices in such a location, this may well be sufficient. For a number of high traffic applications, however, they may not be. Foam paneling systems are notorious for sound leakage, and even the best design cannot block out a lot of the sound traveling between floors.

In this, the solid nature of a good wood ceiling system cannot be overstated. Wood naturally absorbs and reflects sound at its core and the paneling system is designed to form a solid acoustic wall. Sounds from adjacent rooms or floors above are easily reflected and stay in their respective areas. By contrast, while some foam panels are designed to absorb sound, often sound can simply travel through a foam panel, reducing a foam panel’s purpose to little more than an aesthetic one. Using wood panels instead of foam panels for acoustic reasons is simply a smarter choice.

The sound advantages are particularly important in auditoriums and libraries, as well as places acoustics would play a factor on a smaller scale, including classrooms and meeting rooms as well.

Wood Paneling is Cosmetic As Well As Practical

The main cosmetic advantage of wood over foam paneling is obvious: while often comparable in cost, wood gives a paneling system a more classic look and feel. Foam panels come in a variety of styles and thicknesses, which not only allay budgetary concerns but also match a wide variety of room styles. Another advantage of using a wood paneling system is that wood can be painted with little to no pre-treatment, meaning that even if you choose not to go with the “raw wood” tones one naturally fines, wood panels can easily match any room color scheme with a minimum of effort– and can even be painted prior to installation.

Durability also plays a role: wood panels appear stronger because they are. Foam panels can often be easily pressed, cut or otherwise damaged in regular use at heights lower than 9 feet. While wood cuts to specification, it’s much trickier to inadvertently damage than a foam panel.

Wood Paneling as a Smart Solution

While there are a few other advantages to using wood paneling (such as biodegradable material– foam panels are not usually recyclable, whereas wood generally can be recycled) the biggest advantages to using wood over foam are effective interior and exterior soundproofing, as well as being better looking than foam panels in general. An experienced wood ceiling system installer can usually point you in the right direction when it comes to finding the right wood paneling out of the hundreds of different types available.