What is the difference between ThunderTiles and StratoTiles?
Both panels feature a high performance glass wool layer that absorbs sound energy. The ThunderTile adds a second gypsum board layer that adds mass to stop sound. This is bonded to the glass wool into a single unit. This process costs more to produce. The StratoTiles are designed to work along side the ThunderTiles and in less critical areas to save money.

Do regular mineral wool panels control sound?
Yes, but not as effectively as higher density materials. Ceiling tiles are basically designed to provide an esthetic barrier between the room occupant and the trussing, air conditioning and wiring that is common in most industrial buildings. This area is called the plenum. The intent is as follows: sound passes through the ceiling tile where it supposed to get lost in the plenum. The problem is that sound has a nasty habit of going wherever it can. To stop sound, you need to create a heavy barrier.

Will StratoTiles stop sound?
No. StratoTiles work somewhat like mineral wool tiles in that they are designed to allow sound to pass through them. The big difference here is that high density glass wool is much more effective at absorbing sound than mineral wool.

Some specifications seem to indicate that regular ceiling tiles work well?
Be careful! There are misleading technical specifications such as the NRC (noise reduction coefficient) that will tell you that a panel is 95% efficient, but do not specify at what frequency. A panel may be 100% effective at absorbing 10,000Hz but unless you are trying to attenuate the sound of a humming bird or cricket, the panel will be of no use in the voice range. You should always start by considering what frequencies you are trying to attenuate and then choose the product designed to solve the problem.

What is the best specification to look at for acoustic sound control?
The Sound Absorption Coefficient is probably one of the most important. This is used to predict how the panel will absorb sound at a given frequency. A factor of 1.00 means that the panel will be 100% effective at that specific frequency. A panel can be rated at 1.00 and be 100% effective at 1000Hz and then be rated at 0.50 or 50% effective at 500Hz. The NRC will give you clues as to the sound attenuation, but this is very much a frequency dependent issue. Lower frequencies are always much more difficult to control than high frequencies.

Will ThunderTiles stop bass from a music playback or home cinema system?
Yes, but not all. Low frequency bass is the most difficult of all sounds to control. The long wavelengths are very powerful and will travel through anything. The added mass that is built into the ThunderTiles will help attenuate the bass, but chances are, if turned up loud enough the bass will also travel through the floors, walls and ceilings. So, you have to be realistic as to what you can expect.

I want to treat the ceiling in the music practice room in my basement to stop sound, but have no space for a drop-down T-bar ceiling. Will Thundertiles help? How does this compared to egg cartons or foam?
Yes. Primacoustic Thundertiles incorporate a gypsum board mass element. This is needed to stop sound. They will work best if you but them together (side by side) to create a ‘ceiling under a ceiling’. For even greater performance, introduce an air space between the Thundertiles and the ceiling to allow the Thundertiles to float. This can be done with certain types of adhesives. Another approach is to employ resilient channel. Egg crates or foam do not have any mass, therefore they will not stop sound, they will only attenuate some of the high frequency echo inside the room. To lower the sound pressure inside the room, consider adding high performance acoustic panels. Primacoustic Broadway 2″ thick panels are particularly effective.

Can I use ThunderTiles and StratoTiles on a wall surface to control sound?
Yes, both the ThunderTiles and StratoTiles can be attached to a wall to help control sound. They are particularly effective in the voice and upper frequency ranges. This makes them great for stopping room chatter echo.

Can I paint the ThunderTiles and StratoTiles?
Yes. Both the ThunderTiles and StratoTiles are coated with a pure white latex paint that is easily repainted to suit using either a roller or spray.

What is the difference between a regular and reveal ceiling tile?
They are basically the same. Both refer to a drop-down type of ceiling tile that accentuates the ceiling grid for a more attractive finish. These are usually more expensive than flush-mount or lay-in tiles as the exposed corners must be treated and finished.

What is light reflectance?
This is a specification that is used to determine how well light will reflect off the panel and dissipate into the room. This is important for classrooms and offices where even light distribution is important. For instance you could consider a shiny white bathroom finish as 100% reflective while most ceiling tiles offer between 80% and 90% reflectance.

Can you touch up StratoTiles or ThunderTiles if they get damaged?
Yes, by using latex paint.

What do I do if I damage the edge?
If you plan to flush-mount the panels, then edge damage will be concealed above the T-bar. If you are using regular panels that drop down below the T-bar, then the damage will be visible. You can try repairing a panel using a thick gypsum board paste.

Can I combine ThunderTiles with lower cost regular ceiling tiles?
Yes, but you may have to paint them so that they match. This is why we offer StratoTiles. They have the same finish without the higher cost of the gypsum board.