How to Hang Acoustic Foam Without Damaging Walls [2024]

It is annoying when you are trying to record some music or listening to your tv and the sound quality is horrible in that room. 

Sounds bounce off surfaces that can interfere with how sound works

Mounting acoustic foams help to minimize echos and sound vibrations in that room for a better listening or recording experience.   

Placing acoustic foam panels on optimal areas of your wall can boost sound quality. 

Let us take a look at how to hang acoustic foam without damaging walls. 

This is especially important if you are renting since you can lose from your security deposit if the walls are damaged.

What is acoustic foam?

Acoustic foam also called sound-absorbing or soundproofing foam is an open-cell foam used to improve sound quality in a room.

Strategic placement of acoustic foam panels on walls, ceilings, and floors will control noise levels, vibration, and echoes.

They work by absorbing sound waves and converting them into heat energy. 

To ensure that the acoustic foam is functioning at peak permanence, there must be a good air gap between the foam and the walls.

 This allows the panels to intercept waves from a wider area.

 However, in some cases, this is not applicable. 

Acoustic foam comes in different colors, patterns, and sizes.

They are made from polyurethane or melamine foam core. 

They can come in the form of ceiling panels, ceiling tiles, ceiling clouds, corner bass traps, and hanging baffles.

They can be used in home theaters, recording studios, auditoriums, cinemas, churches, and any other place where you may want to improve the sound quality. 

Foam panel installation in a recording studio

Should I use soundproofing foam for my project?

Should you use soundproofing foam for your project? This all depends on what exactly you are trying to achieve.

How does soundproof foam work and why you should use soundproofing foam.

Soundproofing foam when installed properly helps to soundproof your walls enhance the sound quality in a room. 

You may want to do this if you are a musician recording music or simply an individual who wants sounds from his tv to sound better.

It works by absorbing sound waves and vibrations which would otherwise bounce off of solid surfaces like your ceiling, floors, or walls to create echoes and other sound distortions.

Acoustic foam is relatively cheap and comes in a wide variety of designs and colors to match your style.

Why you shouldn’t use soundproofing foam

If you use a soundproofing foam that is not thick enough, it won’t be able to absorb sound and help to reduce it. 

This is the last thing you will want especially if you’re trying to get rid of echoes and reverberation of sounds.

Here are some reasons you may not want to use soundproofing foam.

  • They can be a fire hazard-  Although soundproofing foams come with a fire rating, they are only flame retardant and not fireproof. 
  • In the event of a fire, soundproofing foam will most likely smoke a lot while it’s burning.
  • Amplified echos and distortions- improper installation of soundproofing foam will do exactly the opposite of what you are trying to achieve. 

It will not absorb sounds as it should and will allow sounds to bounce off of it and create more unwanted noise.

If you’re still confused and asking yourself how does acoustic foam work, click on the link to learn more.

How to hang acoustic foam without damaging walls

Putting up acoustic foam without damaging walls can be done using various techniques. 

The technique chosen will depend on the surface on which the panels are going to be installed and what sound quality you’re hoping to achieve. 

If improperly installed, your acoustic panel will not give you the desired results you were hoping for. 

For drywall and smooth surfaces, you can use a spray adhesive or double-sided tape and squares.

Other surfaces such as concrete and textured surfaces require construction adhesive like Liquid Nails.  

Liquid Nails

  • Strong
  • Durable
  • Multipurpose 

Liquid nails is a heavy-duty multi-purpose construction adhesive formulated to provide excellent adhesion to textured surfaces especially concrete.

It is environmentally safe and strong and durable.

How to install acoustic foam with adhesive squares

Adhesive squares are just as strong as adhesive sprays but the process to install is a little more time-consuming.

This type of acoustic foam adhesive makes less of a mess than adhesive sprays.

  1. Mark the spot on the wall where you want to install the foam panel using a pencil or masking tape.
  2. Thoroughly clean the wall with a rag or towel soaked in isopropyl alcohol and wipe dry.
  3. Adhesive squares have paper liners on both sides. Peel the liner on one side and apply the exposed side to the backside of the acoustic panel.
  4.  Apply some pressure for up to 30 seconds so that it forms a strong bond with the foam.
  5. Apply as many adhesive squares as you need.
  6. Peel the liner from the other side and place the acoustic panel on the spot you had marked on the wall earlier.
  7. Once again, apply pressure for 30 seconds.
  8. Repeat the process until all your acoustic panels are installed in your desired locations.

Some products that work are:

SoundAssured Adhesive squares

  • Pre-cut adhesive squares
  • Easy to use
  • Strong adhesive

These precut adhesive squares form a strong bond between acoustic panels and smooth wall or ceiling surfaces.

These adhesive squares make installing acoustic foam easy since they are easy to use and create a strong bond for permanent use.

They come in squares of 1inch x 1 inch and one pack contains 24.

When applying ensure to press firmly, otherwise the acoustic foam would not adhere properly to the surface you placed it on.

Gorilla Tough & Clear Double Sided XL Mounting Tape

  • Instant hold
  • Holds up to 38 pounds
  • Fast and easy installation

Get tough and get Gorilla mounting tape. 

This tape holds up to 38 pounds and works best on smooth surfaces even in some instances it works on rough surfaces too.

The double-sided adhesive-coated tape provides an instant and permanent hold on both surfaces and the acoustic foam panels.

Installation is fast and easy for a DIY approach to mounting your acoustic foam panels.

This particular tape comes in an XL size and measures 1-inch x 150 inches.

Soundproof foam panel installation with spray adhesives

adhesive sprays for mounting acoustic foam come in aerosol cans

Do not use adhesive sprays for foam panel installation on textured surfaces or wallpaper. 

  1. Use a pencil and mark the desired location of the foam panel.
  2. Clean the wall with isopropyl alcohol.
  3. Dry the wall with a rag or paper towel. Make sure it fully dries before.
  4. Protect floors and walls by covering surfaces with old clothes or newspapers.
  5. Adhesive sprays work best in rooms kept around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Apply the adhesive to the back of the acoustic panel and the surface where it is going to be placed.
  7. Allow the adhesive to set. This takes about 10-15 seconds.
  8. Lay the panel against the mounting spot and press firmly for 30 seconds.
  9. Repeat the process until all panels have been mounted.

Some adhesive sprays that work are:

3M General Purpose 45 Spray Adhesive

  • Bonds most lightweight materials
  • industrial grade adhesive
  • Creates less mess than other spray adhesives

3M general purpose adhesive spray bonds a wide array of lightweight materials like paper, plastic, film, foam, and fiberglass insulation. 

It is an economical and industrial grade adhesive that can be used when doing light-duty repairs, light-duty soundproofing, decorating, and more.

The 3M 45 adhesive does not drip when sprayed vertically which leads to less messy applications than other adhesive sprays.

Loctite General Performance Adhesive Spray

  • Dries clear
  • Dries fast
  • Works on several porous and non-porous substrates

Loctite Adhesive spray dries clear and provides superior bonding on several porous and non-porous substrates including foam, wood, glass, and others.

This general-purpose spray goes on fast and is for temporary or permanent use.

It comes in a 13.5 oz aerosol can.

Hanging acoustic foam without glue

However, if you are looking for an alternative to hanging acoustic foam without glue, use 3M Command Strips.

 3M Command Strips

  • Leaves no sticky residue behind
  • No damage to your wall
  • Can hold up to 5 pounds

 3M Command Strips are the best adhesive for acoustic foam without damaging your walls. 

They do not leave residue behind like an acoustic square and sprays when they are removed.

They hold up to 5 pounds, come in a pack of 20, and are available in small, medium, or large sizes.

 It does not matter how long they were installed on your wall, they peel away easily and leave your wall clean.

This gives you the freedom to move your acoustic foam and place it in a spot that helps to make them sound better in the room without worrying about cleaning the wall.

To install acoustic foam with 3M Command Strip, follow these steps:

  1. Measure the area where you want to install the acoustic foam. This is done to make sure you have enough space for the amount of product you have.
  2. Clean the command strip by rubbing the surface with rubbing alcohol. Do not use household cleaners which can break down the adhesive element.
  3. Separate the strips and apply them to the edges of the acoustic foam.
  4. Line up the acoustic foam to the wall at the desired location and press firmly for 30 seconds to create a strong bond. 

Our favorite acoustic foam products

  • 3D Pyramid shape
  • Flame retardant
  • Environmentally safe

Best used for sound treatment, Little-Lucky Acoustic Foam panels are made from a high density environmentally friendly polyurethane flame-retardant material.

This material won’t shrink or change over time thus giving you a great bang for your buck.

The professional 3D reflection acoustic technology effectively isolates sound which provides an ideal recording environment.

The main thing about these acoustic panels is their pyramid structure that has a powerful noise reduction effect.

They can reduce sound waves, reverb, and flutter echo in any small to mid-sized rooms.

Little Lucky acoustic foam panels are easy to shape and cut to whatever size you require.

They are great for spot treating sounds in recording studios, offices, and other rooms.

These acoustic foam panels are easy to clean, simply dust them from time to time or use a vacuum.

  • Moderate sound control
  • Pyramid-shaped
  • Aesthetically pleasing design and colors

Foamily Acoustic foam comes in many different colors and features a pyramid design.

This allows you to choose just the right color to give your room a more pleasing aesthetic.

Not only do these panels look great, but also provide moderate sound control on walls and ceilings.

They provide greater sound control on surfaces particularly those that are not parallel to the floor.

The panels measure 2 inches in thickness and 12×12 inches in length and width which fit together perfectly no matter the placement.

  • Made for corners
  • 17.8 inches
  • Pyramidal pattern

The acoustic wedges are the perfect solution to use in conjunction with square foam panels in corners especially.

Corners are notorious for causing the most reverb and bounce in a room to amplify and askew sound.

The pyramidal pattern wedges are 17.8 inches long and can be used with 2-3 inches wall panels for better sound quality.

Cleaning the wedges is as easy as giving them a gentle dusting occasionally.

They come in a pack of 4 and can be pinned to the wall using velcro, double-sided tape, or spray glue.

Choose a method to apply to the wall that does not damage the wall in any way.

  • Wedge pattern
  • Eco-friendly polyurethane
  • Hassle-free refund or replacement

These wedge pattern foam panels are perfect to absorb unwanted sound waves and vibrations.

Use on your walls and ceilings for spot treating sounds in your studios or offices.

They are made from polyurethane foam at 50/lbs per cubic yard in a pattern that improves echo absorption and noise reduction wherever it is placed.

Before applying, you should open the vacuum package and let the foam panels air out in a well-ventilated area for 24 -48 hours.

Alternatively, you can soak the foam in water for 1 minute then wring the excess.

Put it to air dry, use a hairdryer, or let them simmer in the sun for a bit.

Buy these acoustic foam panels with peace of mind as the company offers a hassle-free refund or replacement.

  • Bevel-edge design
  • 100% polyester fiber
  • Class B1 fire retardancy

Decorate and absorb unwanted echoes and reverberations with the Dekiru soundproof panels.

The bevel edge design gives your room a stylish and professional look without hampering its sound dampening abilities.

Made from  100% polyester fiber, they are easy to work with and cuts easily with a sharp knife.

Should you be required to move the panels, you can do so without causing any damage to your walls.

The Dekiru panels are rated Class B1 in terms of fire retardancy and are non-toxic, odorless, and Formaldehyde-free.

Measuring 4.50 x 13.10 x 12.10 inches, they come in a 12 pack for use in any location in your home or studio.

  • Periodic groove structure
  • NRC rating up to 0.75
  • Class B1 fire rating.

Get remarkable acoustic performance when you use TroyStudio acoustic panels with its periodic groove structure.

It is a great broadband sound absorber that can provide an NRC rating of up to 0.75.

The panels are made up of polyurethane material which is safe for use around humans and animals.

They are also flame resistant with a class B1 rating.

When applying, it is best to use spray adhesive as that allows the panels to adhere well without damaging the wall behind when you move or replace the panels.

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