FREQUENTLY ASKED
QUESTIONS

Frequently Asked Questions
What is a microperforated panel?

A true microperforated acoustic panel is one that uses microperforations to aid sound absorption by allowing sound waves to enter into the enclosed absorptive substrate via the microperforations.

It’s important to remember that a microperforated material is NOT inherently acoustic.

What is an “NRC Rating”?

Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) is the most common measurement for sound absorbing materials. It evaluates the capability of a material to absorb sound within the same space that sound originated in. A true NRC has been tested in a qualified laboratory and evaluated at four frequencies: 250, 500, 1000, 2000. A common standard of testing is ASTM C423.

Caution: A large number of products have NRC claims that were never tested, were not tested in qualified labs, or falsely tested at more desirable frequencies. Why? While there is an industry standard, there is no regulating body, nor repercussions for false claims.

What is the difference between an “acoustic panel” and an “acoustic system”?

An Acoustic System requires multiple interdependent components in order to achieve the lab tested acoustic results. Because there are so many variables, the acoustical product in question doesn’t even have to be sound absorbing as long as another component (fiberglass, backing, insulation, etc.) picks up the slack.

In stark contrast, a (true) Acoustic Panel is a stand alone. One and done. Performs the same in the lab as it does in the field. It requires no additional components, system setup, or complicated installation. SoundPly sound panels are true panels.

The large majority of acoustical products in the industry are systems for a reason: achieving a high NRC in the lab is much easier with a system than it is with a panel because a system allows for any number of additional components (such as fiberglass insulation and deep cavity space).

CAUTION: Acoustic Systems that require additional components often claim to be stand alone panels.  

What is the difference between LR and RF?

The difference between the two takes place under the surface. Both have the same customizable options and visual aesthetics. The substrate is what changes, due to project-specific needs.

The RF is a formaldehyde-free fiberglass. Meeting the CDPH1350 standard, it has a high NRC (0.9 for 1″ thick).

The LR line is rock wool. It has a slightly lower NRC (0.8 for 1″ thick), but comes at a lower price point, and has antimicrobial and moisture-resistant properties.

Contact us and we’ll identify the acoustic solution that fits your needs.

Why should I care about SoundPly’s acoustic performance guarantee?

SoundPly acoustical solutions are the only products with a guarantee. SoundPly is a panel, not a multiple-component system, so performance doesn’t rely on the installation method. SoundPly’s acoustical guarantee completely eliminates the liability placed on installers and contractors. Our guarantee will leave you with one less thing to worry about.

There are other acoustic products that claim similar (or even higher) NRC Ratings. How does SoundPly compare to those products?

SoundPly achieves its noise absorption on its own, other acoustical systems rely on other materials to perform.

If you’ve checked out the System vs Panel FAQ, you’ll understand that the large majority of acoustical products in the industry are systems for a reason: achieving a high NRC in the lab is much easier with a system than it is with a panel. A system allows for any number of additional components (such as fiberglass insulation and deep cavity space), and with the freedom of additional materials, the NRC can be significantly improved by adding more and more sound-affecting material. Just like you can make anything sweet if you add enough sugar, you can get a great NRC if you add enough absorptive components behind the scenes.

SoundPly wood acoustical panels are panels, meaning they are stand alone, and the high NRCs are achieved by it, and it alone.

Other products’ NRCs may seem comparable, but none achieve the absorption like SoundPly does: with no added sugar.

Most microperforated panels look very similar. Are SoundPly panels really that different?

If you held a SoundPly acoustical sample to one ear, and any other microperforated sample up to the other, you’d immediately notice SoundPly’s superior sound absorption. No one who has tried that has ever asked this question.

Even if you don’t have the two samples to compare, the difference is still profound. Everything from the acoustic performance, the simple and straightforward installation, the immense structural stability, and longevity of the panel is superior in every way.

Aesthetically, acoustic wood panels may look similar, but below the surface is where SoundPly remains unmatched. It’s like assuming high and low quality speakers perform the same because the speaker grills look similar.

“The world’s quietest acoustic panels” is a bold statement. How can you make that claim?

For their thickness, SoundPly products’ ability to eliminate both reflected and transmitted sound is unprecedented since they have the rare combination of both unusually high NRC (sound absorption) and CAC (ceiling sound blocking).

Can SoundPly panels be ordered to match existing paint colors / wood stains?

Absolutely. Depending on the complexity of the match, there may be an upcharge (contact us for details), but Navy Island has the capability to match any color, veneer, and stain required.

Are SoundPly panels available in custom sizes and shapes?

A whole variety of customizable shapes and sizes are part of SoundPly’s versatility. Limitations include minimum 4” wide planks, and maximum 5’x10” panels (5’x12’ available in select veneers).

Are SoundPly panels available in finishes other than wood veneer?

Yes, alternate options include:

  • Painted (can color-match any color)
  • Printed (high resolution UV printing)
  • Reconstituted wood
Can I order SoundPly panels with a pre-selected/specified veneer?

Yes – SoundPly products are available in over 700 species / slice / grade options so you have full reign in your selection. If you’d like a veneer chain of our most popular finishes, contact us.

If the veneer you’ve chosen isn’t already in our inventory of 4 million sq. ft. of veneer, Navy Island has great relationships with top suppliers so we can get you exactly what you need.

Can SoundPly panels be installed in high humidity environments?

Our LRM series is specifically constructed with exceptional moisture resistant properties for high-humidity environments. Because of this, the LRM series also is anti-fungal and anti-microbial. LRM is recommended for environments such as natatoriums – not recommended for exterior application.

Can I use SoundPly panels in outdoor environments?

Exterior application is not recommended, even though SoundPly is moisture-resistant and is significantly less susceptible to environmental changes. In order to maintain the longevity and performance of the acoustical material, SoundPly products should be installed in a controlled environment.

How well do SoundPly panels hold up to everyday traffic?

Like all architectural acoustical products, placement is not recommended for locations with abrasive or heavy physical contact (such as flush with the floor in a hospital hallway, or at hand height in a Kindergarten classroom). However, among microperforated products, SoundPly has superior impact resistance, and is significantly less susceptible to surface fractures.

What is the lead time?

Depending on the season and volume of in-house work, the time to complete an order can fluctuate. Contact us directly for the most accurate lead time estimates.

Do you handle drawings?

Yes – Navy Island specialists regularly coordinate engineered project drawings, blueprint layouts, and sequence numbering for jobs that require a high level of specificity.

Who is my local rep or distributor?

The customizable nature and wide variety of visual and acoustic options of SoundPly products limits the feasibility of working through a distributor network. Currently, our team is all in-house, and we distribute from our MN manufacturing facility. This may change as SoundPly’s range of products expands to include standardized and stocked acoustic solutions. You can direct your sales rep questions to our team.

Do you sell small quantities?

Yes, although certain set up and minimum quantity charges are usually applied to orders under 250 sq.ft. Contact us directly for the most accurate pricing.

Which SoundPly product is the most cost-effective solution?

Price-wise, the LRM-25 generally has the lowest cost with an NRC of 0.8. The RFM, however, has higher NRCs and additional green-friendly certifications. Contact us and we’ll suggest the most cost-effective solution for your design needs.

What other costs are associated with SoundPly products?

Hardware, crating, and shipping are additional costs, as they are with similar products.

Optional customizations that may incur additional pricing include:

  • Irregular or non-standard shapes and sizes resulting in wasted material or additional labor (such as miter folds or radiuses)
  • Labor-intensive color-matching
  • Beam fabrication
  • Custom hand work
  • Upgrading to end grain veneer for beams or baffles
How much does SoundPly cost to install?

Installation charges vary by location and job profile, however installation typically runs $10-$15 / sq. ft. We are happy to provide recommendations of installers who are familiar with SoundPly.

How much does SoundPly cost?

SoundPly pricing is extremely competitive for real wood microperforated acoustic materials. Traditionally sized panels and planks start at $25 / sq. ft. for the LRM-25 in painted, Maple, Cherry, and Oak. Custom sizes, increased fabrication labor, veneer matching, and quantity will affect the price.

If you’re looking for a bid quote, please contact us and we’ll connect you to the correct person to provide pricing for your specific project. Instead of being a standard square foot price, think of SoundPly as a product family with a large range of individual products that are slightly different from each other. Pricing will be based on the customized options that have been specified.

How easy is it to install SoundPly panels and products?

Very easy – one of the most unique advantages of SoundPly acoustic products is their ease of installation. Unlike the majority of other acoustic products, SoundPly’s range of acoustic products do not require additional sound absorbing insulation, sealed cavity / plenum spaces, or elaborate installation systems to reach their stated acoustic performance.  These lack of requirements allow much greater flexibility in selecting the most appropriate and efficient installation methods.

Due to the exceptional light weight, strength, and warp / sag resistance of SoundPly products, compared to similar acoustic products, significantly less mounting and stabilizing hardware is required. Each hardware component has been engineered to fully leverage SoundPly’s structural advantages, resulting in some of the industry’s most concise and logical installation procedures.

Can SoundPly panels be painted in the field?

No. Due to the incredibly small size of SoundPly’s micro-perforations, most paints, stains and finishes will easily cover, plug, or restrict the openings of the micro-perforation. These modifications will significantly reduce the product’s acoustic performance, and also void SoundPly’s acoustic performance guarantee.

If a product’s finish or paint becomes damaged, please contact us to help determine the most effective solutions to restore the appearance without compromising acoustic performance.

Can SoundPly panels be cut to size in the field?

Surprisingly, yes. Unlike typical architectural and wood acoustic panels, SoundPly products can be cut-to-size and edgebanded in the field. It’s difficult to fully appreciate this significant benefit if you haven’t dealt with the headache of using other acoustic panel products that require identifying each sprinkler, ventilation and fixture opening before the panels can be manufactured.

The ease of field-modifying SoundPly products makes them particularly adaptable for retrofits of existing structures and customized fixtures.

This feature alone has often determined the difference between a project that’s completed on schedule and on budget, and one that’s plagued with factory remakes, unforeseen delays, and ballooning back-charges.

Do dust particles fill in SoundPly’s micro-perforations?

No. Due to the microscopic airflow within the microperforations, the perforations themselves will not get blocked with dust.

How do I clean SoundPly panels?

A rag damp with water or diluted cleaning solution works effectively. Avoid using excessively harsh chemicals and saturating the panels as both can damage the finish.