How to Hang Acoustic Panels on the Wall (with minimal damage)

When I built my first music studio I was in a rental home. I couldn’t do any major modifications (I needed my damage deposit back after all), but I still wanted to sound-treat my room properly.

I followed some YouTube tutorials and built these awesome wood-framed acoustic panels.

Problem is… they’re large and a bit heavy.

I also had some acoustic foam I needed to stick to the walls.

So I had to figure out a way to hang these things from the walls with the absolute minimal amount of damage.

Thankfully, my years in construction came in handy and I came up with some simple solutions.

Remember – Acoustic panels are for sound treatment, not sound proofing.

In other words: it will stop sound from bouncing against the walls, but won’t completely stop sound from annoying your neighbors.

With that out of the way, let’s figure out how to hang acoustic treatment on the walls.

Hanging Wood frame Acoustic Panels on the walls

We’re going to assume you already have a few of these panels built (or you purchased a few). Panels should have a solid frame that you can drill into.

What you’ll need:

  • Steel hanging wire (18 gauge or thicker)
  • 1 1/4″ wood screws x 2
  • 1 1/2″ pan head screws x2
  • Drill
  • 1/16″ drill bit
  • Stud Finder
  • Measuring tape
  • Level
  • Adhesive Felt Pads (Furniture protectors)

How to build and hang:

Essentially we’re going to hang these panels like a picture frame. Then place felt pads on the back so they don’t scratch the wall.

Install the hanging wire:

  1. About 1/4 way down from the top of the panel – drill a small pilot hole on each side.
    • The drill bit should be smaller than the thickness of the screws. (Pilot holes stop the wood from splitting)
    • My Panels are 48″ in height, so I made my holes 10″ from the top
  2. Drill the wood screws into the two pilot holes. Don’t go all the way down – leave a small amount of space between the panel and screw heads.
  1. Take your wire, and tightly wrap it around each screw head, creating a bridge between the screw heads and across the back of the panel.
    • The wire should be strong enough to support the weight of your panel. Read the packaging for weight restrictions.
    • I doubled-up the wire, so it hangs on two strands instead of a single strand.
  2. Drill the screws further into the panel so they secure the wire down.
    • Don’t over tighten, you may severe the wire under the screw. It should be snug but not under too much pressure.
  3. Wrap excess wire back onto itself for a little extra strength and security
Wire secure (please forgive the dog hair)
  1. The wire should be tight, but you should be able to slide your hand underneath.
    • Pick it up by the wire and ensure the wire is secure and strong enough to support the weight of the panel.

Finally, place felt pads on the corners of your panel. Otherwise the screws and wire will scratch the wall when we hang them.

Hanging on the wall

First things first: check your lease and make sure you’re all good to put some holes in the walls. It will only be few small screw holes per panel (which can easily be repaired), but this all depends how temperamental your landlord is.

These panels are somewhat heavy. I prefer to have 2 points of support in wood studs (studs are the wood frame behind your drywall).

  1. Using a stud finder and pencil, mark out where your studs are.
    • My panels are 24″ wide, and my studs are 16″ apart, perfect for hanging on 2 screws. However, your walls may be different. You may have to use a stud and a drywall anchor.
  2. Make sure your two marks are level (we don’t want a crooked panel)
  3. Drill two pan head screw into the wall. You’ll be able to tell if you hit the stud.
  4. Leave a little bit of space between the screw and the wall so our wire catches.
  5. Hang your panel!

This video goes into a little more detail about hanging heavy items. Definitely give it a watch.

Hang Bass traps in the corners

There’s really nothing to this. I simply made a panel that spanned the entire corner, and then gently rested in that corner behind my studio monitors.

Make sure it’s sitting at an angle that it won’t easily topple over.

My bass panel is simply a bigger (and thicker) version the panels on my wall. I gently rested it in the corner and called it a day.

Sometimes the simple answer is the best solution.

Hanging acoustic foam

What about foam? While not nearly as effective as thick panels, it can still make a difference.

You may have seen some YouTubers or studios use spray adhesive and gluing their foam directly to the walls. But that will leave a huge mess underneath (and my landlord would have had an aneurysm).

Hanging foam without causing any wall damage

There’s no reason to change what has already been perfected – DJCityTV does a perfect job of explaining how to hang foam without damaging the walls:

What you’ll need:

  • Acoustic Foam
  • Command Strips for hanging pictures
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors

How to hang acoustic foam

Simply put: we’re going to glue multiple foam panels to a single sheet of cardboard. Then we’ll hang the cardboard on the wall with Command Strips that are removable and won’t damage the walls.

  1. Cut out a square of cardboard roughly the size of the panels we want to hang.
  2. Using spray adhesive – spray the cardboard and the back of the panels. Place directly onto the cardboard for about 30 seconds or until secure.
  3. Following the instructions on the Command Strips – place one side of the strip on the wall, and the other on the cardboard panel.
  4. Hang your acoustic foam panel.

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