Any sound absorbent tile designed for use in the interior of buildings. One of the earliest acoustical tiles was Cabot's Quilt, made in 1892 from eelgrass wrapped in paper. In 1911, W. Sabine developed Rumford Tile, a mixture of clay, peat, and feldspar that, when baked burned the peat and left a porous clay matrix. By the 1920's, felt and fiber tiles were made from wood, cork, asbestos, or compressed fibers (straw, bagasse, cornstalks). Acoustical tiles were typically applied to ceilings or walls and held in place by metal grids, adhesives, or staples. Acoustical boards range in thickness from one-half to 1 inch and are usually cut into tiles of 1 x 1 or 2 x 4 feet. Textured surfaces and perforations were frequently used to increase sound absorption properties. Acoustical tiles were used extensively in churches, schools, theaters, court rooms, and auditoriums.
Synonyms and Related Terms
acoustical board; suspended ceiling; carreau acoustique (Fr.); carreau insonorisant (Fr.); Cabot's Quilt; Rumford Tile; Acoustex; Acousti-Celotex; Acoustone; Calicel; Corkoustic; Cushocel; Nashkote; Perfatile; Quietile; Sabinite; Sanacoustic; Softone; Temcoustic
Anne Weber, "Acoustical Materials", in Twentieth-Century Building Materials, T. Jester (ed.), McGraw-Hill: New York, 1995.
- Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
- The Dictionary of Paper, American Paper Institute, New York, Fourth Edition, 1980
- Thomas C. Jester (ed.), Twentieth-Century Building Materials, McGraw-Hill Companies, Washington DC, 1995
- Art and Architecture Thesaurus Online, http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabulary/aat/, J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, 2000