Designing with Free-Hanging Clouds


Free-hanging clouds are one of the most flexible sound absorption ceiling product available. Interior designers can choose the number of clouds, along with their size, shape, and position. The sky’s the limit when it comes to creatively placing these clouds within your interior space

Ecophon® Solo™ trapezoids add a modern look to the the ceiling at Wiley’s Publishing, NJ.

Learn more about free-hanging clouds and how they effectively absorb sound. 

Choose Your Coverage 

One of the best parts about investing in flexible sound absorption is that you can choose how much coverage you want to have in your floor plan. With our Ecophon® Solo™ Clouds, we recommend 30-60 percent coverage to create the same experience as a suspended ceiling. 

HeartFelt® Linear takes a circular shape at Domaine Du Parc, Belgium.

Naturally, the amount of coverage you need depends on where the tiles are placed and the type of floor plan that you have. However, even in the highest coverage rates of 60 percent or more, you can still let your open area shine with natural sunlight and high ceilings that make your space look bigger. Our HeartFelt® Linear, Levels and Round offer a unique felt texture in the form of crisp, straight lines. Adding these clouds will be sure to give any space a unique and modern look.

Understand Effective Placement

Coverage is a good place to start when choosing your free-hanging clouds. However, placement plays a key role in whether the coverage is effective. You may be able to use less coverage if your free-hanging clouds are placed strategically. 

The closer the clouds are to the origin of the sound, the better. This means you will want to increase coverage in areas where there will be more sounds. In an office space, this means placing higher coverage over a conference table or break area. In a shopping mall, you would add more tiles around a children’s play area. 

You can also adjust how low the free-hanging clouds rest to maximize their effectiveness. Clouds that are placed in the middle of a space, rather than close to the ceiling, are more likely to encounter sound waves and break them up. It’s easier for sound to travel if the tiles are higher because there aren’t any physical barriers to break the noise up.  

To get an idea of how important placement is, a 16 square foot panel will absorb 15 percent more sound when it is hung 40 inches from the ceiling as opposed to a panel that is hung eight inches from the ceiling. 

If you want effective sound absorption but low coverage, focus on your placement. 

Get Creative

Once you have a clear idea of your free-hanging cloud coverage and placement, you can move on to the design process. Ecophon® Solo™ Clouds come in multiple shapes, from standard squares to ovals and triangles. We offer 10 standard shapes in 12 different sizes. Additionally, these free-hanging clouds come in 16 different colors that are painted on both sides. 

Decoustics Nuvola® makes an elegant statement on the ceilings of Fordham University, NY.

There are infinite possibilities for the types of designs you can create with free-hanging clouds. Many customers create tiled art that reflects their brand and company values. Some companies prefer the standard squares in simple white, which convey simplicity and professionalism. Other organizations use a variety of bright colors and different shapes to highlight their creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. 

We offer a highly customizable acoustical panel called Decoustics Nuvola®. These ‘floating clouds’ are manufactured from fiberglass with a Decoustics Claro finish and can be any color or shape you desire.

The choice is yours as to what clouds you want and how you place them. With the right design, your sound absorbers can turn into an artistic centerpiece that welcomes employees and visitors alike. 

Start Planning Your Free-Hanging Cloud Installation

You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your design choices to accommodate sound buffers and absorption pads. Instead, look for free-hanging clouds that enhance your office designs and improve your overall look. 

Explore a few of our top looks to get an idea of what is possible. Learn more about designing for open spaces (PDF) and how our acoustic buffer solutions can help you.  Go to CertainTeed Architectural to start building!

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