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I've ordered an acoustic ceiling which comprises a suspended ceiling with sound insulation above to absorb echo and sound insulate. I'm concerned because the builder has given us a sample of the tile today; I was expecting something of fibre which would allow sound to pass and be absorbed by the sound insulation but in fact he's offering gypsum.

Will a gypsum tile allow sound to pass through or will it reflect sound into the classrooms below and a fibre/alternative tile be preferable?

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AFAIK, the insulation in the ceiling is to prevent sound traveling through the floor above. It's not intended to necessarily reduce the sound within the room itself (though it will, to an extent, as it'll be a softer material than concrete or wood and the surface texture will help dissipate sound).

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Thanks for your reply. The insulation is to be laid on top of the suspended ceiling and is thick fibre which will absorb any sound that meets it. My concern is that the gypsum tiles will reflect sound before it meets the insulation. –  mark Jun 18 '12 at 19:32
    
That's what I'm saying. The insulation on top isn't designed to reduce the sound inside the room you are putting the ceiling into. If you need to reduce the sound inside the room, then you need a different type of material. They make fabric-covered sound deadening panels for that type of need. –  DA01 Jun 18 '12 at 19:41
    
In this case that's is exactly what the ceiling is designed for; rightly or wrongly is what I'm asking. Sound deadening acoustic ceilings are prevalent in classrooms. –  mark Jun 18 '12 at 20:10
    
I would say it was designed wrongly in this case. But I'm not an acoustical engineer. Hopefully an expert will chime in. –  DA01 Jun 18 '12 at 20:12
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