In our ten by nineteen foot exercise room we put a treadmill and Aerodyne bike; they make noise and it echos off of the ceiling, walls, and floor – so we decided to add some sound absorbing panels to help reduce the echo quality.
Using canvas stretcher frames, burlap stretched over it, foam insulation behind the burlap and a cotton batik design for some color, there are five panels, three are 2’x3′ and two are 3’x3′. My goal was to create enough soft space to counter the noise of the exercise equipment.
The stretcher bars were pre-measured and slotted to help square them when they were put together; easy to use. My wonderful husband provided the extra hands to put the frames together and staple. Cutting the burlap larger than the frame, large enough to double the edges of the fabric so they wouldn’t pull apart when pulled taut and stapled to the back of the frame. I took advantage of the salvaged edge for the first side we stapled to the frame as it didn’t have to be folded. For ease, we began stapling in the middle of the frame, proceeding one direction and then coming back to the middle and stapling to the opposite end of the bar.
Remember to pull the fabric toward the outer corner as you staple to ensure a flat surface when you are done. On the opposite bar, begin stapling in the middle, folding the edge of the fabric under to prevent fraying.
Your two remaining sides should be opposite one another. Cut the corner of the fabric diagonally to the corner of the frame as too much bulk will make it difficult to staple it at the end of the bar. Maintain the pull on each side as you finish stapling to each corner.
Having researched sound absorbing panels, insulating foam inside the back of the panels was promoted by several home theater enthusiasts – again my terrific husband undertook the measuring and cutting of the foam to fit inside the frames.
The two large panels cover just over half of the short wall next to the treadmill and the three smaller panels hang vertically, grouped at the far end of the room by the machines, on the long wall nearly as far as the machines come into the room.