Why should I have fabric walls?
- Because they look great, and incredibly cinematic. Fabric walls work equally well for all three main styles of home cinema - traditional, contemporary and futuristic.
- To hide stuff - speakers, acoustic treatments, LED lighting, or anything you don’t want to take out but don’t want to see either - like an old fireplace or a small window.
There’s an idea out there that fabric walls themselves are acoustic treatments, but they’re not. If you choose the wrong fabric, it’ll probably do the wrong things - but really it’s about concealing the other elements and creating a ‘real cinema’ look and feel.
In an existing room, it also lets you achieve a really lovely finish without plasterers or decorators.
How do you fit fabric walls?
The first thing we have to do is build forward from the walls - how much depends on speaker depth, the thickness of acoustic treatment we want to use, and how much space we have. It’s also a great way to level out uneven walls in an older building
We usually use dedicated framing systems - made from wood or metal - to create a perfect flat surface for the track.
A skilled carpenter or general builder can probably fit fabric track, provided they have a (very) good mitre saw and multi-tooth blade, and can measure and cut accurately.
For build projects we’re happy to offer on-site support or in-store training for track fitting. Complicated angles and corners will take longer.
3. Fabric fitting
Finally, the fabric itself is fitted into the track using specialist tools - we have all of these, and it’s usual for us or one of our install partners to fit the fabric. It takes 1-2 hours per rectangular panel, regardless of size, so intricate designs with smaller panels and complicated angles take longer to fit. A larger room of moderate complexity could take several days.
The build or project site area needs to be clean and dust-free before we can start fitting fabric - this is critical. Project managers, please note! We really mean dust free!
How much do fabric walls cost?
Fabric: from £50/m
The fabrics we prefer - from either Camira Fabrics or Cinema Build Systems - are 1700mm wide and sold by the metre. A good quality, natural, open-weave fabric should be forgiving to fit and have minimal impact on the sound. We have plenty of samples in our showroom to help you choose.
Track: from £12.50/m
Fabric track comes in standard lengths of 2.4m in ‘flat’, ‘V’ and ‘bevel’ variations, in boxes of 20 lengths. For our Bristol showroom, which is 4.5 x 5m and has quite a complicated design, we used 145m.
*NB priced per perimeter metre
Halo Frame is a dedicated aluminium framing system. It costs £100 per perimeter metre, and has both LED profile and fabric track built-in.
So for example, a Halo panel 1m wide and 2.5m tall uses (1+1+2.5+2.5) 7m in length, and will cost £700.
Space Frame is a precision system CNC-machined from a light and strong plywood. The cost varies with design detail.
You could ask your carpenters to create framework from timber, but a dedicated system is probably more cost-effective, and definitely faster.
Labour depends on the size of the room, the design detail, and any complications. Features such as light switches/keypads, power sockets, corners, windows and doors all add complexity and hence time.
We can build you a better home cinema - with or without fabric walls, but probably with.