National Solutions
Bird of Paradise

Why Hospitality Spaces Need Wallcoverings to Meet the High Expectations of Today's Traveler

June 18, 2022
For the imminent future, it's critical that commercial designers specify renovations for hotels, motels, restaurants and event spaces with wallcoverings that dampen voices between the walls.

By Matthew Jones, executive director, Wallcoverings Association

If the start of Spring Break 2022 has taught us anything, it's that travel is back. From hotels to restaurants to all the tourism spaces across the U.S., the hospitality industry is gearing up for a hectic season which is projected to last well into 2023.

While travel has not changed, travelers and tourists certainly have new expectations after two years of social distancing and quarantine rules. Earlier this year, The American Hotel & Lodging Association defined the new traveler in their 2022 State of The Hotel Industry Report. As a result, commercial designers should now consider the changing demands of travelers as they not only desire but require hotels, restaurants and hospitality spaces appeal to their needs.

From b-leisure travel to digital nomads, it's fair to say that tourists are now exploring new places while still clocking in for work. Thanks to flexible, hybrid and virtual job options, travelers doing double-duty now need quiet destinations not just to relax and recharge but also to log in and attend virtual meetings. The new traveler—who is working while exploring—is setting the tone for their increased need for serene spaces around the clock. The wallcoverings and commercial hospitality industries predict that this summer is just the start of the new ways to combine work and travel. So how can commercial designers ensure designs are optimized for conducting business in hotel rooms, lobbies and restaurant spaces?

Many wallcoverings manufacturers are ahead of customer demands with new lines of acoustic wallcoverings that reduce sound and still enhance the appeal and aesthetic of shared spaces. The magic is in the fibers that are specially manufactured and tested to absorb sound and offer a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NCR) rating that indicates the amount of sound absorbed. For the imminent future, it's critical that commercial designers specify renovations for hotels, motels, restaurants and event spaces with wallcoverings that dampen voices between the walls.

Pick-up Sticks

The Zintra Sticks collection from MDC Interior Solutions offers a modern, columnar acoustic wallcovering that stifles the chatter and background noise—while still looking great. This collection delivers unmatched flexibility with a stylish, cutting-edge statement, whether installed with vertical or horizontal orientation. One unique feature is the ability to install this new Zintra system on walls, ceilings or both to create seamless integration within a space. In addition, Zintra Sticks is cost-effective, lightweight and, best of all, is offered in the complete range of Zintra colors, including the four new Timber additions.

Hear the Birds, Not the Chatter

The team at National Solutions taps into inspiration from Mother Nature with the Birds of Paradise custom color line of acoustic wallcoverings. Bring the outdoors to your hotel, restaurant or any shared space with bright colors and environmental beauty. The Birds of Paradise line of acoustical wallcoverings uses state-of-the-art U.S. manufacturing that uses 100% post-consumer BPA-free recycled plastic drinking bottles to create a beautiful visual and auditory room experience. The sound-absorbing wallcoverings provide up to .25 NRC depending on the pattern and meet customer demands for sound improvement while scoring sustainability points. The combination of purple, indigo and cerulean inspires a sense of serenity. Guests will notice this gorgeous focal point without even realizing the wallcovering is double duty, offering us white noise to quiet the sounds in your space.

European Appeal

If your space is contemporary, modern and sophisticated Acousticord, by Momentum Textiles & Wallcovering, is just what you need to soak up the sound for travelers flexing their professional prowess in your space. The classic, clean linear pattern provides European flair and an artistic architectural look perfect for every tourist space, from lobbies to lounges and in-room to meeting rooms. Momentum’s Acousticord product is made with natural fibers and content with a 100% jute backing to deliver an acoustic value of NRC 0.15. With a 36-colorway palette and the option for horizontal or vertical installation, there are limitless opportunities to mute sound and modernize your space for today's working traveler.

Quiet the Crowds

The new QuietWall Acoustical Wallcoverings line from York Wallcoverings marries noise-reducing acoustical fibers with beautiful color and style. QuietWall wraps walls in calming quiet for sound clarity and control. The multi-use felted fabric is being evolved to include laser-etched and full textural pattern options, adding architectural design elements and energy to every lobby, meeting room and guest space. The York Wallcovering product line is made from 100% polyester eco-fi from recycled content and 95% post-consumer from water and soda bottles. The durable, sustainable, anti-microbial and colorfast QuietWall materials are suitable for vertical surfaces, upholstery, boards, partitions and more. Whether you're looking for bold hues or subdued silks, there's a QuietWall pattern and color combination that's perfect for your space.

Dimensional Sound Dampening

The MDC Interior Solutions Zintra Texture collection creates dimensional appeal and acoustic refraction on walls and surfaces maintaining quiet appeal for the digital nomads moonlighting as tourists. Offering 15 different faceted patterns from hexagon to echelle, each carefully cut shape projects from the surface of the panel to dampen noise while providing monochromatic appeal. The Zintra Texture collection is ideal for noisy spaces requiring superior acoustic quality with its outstanding 0.45 NRC rating. From walls and ceilings, to modular and movable panels, Zintra Texture commercial acoustic wallcoverings absorb both internal and external sounds and cutting down the noise level virtually in half. Plus, with multiple color options, the Zintra Texture collection delivers countless combinations of acoustic solutions that offer style and function solutions for your hospitality space.

As tourists continue to jet out of town to set up shop in new and exciting destinations, it's essential for commercial designers to offer hospitality and hotel clients a way to connect with their target clientele. Whether guests are visiting for business, leisure, or both, there's an opportunity to bring the dramatic décor while dampening the background noise.

About the author: Matthew Jones is executive director of the Wallcoverings Association, a nonprofit trade association representing wallcoverings manufacturers, distributors and suppliers. The WA educates consumers, designers and specifiers about the beauty and use of wallcoverings. The association keeps the industry at the forefront of sustainability with specifier tools such as NSF 342, Sustainability Scorecards and Environmental Product Declarations. Designers and design students can obtain an industry sample book from the WA at

Sponsored Recommendations

i+s Spotlights Those Giving Back for Thanksgiving

As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, we’re applauding some of our industry’s greatest charitable initiatives.

KOVA’s Dan Sullivan Talks Optimization for Adaptive Reuse

What makes a building a prime candidate? And what technology advances are streamlining the process? Sullivan answers all this and more. Read, then listen...

What's That Sound? Exploring the Vital Role of Acoustics in Commercial Interiors

In this episode, we take a deep dive into the acoustics conversation with our friends at Fräsch.

Take a Tour of New St. Mary's Medical Center by EwingCole

Get an inside look at Essentia Health's new flagship hospital in Duluth, MN that redefines the continuum of care for patients.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of I+S Design, create an account today!