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Design Inspiration

Floating Ceiling Panels: A Growing Trend in Office Design

March 29, 2021

Floating ceiling panels are also referred to as suspended ceiling panels or drop ceiling panels. Regardless of which term you use, a floating ceiling is a growing trend in office design because of its many benefits.

Benefits of Floating Ceiling Panels

Acoustic Performance

Not all floating ceiling panels are intended for acoustic control; however, by their very nature of lowering the ceiling, they can improve the room’s acoustics.

In spaces that need more intentional acoustic control, a Soft Sound® backer can be added to increase acoustic performance. Available in a wide range of colors, an acoustic backer can also enhance the room’s aesthetics and play an integral part in the design.


The original drop ceilings were created by dropping fiber panels into a metal grid that hung a few feet lower than the structural ceiling. This design was functional and simple to install, which explains its massive popularity.

Today’s floating ceiling panels, however, can provide more aesthetic options. From mimicking the look of wood to featuring perforated metal, there is a style for every design. Enhancing a room’s aesthetic has never been easier.


Floating ceiling panels can be customized, making them a versatile design element that can designate certain spaces, direct the flow of traffic, enhance acoustic performance, add lighting, and more. Some floating ceiling panels can even be installed on the wall to keep the design continuous.

Access to Structural Components

Easily removable panels and open designs allow for easy access to structural components in the ceiling. Wiring, plumbing, and ductwork can be accessed quickly, reducing disruption from maintenance or repairs.

Control Noise While Enhancing Design

Floating Ceiling Panels: The Growing Trend in Office Design
“Library” Featuring: Particle™ Fuse by Arktura

The micro-perforated design of Particle™ Fuse creates an intricate directional patterning across the tiles. These floating ceiling panels are installed using standard torsion spring grid systems that make installation effortless as you span the ceiling. Specify Arktura Backlighting and bring a warm ambiance to space, or add acoustic control with the addition of a Non Woven Acoustic Backer, making a great addition to libraries, classrooms, and hallways.

Mix and Match Textures, Colors, and Patterns

Floating Ceiling Panels - Arktura Delta Drop
“Bridgewater Bank” St. Louis Park, MN, Momentum Design Group, Steve Silverman Imaging (Photographer), Featuring: Delta Drop® by Arktura

All of Arktura’s floating ceiling panels allow for customization. For instance, Delta Drop® has multiple pattern options — solid, half pattern circle, full pattern circle — with available customization through partnership with our Solutions Studio® team. Here Delta Drop® was further customized with acoustic Soft Sound® facing, to further reduce noise and enhance comfort. Our library of Soft Sound® colors and wood textures allows you to mix and match in order to complement the color scheme of your space.

Customized Layout and Install

Floating Ceiling Panels - Arktura Particle Ion
“Ceiling Detail” Featuring: Particle™ Ion by Arktura

Particle™ Ion can be configured to span uninterrupted across a large space, or it can be applied in dynamic ceiling cloud formations to create visual depth and effect through its diffused seamless micro-perforations. Creating the feeling of feathered clouds, they add a sense of calm throughout the design.

Get Creative With Lighting

Floating Ceiling Panels - Arktura Trace Straight
“Bates White” Lorton, VA, HYL Architecture, Garrett Rowland (Photographer), Featuring: Trace® Straight by Arktura

While traditional drop ceiling panels are cost-effective and highly functional, Trace® Straight creates a web-like pattern that allows you a full spectrum of creative choices. For instance, dropping lights from the ceiling through the pattern makes the ceiling a true design element rather than just a functional one.

Define Spaces

Arktura Vapor Cluster
“NBC Tower Metropolis” Chicago, IL, East Lake Studio – CH, Jared Powell (Photographer), Featuring: Vapor® Cluster by Arktura

In a large open space, acoustic comfort is essential. Pairing Vapor® Cluster with a Soft Sound® backer reduces noise and reverberations from conversations, ringing phones, typing, shuffling papers and so on. Lowering the ceiling with floating ceiling panels also creates a more intimate and defined space.

Create a Seamless Ceiling to Wall Transition

Arktura Vapor Element
“Computer Lab” Featuring: Vapor® Element by Arktura

For the ultimate in consistency and cohesion, Vapor® Element’s evenly spaced circular holes enhance any space with elegant minimalism, from offices to conference rooms to classrooms. To continue the design along the wall, easily attach these floating ceiling panels to the wall using our Vertika® channel system to create a seamless transition. 

Integrate InLine Lighting

Office Ceiling Panels | Trace® Slant with Soft Sound® backers and Arktura's InLine Integrated Lighting installed in office.
“Bright and Colorful Open Office Space” Featuring: Trace® Slant by Arktura

Trace® Slant floating ceiling panels add electrifying energy to a room with their modern geometric design. Integrating the InLine lighting option adds illumination throughout the room and creates a sense of fast-paced motion. Additionally, an acoustic backer can be added to Trace® Slant for dampening office noise and improving workplace ambiance.

Modern Minimalism

VaporSoft Trail with Frosted Backer and Arkluma™ Backlight Integrated Lighting installed in office.
“Calming Open Office Space” Featuring: Vapor® Soft Trail by Arktura

For an innovative streamlined design, Vapor® Trail — and the specifically acoustic version: VaporSoft® Trail — creates a sense of movement. These floating ceiling tiles can be a standout feature in a minimal monochromatic design or add a modern element when paired with rustic features like a barn wood wall. VaporSoft’s versatile facing allows it to be paired seamlessly with high-performance acoustic backing or integrated backlighting.

An Upgrade to the Grid

Arktura VaporSoft Cluster
“Building Cure” Seattle, WA, Aedas – WA, Benjamin Benschneider (Photographer), Featuring: VaporSoft® Cluster by Arktura

Vapor® Cluster, and the acoustic version, VaporSoft® Cluster, has upgraded a standard grid into a floating ceiling panel that is a standout design element. In this elevator hall, the ceiling panel design mimics the design on the floor for a sense of parallelism that has a soothing effect.

Get In On This Growing Trend

As offices become more modern, collaborative, and innovative, design elements need to keep up. Utilizing Arktura’s floating ceiling panels gives you a remarkable amount of freedom. Not only do they help to conceal infrastructure elements like electrical wires, HVAC systems and plumbing, but they also further the design in new and imaginative ways while controlling sound and offering accessibility to building systems & integrations.

Contact us today, and we’ll work with you to choose the best floating ceiling panel system or help you design something entirely unique.

suspended ceiling system
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