Comparison of Acoustical Plaster Manufacturers

The World's Best Acoustical Plaster

A comparison between the best brands in the business.

We went out looking for the best acoustical plaster in existence. We looked at everything from acoustics, to flexibility, to owner/client value. Take a look at the brief post below comparing the world's top manufacturers (by market share). Because of differences in testing requirements, we only looked at North American suppliers for our comparisons.


One of the most critical factors - for obvious reasons - is the material's acoustical performance. This can vary based on thickness and mounting type, so we've done our best to compare apples to apples. ASTM C423 tested acoustical data was pulled from each manufacturer's proprietary website (5/9/17). We used the following finish types from each manufacturer to maintain an even playing field:

Fellert - Silk
BASWAphon - Classic
Pyrok - Star Silent
USG - Acoustical Plaster Spray Finish (Ensemble)

Direct Mount to Substrate (Type A)

1 inch (30mm)

  1. Fellert - NRC 0.85

  2. BASWAphon - NRC 0.75

  3. USG - NRC 0.75

  4. Star Silent - N/A (no direct mount option available)

1.5 inch (40mm)

  1. Fellert - NRC 0.90

  2. BASWAphon - NRC 0.85

  3. USG - N/A

  4. Star Silent - N/A

1/16 inch (3mm)

  1. Fellert - NRC 0.30

  2. BASWAphon - N/A

  3. USG - N/A

  4. Star Silent - N/A

Suspended - Air Gap (Type E 400)

1 inch (30mm)

  1. Fellert - NRC 0.85

  2. Star Silent - NRC 0.85

  3. USG - N/A (no suspended mount option)

  4. BASWAphon - N/A (no suspended mount option)

Design Flexibility

Acoustical plasters are made to blend into their surroundings. Customization is important to architects and designers, as well as ultimately the building owners and tenants.

Custom Colors

To match Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, or Pantone color codes.

  1. Fellert - Available, Spray Applied Acoustical Coating

  2. BASWAphon - Available, Tinted Plaster

  3. Star Silent - Painted in Field (may affect acoustical absorption)

  4. USG - Limited Availability, Spray Applied, “Certain very deep tone colors or certain very bright colors may not be possible to match.”

Custom Textures

  1. Fellert - Available, Any Texture

  2. BASWAphon - Available, Varying Roughness

  3. Star Silent - Available, Varying Roughness

  4. USG - Not Available

Faux Finishes (Concrete, Stone, Marble, Metallic, Brick, Wood, Other/etc.)

  1. Fellert - Available

  2. BASWAphon - Not Available

  3. Star Silent - Not Available

  4. USG - Not Available

Control Joints and Material

One of the largest benefits of acoustical plaster is that it's seamless, and monolithic. Depending on the material used, some plasters can harden and crack unless control joints are built in. 


  1. Fellert - Natural Cotton Fibers

  2. BASWAphon - Marble Aggregate

  3. Star Silent - Marble Aggregate

  4. USG - Synthetic Polystyrene Aggregate

Maximum Seamless Area

  1. Fellert - Unlimited (no control joints required)

  2. BASWAphon - 5000 square feet

  3. Star Silent - 1800 square feet

  4. USG - N/A (control joints required, max area not specified)

Fire Rating

  1. BASWAphon - Class A

  2. Fellert - Class A

  3. USG - Class A

  4. Star Silent - Class A

Light Reflectance Value (LRV)

To test how smooth each system was we looked at light reflectance (LRV). The smoother the system, the higher the value. Light reflectance test values were collected via ASTM E1477. The below comparison is of each manufacturer's smoothest, brightest white finish.

  1. Fellert - LRV 0.93

  2. BASWAphon - LRV 0.79

  3. Star Silent - LRV 0.74

  4. USG - LRV 0.72

Compression and Density

Compression strength was tested via ASTM E761.
Density was tested via ASTM D605


  1. USG - 600 psf

  2. Fellert - 160 psf

  3. Star Silent - 125 psf

  4. BASWAphon - N/A (no equivalent test)


  1. Fellert - 1.86 Lbs./Sq/Ft.

  2. Star Silent - 1.8 Lbs./Sq/Ft.

  3. USG - N/A (no equivalent test)

  4. BASWAphon - N/A (no equivalent test)

Mold and VOC

Mold testing was done via ASTM D3273 and ASTM D3274.
VOC testing was done via ASTM D3960


  1. Fellert - Near Zero VOCs

  2. Star Silent - Low VOCs

  3. BASWAphon - N/A (no equivalent test)

  4. USG - N/A (no equivalent test)


  1. Fellert - Passed

  2. BASWAphon - Passed

  3. Star Silent - N/A (no equivalent test)

  4. USG - N/A (no equivalent test)

Dangerous Materials

Crystalline silica has come under intense scrutiny and regulation since the new OSHA standards went into effect on June 23rd, 2018 (more information here). Plaster systems that contain respirable silica can create big issues for the GC/CM on the job, have an adverse effect on the health of the works, and present unnecessary OSHA safety regulation and scrutiny.

Contains Respirible Silica:

  1. Fellert - No

  2. Baswaphon - Yes

  3. Star Silent - Yes

  4. USG - Unknown

To learn more about acoustical plaster and what it can do for you, reach out to us today. Since 1995 Design Strategies has worked with some of the top products in the commercial construction industry throughout NYC, New England, and the Tri-State.


Star Silent
Source 1 
Source 2 (Acoustics)
Source 3 (Light Reflectance)
Source 4 (Product Data)

Source 1

Source 1 (page 13)

Source 1
Source 2