Home Theater Construction

How to Build a False Wall Part 2

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series How to Build a False Wall

For those of you who have been wandering around AVS Forum for a few weeks wondering what in God’s name GOM is, it’s a secret code word that we use to inform each other that we are wearing our Harry Potter Secret Decoder Rings and are ready to receive mysterious messages.

Nah, GOM actually stands for Guilford of Maine, which apparently is the company that makes the acoustically transparent cloth that most of us use to cover our false walls.

I needed about 6 yards of fabric to cover my false wall. I purchased my fabric from fabricmate, and they helped me figure out how much I needed.

Anyway, around AVS you will find lots of suggestions for attaching your GOM to your false wall. These methods range from pre-built track systems like FabricMate, to staples, to velcro, to who knows what else. Staples seem like a no-brainer on any edge that will be hidden (use a power stapler), which is why I used staples on this edge, which is hidden behind the screen (you’re actually looking at an edge on back side of the false wall in this shot):

home theater false wall staples

But what can you do about those ugly staples on edges that will be visible? Some people use trim pieces (base board and crown molding for example) to hide the staples. I’ve even heard of some people gluing decorative rope over the staples.

And I am quite sure that all of those methods work great.

But I took the advice of a friend of mine and used velcro. That’s right, Industrial Strength Velcro from Wal-Mart (It’s cheaper there than Home Depot, to no one’s surprise):

home theater false wall velcro

The velcro comes in two giant rolls — one made out of loops, the other of hooks. First, I peeled the paper off the back of the “loops,” exposing the sticky, industrial strength adhesive.

home theater false wall velcro peel

I then applied the “loops” around the entire permiter. In the picture below, the blue lines indicate where I affixed the loop velcro:

home theater false wall velcro location

Now, the tricky part: Affixing the “hook” velcro to the GOM fabric. Listen, this isn’t for the faint of heart. And to be honest, I’m not even sure this “whole wall attached by velcro” thing is a good idea, even though it did work out amazingly well for me personally. I didn’t find it to be particularly hard, but the trick is getting that last piece of velcro on in the exact right spot so that you can stretch the entire fabric wall as tightly as possible without having too much slack, or too little. In my opinion, the only good way to do this is to affix the velcro to three sides of the fabric wall (the permiter edges) and wait to affix to the fourth permiter side until you can stretch it and see exactly where it needs to go.

Cutting fabric that is already attached to a wall can be very challenging! But check it out, my wife found this cool rotary tool which you can just roll along the edge of the fabric and it cuts like butter! (The tool came the hard backer board shown in the background of the photo, which makes a great cutting surface.)

home theater false wall GOM cutting tool

The rotary tool was a Wal-Mart special, friends. And the beautiful thing about using velcro is the nice, tight seems I got all the way around the wall, with no need to cover up staples.

Here’s a close up of the seem where the fabric wall meets the side wall. You can see the seem isn’t completely, 100% perfect, but it’s not too shabby either, and from normal seating distances it looks nice and tight. Heck, when you’re right on top of it, it still looks pretty good. Keep in mind, a light as bright as the flash on this camera is not a part of the normal room ambience, and this is the harshest angle from which to view the seam, since any imperfections will be visible like this. When you’re looking at the wall straight on, it’s nearly perfect, despite the minor imperfections visible below.

home theater false wall fabric edge

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