ICF for Home Theater Rooms

One popular addition for many custom homes in Alberta, is a space for a home theatre. Whether included in the original architectural plans, or an add-on for an existing build, a dedicated room for a true home theatre experience is an exciting prospect for a homeowner and builder alike. But given the unique requirements of such an addition, not just any building method or material will do. Are insulated concrete forms really an option?


The prospect of using ICF for a theatre began in the commercial sector, after 30-foot tall ICF walls were used to construct a multi-screen movie theatre project in Utah. The concept took off from there, with NUDURA products being used to construct a 19-story student tower in London Ontario, a complex which counted a movie theatre amoung the amenities. Fast forward to 2018, and you will now find ICF being heralded as the building method of choice for custom home theatres. Let’s find out why.

3 Reasons Why Insulated Concrete Forms are a Blockbuster Building Block for Home Theatre Rooms

1. ICF Walls Expertly Accommodate Movie Screen Mounting

The focal point of a custom home theatre is of course the screen. The mounting of a projector screen on to an ICF wall is easy, given that the projector screen does not weigh much. If the homeowner anticipates mounting a large LCD TV, you’ll be happy to know that ICF walls are also more accommodating than traditionally constructed ones. NUDURA has provided some very clear instruction on the matter, so we’ll let them do the talking:

If it is an LCD TV mounting bracket that is being anchored, use the mounting bracket as a template and align the wall mount studs of the mounting bracket with the NUDURA fastening strips. Most mounting studs will provide options for more than 2 screws (vertically in line) per mount. Follow the instructions provided for your mounting bracket. Depending on bracket design and configuration, if it is a movable or pivot mount design that enables the screen to be moved or pivoted away from the wall, the amount that your screen weighs should be multiplied by a specific factor noted in your bracket manual to account for the addition moment condition that will be created when pivoted away from the wall. Whatever the maximum factored weight of the unit will be fully extended, divide this weight by 90 lbs (41 kg) /screw limit. This will tell you how many No. 10 screws will be required to anchor the wall mount studs to the NUDURA wall.
For example, if the unit weighs 200 lbs (91 kg) and the bracket mount instructions suggest that fully extended the screen will exert a force 3 times greater; 600 (272 kg) divide 600 (272 kg) by 90 (41 kg) = 6.7. In this case it’s best to mount using 8 screws – 2 per corner of the mounting frame for a total safe factored weight carrying capability of 720 lbs (326 kg). (Source: NUDURA installation manual)

2. ICF Soundproofing Qualities Are Second to None

What’s the one thing you really need to deliver a homeowner an optimal movie theatre experience, besides popcorn? Surround-sound sans noise pollution.

The home theatre sound system itself is up to them, but what you can provide is the best possible form of construction for soundproofing the room. There is no denying that ICF is the top solution here. A traditional wood frame room has a Sound Transmission Class (STC) of approximately 33, whereas NUDURA constructed walls are afforded an STC rating as high as STC 50! That means the home (and theatre) could be located right next to an international airport and they won’t miss a single decibel of Morgan Freeman’s soothing voice as he narrates the journey through Shawshank Redemption.

3. ICF Creates a More Comfortable Viewing Environment

A home theatre room is a place of solace for a homeowner, an escape from day to day responsibilities. Therefore the space should be as comfortable as possible, negating the need to adjust the thermostat halfway through a favorite film, game, or while taking that half-hour to navigate and pick a flick from “Recently Added” in Netflix.

Thanks to the thermal resistant properties of insulated concrete forms, home viewers won’t be disturbed by internal climate concerns. An impressive and tested R-Value of 23.59 (for NUDURA) means that occupants can watch The Shining in the dead of winter without feeling the slightest chill, or The Long, Hot Summer though a long and hot Alberta summer, without breaking a sweat.

Ready to produce a home theatre room experience that will have clients demanding a sequel (referrals)? If you build custom homes in Central Alberta it all starts by contacting Total ICF.