Which Type of Foam Mounting Board Should I Use?

Written by Mark Rogers

Foamcore is one of the most popular mounting and frame backing board materials for photos and other items. The name “foamcore” refers to the inner portion of the mount board, which gives it its rigidity —and makes it perfect for mounting photos. There are many different types of mounting boards, varying in terms of thickness and suitability for archival framing. Your choice of mounting board depends on a few factors.

Mounting Board Sizes

Foam board, another name for foamcore mount board, is most commonly available in a 3/16- or 1/8-inch thickness. Though Frame Destination offers both at the same price, we often recommend selecting 3/16-inch mounting board unless the rabbet of the picture frame — the recessed area inside the frame where the mount board, mat board and glazing sit — cannot accommodate it. A 3/16-inch backing board is also less likely to warp, providing additional stability for large picture frames.

However, customers that sell photography in art shows will often use 1/8-inch foamcore mounting board when selling only matted artwork (i.e. frame packages that feature a mounting board but no frame) because they take up less space. Not only will more matted artwork will fit in display bins, they are easier to transport to and from shows.

Archival Mount Board

The second major concern is archivability, meaning whether or not it will prevent the artwork from degrading. Foamboard is generally available in regular and acid-free versions, the latter of which are used for archival-quality framing. If you are concerned about the degradation of your artwork, the best option is the acid-free mounting board.

Those that are not concerned with preserving their work and are looking for temporary framing solutions can select regular foam board. Regular foam board can be a cost-effective material for presentations and many craft projects.

Share This

5 thoughts on “Which Type of Foam Mounting Board Should I Use?”

  • Kristie

    Hi I am doing a shadow box with my Dad uniform .. what should use

    • Joely Rogers
      Joely Rogers May 6, 2021 at 6:16 am

      Hi Kristie, textiles are typically sewn onto to the mount board, unless it's a high dollar value item, which might be mounted with archival paper hinges. If you are going to try and do this yourself then I recommend mounting it on either 3/16" to 1/2" mount board depending on the weight of the uniform. If it's a heavy uniform I'd go with the 1/2". So either the 3/16" archival foam board - https://www.framedestination.com/framing-supplies/foam-board/artcare-foam-3-16.html or the 1/2" Gatorfoam - https://www.framedestination.com/framing-supplies/foam-board/gatorfoam-1-2-inch-white.html. The Gatorfoam also comes in black if you are wanting a non-white background for the uniform. Good luck!

  • Kari Tseng

    Trying to frame my puzzle, should I use the regular and acid-free foamboard?
    And should I glue the puzzle on the backing board or an extra board?
    Thank you.

    • Heather

      Good afternoon Kari,
      For a project like this, you can go ahead and use regular backing since the glue will be between the puzzle and the backing board.
      You can also go to our website and look at the Lineco Neutral Adhesive we carry.

      Thanks and let us know if you have any questions.
      Have a great evening!

  • Al Lunser

    Looking for a backer board to cover a painting on linen. Want archival quality. What do you recommend?

  • Mark Rogers

    Frank, I would just put in the box. If you want to lay something on it the best thing is rag board which made of cotten and is not just acid free, it is naturally acid free. We sell some here:


    if you want something that is more rigid you can use ragmat board with no window cut (blank) like this:

  • Frank Zanella
    Frank Zanella July 13, 2016 at 2:07 am

    I am trying to find out what I can use to preserve a newspaper. I already bought an archival quality storage box and read to use acid free back board. Where do I ge4t it and it is the same as foam backer board. Finding it hard to locate.


5 Item(s)

Add a Comment: