Which Type of Foam Mounting Board Should I Use?

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.

About the author

author

Mark Rogers is an amateur photographer and the founder of Frame Destination, Inc. In 2004 Mark realized the framing industry was not keeping up with the evolution of photography via new digital technology and started Frame Destination in his garage. Now his company has thousands of do-it-yourself framing customers across the US that it helps with its 11,000 square feet production facility in Dallas, TX.

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

  • 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.

    Reply
  • 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:

    https://www.framedestination.com/framing-supplies/mount-board/2-ply-alpharag.html

    if you want something that is more rigid you can use ragmat board with no window cut (blank) like this:
    https://www.framedestination.com/framing-supplies/mat-board/bainbridge-4ply-alphamat.html

    Reply

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