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Foam Core Mounting: Quick Links
- What Does Foam Core Mounting Mean?
- What Does a Mounted Foam Core Print Look Like?
- What Is the Difference Between Foam Core and Foam Board?
- How To Hang Foam Core Mounted Prints
- Can You Frame a Foam Core Mounted Print?
- How Do You Attach a Print to Foam Core?
- Cheapest Places To Buy Top-Quality Mounted Prints
What Is Foam Core Mounting? (Meaning)
A foam core mounted print simply means that a print (like an art print, poster, or photograph) is glued to a semi-rigid material called foam core (see images on Amazon).
Foam core is a sturdy, lightweight material that is easy to cut, which makes it an exceptional choice for mounting prints. It consists of a polystyrene-clad center layer sandwiched between two outer layers of white clay-coated, matte paper.
What Is the Foam Core Board Used For?
Mounting a print on foam core is beneficial because it helps preserve the print and prepares it for hanging on a wall. It’s also great at flattening any tiny wrinkles or bulges that a print might have.
One possible disadvantage of mounting a print is that it’s irreversible.
The print can also be laminated, but this is optional.
Laminating the print means that the print will be protected from stains and moisture by a clear plastic film, making it more durable. Some laminates may also make your print UV resistant.
Laminating a print typically makes the colors of the print more vibrant, enhances highlights and shadows, and can give it a nice matte to glossy finish (depending on the type of laminate used).
What Does a Mounted Foam Core Print Look Like?
Mounted foam core prints are prints glued to (you guessed it) foam core.
The foam core itself has a foam center with a paper backing on both sides and it usually with a semi-gloss finish. You can see images of foam core on Amazon.
Mounted foam core prints are usually thin, lightweight, semi-rigid pieces of artwork (typically around 1/8 inches, 3/16 inches, or 1/2 inches thick).
Lately, I find a lot of mounted prints come with a wooden rear spacer attached to the back of the print. This makes the print stand away from the wall and gives it a “floating off the wall” look.
You can see an example of this mounted print trend at one of my favorite art sites, Redbubble.
What Is the Difference Between Foam Core and Foam Board?
Foam core and foam board are both terms that mean the same thing. Other terms you might see for foam board are paper-face foam, or kappa.
How To Hang Foam Core Mounted Prints
One common feature of a mounted print is that you can hang it on the wall without nails, screws, or holes in the wall because mounted prints are typically thin and very lightweight.
Usually, you can hang a mounted print with something like Command picture hanging strips (Amazon).
Can You Frame a Foam Core Mounted Print?
You can absolutely frame a mounted print.
A great thing about matting and framing mounted prints is that they will be easier to handle and there will also be less risk of damaging the artwork or photo in the process.
One trending and easy way of framing a mounted print is by placing it inside a shadow box frame (Amazon).
To frame a mounted print with a shadow box frame, check the interior depth to make sure your print will fit in there. Then, all you have to do is stick the mounted print against the frame’s backing using something like Command picture hanging strips (Amazon).
Another way you might want to frame a mounted print is by using a floating frame (Amazon). This type of frame also adds a nice finished look and might be more suitable for thicker mounted prints.
How Do You Attach a Print to Foam Core?
If you’re crafty and your print doesn’t have any sentimental or extreme monetary value, you can always buy foam core (Amazon) and mount it yourself with a glue stick (I bought Elmer’s glue sticks on Amazon and they work really well).
If you decide that you want to get your print professionally foam core mounted, you’ll typically pay around $15 US for a 22″x28″ print to $42 US for a 36″x48″ print.
The prices above do not include optional lamination fees or taxes.
Cheapest Places To Buy Top-Quality Mounted Prints
Here are my favorited places to get the cheapest, high-quality foam core mounted prints.
If I’m looking for super inexpensive foam core mounted prints (or any type of artwork), I’ll usually browse through Etsy and Amazon and read the reviews until I find something I like with a 4 or 5-star rating. (You might have to do a little digging to find what you want, but the prices are well worth it!)
If you’re really looking for high-quality mounted art, you can also check out Redbubble’s mounted prints (with the option of canvas or wood) or Redbubble’s art board prints (textured watercolor paper mounted on 4-ply art board).
Redbubble is known to be a high-quality producer of mounted art that does not look cheap at all and you’ll find just about any type of themed artwork in the world on their site.
If you’re not completely sure you want to buy foam core mounted art, you might want to check out my article: Best Places to Buy Art Online. In that article, you’ll find the top-10 art sites that I keep going to (over and over again) because they have top-quality art and amazing customer service!
So, go ahead and buy art online, support independent artists, and HAVE FUN shopping!