Float Mounting: Everything You Need to Know

What’s the best part about custom framing? All the wonderful options you have! But all those options can become overwhelming if you’re new to custom framing. That’s why we like to explain common framing terms so you can feel prepared and excited for your custom framing experience! Today, we’re looking at float mounting—we’ll cover what it is, how it works, and when you should choose it.

Many custom frames feature a beveled mat that overlaps the artwork by a small margin. While that style of framing works well for most artwork, there are a few instances where you won’t want to cover the edges with a mat. Some artwork has unique edges, such as the tattered corners of a vintage postcard or the deckled edge of watercolor paper. Other art may have an interesting texture featuring thick brushstrokes or mixed media. Some works of art go all the way to the edges and even overlapping them by a small margin would omit details you want to see. If the previous descriptions apply to your art, then float mounting is the answer!

So what is it exactly? Float mounting “floats” your artwork above the mat (rather than placing the mat on top of the art). To achieve this, your art is mounted onto the mat or on a foam board lift, which is then mounted onto a mat backing. The height of the lift creates the floating effect by raising the artwork off the mat backing. The edges of the lift are cut to just the right size so that it completely disappears from sight even when your artwork is viewed from the side. As a final touch, spacers are placed inside the frame to ensure that the glazing is not touching your art. This helps protect and preserve the artwork.

While float mounting is highly recommended for art in the categories we listed above, it’s not reserved for fanciful edges or distinctive textures! Choose float mounting for any artwork that would be enhanced by added depth or if you simply want to showcase your art in its entirety. Because float mounting creates a shadow, it provides artwork with a more dramatic, dimensional look.

Feeling inspired? Float on down to your local FastFrame for all your custom-framing needs! If you’d like to learn more custom framing terms, check out Dry Mounting Makes the Difference.