What is Mounting Board & When to Use it for Framing

Framing a photograph or artwork is more than just placing it within a decorative border. It’s about preservation, presentation, and a touch of personal storytelling. In this blog, we’ll dive into the unsung hero of custom framing—the mounting board—and unravel why it’s crucial to the longevity and aesthetic of your framed pieces. We’ll guide you through the ins and outs of mounting boards and share insider tips on when and why to use them.

What is a Mounting Board, and Why is it Used?

A mounting board, or a backer board, is the supporting backbone for any framed art, photo, needlework, or other treasured item. It’s a flat piece of material, often made of paper, organic fibers, or foam. The purpose? To provide a stable foundation onto which a piece of art is attached.

Types of Mounting Board Used in Framing

When it comes to mounting for framing, mounting boards come in three primary variations:

  • Foam Core Boards: The sturdiest option, foam core board substantially supports artwork and works for pieces of all sizes. It is composed of polyethylene foam or composite materials like Gatorfoam sandwiched between paper. Some foam core boards are acid-free, and some come with heat-activated or self-adhesive features.
  • Archival Mounting Boards: These are designed to be used in the conservation of precious items. Archival mounting boards are made in controlled conditions from high-quality, chemically purified wood pulp, cotton, or other natural fibers.  
  • Mat Board: You can use a mat board for mounting. It can make an ideal backing for float mounting your artwork.

When Should You Use a Mounting Board?

If you’re wondering when to use a mounting board, the answer is pretty simple—almost always! While inexpensive, ready-made frames often skip mounting boards (and use an inferior product when they do,) true custom framing nearly always utilizes them. That’s because custom frames are designed not only to display but also to preserve and protect your artwork. Adding a mounting board creates a more stable custom frame that can last for decades. Occasionally, a custom framer will skip the mounting board (such as when framing an inexpensive canvas), but this is not very common.

Where to Get Pictures Framed with Mounting Board

The answer is simple: FastFrame. Each store is independently owned by local expert framers who bring a wealth of experience and skill to your framing projects. Our free, no-obligation design consultation is second to none. Sit down with an expert, share your vision, and we’ll help you design the perfect custom frame to showcase your art. You can discover your local FastFrame store here.