Float Mounting

Revealing the edges of your artwork with a Sandwich or Elevated float

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Written by Level Frames
Updated over a week ago

If adding a mat to your frame would cover part of the artwork, or if the edges of the piece have any interesting characteristics you want to reveal, we typically recommend floating.

"Floating" or "float mounting" means your artwork sits on top of the matting as opposed to being partially overlapped by the mat or frame.

We offer a few different ways to float artwork, available when framing at home, sending your artwork to us for framing, and even on framed photos we are printing for you.

Sandwich Floating

When the artwork sits on top of the matting and is pressed up against the glaze, we aptly call it "Sandwich" floating.

There is a margin between the art and the insides of the frame (that you can adjust), so that the edges of the print are revealed. It's a nice way to subtly exhibit the textures of the paper:

"True Spirit" screen print by DABSMYLA Sandwich mounted in our White Maple frames

To select a Sandwich float, you will open the Advanced Options section underneath the "Finalize" button.

Elevated Float Mounting

An "Elevated" float creates the illusion that the print is literally floating on its own above the mat and inside the frame with a small shadow underneath the print.

"He is the Zissou" screen print by Tim Doyle Elevated float frame mounted in our White Maple profile

To achieve this we mount the artwork onto a foamboard lift, which is mounted onto the mat backing. Spacers in the frame create a little room between the art and the acrylic, and the edges of the lift are cut at 45 degree angles so that when viewed from the side the lift disappears.

If you are sending in your artwork to us for the framing and have chosen an elevated float, we will dry-mount the print to the foambard lift so that it's perfectly flat and stays in place.

When framing at home for both options, the matboard will arrive with a few strips of double-side, acid-free ATG tape. One side will be attached to the board, and you will peel off a liner to reveal the top side of the tape before positioning your artwork. Once you then apply a little pressure, it will bond tightly. Removal later (if necessary) is possible, and we recommend heating up the tape a bit with a hair dryer to loosen before gently peeling up the artwork.

How to Select a Float Mount

To select a Sandwich or Elevated Float for your artwork, look for the Advanced Options in our frame designer:

For a full description and more examples of float mounting artwork and photos, check out our blog post What it Means to Float Your Artwork.

We also have a number of tips for framing artwork with signatures and borders.

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