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Picture Framing Tips and Techniques

How to Measure for Floater Frames

By January 26, 2020 March 24th, 2020 No Comments

How to Measure for Floater Frames

How to measure for floater frames

Measure for a floater frameWhen measuring art for presentation in a floater frame, take note of 3 dimensions, the height, width and thickness of the stretched canvas or panel.

Floater frames are cut to the size of the artwork unless otherwise specified. With standard floaters, to achieve the effect of the art floating within the walls of the frame, add 1/4″ to the width and height of the artwork when determining the frame size. This will give you a 1/8″ space between the edges of the artwork and the walls of the frame.

Measuring for Stepped Floater Frames

With stepped-floaters most of the spacing is provided by the step but not all. These frames will also be cut to the size specified, ie., the size of the art, so you may find it a tight fit unless you add a little wiggle room. Add 1/8″ to each dimension (that is 1/16″ along each edge) to insure an adequate fit. Be advised, stretched canvases can warp slightly, so measure dimensions at the corners for the most accurate sizing.

Floater Frames and Rabbet Depth
83541-G Floater Frame Profile

In this floater frame the rabbet depth is 1″

With floater frames, the rabbet depth is the recess at the front of the frame. Ideally, the depth of the rabbet will be the same thickness as the item you are loading into it. In this way the surface of the art is flush with the surface of the frame. However, this is not always possible. If the art is recessed in the frame, you can always shim it up by adding strips of mat board or foam board under the art to lift it till it’s nearly flush.

Although the thickness of stretched canvas varies widely, the most common thicknesses are ¾” and 1-1/4”. Floater frames with rabbet depths from 7/8” to 1” would work well for a thickness of ¾”. Floater frames with rabbet depths from 1-3/8” to 1-1/2” would work well for a thickness of 1-1/4”.

Note: Custom cut floater frames are not refundable for mismeasurements. Please take care in measuring.

See a step-by-step pictorial showing how to assemble a floater frame

See a step-by-step pictorial showing how to mount art in a floater frame

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