How to Measure for Floater Frames
Home > Tips & Techniques Main Page > Picture Framing Articles
When 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.
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.
Front to back, the surface of the art can be flush with the face of the frame or be recessed in it from 1/8 to 1/4 – inch. Although the thickness of stretched canvas varies widely, the most common thicknesses are ¾” and 1-1/4”. Floater frames with depths from 7/8” to 1” would work well for a thickness of ¾”. Floater frames with 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.
To see a step-by-step pictorial showing how to assemble a floater frame.
To see a step-by-step pictorial showing how to mount art in a floater frame.