Traditional vs Floating Frames for Canvas Prints

Traditional vs Floating Frames for Canvas Prints image

The holidays are approaching way faster than I would like to admit and one photography gift that I love giving to people are canvas prints. Canvas prints are great for people who already have anything because each one is unique. Plus, they’re good for people on a budget since you really don’t have to spend that much to get a high-quality frame.

The major problem with giving canvas prints to people is the fact that you have a ton of options to choose from. First, you’ll need to search through traditional canvas print frames to see if you like any of those options. Then, you’ll need to figure out what canvas frame depth options there are with whatever company you’re working with.

As if this isn’t enough info, you’ll then need to compare all of it to the different types of floating frames for canvas to figure out if you like these better.

Basically, to save you all of this hassle, I’m going to present a list of pros and cons for traditional vs floating frames. As I mentioned, each printing company will have slightly different options. I’m going to be using CanvasHQ products because this company won our Best Canvas Print Company award last year.

Traditional Canvas Prints Come Without a “Frame”


The biggest difference between traditional vs floating frames is really the fact that traditional canvas prints don’t come with a frame at all, at least not how most people think of frames.

With a traditional canvas print, you’ll need to choose what depth you want your “frame” to be, but your frame is just the sides of your canvas print.

So, you can opt for a .75” thickness on your canvas print if you want it to blend into its surroundings as much as possible. Canvases with this level of thickness typically don’t look like canvases at all when they are hung up. On the other hand, you can opt for a 1.5” thickness for the most traditional look (this is how thick your canvas print will be if you buy it from somewhere standard). Finally, you can choose a 2.0” thickness for your canvas print if you really want it to stand out.

It can be a little bit hard to visualize exactly what each one of these “frames” will look like, so if you have heavily textured walls (like brick or rock), it’s a good rule of thumb to go with the 2.0” thickness.

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Instead, You Can Choose a Wrap Color


Another big difference between traditional vs floating frames is that you’ll need to choose a wrap color if you stick with a traditional print.

One of the most popular wrap colors is the mirror wrap which is when your canvas frame mirrors the image back. This way the sides of your print aren’t just blank.

Another option is the image wrap, which is when you simply take your whole photo and place it on the front and the sides of the canvas. I don’t recommend doing an image wrap for photos of people because sometimes a few of the details could be lost to the side of the image.

Finally, you can choose from more basic colors, like black, white, and grey. Regardless of whether you like traditional vs floating frames, I recommend that you shop with CanvasHQ because they offer a wide array of options. In the case of wrap colors, CanvasHQ allows you to pick any color from a color wheel, if you want.

Floating Frames Are Far More Modern


One of the biggest reasons to choose a floating frame over a traditional frame is the fact that it looks a lot more modern. In the traditional vs floating frames debate, everybody admits this fact.

Floating frames make your canvas look as if it is floating off of the wall which really elevates a room.

CanvasHQ sells floating frames in a wide variety of options, including Gold, Silver Forma, Brown Walnut, White, and Black.

Of these options, the Gold SOHO Frame (shown below) is my personal favorite because of just how modern it looks. The Gold SOHO Frame would work best for your print if it features warmer tones. The finish on this frame, in particular, looks antique which means that it would look really good for family portraits or vintage prints.


A close second is the Brown Walnut Frame because it is the best of both worlds. You basically don’t have to choose between traditional vs floating frames when you opt for this frame because it is both modern and classic.

It still makes your photo look as if it is coming off of the wall, while still tying that photo to more classic furniture pieces through its coloring. I recommend it for baby or children portraits.

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