What is a Floater Frame

A floater frame is a modern and sleek style of frame intended for stretched canvas. These frames have no lip to cover the art. Instead, the piece is mounted from behind with space left between the edges of the canvas and the edges of the frame. This gives the illusion that the art is ‘floating’ in the middle without contacting the frame at all.


Canvas painting floating in a frame

This space around the edges has several benefits. Where the lip of a traditional frame typically covers about ¼ “ of the edges of the art, the breathing room provided by a floater frame keeps all details fully visible. It also provides an appealing dimensional element. While the art appears to float in the frame you are able to get a sense of the depth of the canvas. The amount of space showing around the canvas can also be increased or decreased depending on the desired effect.


We carry floater frames in a variety of styles, widths and depths to accommodate different thicknesses of canvas. Typically the frame needs to be deep enough to allow the surface of the painting to be flush or just slightly recessed when compared with the surface of the frame. This can be accomplished by selecting a floater frame that is deeper than the canvas and then building up the back of the piece with wooden stretcher bars to achieve the desired height. The depth associated with floater frames also increases its structural integrity, allowing a narrower profile to be safely used on a larger piece.


The drawbacks associated with floater frames often result from defects in the construction of the canvas itself. Because the edges and sides of the piece are fully visible, it is preferable for them to be finished and neat. Similarly, when the stretcher that the canvas is mounted on is out of square or warped it becomes much more difficult to conceal with a floater frame. In fact, the space left between the frame and the art can cause any such defects to be accentuated.


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