What Are Foam Boards Used For?

by Sean McCafferty on April 08, 2022
Person working with Foam Boards

Using foam board has become a popular option in a number of different art and commercial projects. But just what are foam boards used for? How are companies and individuals using foam board in their projects? In this article, we will go over what foam board is used for and some of the many foam board uses in different industries and applications.

What Is Foam Board?

Known by many different names, foam board is also called foam core or poster board. Foam board is a versatile, lightweight material used in print advertising and other projects. It is used as a backing material to add durability to photographic prints and as a backing in picture framing. Foam core typically consists of a board of polystyrene foam cladding with an outer facing.

Using foam board provides a lightweight but sturdy crafting and backing material for many different projects. Foam board has a standard thickness of 3/16". It is also available in an ultra-thin thickness of 1/8" or in 4mm metric sizes.

What Are Some Uses for Foam Board?

While using plain foam board, or foam core, is not limited to a particular industry, there are a few common uses for foam boards that show up across many different projects and applications. The most well-known foam board uses are related to photography where it is used extensively as a backing material. Using foam board allows photographers, artists and hobbyists to display their work without the use of traditional frames to help prevent unwanted defects such as wrinkling and bubbling in displays.

Architects and crafters also have many different uses for foam core board. Because it is lightweight but rigid, foam boards create ideal materials for building scale architectural designs and models. Many hobbyists use foam board to build environments and settings for tabletop games.

Here is a list of what foam board is used for:

Architectural Models

Using foam board as a medium for building scale models to show off architectural plans.

Picture Frames

Foam board makes an ideal backing for photography prints or pictures placed into frames, eliminating negative space around an image and drawing the eye toward the subject.

Poster Mounting

As a standalone product, posters tend to be flimsy and can roll up on themselves. Mounting them to foam core adds strength and durability to your poster before putting it up for display.

Advertising Materials

Create bold, durable advertising materials using foam board. Help your company stand out from the crowd with eye-catching advertising that is far less expensive than other materials.

Trade Shows

Signs, directions, area designations and company labels can all be printed or pasted to foam board backing to create temporary hubs to dispense information to trade show guests and patrons.

Pop-Up Displays

Mobile advertising spaces and displays are a great way to keep your company moving. Using foam board to create displays is a great way to entice customers to your table, booth or kiosk.

School Exhibitions

Science fairs and school projects have been using foam board for years to create professional displays for research data and headlines.


Keep your information succinct and always in sight with presentation slides printed on foam board.

Point-Of-Sale Advertising

Encourage that impulse purchase with point-of-sale advertising displays situated around your register. Direct customer's attention to various products and sales available at your store.

Menu Boards

Daily and weekly changes to your tasting menu can be easily and quickly placed on foam board to inform your guests. Promote daily specials and house favorites using foam boards.

Portable Signage

For any of your other portable signage needs. Use foam board for added durability and to provide structural support for easy application of handles for protest signs and more.

Is Gator Board the Same as Foam Board?

Gator board, also known as Gatorfoam®, is a material related to foam core. Gator board is denser and sturdier than foam board — and water-resistant which makes it ideal for use outdoors. Its density provides a more sturdy option than using foam board, and it comes in similar sizes and thicknesses.

What Is Acid-Free Foam Board?

Acid-free foam board is an artist's dream — the mounting surface is buffered to preserve a neutral pH balance. This balance makes it an ideal choice for conservation framing and mounting artwork. With acid-free foam boards, you don't have to worry about image degradation over time.

Shop for All Types of Foam Core at Foamboards.com

At Foamboards.com, we sell everything you need to get the results you want when using foam board for your project. From acid-free to self-adhesive black or white foam board, you can find the right material for your application in convenient pre-cut sizes. Buy in bulk and save more than 30% on full-box Gatorfoam® and foam board styles. Whether you are a print shop or a hobbyist, a teacher or an architect, we want you to make Foamboards.com your number one choice when using foam boards and foam core accessories.

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