5 Reasons to Go With 8-Ply Matting

How matting can accentuate the look of framed artwork and photos

Adding a mat to a custom frame is a great way to elevate and draw focus to whatever you are framing.

We cut the window opening for each mat on an angle, which creates a beveled edge around the inside. The thickness of the mat board, or ply, determines the size of that beveled edge.

Our standard mat style is 4-ply, but we also offer a thicker, 8-ply mat for a more refined and elevated look.

4-ply mat vs 8-ply mat difference

Along with additional colors in our standard matting, you can find 8-ply mats in a few different tones in the Advanced Options section when framing any artwork or photo:

And to help guide in choosing a mat style, read on for five reasons you may want to consider bumping up to the 8-ply mat.

1) Aesthetic Depth and Boldness

8-ply mats have double the thickness of standard 4-ply mats, which gives a more pronounced depth to the beveled edge.

This creates a distinct, bold look that can add a sense of weight and gravitas to the artwork.

Custom framing with 8-ply matting Level Frames

2) Preservation Benefits

Both the 4-ply and 8-ply mats provide a small buffer between the artwork and the acrylic glaze, which can limit the effects of condensation and ensure that the art doesn't stick to the glass.

This is rarely a problem with the modern acrylic glaze we frame with.

However, the increased thickness of an 8-ply mat offers an even greater separation, which can be extra comfort particularly for valuable or delicate pieces.

3) Artwork Size and Scale

When framing larger photos and oversize pieces of artwork, a thicker mat such as the 8-ply can be more proportionate and look more appropriate.

Framing oversize artwork and photos - Level Frames

For something really big, a thin mat bevel can look insubstantial or even lost to the eye.

4) Showcasing Premium, Traditional or Vintage Pieces

If you're framing a high-end piece or want your artwork to have a gallery-like presentation, an 8-ply mat can offer that extra touch of luxury and sophistication.

The substantial and time-honored look of an 8-ply mat can also complement traditional or vintage pieces very well, reinforcing their age and importance.

5) Shadow Effects

The deeper bevel of an 8-ply mat can cast a subtle shadow on the artwork, adding an additional layer of depth and dimension which can be especially attractive under certain lighting conditions.

The other way to create a shadow to add some extra drama is with our elevated float mounting style.

Elevated float mount custom framing style

Floating an art print above the matting with an elevated float mount

When to Stick with 4-Ply Matting

While 8-ply mats have their advantages, there are times when a standard 4-ply mat might be preferable.

For smaller pieces, a 4-ply mat can be more proportionate and less overpowering. And artwork or photos with more modern, minimalistic vibes might look better with a thinner and more contemporary mat for a sleek and simple presentation.

Minimalist, geometric artwork framed in a white, gallery style frame and 4-ply beveled mat

In the end, the choice between 4-ply and 8-ply mats comes down to the specific artwork or photo being framed, your personal aesthetic preferences, and the intended display environment.

If you have any questions about which matting to use or want to visualize the options before making a final decision, don't hesitate to reach out. We are standing by via email or the chat bubble below to help on any of your online custom framing needs.

Happy framing!