Stunning Quality, But Are Metal Prints Heavy?
Metal photo prints deliver an amazing colour depth & vibrancy with an almost 3D effect.
They are a fantastic addition to any décor as well as being highly durable & long lasting.
More than likely you would have seen this style of print as they are now very popular, not only with photographers, but with anybody looking for a stunning artwork to mount on their wall.
If you’ve never handled one, you may be thinking ..
How much do metal prints weigh? Made from aluminium, a smaller metal photo print can weigh as little as 0.2 kg (0.45 lbs) & even a large print will only come in at around 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs). They’re one of the lightest print mediums around.
You may want to know the weight of these prints so you know how & where you can hang them.
There’s 2 Factors That Affect The Weight Of Metal Prints
1. The size of the print
2. The thickness of the aluminium composite
I won’t go into depth on how these prints are made, but in a nutshell, there’s 3 printing methods:
1. Dye-sublimation - where the inks are infused into the aluminium substrate.
2. Direct Print - where the inks are laid onto the aluminium substrate.
3. Face mount - where the image is printed onto photographic paper which is then mounted onto the aluminium substrate.
If you'd like to learn more, please check out my comprehensive guide to metal prints.
Neither of these print methods will have any bearing on the finished weight of the print, the size of the print is the main determining factor.
But dye-sublimation is the most popular & used by most print labs due to the greater colour depth & 3D appearance that it offers.
Some printers will sandwich a polyethylene sheet between the face & backing, this helps to create more rigidity.
The extra weight is insignificant as polyethylene is extremely lightweight.
But a quality printer that only uses a single sheet is going to use a quality aluminium, it’s really only the cheap metal prints that are prone to bending or buckling.
The infographic below will give you a very good indication of weight to size ratio.
I haven’t included smaller size prints as the weight is negligible.
Other things that will add weight to the print is the mounting or hanging hardware & if you decide to have a frame.
Most smaller or average size prints generally have an aluminium hanging block on the back.
This is simply to allow the print to hang from a nail or screw in the wall.
A wooden float mount is sometimes used & this will be a little heavier, but pine or lightweight wood is usually used.
It’s basically a wooden frame mounted on the back & sits inside the edges.
This allows a more secure system for larger prints & as you can use 2 or 4 nails/screws, it prevents the print from moving out of square.
A popular way to display metal photo prints, especially in commercial spaces or if you like a modern look, is to use stand-off bolts.
They work by fitting through holes that are made in each corner of the print.
Then a cover is placed over the bolt head.
This method doesn’t actually add weight to the print as the bolts aren’t attached to the print itself.
It’s a very secure way to display extra large prints though.
Metal prints can be framed just like any other print or wall art.
Depending on the style of frame you choose, this will determine the extra weight as well as which is the better hanging option.
As we’ve discovered, metal photo prints are lightweight but offer exceptional quality & are dead easy to hang in your home or office space.
They look amazing straight out of the box, but different frame styles offer other options & add an extra dimension, from standard picture style to a floating frame.
I hope you found value in this article.
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