It's time to get your poster, art print, sport memorabilia or other piece framed and you are wondering, wood or metal frame? This article will help guide you to the best frame for you.

At The Frame Room, our core philosophy is to educate and inform our customers during the picture framing decision process and empower them to make the best decision for their personal needs. For many of our customers, they are picking out framing and/or matting for a highly personal, sentimental, and valuable object. To some, they are simply framing a poster, print, sports jersey, or diploma to protect it from the elements and ravages of time. This article will help to outline the differences of the kinds of frames we carry and shed light on their recommended uses to ensure the best job for your framing dollar.


We carry hundreds of wood and metal frames. So how do you choose?


First of all, there are few rules, but the most important consideration is size and weight. You really shouldn’t choose a thin wood or metal frame for pieces over approximately 11" x 14" inches. Our professional designers will help you pick out a frame that can support the weight of your finished piece while proportionally matching the framed work.


With that stated, we normally ask, do you prefer wood or metal? Queue, "I don't know." Let's cover some basic differences.


  • Weight - Metal is typically lighter, but this is marginal.
  • Strength - While metal is stronger, the difference isn't really a factor in the decision.
  • Finishes - Wood offers a much greater variety of finishes from gold leaf, antique, weathered, ornamental, and many more. Metals are typically anodized colors or brushed Florentine matte finishes but have added some more ornate styles as the production methods have improved. Wood frames have a great advantage in this field and is a primary reason they are by far the more popular framing material.
  • Price - Until about 3 years ago metal was typically 20-30% cheaper. Metal frames were a great cheap frame option. Then the price of the commodity aluminum, the material used to product metal frames, went up and seemingly overnight the price playing field was leveled. Now, through the proliferated use of sustainable forestry and production practices wood frames are the best option based on price. All our wood frames are from sustainable forests in line with our corporate belief in conservation and stewardship of our environment.


This can serve the criteria to begin your decision, but at the end of the day you'll choose the best frame to your picture based on finish, color match, artwork composition match, and size proportionality. Our frame design professionals will be there every step of the way to help in your decision.


We hope you have found this article informative. This article is part of a 6 part series intended to introduce you to all the components and levels of framing. The series includes:


  1. Picture Frame Matting. How do I Choose?
  2. Wood or Metal Frames. How to Choose a Frame.
  3. How to Choose the Correct Picture Frame Glazing.
  4. How to Choose Custom Frame Mounting.
  5. What Exactly Does Conservation Framing Mean?
  6. What the Heck is a Shadowbox Frame Anyway?


We look forward to being there to serve all your custom picture framing needs for years to come