Which is Better: Acrylic or Glass?

Male senior worker measure width and height of glass in workshop

There are countless options you’ll need to sift through when you are planning your custom framing project. While many of them are obvious, like choosing the color of the frame or the texture of the mat, others are not so noticeable, like the clear acrylic or glass that sits on top of the picture itself.

Some people assume that the choice between acrylic or glass doesn’t really matter, but the material you choose can directly impact the appearance of the finished product and the longevity of the picture or certificate beneath it. What are the key differences between acrylic and glass in picture framing?

Weight: Acrylic is Lighter

In the battle of weight, acrylic is the winner. When thinking about how heavy your finished piece is, you need to consider the combined weight of the artwork, the matboard, the acrylic or glass, and the frame. All of these can really add up, and acrylic is one way to lighten the load. Acrylic is known for being very lightweight compared to glass, which means that it’s easier to hang pieces without worry.

Versatility: Glass Gives Plenty of Options

There are numerous types of glass that can be used in your framing project to protect your artwork. For example, museum glass has a coating that ensures clarity and virtually eliminates any reflection. It also blocks out almost all UV rays to better preserve the photo or picture. However, you can also choose more affordable clear glass that has no UV protection, no additional glare protection, and no special features. Between the two options, there are other variations like conservation glass. Acrylic does come in conservation quality and reflection control options, but glass has greater versatility.

Breakability: Acrylic is Shatterproof

Most homeowners don’t really need to worry about picture frames falling after they are hung, but if you have low-hanging pictures on a gallery wall or are planning on hanging your piece in a high-traffic commercial area, breakability is a consideration. Unlike glass, acrylic is shatterproof, so you don’t need to worry about picking up glass shards.

Longevity: Glass Provides More Protection But Acrylic Has Benefits Too

Even if you aren’t hanging things in high-traffic areas, you might want to preserve and protect your artwork so it can be passed on for generations, not just hung in your house for a couple of years. Glass provides total protection against dust, debris, and scratches. It is much more resistant to wear and tear, providing that it isn’t dropped, so glass is an excellent option when you want something that will last forever.

Acrylic can be scratched more easily, but it is perfectly good at keeping dust and debris away from your photos. For longevity in high-traffic areas, acrylic is the best option for you.

Acrylic or Glass? Partner with The Chessler Company and We’ll Help You Choose!

Deciding between acrylic or glass can be a tough choice, but we’ll help you find the right materials to frame your artwork! Family owned and operated since 1959, The Chessler Company specializes in providing expert style art and picture framing services to anyone in need of a quality framing provider. To learn more about professional framing, call us at (410) 358-5161, and let us help you decorate your home or business!