Foam board vs. Gatorboard: What are the core differences?

What we excel in are consumer friendly and business signage. We can help simplify your display needs by providing inexpensive boards to make displays, signs, and presentations that pop. Whether you’re looking for foam board printing or gator board printing – we can help, because at Foam Core Print, we do both!

They’re Both Poster Boards


When it comes to advertising, in the business industry, signage prints are the latest and the most efficient and affordable technique that has proven to give excellent results to attracting and appealing new and existing clients. What would you say are the best printing signage’s and why? There are many great options in the printing industry, but the most popular would have to be foamboard prints and gatorboard printing.

Why? And where can I get more information about signage and prints for my business? is one of the companies with the best foam board printers, and they are great at answering any questions you might have about signage and printing types, sizes, graphics, and prices. They offer overnight printing and have the most affordable prices. So, let’s talk about gator board printing and foam board prints, and what makes them the best options for display.

If you have to choose between foam core printing and gatorboard printing, how can you decide? There’s a lot of poster board printing, and we’re going to break down the main differences between foam board and gatorboard so that you can decide what product is right for you! First of all, they’re both lightweight options, but there are a few distinct differences.

Foam Board

Foam Board Printing is a frequently used application to display photos, fonts, trademarks, words, and more. Name your desired images, content, or information and we can create marketable, professional eye candy.

Foamboard printing

Foamboard printing

Choosing foam board printing (also known as foam core board) is a high quality, yet economical and efficient choice for your printing projects. It is the most preferred choice for mounting prints, artwork, and photographs as well as being the backing found in picture frames.

Printing on foam board allows you to mount your images on sturdy, museum-quality material. The final product is highly resistant to damage such as denting of crushing. The choice of board thickness typically range from 1/8″ to 3/16″, but 1/2″ options or greater are available as necessary for larger displays, depending on the service provider.

What is Foam Board made of?

Printing Directly on Foamboard

Printing Directly on Foamboard

Foam board and foam core are the same product, and they are commonly used in school projects, advertising, and presentations. As the name suggests, the product is made with a lightweight foam core that is sandwiched between white paper.

It weighs around .13lbs per And is ideal for both personal and business use. You can opt for a thicker foam board, but because of its lightweight and cost-efficient nature- the foam board is the perfect choice for a single use signage.

It’s slightly pliable. However, overbending will cause creasing, or snapping. The larger the pieces of foam board, the more pliable it is; however, larger signs should be handled with care.

Foam Board is lightweight and durable due to its foam core. Images and content printed on a foam board is lasting and resistant to sun exposure and here at Foam Core Print they are easily customized.

Foam board is made of 3 layers of lightweight yet sturdy materials that are easily cut and folded to be formed into practically any shape. The inner layer is composed of resilient polyurethane foam or polystyrene, and the outer two layers are formed of either a white clay coated paper, natural brown Kraft paper or cotton archival paper. The surface of regular foam board is slightly acidic like most other types of paper. However, archival paper types (neutral, acid-free) are also available which have been buffeted by an alkali reserve. These are a preferable choice for most modern printing projects because of the level of permanence in the imaging.

Creative Uses:

Foam boards are the perfect choice to display products at conventions and tradeshows, or to highlight sales and promotions, or even in window displays. They are also commonly used to provide directions or essential information at conferences or other special events.
If it’s a teacher or student project, a foam board is an incredibly cost-efficient option. It’s also an excellent choice for seasonal displays, whether they be for Easter, the 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas.

They can be displayed using an adhesive, hung with hooks, string, rope, or zip ties, or propped against a wall or easel. If the foam board is to be pierced, then it’s important to do it carefully to avoid breaking the board. You can opt for us to provide you with the necessary holes for display during production.

Gator Board Printing

Gator Board Printing

Gator Board Printing

Gator board is also referred to as gator foam. It’s a tough board for display that is constructed used rigid foam at the core. The foam is comprised of polystyrene; this provides the frame with stability while remaining lightweight. Essentially, it’s made with a sturdier version of foam core signs.
Their appearance is similar to a standard foamboard sign, but it has a sturdiness that foamboard displays do not. It’s this quality that is noticeable when hanging and handling signs.

Gator Board is Sturdy

Gator board is designed to be scratch resistant and sturdy, but if too much pressure is applied, it can result in damage. Additionally, it is not waterproof, though it can withstand slight moisture. If you store and handle gatorboard correctly properly, they can last for two years.

Creative Uses

Creative uses: gatorboard is the perfect choice for more permanent signage, due to the quality, durability, and stability. Gatorboard is a great option for a catering business or restaurant to create portable signage or menus. It can also be mounted using hooks or screws, and you can opt for grommets when processing the transaction to be completed during the manufacturing process.
Gatorboard is also an excellent alternative if you’re looking to create directional signage or nameplates, without spending money on acrylic or aluminum signage. They’re an affordable, durable option.

Deciding The One For You

Poster Board Printing

Foamboard Printing

So, what is the difference between gatorboard and prints on foam board? If you are not sure what is the best option here are the differences and similarities to help you make a decision that will work best for you. Prints on foamboard come in 1/8”, 3/16” and 1/2” thickness, are lightweight, are composed of polystyrene foam core, are slightly bendable, but if too much pressure is applied, it can cause damage. Foamboard printing can be drilled to make holes for easier mounting and can be printed on both sides, comes in a standard high gloss finish but is only available with white siding. Gatorboard only comes in 3/16” and 1/2” thickness, it is not as flexible or bendable, which is why is serves as an alternate to foamboard prints! It’s still lightweight, can also be drilled for better mounting, printed on both sides and comes standard in black with a matte finish.


4 comments on “Foam board vs. Gatorboard: What are the core differences?”

  1. Susan Bailey says:

    What is the difference in weight between the foam board and the gatorboard, say 2′ x 2′, one-quarter thick?

    1. Foam Core Print says:


      Size and thickness on both products are the same however foam comes in 1/8″ as well. Foam board is a white board with a paper face a semi-gloss finish, gator is black compressed foam with a clay face and a matte finish. Foam board can bend, dent and creases. Gatorboard is much more rigid and is bend dent and crease-resistant but can crack if mishandled.

      here’s a link to both products, let us know if you have any other questions at all! >×24 >×24

      1. Mike says:

        I’m not Susan, but I’m here because I Googled her question. You didn’t answer it.

        Can you please answer it?

        1. Foam Core Print says:

          Thanks for the question Mike and Susan, it’s a good one!

          Foamboard and Gatorboard are BOTH very lightweight, they are very close to the same physical weight on a SQFT basis. 3/16″ Foamboard weighs .13 lbs per SQFT and Gatorboard weighs .20 lbs per SQFT, to answer your question; A 24×24″ foamboard sign weighs .50 lbs and a 24×24″ gatorboard sign weighs 0.80 lbs. If anyone has ANY other additional questions the best way to get the fastest response is to start a live chat and speak with a rep in real-time.

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