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Gatorboard vs Foam Core

Foam Board vs Gator Board

Posted on 16, November, 2015

Last Modified on 15, February, 2019

While gatorboard and foam core are both types of foam display boards, there are some differences in their design and durability. To pick the best material for your sign, picture frame backing, or any other project, you’ll need to know the difference between the two, so read on!

What is Gatorboard?

Gatorboard (or gator board) is a type of display board with a dense inner core made of foam and a rigid exterior made of wood-fiber veneer. This exterior is water resistant and will not easily break or warp.

What is Foam Board?

Foam board (or foam core) is a type of display board with a dense foam interior and outer facing made of thin, white cardboard. The coating on this cardboard acts like a painted primer and is tailor-made for direct-printing, especially with the UV ink process. Foam board is significantly less expensive than gatorboard.

Pros & Cons

Essentially, gatorboard is a tougher and more durable build of foam board, but that toughness comes at a cost. To determine which material is better suited for your needs, there are several factors to consider. For example, will your display be mounted outdoors? In that case, the weather-resistant coating on gatorboard may be necessary. Are you using the board to market a temporary indoor event? Foam boards are designed with this use in mind. Here are some other factors to consider:

FOAM CORE GATORBOARD
Foam Interior
Wood-Veneer Exterior
Inexpensive
Lightweight
Long Lasting
Acid-Free Surface
Easily Hand Cut
Weather Resistant

Note: While gatorboard is recommended for long-term use, both signage solutions can last up to 2 years when handled with care and properly stored.

What is Gatorplast?

Another type of display board, gatorplast, is very similar to gatorboard, only its outer facings are made of high impact polystyrene sheets, essentially plastic.

What are They Used For?

Foam core displays are commonly used for advertising and wayfinding at indoor events, retail sale signage, restaurant menus, art mounts, picture frame backings, science projects, and more! To display your foam core sign, use a tabletop or floorstanding sign holder, easel, or even an iPad stand for an impactful and engaging display.


Gatorboard displays are also commonly used in these applications, but can be displayed outdoors and for longer periods of time.


Now that you know the difference between foam boards and gatorboards, which will you choose?

Check out our custom foam core signs.

Foam Board Conference Sign
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