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Glass vs. Plexi-Glass

Typically in the picture framing world, you will have your choice of glass, styrene or plexi-glass. Learn about Frame USA's options for protecting your images in their frames.

Here are the things you need to know about our picture frame glazing options:

What Our Frames Each Come With:
  • Picture Frames 11x14 and smaller (including 12x12) will come with Real Glass.
  • Picture Frames 11x17 and larger will come with PETG, a form of Plexi-Glass.
  • All plastic posterframes will only come with PETG.
If picture frame glass is needed for 11x17 picture frames and larger please call: 1-800-577-5920. For safety and liability reasons, we prefer not to ship 11 by 17 picture frames or larger with glass; doing so will decrease the chance of your frames arriving to you in perfect condition. 

Glass Vs. PETG:
PETG weighs roughly half as much as glass and is more shatter resistant than glass. These two factors can greatly reduce shipping costs. If humidity is a concern for the integrity of the frame's contents, PETG is the material of choice. It is a better insulator than glass and is less likely to accumulate condensation.

PETG is a type of thermoplastic and comes in a flexible sheet that is approximately .035 of an inch thick. It is used as an alternative to glass in our picture frames that are larger than 11x14". 

Upon receiving your frame with PETG, there will be a thin plastic film that protects both sides of the plastic during shipping and retail display. The protective coating is the material that protects your piece from scratches, scuff marks, etc. from the outside world prior to arriving to you. 

Styrene is a popular glazing option because it's light weight, affordable and resistance to shattering. Styrene is the most affordable non-glass facing and styrene provides physical protection from dust and scratches. 
WARNING - Do not use household cleaning chemicals or solutions! Clean only with a soft, damp cloth. 

How to Clean PETG:
The film, which should be taken off before use, is easily removed by hand by peeling from the corners. Glass and PETG should both be cleaned before they are showcased. While glass can be cleaned with a glass cleaner, PETG should only be cleaned by warm water or soft cloth, not solvent. The solvent in most cleaners will actually cause the PETG to disintegrate over time.

Type of Glazing Available:
The glazing on the glass and PETG used by Frame USA does not reflect ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet reflective glazing is used primarily for conservation framing. In contrast, the products sold by Frame USA are generally for decorative framing purposes. 

No glazing needed?
You have the option on a number of our picture frames to order them as a shell which means they will come with out the protective coating as well as without the backing.