How to Hang Panel Substrate

Substrate panels are ever growing in popularity and used for so many exciting applications such as corporate branding, marketing and sales messaging, team building, product introductions, signage, transient municipal displays … displays of all types. They are becoming very popular in the art community as well, where instead of art on canvas, art is produced and shown on art panels. And why not? There are so many choices of substrates, both familiar and traditional, and new, sexy, green and high tech.

History Timeline of USDA at Headquarters in Washington, DC

It wasn’t that long ago, if we were having this conversation, we would be thinking of plywood, Masonite, acrylic, foam board, or Gator Board. However, we can now also evaluate and consider Sintra board, Falconboard, Hexacomb panels, Alumacore, Alumalite, Enviro-Corr, FibreMate, plastic corrugated, and medium density overlay (MDO). And the list seems to grow every year.

They each have their purpose and advantages vs. trade offs vs. cost. And it seems each substrate has its own fan base. That is probably why we receive so many calls about:

  • Hanging foam board
  • Do you have hanging hardware for foam core?
  • Can you help with how to hang acrylic panels?
  • I need help with how to hang Hexacomb panels.

Plus, a very brief survey of recent email inquiries included these subject lines:

  • How to hang foam core
  • How to hang foam board
  • How to hang a panel display

With the recent introduction of several new products, we offer a very broad selection of hardware for hanging a panel display.

Many of you might immediately think of standoff systems for this purpose. The issue with standoffs is, they require you to drill the four corners of your display panels. The holes must be accurately placed and of the right diameter. But these holes often weaken the panel itself, and this is particularly true of some substrates. The manufacturers of stand-offs acknowledge that many of us do not want to drill sign panels and particularly displayed art. They have recently augmented their product lines with things like edge grips, panel mount clips, and an endless number of variations that blur the boundary between stand offs and hanging hardware. But every one of these designs is based on the same flaw – they require you to drill into your wall to mount the sign board hardware. So what if you want to change your display? Reasonable question, don’t you think? With standoff systems you are limiting your future designs to the same sign or panel size and location. Otherwise you need to patch, repair and repaint your walls – first. Nothing could be less “sustainably green”.

Then there is the issue that stand-offs become part of the overall design. That is fine if you like that – but what if you don’t? Stand offs are so much a part of the design of any display in which they are incorporated that standoff suppliers offer their wares in a seemingly endless variety of diameters, lengths, materials, finishes, cap designs, etc., etc. Just one provider offers well over a thousand different combinations. Really?

You know the old adage that goes something like this, “When a system gets exceedingly complex, there is something wrong”. AS Hanging Systems has pressed the reset switch. It does not need to be this complicated.

Let me introduce you to a new approach in panel hanging hardware.

Our Panel Hook (H3060) easily supports panels of between 3/16 inch and ½ inch in thickness. Two Panel Hooks support the panel from below and two are inverted to steady the panel at the top edge. The amount of hardware visible at each edge is approximately 1/8 of a square inch. Very small.

The above figure reveals the reverse side of an art panel or sign board that you see in the first illustration. You can see that the one hook design is used in both orientations. In the next image you can see how the panel is held to the front of the hook by the spring action and how versatile this hook can accommodate display panels of various thicknesses.

While panels thinner than 3/16 inch will be well served in the same manner by our Utility Hook (H3004), display boards of more than ½ inch, and up to 5/8, will be compatible with our Panel Hook (H3005), or by simply removing the spring clip from the H3060, illustrated.

However, more recent product introductions include double-wide Panel Hooks. These also come in versions with clips or without, H3006 and H3061, respectively.

The double-wide Panel Hook is particularly well suited for two applications. The first is targeted at a large matrix, or grid, of display panels held in rows and columns to form one large display surface. The Panel Hook, Double Wide may be used to span a single hanging cable running down the seam between two columns of panels. Because of its double-wide nature, this hook can support both the column of panels to the left and the column of panels to the right of that single cable. See details A and C, below. This will reduce the cost of both hardware and installation labor.

The second application also relates to the hook’s width. Because it is wide, a panel can be supported by the hook when it is positioned at the bottom center of the panel in conjunction with another hook centered at the top edge. This would typically be a display tactic for hanging small to moderate sized display boards. The next illustration shows this application in scale with a sign panel of 14-inch (w) x 8-inch (h). The rear side also shows two optional bumpers on the right and left sides of the panel.

Panel Supported by Two Panel Hooks, Rear View, by AS Hanging Systems

So much for standoffs. This approach to hanging panels is both versatile and discreet. These Panel Hooks do not force you to drill holes in your display panels nor in your walls. Best yet, your display may be removed, reset or changed with little fuss. This is truly a sustainable display solution.

The product line is compatible with substrate, such as aluminum sheet as thin as 1/16 inch, or 5/8 inch thick Hexacomb panels that, while extremely dimensionally stable, are difficult to hang and support by other means. How’s that for “panel hanging hardware”? And don’t forget, this approach can be used for hanging acoustic panels just as well.

So in closing, you can see the question of ‘how to hang panel substrate’ now has non-invasive, non-damaging, and sustainable answers. With Panel Hooks, with clips or without, you can achieve a display with undamaged panels, no nail holes in your walls, limitless display flexibility, and a cohesive and clean panel display.

Have you had issues in the past with how to hang panels, without really finding a great solution? Did we address your situation in this post? Let us know if we’ve missed some aspect of your application dilemma! We’d love to help!

If you have questions or would like to learn more about how our products can be beneficial in your project, please contact our Customer Support at, or give us a call at 866 935-6949 (toll free) or at our local number 450 619-7999.

When you hang with AS Hanging Systems, you Hang with the Best®

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