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HDU SignFoam versus wooden signs by Sign Design and Fabrication Sign Design and Fabrication Logo

HDU Sign Foam Versus Wooden Signs

If you are wondering which substrate to use in fabricating your upcoming sign project, here are the facts.

Your custom sign project is an investment...
We take every precaution to protect it.

High Density Urethane - HDU Sign Foam >

WARRANTY - HDU Sign Foam unfinished is warranted for 10 years, indoor or out, against deterioration, warping, and cracking. It is 100% waterproof, unaffected by temperature and will not rot or decompose. High Density Urethane material is preferable on most projects, and is a must on outdoor sign projects. For more information, please visit

ADVANTAGES - SignFoam will not warp, crack, or bow like solid wood when exposed to the elements. It is slightly lighter that wood, which might be a consideration for a suspended sign, and saves in shipping. HDU Sign Foam can be seamlessly laminated together to create any size shape or form.

DISADVANTAGES - HDU Sign Foam is slightly flexible, which might cause problems on long, narrow signs. If a dimensional sign is going between posts, or in a situation where it might take abuse from wind or pedestrians, consider having us laminate a backing board for reinforcement.

HDU Sign Foam can be sandblasted with several different patterns.
The most common two are wood grain and sandstone.

Sign Foam sandblasted in the wood grain and pebble blast textures

Wood - Redwood and red Cedar >

WARRANTY - There is no way to warranty a product of nature. We take great care in the assembly of our wood planks by using a combination of biscuits, dowels, and marine grade epoxy. The wood planks we use are double kiln dried, which is more expensive but better insures against bowing.

ADVANTAGES - Clear grade wooden signs are solid. A plank of wood will not give any if you hand apply pressure to it.

DISADVANTAGES - Wood expands and contracts with the ever changing seasons. The primer seal may be broken (example - a landscaper kicking a rock from a mower), which allow the outdoor elements to deteriorate the wood. It is very hard to detect such deterioration, so routine inspections are required to protect your sign investment. Because of the maintenance issues with wood signs, we DO NOT recommend wood for ANY exterior signage application. Should your project insist on being wood (local code, etc.) we can take additional steps to ensure longevity at added expenses not required with HDU.

There are many materials that can be sandblasted to create different dimensional and texture effects. Different woods have a variety of wood grains. Sandblasted SignFoam reveals a rich sand texture. Stone and marble are excellent materials, and sandblasting glass or acrylic produces a frosted effect.

Keep in mind that faux (fake) finishes can be applied to different materials. Marble, stucco, and/or antique finishes are available for wood and HDU Sign Foam.

Be sure to speak with one of our sign specialists for more information.

sandblasted HDU Sign Foam with the simulated wood grain blast pattern

Sandblasted HDU Sign Foam with the
simulated wood grain blast pattern.

wood grain texture after sandblasting pine

Wood grain texture after sandblasting pine.