Interior Design Tips

A Guide to Hanging Split Canvas Prints

If you have bought a split panel canvas print you may be wondering about the best spacing to give the canvases when you hang them on the wall. Attaching a normal printed canvas picture is very easy, but when your image is split across 3 or more wooden frames, it becomes a little trickier. Here at Fotoviva Art Prints we have been making triptych canvases for many years and are considered by some as the leading canvas manufacturer in the UK, so before you go drilling holes in the wrong places we thought we’d share some tips to ensure your multi panel canvas has the most impact in your home or office space. A set of three canvas prints is not cheap, so let’s make sure you get it right!

three part canvas art

Split panel canvases are a great way to add impact to your rooms.

What is a Triptych canvas?

Also known as triptych canvas art prints, multi panel canvases are an ideal way to make the most of a large wall space. Triptychs are usually larger than standard canvas pieces as homeowners buy split panel canvas art to create a feature piece in their rooms. The way a triptych wall print is made is that the printed image is mounted across three box canvas frames rather than a single wooden frame. This creates a wonderful effect as the picture is seen to be flowing across the frames to produce an artistic piece of wall art for interior designs. Triptych art is not constrained to prints on canvas, and multi-panel wall art has been seen for hundreds of years. One of the most famous triptych paintings is by Francis Bacon, entitled ‘Triptych – August 1972’ and can be seen here in the world famous Tate Gallery in London. These days with the advent of canvas stores the triptych format has been revived and can now be seen in many homes and businesses across the world.

So what canvas spacing should I use?

The effect of the image flowing across the wall will depend somewhat on the spacing you make between the box canvases. At Fotoviva Art Prints we suggest spacing your split canvases between two and three inches apart. This is enough for the separation effect to show whilst not creating too much of a gap, thus dissolving the flow. The gap does depend to some extent on the image and the size of the canvases. For smaller canvases, it would be best to decrease the gap. Consequently, increase the spacing for larger canvas splits. With regards to the image style, this is hard to quantify as it becomes an individual preference, but if the picture has obvious flowing elements then you can afford to hang the canvas a little further apart if you prefer. Without image elements that do not stretch across the breaks, it would be best to keep the frames a bit closer together.

The best way to determine your perfect spacing for your multi panel canvas print is by laying them out on the floor and playing around with the spacing. Try looking at the artwork from different angles and ask someone else for their input. When you have decided on the ideal spacing, measure the gap and use this measurement to accurately reflect the layout on your wall. Make sure you have a tape measure and pencil to mark out the correct fit before drilling. This may sound silly, but measure twice – you’d be surprised how many times you can measure something wrong and regret it afterwards! Ideally, it’s best to have another person to help you with alignment and hanging the 3 piece wall art.

Triptych canvas art is fairly lightweight due to the wooden frames, compared to heavy traditional frames prints with glass fronts. This means you can use a relatively smaller screw to hang each canvas panel. Use a rawl plug to ensure a good strong grip in the wall, especially if it is a larger canvas picture.

split panel triptych canvas art print

Three part pictures on triptych canvas

Additional Tips

  1. Hang your triptych wall art at eye level. This is known as ‘museum hanging’ and is a tried and tested method for getting the right level.
  2. Make sure your wall has enough space for a large canvas print. The image needs to look balanced in the room and have space to breathe.
  3. If hanging a multi panel canvas over a sofa, leave at least 15cm (6″) gap to ensure it doesn’t get knocked.
  4. Align your canvas artwork with any furniture in the immediate vicinity to maintain a design balance.

This guide for hanging triptych canvas art can also be applied to other multi panel canvases, whether the artwork is split across 2 frames or 10 frames! Just use the tips we have provide here and add your personal taste to the mix to ensure you get the right result for your room. Multi panel canvas prints are one of the best ways to enhance a living space so by taking a little time to hang it right you will get the maximum enjoyment from your new canvas purchase.

For more information about triptych canvas wall art, visit our special page which features some stunning examples of our artworks printed as multi panel canvases

Here is a great video teaching you how to hang a triptych art print from the folk at NeverMeasure…

27 thoughts on “A Guide to Hanging Split Canvas Prints

  1. Claire Hampton says:

    I was just looking for info about how to hang my new canvas so thanks for the great tips! Can’t wait to get it up on my living room wall. Great site guys.

  2. Mark Davis says:

    Thanks for the tips, my canvas art is now hanging proudly on my wall!

  3. Daniel says:

    Ideal, thanks for the help I have been looking to see the best way to hang my canvas, cheers guys!

  4. Dave says:

    New to murals but recently purchased a 3 panel aquarium style picture that aligns perfectly into one another. My question is why does it need to be spaced at all between each panel. I’m really not seeing a huge improvement in the realness of the mural by splitting them…?

    1. The Fotoviva Team says:

      Hi Dave. Of course, it’s totally up to you how you space the panels (or if you don’t). However, many people like the style of it being separated yet still part of the same image. Whatever suits your personal preference at the end of the day.

  5. Linda says:

    I received a triptych art piece from a friend for Christmas. It’s a picture from a trip we took to New Zealand. It really doesn’t match my colonial home. How can I incorporate other photos around it to make an art wall so that it doesn’t stand out so much? Is it okay to frame them separately? Not really sure what to do with it.

    1. The Fotoviva Team says:

      Hi Linda

      I’d imagine it would be quite difficult to make the main piece blend in more by adding additional prints to the same wall. As a triptych canvas, it is made to stand out and it may end up just looking cluttered with more images.

  6. Arvel says:

    I think the spacing is necessary or else they would’ve been put on one canvas. Wife disagrees, I just got yelled at for the spacing…

    1. Crystal Markus says:

      Haha… She should’ve done it herself lol that’s what I’m doing…perception is key and my hubby has none😂🤦

    2. Jerry says:

      Sometime today my wife and I will be hanging our new 3 panel wall hanging. I’m absolutely positive that I to will be yelled at during the process at some point. Hopefully that makes you feel better. 🙂

  7. Christine in UK says:

    Thank you for the clear instruction. But how would you hang a vertical triptych please?

    1. The Fotoviva Team says:

      In much the same way as a landscape canvas print Christine – lay it out on the floor, maybe somewhere that you can look down on the triptych panels such as the stairs or a landing. This will give you an idea of what works best for your particular canvas prints. Start with an inch between each canvas and see what spacing suits your artwork.

  8. Joe Sorisi says:

    thanks for the insight – will go with 2″ spacing due to the large 3 piece we have in our hall. Love your artwork guys!

  9. Mel says:

    I have a 5 piece canvas but the middle one is large and the 2 each side go down in size , any tips on how to hang them

    1. The Fotoviva Team says:

      Hi Mel, the same applies to 5 piece canvases, lay them out on the floor and see what spacing works best for your image. It’s usually between 1 and 3 inches gap.

  10. Cory says:

    Where is the sample photo/art work from? I think I’d like to purchase….

    1. The Fotoviva Team says:

      Hi Cory, all the images are from our team of photographers and are available from our online gallery.

  11. Maria says:

    Canvases with odd number of panels are much easier to hang because the middle piece is the guide. We have a 4 piece and it’s always tricky when the center is the spacing between the #2 and #3 panels. It takes hours of measuring and re-measuring, especially because the heights are staggered. This is the 3rd home where we’ll be hanging the piece and I think this time I’m going to buy a roll of wide paper at the hardware or art store and tape it to the wall and then do all the measuring markups on the paper. I lay out the panels on the floor and get measurements for overall height and width. I like to leave a 1″ spacing between the panels. My husband leaves me alone to figure out the measurements and to mark the wall. Then he comes in and drills. A lot less arguments this way!! By the way, this wall has drapes that hang in one corner and I think I need to take into account the amount of wall space covered by the drapes, otherwise the panels will not look centered. Any thoughts on this aspect?

    1. The Fotoviva Team says:

      Yes when you have something that ‘interferes’ with the alignment then we would suggest just visually looking at what looks best. It may be better to hang the canvas prints with the drapes in mind. You could always take a photo and try to drop the canvas into it to view it like a mockup.

  12. Karl Larson says:

    Thank you for posting, this really assisted my wife and I . This is our first painting with multiple panels and we were at a loss as to correctly display it.
    Thank you ,

  13. NicheCanvas says:

    Great and comprehensive guide! Do these tips also apply to 5 panel wall art? Or do we need to decrease the gaps more if it’s five pieces of wall art?

    1. The Fotoviva Team says:

      Yes, we would suggest using the same method for hanging 5 panel canvases on your wall. But as always, experiment to see what works best for the picture as a whole.

  14. Kim says:

    How would you hang a triptych on a staircase wall that aligns perfectly into each other ?

    1. The Fotoviva Team says:

      We would suggest it’s not the place for a large wall print like that, split panel triptychs are more for bigger spaces where the whole image can be viewed from a distance.

  15. Philip says:

    When ordering a set, is the size for each piece or all pieces together? So if i order 36×16, is that the size for each individual piece or the total space?

    1. The Fotoviva Team says:

      Hi Philip. The size stated is for all pieces together, as if they were laid out in one piece. Hope that helps.

  16. Romeo says:

    I have 3 pieces of wall paints, the same size, 70×50 cm. The wall where I want to hang them is 6.5 meters. In that wall I have a couch 3 meters long, which is 50 cm far from one end of the wall. Can you give me any idea how to hang these artworks? Thanks

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