Pros & Cons of Hard Wall Custom Exhibits

Pros & Cons of Hard Wall Custom Exhibits

Box framed panels, also known as hard wall panels, are one of the oldest and most common wall system used on custom exhibits today. Box framed panels are made of plywood frames that are covered with a wood skin. Colored laminates are then glued on to the skin giving stylish colors and design features. Hard wall panels can be designed as single sided or double sided and with a thickness of about 3″ that allows them to be packed and stored easily in customized crates.

Hard walls are very easily installed because they are light weight and connect together with rotary locks. The rotary lock system allows minimal manpower on installation and dismantle of custom exhibits because the panels lock or unlock quickly. This labor time saving ability on the show floor is worth its weight in gold.

Hard walls give your custom exhibit a very clean, seamless, and custom look. Walls can also be skinned with more than just laminate; Acrylic windows and slat wall display walls are perfect examples of how box framed wood hard wall panels are so versatile for custom exhibit fabrication.

The downside to using hard wall wood panels is the expense of building them and the repair cost if panels are damaged. A small chip in the laminate could mean the entire side of the hard wall needs to be replaced.  It is also not as easy to build curve box framed hard wall panels without using skilled carpenters in a custom design shop. Curved hard walls can make a custom exhibit look even more creative design and impact but it comes with a higher cost for transportation, packing, labor and damage repairs.


  • Custom exhibits can be easily setup with rotary locks to save labor costs.
  • A custom design look can be achieved with a multitude of colors and finishing styles on custom walls.
  • Hard walls have fewer seams then their metal counter parts.
  • Light weight panels result in lower transportation costs when shipping your custom exhibit.
  • Most panels are rectangular which allows them to be easily packed and stored in customized shipping crates.


  • Custom exhibit hard wall skins/finishing’s can be damaged easily because they are made from non flexible materials.
  • Your custom exhibit can become more costly to build with hard wall box framed panels.
  • Repair costs can become expensive if major damage is done to your custom exhibit.
  • If the custom exhibit is not stored properly, the hard wall’s laminate and wood can warp.
  • Custom curved walls can be more expensive to transport.
  • Hard walls are not able to breakdown completely like other custom types of exhibit wall systems.

If you would like to learn more about creating innovative designs with functionality to carry your Brand message onto the show floor with a custom exhibit, please contact Michael Carvalho, Custom Exhibits,

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