Cardstock VS Construction Paper – Usage, Weight & Thickness

In the starting years of my printing press, I got many orders for anniversary card printing. At that time I wondered about the best paper to go for in terms of cardstock vs construction paper. After years of experience, I can now clearly tell you that both papers of these printing media are best in their way.

However, if you want to go for the comparatively easier paper for printing, then it is the construction paper. The reason is that it gives the best results in terms of colors and lesser requirements.

That does not mean that cardstock is some sort of useless media for printing. However, cardstock possesses difficulties printing because it is pretty hard to handle. If you are curious about the further details of these two printing media, then all you have to do is to continue reading this short blog.

After understanding the significant differences and facts, you will get better results without wasting your time, money, and efforts. Here we go with the essential details in this regard!

Cardstock Vs Construction Paper | Which is Better Cardstock Or Construction Paper?

Construction Paper VS Colored Paper

The main difference between construction and color paper (cardstock) is their appearance and weight. Construction paper also called sugar paper is rough colored paper also lighter in weight than color paper (cardstock). Whereas, the color paper also called cardstock is slightly heavier and smooth than construction paper but lighter than cardboard but has a smooth texture than construction paper.

Construction Paper VS Colored Paper

Comparing these two papers, the construction paper is easy to use, cut, fold, and print to make versatile designs enough for crafting projects. On the other hand, cardstock paper is thick and heavy that cannot be used for versatile projects. So construction paper is better to use you just need to adjust the settings to the heavy paper of your regular inkjet printer. You can read brief accounts for better guidance.

Brief Account

We know you are looking for the significant detailed differences between cardstock and construction paper so that you may decide on the final type for printing. The simplest way to describe the considerable difference between them is to see them from a printing point of view.

After all those years of experience with the different cardstock and construction paper, I have arrived at one conclusion: to prefer using construction paper. The primary reason for this preference is that it is effortless to print this type.

Thanks to the shorter sheet dimensions that have been previously adjusted. As a result of these smaller dimensions, the construction paper can easily be set inside your inkjet or laser printer.

The construction paper has a more remarkable similarity with the standard A4-sized paper but is slightly heavier, which is why there are no special requirements set for printing it. On the other hand, the size of the cardstock is smaller, which makes it challenging to print with the standard printer.

For the standard printing of cardstock, you cannot use your office or home printer for the standard printing of cardstock. That is why you will need to go to the commercial printer for printing it, which makes it hectic and not easier. The following section will throw some light on the significant differences between these printing media, after which you will have further clarity.

Cardstock: Weight and Thickness Consideration

One of the distinctive features of the cardstock that makes it different from all other printing media is its weight and thickness. If you are also wondering how thick cardstock or cardstock paperweight then there are no worries because this section is specially written to answer your queries.

Usually, the cardstock thickness varies, and the options available in this regard are 10 pt, 12 pt, 14 pt, 15 pt, 16 pt, and 24 pt cardstock thickness. An interesting thing here is that different countries also have other cardstock of variable thickness.

Therefore, it is up to your choice and convenience to choose the thickness that has the best suitability for your requirement and application. In terms of weight, too, there are variations. For example, if you are a resident of the U.S., then you will have cardstock with a weight of 250 g/m.

Cardstock Weight and Thickness Consideration

While in other countries, the cardstock can be as heavy as 300 g/m. It won’t be wrong to refer to it as the heavy card stock weight. In this regard, the thickness will change in accordance with the weight of the paper.

What is Cardstock used for?

You might be curious about the utilization of cardstock and wondering what is cardstock used for. Cardstock has significant utilization for the different types of cards. Since the thickness and smoothness of the cardstock is higher than the construction paper, its utilization is more for the printing tasks like marriage, anniversary, and birthday cards.

Another critical factor that makes it the best medium for cards is its sturdy and durable material. If you love decorating cards with heavier materials, you can do so by using hot glue.

Cardstock will be holding it for a long time without showing any signs of deterioration. Compared to construction paper, cardstock is easier to handle in terms of manual decoration. On the other hand, construction material is accessible in terms of printing.

Still, if you want to attach decorative beads or flowers with hot glue, you will see the construction paper showing signs of tearing. Therefore, you need to be careful while choosing the type for making cards.

What is cardstock made of?

Cardstock is a mixture of many substances including hardwood, softwood, some fibers, and fillers. The final result of smoothness and glossiness depends upon the quality and quantity of the substances. All substances have their own quality that play the role in producing cardstock. One provides paper formation, whereas softwood provides strength and other fibers provide glossiness and overall appearance.

How much does cardstock paper weigh?

There are many types of cardstock paper. Mainly, the lightest cardstock paperweights are 20 lb or 75 gsm. Unlike heavy cardstocks, you can print, scan, and copy that cardstock in your regular inkjet or laser printer but not all printers have a setting on printing cardstock you need to buy the best printers for thick paper cardstock. You can use it for school crafting and office-based projects because it is so thin that can be folded with ease.

Besides, the heaviest cardstock weight is 110lb or 284gsm. It is best for a commercial and industrial base that is typically used for commercial heavy posters and index cards. It is more noticeable and sturdier outdoors.

Printing Cardstocks | Major Finishing Types

When it comes to the printing of the cardstock, then there are different finishing options that you may love to get. However, we strongly recommend you not try printing cardstock if you are not a professional individual.

You should always go to the proper commercial place to get the best results. The most common type of cardstock finishing type is the uncoated one. It has a higher quality appearance, and it is best for business-type cards because it has the best subtle looks.

Another finishing type is gloss. With the 12 pt thickness, the cardstock of this type will be shining bright. You will see your creativity reaching another level. The matte type of finishing is best when you need to print any luxurious media.

The last type of cardstock finishing type is high gloss UV. There are additional shinier aspects associated with this type of finishing. This is the type of cardstock finishing which is helpful in color popping.

What is Construction Paper Made of and Used For

The construction paper is used for posters, drawing, sketching, and crafting projects. Mainly, it is made of wood pulp that’s why its texture is a slight bit rough. Wood pulp’s small particles can be seen on its surface.

What is Construction Paper Made of and Used For

How much does construction paper weigh?

The construction paper is a little bit thicker than regular paper. The starting weight range of the construction paper is 60lb and the ending weight range is 80 lb which is quite heavyweight.

Is Cardstock the Same As Construction Paper?

The simple answer to this question is no. There is a clear difference between the cardstock and construction paper regarding durability, thickness, surface, and weight. The cardstock has a smoother surface with glossy colorful and fine texture, while construction paper is rough.

In terms of durability, cardstock is highly durable. However, it is difficult to bend, while construction paper is a kid-friendly material that is easily cut and folded.

Significant Differences in the Cardstock and Construction Paper

Weight and Dimensions

The first and significant difference that you will observe between the cardstock and construction paper is that they don’t have the same weight or dimensions. The dimensions of the standard construction paper sheet span around 9 inches x 12 inches.

Unlike this, the cardstock is available in a wide range of sizes. For example, you will find cardstock of 4 inches x 6 inches and 12 inches x 24 inches. Also, cardstock has variable weights and is heavier than construction paper in term of weight.


Another significant difference is the thickness. A comparison of the cardstock and construction paper shows that the former is thicker and smaller. At the same time, the thickness of the construction paper is just 0.003 inches, unlike cardstock which has a thickness spanning over the range of 0.010 inches to 0.016 inches.

Differences in the Cardstock and Construction Paper

Textural and Surficial Properties

Another unavoidable difference is the texture and surface of the cardstock and construction paper. The surface and texture of the cardstock are smoother and glossy. It has a matter-type textured finishing. On the other hand, the texture of the construction paper is slightly rough when you touch it. In terms of colors, there are different colors available in the case of both printing media.


In terms of durability, the cardstock is thicker and heavier. Therefore, it is comparatively more durable. So, it is difficult to bend and fold. Formal invitations cards will be best if made with cardstock. On the other hand, the construction paper is thinner and not that durable. Construction paper is better for kids because it is easier to cut and draw.


What is a hard paper called?

Hard paper is also called cardstock, and it is an exclusive paper used for making cards. It has variable dimensions and weight when compared with conventional construction paper. Therefore, you will need a commercial printer for printing it. In addition, this cardstock is highly durable and thicker. Consequently, it can be easily decorated with hot glue.

What type of paper is cardstock for printing?

Cardstock is a premium-grade printing item that can make excellent cards for different occasions. Cardstock is a thicker, highly durable, and glossy paper that gives you other finishing options. In terms of printing, it is challenging to adjust inside the standard sublimation or inkjet printer because of its variable dimensions and size.

You can also check cardstock vs coverstock

Final Thoughts

We have arrived at the conclusion section of the short comparative guide on cardstock vs construction paper with this section. We hope, after reading the details of both printing media, we hope you will be in a clear position to understand the differences and other important details associated with them.

So, now you can easily decide about purchasing the specific type in accordance with your need. Also, keep the limitations of both media in mind so that you don’t end up wasting time and money.

We will be glad to read your response and suggestions; therefore, don’t forget to share them with us in the comments section. Thank you and take care!


  • Hello, artists and crafters. Welcome to Our State Of the Art! I am Leo O'Neal. I'm confessing that I am an artist and printing enthusiast. I've been working with my dad in the printing business since my childhood. After spending my whole childhood in the arts, I can easily write and review art, craft, and printing products including sublimation printers, sticker printers, Cricut, vinyl projects. cardstock, Art prints, and many more. From printing t-shirts to tattooing, you'll love the in-depth reviews and how-to tutorials on our blog.