It is not uncommon to find at least one heavy mirror hanging from a wall of a home. Framed mirrors can be very heavy and you need to consider that when hanging them. It is said that a framed mirror weighs about 5-pounds to 6-pounds per square foot. So if a mirror measures 30-feet x 40-feet, then it will weigh a total of 46-pounds (30-feet x 40-feet/144 = 8.33 x 5.5 = 46-lbs.)
⚠ Note, hanging heavy mirrors does not have to be strenuous or destructive. You can protect the condition of your walls by avoiding traditional hanging techniques. Using a kit like the STAS picture hanging system provides lasting integrity after one installation. Feel total freedom moving your heavy mirrors and large paintings. The Stas System may be your long-term solution. Read more about how to hang a heavy mirror with the STAS system here.
If you are considering hanging your mirror via traditional, invasive means, there are a few roads to take. Two methods are commonly used to hang a wall mount mirror. They include hanging wire, and french cleats. (image courtesy of freshome.com)
Items You Will Need for Traditional Hanging
✓ Wall Mount Mirror
✓ Stud Finder
✓ Tape Measure
✓ Screw Driver Drill Bit
✓ Offset Board
✓ Clean Wash Cloth
✓ Mirror Hanging Hardware (D-rings, metal wire, French cleats, hanging screws). Make sure that the hanging screws are rated to hold a weight greater than the weight of the mirror. Consider that the weight of the mirror increases when you pull it away from the wall to clean under it.
⚠ Purchase screws that correlate with the weight of your mirror.
⚠ Enlist the help of one assistant to perform this task. The mirror can be quite heavy and you will need his or her help to handle it.
There is some preparation work that needs to be performed when tackling the task of how to hang a heavy mirror.
First, determine where you want to mount the mirror. You want a location that is free of clutter and in enough space that can accommodate its size. Moreover, you want it to be high enough so that a person looking into it can look at himself in the eyes. Of course, there are always exceptions. This would include placing the mirror over the mantle of a fireplace.
Once you have selected a location, use the washcloth to clean the wall where you intend to place the wall mount mirror. In addition, ensure that there is a large space free of objects that you could encounter when performing the work.
Next, use a stud finder to locate the wooden support beams (called studs) that are behind the wall. These studs are evenly spaced and should be used to support the weight of the mirror. So it is important that the screws and nails you use to hang the wall mount mirror actually go directly through a stud.
Use the pencil to mark the outside edges of each stud in the area where you intend to put the mirror. These marks will help you to precisely place the mirror for hanging.
Use the tape measure or ruler between the pencil marks to determine the center of each stud and mark the spot with the pencil. The center portion of a stud is said to be the strongest, most stable place from which to hang the mirror.
Hanging A Wall Mount Mirror Using Wire
If you intend to use wire to hang the wall mount mirror then:
1. Use the tape measure to determine the center of the mirror. If you measure the length and width of the mirror, then the middle point of those measurements taken together identifies the exact center. Use the pencil to mark the location and also mark the center spot for each of its edges on the back of the frame.
2. Place the D-rings on the back of the mirror. Use the tape measure to locate a spot about 6-inches (15.24 cm) from the top of each side of the back of the mirror and place one D-ring in each spot. The D-ring is necessary to guide the wire that will keep the mirror even and balanced as it is hanging.
3. Take a long length of wire, double it and then thread it through one of the screw eyes of the D-ring and then down to the screw eye of the D-ring on the other side of the frame. Make certain that you leave some slack in the wire so that it can accommodate a support that will be mounted to the wall.
4. Use pieces of remaining wire to reinforce the hanging wire. To do this simply cut four medium size lengths of wire and wrap a length tightly around the hanging wire several times. Crimp the scrap wire closed with the pliers. Make sure to secure the scrap wire to each of the screw eyes on the D-ring. Perform the same procedure on the other D-ring.
5. Loop the wire through the remaining screw eye and then crimp the wire closed with the pliers.
6. With assistance from your partner, lift the mirror to the desired position and have your partner mark the wall with the pencil above the top of the center portion of the frame and then carefully lower the mirror back down into a safe place.
7. Use the level and pencil to draw a line across the wall that is exactly parallel to the floor. This line will help you judge if the mirror is hanging straight. Place the level on the wall at the top-center mark you just made. When the bubble of the level is correctly positioned between the two lines in the horizontal tube, carefully draw a straight line along the edge.
8. Use the marks you made to identify the location of the studs and select two studs that are in the proximity of where you want to hang the mirror. The wider apart the studs are, the better. Make certain that they are not outside the edges of the mirror. Draw a straight line from the center of these studs to the top horizontal line. Measure to a point about 4-inches to 5-inches (10.16 cm to 12.5 cm) from the top line along the centerline of each stud and mark the spot with the pencil. Use the level to ensure that these points are aligned horizontally.
10. Drive a heavy-duty hanging screw into the wall at each of the two positions you just marked. Use a screwdriver attachment to drive the screws into the wall. Make certain that there is enough of the screw left protruding out from the wall to hold the wire.
11. Slowly lift and carefully place the mirror’s wire onto the two hanging screws. Make certain that the wire is securely hanging on both mirror hangers and then slowly and carefully let go of the mirror so that the screws are holding the load.
12. Adjust the mirror so that it hangs straight. Use the horizontal line on the wall or a level to tweak the mirror’s position so that it is hanging perfectly straight and parallel to the floor.
13. Clean the pencil marks from the wall. Special cleaning products are available from home improvement stores that will remove pencil marks from the wall.
Hanging A Wall Mount Mirror Using Cleat Mirror Hangers
If you believe that French cleats would more properly accommodate the weight of the mirror you intend to hang, then you should buy them from a home improvement or hardware store or you can make them. A French cleat is a wide, notched fastener that is made of wood or metal. Be sure to purchase a set of cleats that are rated for weights greater than the mirror you intend to hang. If you are inclined to make the cleats yourself then purchase a piece of wood and:
- Cut a strong piece of board that’s about three-quarters of an inch thick so that it’s length is slightly shorter than the width of the wall mount mirror.
- Create a 30-degree to 45-degree bevel cut down the length of the board near the center. There should now be two pieces of wood. Each should have a wide face and narrow face as well as a slanted edge. These pieces of wood will fit together to form a sturdy hanger platform for the mirror.
Follow these steps to hang a wall mount mirror using French cleats.
1. Use strong glue or appropriate screws to attach the smaller of the two cleats below the top edge of the mirror with its slanted edge pointing down. Use a level to make certain that it is straight before you glue it. This creates a downward facing hook that will catch onto the wall-mounted cleat.
2. To be certain that the mirror is properly supported on the bottom and that it hangs flush with the wall, you will need to include an offset board. Attach a length of board that is of the same thickness as the cleat to the bottom of the frame of the mirror.
3. Use a level to draw vertical lines through the center of the studs and then use the level again to draw a horizontal line through these new lines at the exact height you want the wall cleat to be. Use the pencil to mark each intersection line of the stud centerlines and the upper horizontal line. This will be the spot you will place the wall cleat.
4. Use sturdy wood screws that are rated for a greater weight than the mirror to install the cleat to the wall. Use the drill to drive the screws through the wooden cleat and into the center of several studs. The cleat should be placed so that its wide face points out from the wall and the slanted portion points up. This will create an upward facing hook to accommodate the cleat on the frame of the mirror.
5. With help from your assistant, lift the mirror and install it so that the two cleat lock together. Slowly release your hold on the mirror until it is fully supported by the cleat.
Note: If you use glue to attach the cleat to the mirror, make certain that it has dried before hanging the mirror.
Hanging A Heavy Mirror Using The STAS Rail Mounting Systems
Shades Picture Hanging Systems offers eight different STAS designed and manufactured high-quality picture or mirror hanging solutions for a wide range of applications including:
– Residential and Non-residential Construction Projects
– Office and Commercial Properties
– Schools and Universities
– Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities
– Retirement Homes and Assisted Living Facilities
– Government Institutions and Public Housing
– Condominiums and Rental Properties
– Museums and Galleries
– Hotels, Inns, and Bed & Breakfast Services
The eight styles include:
– Cliprail Pro
– Cliprail Max
– J-Rail Max
– Plaster Rail
– Prorail Crown
Each system is specifically designed and manufactured to accommodate an array of issues that could threaten the integrity of a structure and assures that the weight of heavy pictures, mirrors or artwork are not focused on one area, but spread out through a rail.
If you want to hang a heavy mirror, the STAS system is for you. The kit is economical with space and causes no wall damage. Watch our video below to learn more:
How Does it Work Exactly?
Perlon cords, zipper hooks, and rails are the essential components for hanging heavy items. The cords and zipper hooks hold the frames while the rails accommodate the total weight of the frames!
The zipper hooks work in conjunction with the perlon cord to hold a maximum weight of 33-pounds. The smartspring hooks each hold 9-pounds. If multiple hooks are used on a single cord each hook will bear its maximum weight capacity as long as the rail handles the bulk of the weight.
If a system is required to hold more weight than it was designed for, then all you need to do is add more hooks and cords to increase the weight capacity. For example, using two more perlon cords and two zipper hooks will permit the system to hold an additional 66-pounds.
Each rail has been tested to determine its weight capacity. Rails used in the Cliprail system can hold 44-lbs/yd. Rails featured in the Cliprail Max system can hold a maximum weight of 55-lbs./yd. Rails included in the Minirail package can accommodate up to 55-lbs/yd. Rails that are contained in the U-rail Pro package can hold up to 65-lbs/yd. The rails used in the Cliprail Pro system holds up to 99-lbs./yd. Prorail crown rails have a maximum capacity of 99-lbs./yd. Prorail Flat rails can bear up to 99-lbs/yds.
If you decide to use your own hanging rails, you will need to determine the weight capacity of the rail used in the system.
You select the amount and length of rails as well as their color and wall type. Each system is all-inclusive. Everything necessary from clip screws and plugs to hooks, rails and cords are included. Combi-caps are available to cover each end of the rail. Connectors are available to combine up to two pieces of rail.
There is no need to rely on your limited knowledge of how to hang heavy mirrors or rely on the limited knowledge of a salesperson in a chain store or small, local hardware store, who has other things on his or her mind besides hanging heavy wall mount mirrors. STAS systems are the foolproof way to ensure that possible problems that can result from hanging heavy mirrors will never occur!