Some DIY projects are scarier than others. Hanging a heavy mirror and figuring out how to hang a heavy mirror is definitely one of them, especially when considering the potential consequences if the job goes wrong. Damaged walls, a broken pricey mirror and more potential destruction. Not to scare you or anything!
But while it might not be one of easy DIY projects, hanging a heavy mirror by yourself is still doable. As long as you have the right tools, fittings and expert-approved information at your disposal.
In this guide, we’ve tried to cover all the bases with professional advice, tips and tricks on how to hang a heavy mirror on different types of walls and exactly what you’ll need to do it properly.
How to hang a heavy mirror?
Whether you’re working on a living room mirror idea or one for the bedroom, you should always start with safety when hanging a heavy mirror. Or any other DIY project for that matter.
‘Any home improvement project should start with health and safety,’ says Sophie Wall, buyer for decorating and home at Homebase. ‘Use a wire and pipe detector to ensure there’s no hidden hazards behind the wall you’re drilling. Pop on those safety goggles and ear defenders and drill slowly and carefully making sure you’re using the right size drill bit.’
Once the safety is taken care of and before any drilling is started though, you’ll need to assess exactly what type of wall you’re working with as that will determine what you need to do and use.
‘You’ll need to take into account the type of wall you're working with because different ones will require different anchors or screws,’ says Lucy Fernando, Fantastic Services' handyman and decorator coordinator. ‘Keep in mind that drywall and brick walls, in particular, will be more tricky when performing this task.’
What you’ll need to start with:
- Drill like this one from Bosch at Amazon
- Safety goggles like these from Amazon
- Ear defenders like these from Amazon
Locating your wall studs
When deciding on the best positioning of your mirror, it’s ideal to start by locating the wall studs, which is the building framework of most walls. To do that you can either use a stud finder like the HANMATEK Stud Finder from Amazon, or there’s a pro technique.
‘To locate the wall studs, use a stud finder. Hanging your heavy mirror on them will provide better support and stability,’ Lucy says. ‘Alternatively, you can also locate the studs by tapping along the wall, moving in small sections until the wall sounds solid instead of hollow. This is where the wall studs are.’
However, studs are not present in all types of wall. If yours is made of brick or stone, there’s no need to find the studs. ‘Instead, drill into the material a bit deeper than the screw to allow extra length to secure the wall anchor,’ Lucy advises.
But it’s always advised to start off by marking the exact spot you’ll be drilling into first.
Choose the right hardware
The hardware that you would usually use to hang pictures probably won’t be strong enough to hold up a heavy mirror. Instead, opt for heavy duty hardware like D-ring hangers and strong screws.
‘D-ring hangers are sturdy and reliable solutions for heavy mirrors. You’ll need to make sure to attach them to the back of the mirror frame and use appropriate screws to secure them to the wall,’ Lucy says.
‘Using screws is highly recommended instead of nails because they’ll hold it securely in place. It’s the better choice when you’re working with solid walls or studs, especially if you pair it with a plug because it’ll prevent the mirror from falling over time.’
On the topic of wall plugs, Sophie adds, ‘Make sure you check which wall plugs you need for your wall type. If the wall plug starts bending, the hole is too tight so take it out and make the hole larger.’
What hardware you’ll need:
- D-ring hangers like these at Amazon
- Heavy duty screws like these at Amazon
- Wall plugs like these at Amazon
How to hang a heavy mirror if you’re renting?
When it comes to hanging heavy mirrors, making holes in the walls using screws is the most secure way of doing this. However, if you’re renting it might not be the ideal thing to do.
There are two ways you can approach this as a renter. Either make the smallest holes possible so that they are easier to fill and paint over before you move out. Or there are alternative gadgets you can try that don’t require any drilling.
‘Try something like the 3M Claws that can hold up to 30kg and you don’t need any tools to install either,’ Sophie suggests.
Lucy continues, ‘Choose adhesive hooks designed for heavy items and make sure to clean the wall surface before applying them to provide a secure bond. Or there are types of removable picture hanging strips that can hold significant weight and they can be a great option for renters as they can be easily removed later on without damaging the walls.’
What you’ll need as a renter:
- 3M Claw 30kg at Amazon
- Self-adhesive hooks like these from Amazon
- Command Picture Hanging Strips at Amazon
How do you hang a heavy mirror on plasterboard?
‘It’s all about knowing the type of wall,’ Sophie starts. ‘Plasterboard can hold a max of 5kg. You can pick up plugs and anchors designed for different wall types, so make sure to check their load-bearing capacity first’
With plasterboard, finding the wall studs will be crucial ‘because plasterboard alone won’t provide sufficient support for heavy mirrors,’ Lucy warns.
‘In addition, you’ll need to choose heavy-duty wall anchors designed specifically for plasterboard, which can distribute the weight more effectively. When you’re hanging heavy items such as a mirror on a plasterboard, you’ll need to check its weight limit and the recommended weight capacity for the anchors you’ve chosen. Exceeding these limits can compromise the integrity of the wall and make the mirror fall.’
What to do with a mirror that is too heavy to hang?
There is such a thing as a mirror that’s too heavy to hang on a wall. Especially if you’re working with a wall like plaster that can’t bear particularly heavy weight.
Instead, why not just lean it against the wall? ‘If your mirror is particularly heavy and the wall isn't suitable for hanging, instead consider leaning the mirror against the wall on a sturdy piece of furniture. This not only avoids wall damage but also adds a unique and stylish touch,’ Lucy suggests.
Hanging a heavy mirror on the wall is no easy task but hopefully this guide made it a little less difficult on you. And if ever in doubt, it’s best to consult or call in a professional. Especially if the mirror ion question is particularly hefty.
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Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home and interiors. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors. She feels the two are intrinsically connected - if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.
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