Hanging a mirror on your wall is a great way to make your room feel larger and more open, but regular command strips won’t be up to the task if the mirror you’re hanging is particularly heavy. Additionally, nails may be strong, but they can damage your walls. Fortunately, there are many ways to hang a mirror without using nails:
- Drywall hooks
- Heavy-duty mounting tape
- French cleat brackets
Keep reading this guide for step-by-step instructions on how to use each of these methods. You’ll be able to decide which method is the right one for you, and we’ll even recommend some products to help you hang your heavy mirror.
Before you start hanging your mirror, you need to answer some questions. For example, what kind of wall are you going to hang it on? Is it drywall, plaster, paneling, brick, or something else? The material of your wall will help you determine which method to use when hanging your mirror.
Next, weigh your mirror. Try standing on a bathroom scale while holding the mirror, and then again without it. Subtract the second number from the first to see how heavy your mirror is. When purchasing hardware or mounting tape, be careful not to exceed the weight limit on the packaging.
Look on the back of your mirror to see what kind of fastening hardware it already has, if any. Many frames come with picture wire or D-rings. If your mirror doesn’t have any hardware on the back, consider installing some yourself. All of the methods here except for mounting tape require some kind of hardware on your mirror.
This handy tutorial explains how to attach D-rings and picture wire to the back of a heavy mirror. 26ELE sells a kit of Picture Hanging Wire on Amazon. This kit can hold mirrors up to 190 pounds (86.18 kg).
When you’re ready to get started hanging your mirror, be sure to clean the surface of your wall. You want the wall to be as even as possible, and dirt can get in the way of certain adhesives.
Drywall alone isn’t designed to support hardware like nails and screws. An anchor provides a secure place to install hardware in your drywall, plaster, or paneling. The anchor will expand after it is in your wall, making it unlikely to ever come out on its own.
Try this GATEWAY U.S. Reinforced Nylon Anchors and Screws, sold on Amazon.com. They can hold up to 50 pounds (22 kg).
If your mirror is too heavy for a standard plastic anchor kit, you can try toggle bolts instead, like this Toggle Bolt and Wing Nut Kit by Swpeet. Toggle bolts are very similar to anchors, but they are suited to holding heavier objects.
If you want to hang your mirror using anchors or toggle bolts, you’ll need D-rings or picture wire on the back of your mirror. The D-rings or picture wire will attach to the hardware in the anchor to securely hold your mirror.
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Decide where on the wall you want your mirror. Here are the steps on how to do this.
- Mark in pencil where the top of the mirror frame will be.
- If you’re using picture wire, take a piece of scrap wood (or any object with a level surface) and place it under the wire.
- Move the wood up toward the top of the mirror frame until the wire is pulled taut. This will mimic the force of the mirror hanging on the wall.
- Measure the distance between the taut wire and the top of the frame. Use that measurement to make a mark on your wall below your first mark.
- Hold your piece of wood on that lower mark. Make sure it is level.
- Use the edges of your wood to mark on your wall where your anchors will go. These two marks need to be level.
- If you’re using D-rings, mark where the top of your mirror frame will be on the wall.
- Measure the distance between the two D-rings.
- Measure the distance between the top of the mirror and the D-rings.
With these measurements, you should be able to mark on the wall where the two D-rings will be in relation to the top of your mirror.
Pilot holes are small holes that help you guide screws or anchors into place.
Using a power drill, drill pilot holes in these two marks. Your drill bit should be smaller than the size of the anchor. For example, you should use a 0.25-inch drill bit for a 1-inch anchor.
Refer to the instructions that come with your anchor kit if you are unsure of what size drill bit to use.
Insert the anchors into the pilot holes. You may find this easiest by tapping them with a rubber mallet. The collar of the anchors should be flush with your wall.
Use a screwdriver to insert the screws into the anchors. Turning the screws will cause the anchors to expand in your wall, making them more secure.
Do not screw them all the way into the wall. Leave between 0.25-inch and 1/2-inch of the screw sticking out so that you can hang your mirror on the screws.
Lift your mirror and hang the wire or D-rings on the anchored screws. If your mirror is especially heavy, you may want a partner to help with this step. A partner can also look behind the mirror to help guide you. Remember, when it comes to home improvement, four hands are usually better than two.
Drywall hooks require your mirror to have hardware like D-rings or picture wire. You don’t need any tools to hang a mirror with drywall hooks — just the hooks and a pencil.
Drywall hooks curve inside your wall to support large amounts of weight. They are a great choice for hanging heavy objects on drywall, plaster, or paneling.
PinCute sells a package of Stainless Steel Picture Hanger Hooks. These hooks can hold up to 100 pounds (45 kg).
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Drywall hooks work best on areas of a wall without a stud. You can use a stud finder to make sure the area of the wall you want your mirror on is stud-free. Here are the steps for marking your wall.
- Mark on your wall in pencil where the top of your mirror will go.
- If your mirror has D-rings, measure the distance between them.
- Then measure the distance between the rings and the top of the mirror.
- Use those measurements to mark on your wall where the D-rings will go.
- If your mirror has picture wire, take a piece of scrap wood (or any sturdy, level object) and place it under the wire. Lift the object toward the top of the mirror frame to pull the wire taut.
- Measure the distance from the top of the frame to the taut wire, and mark it on your wall.
- Then use the edges of your level object to make two marks where you want your hooks to go.
While hanging a mirror with picture wire on a single hook is possible, using two hooks helps distribute the weight more evenly.
Poke the straight, pointy end of one hook into the mark on your wall. Firmly push the hook upward through the drywall. You may have to rotate the hook to insert it completely.
Push until the small hook is the only visible part. Refer to the instructions on the packaging if you’re having trouble.
Repeat for the other mark on your wall.
Carefully lift your mirror, and ask a partner for help if necessary. Hang your mirror on the hooks by the D-rings or picture wire. You may want a friend to look behind the mirror to help ensure you’re guiding the mirror onto the hooks correctly.
Smaller mirrors can be mounted with traditional mounting tape, but heavy mirrors require stronger tape.
The main advantage of using tape to mount a mirror is that it leaves virtually no damage to your wall. Consider hanging your mirror with mounting tape if you are renting or are concerned about filling holes in your drywall. Mounting tape also requires no hardware on your mirror frame or wall.
Mounting tape is the easiest method on this list, but it’s also the least secure. When choosing a double-sided mounting tape, read the packaging carefully to ensure it can hold the weight of your mirror.
Try Scotch-Mount Extreme Double-Sided Tape on Amazon. A mere 60 inches (152 cm) of this tape can hold 30 pounds (13.5 kg), and you can use it on indoor and outdoor surfaces.
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Thoroughly wipe down the wall where you want your mirror, especially if it is outside. Dirt and other small particles can interfere with the tape’s adhesive abilities. Don’t be afraid to wipe down the back of the mirror either. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Start unrolling the tape. Cut sections of tape that will fit the edges of your mirror. Cut enough tape to cover the entire perimeter of your mirror or frame.
Apply the tape to the back of your mirror. Press down firmly on the tape to ensure there are no air bubbles trapped beneath it.
Peel off the tape backing.
Press the mirror to the wall. Hold your mirror firmly to the wall and without moving as directed by the mounting tape instructions. Almost all mounting tape brands will include instructions. However, if you’re using leftover tape and can’t find instructions online, be sure you hold it in place for at least 60 seconds.
French cleats are a very secure method of hanging heavy objects, but they require you to install some hardware on the back of your mirror.
These interlocking brackets provide a sturdy, level way to hang your mirror. OOK sells a French Cleat Picture and Mirror Hanger that can hold up to 60 pounds (27 kg).
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Referring to the instructions on your French cleat kit, attach the first cleat to the back of your mirror. Align the cleat with the top of your mirror.
Then, using a screwdriver, fasten the cleat with the provided screws.
Again, refer to the instructions that come with your French cleats.
Use a stud finder to locate a stud in the wall where you want your mirror. Decide where on the stud you want the top of the mirror to sit. Make a mark in pencil just below that spot.
Hold the cleat up to the mark and ensure it is level. Using a screwdriver, fasten the cleat to the wall with the provided screws.
After both cleats are securely screwed in, lift your mirror over the cleat in the wall. Gently lower it until the mirror cleat catches on the wall cleat.
As you can see, you don’t need nails to hang a heavy mirror. There are several ways to hang it without causing lasting damage to your wall.
Whether you choose to use mounting tape, cleats, anchors, or hooks, enjoy your new mirror without the hassle of a hammer and nails.