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How to Hang a Heavy Mirror: 8 Expert Tips

big round mirror on the wall

Large mirrors can add a dash of character to a space. Some people like having the option to use a large mirror to check themselves before going out. Whether it is a functional choice or a design choice, there are many reasons why you might want to attempt to hang a heavy mirror.

The larger and heavier the mirror, the more difficult it can be to hang properly. The biggest issue is having a mirror that comes off the wall and falls. That can be dangerous and frightening. Luckily, there are steps you can take to ensure that your mirror does not come out of the wall.

Here are eight tips and tricks you can use to hang a heavy mirror, sourced from experts for the best results.

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What You Will Need

Before hanging a heavy mirror, you should gather a few things that will make your job go as smoothly as possible. Here is what you will want to have on hand to hang a heavy mirror.

  • Tape measure
  • Marker or pencil
  • Nails, screws, or fastening hooks
  • Stud finder
  • Screwdriver or drill
  • Hammer
Organized picture hanging hardware kit with nails, screws, hooks, and wire
Image Credit: Mary981, Shutterstock

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The 8 Tips on How to Hang a Heavy Mirror

1. Weigh the Mirror

Before hanging a heavy mirror, you need to know exactly how heavy your mirror actually is. A difference of just a few pounds can make a huge impact when it comes to successfully and safely hanging a heavy mirror. There are two ways to weigh a mirror. You can use a simple bathroom scale, or you can look up the weight.

To weigh your mirror, you can simply set it on a bathroom scale to get an accurate weight. You can also look up the product online if you remember the make and model of the mirror. Either method is acceptable.

You need to know how heavy the mirror is in order to choose the right materials to hang the mirror successfully. Write down the weight if you need to and keep it handy.

2. Check the Frame

The next tip is to check the frame. If it is an old mirror, make sure that the frame is secure and intact. Look for any existing hanging materials. Some mirrors will have hooks, picture wire, or holes already present. For old mirrors, you need to make sure that the frame is in good condition and can hold its own weight. Damaged frames might crack or break when you go to hang them, so it is important to make sure the frame is in good condition.

If you are worried that your mirror’s frame is not in good condition, you should stop and not proceed. If you can get the frame fixed, do so. If not, you might need to get a new mirror or simply set your heavy mirror on the ground to avoid any accidents.

a large mirror hanging on the wall
Image By: JumpStory

3. Check Your Wall Type

The other critical piece of information you need is what wall type you have. Most walls are made from drywall with wooden studs. However, some people have masonry walls, plaster walls, or metal studs. You need to know what kind of wall you have to choose the proper fasteners and hanging materials. For example, masonry walls will need special screws to hold properly. Drywall is fragile and will usually need a special anchor to hold up heavy items properly.

4. Check Your Fasteners

Once you know the weight of your mirror, the status of the frame, and the wall type, you need to check your fasteners. Fasteners are generally designed with specific weights in mind and specific wall types. If you have fasteners that are only rated for 10 pounds and your mirror weighs 15 pounds, you will need to get heavier fasteners.

You need to make sure your fasteners can hold the weight of your mirror, are compatible with your frame, and match the type of wall you have. Using improper fasteners can cause your mirror to fall down, which can be a major problem.

mirror bedroom
Image By: New Africa, Shutterstock

5. Always Fasten to Studs

When you install your fasteners for your mirror, you must sink your fasteners into a stud. If you do not hit a stud, the weight of your mirror will pull your fasteners out of the wall. The mirror might not fall right away, but there is a chance to bend, pull, or remove nails, screws, and fasteners that are not properly fitted into a stud.

If you need help finding your studs, you can use a stud finder. Stud finders will locate each stud so that you can confidently sink your fasteners. Studs will give you the stability and strength that you need to ensure that your mirror will stay in place, no matter the weight.

6. Use Hooks

One of the ways you can hang a heavy mirror is by using hooks. In order to use hooks, you need to install them onto the frame. Make sure that the hooks are firmly embedded into the frame. Then measure the distance between the hooks in the frame and mark the spot on the wall. You can put nails, screws, or fasteners into the wall to match up with the hooks on the frame. Make sure your fasteners are in studs if possible.

Carefully hang the mirror on the nails so that they sit in the hooks on the frame. Make sure the mirror is level and secure.

hanging hooks on the drywall
Image By: ImagenX, Shutterstock

7. Use Picture Wire

The other option you can use to hang a heavy mirror is picture wire. You can string picture wire on the backside of your mirror to form a secure base to hang it from. Picture wire allows you more flexibility to hang and adjust your mirror than hooks do. For the best results, you should use at least two fasteners, if not three, when using picture wire. If you are hanging a heavy mirror, you do not want to hang your mirror from one fastener because it increases the likelihood that it will bend or pull out.

8. Use Metal Cleats

One of the most secure ways to hang a heavy mirror is by using metal cleats or French cleats. Metal cleats work by hanging a rail on the wall. The rail attaches to the studs via multiple connection points. Then, on the backside of your mirror, you install a matching cleat that locks into the one on the wall. Cleats are one of the best ways to hang a heavy mirror because it gives you a continuous length that distributes the weight evenly. This helps prevent any nails or hooks from bending or falling out. The metal cleat is the best option for very heavy mirrors or for people who cannot find the right fasteners for their particular mirror.

Mirror in the bedrooM
Image By: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

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These tips will ensure that hanging a heavy mirror will go over smoothly. The heavier the mirror, the harder it is to get it to hang properly. The biggest issue is fasteners that come out of the wall due to improper fastening or too much weight. Metal cleats are the best way to secure a really heavy mirror to the wall with the least amount of risk for issues down the road.

Featured Image Credit: Spacejoy, Unsplash


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