Mirrors can be great accessories for making a room feel bigger and more spacious, and to enhance natural light sources. Whether you are hoping to maximize height and width in a room or improve the natural lighting, hanging the mirror can be tricky. If it is a very heavy mirror, this becomes even trickier. It is important to learn how to hang a heavy mirror safely, to minimize damage to your wall and reduce the risk of the mirror falling and breaking or causing injury.
The best start is having some help lifting and measuring the right place to hang the mirror. Hanging a heavy mirror is difficult enough without trying to do this by yourself, so ask a friend or family member to lend a hand. This could make a huge difference in whether your project is a success or doomed to failure.
Make sure you are hanging the mirror on a wall stud. You can do this by renting or purchasing a stud finder at most home improvement retailers, or, if you are more experienced, by finding the stud with some gentle hammer taps. This requires more know-how, and you should only use this method if you are sure you know what to listen for. If you make a mistake, the mirror could fall and break, or hurt someone, and will cause a lot of damage to the wall. It could also damage the floor and any furniture nearby as well.
If you do not plan to move the mirror after hanging at any point, you can choose a molly to hang the mirror safely. These are heavy-duty special anchors that create a permanent place to screw into the wall, by gripping the drywall itself. Mirrors and other things that weigh as much as fifty pounds can be hung on a screw fastened into a molly without problem. Just remember to use a drill to install the molly, or you will bend it and ruin it.
Finally, if you are very careful, you can use a toggle bolt to hang very heavy mirrors, even from the ceiling. These are installed by drilling a hole in the right place, then putting the toggle bolt in place and screwing it in. The toggles will open, and hold the bolt in place very securely. Just be aware that you can only measure and install once, because the toggle falls off when you take out the screw later. You can’t retrieve the fallen toggle and start over, as it falls behind the drywall.
Choose the right hardware for hanging heavy mirrors safely. Most home improvement stores and hardware stores have products designed just for projects like this, and a helpful store associate can point you in the right direction. While a heavy-duty screw will sometimes suffice, you normally need a wall anchor and screw combination for maximum effectiveness and strength. If you learn how to hang a heavy mirror safely, you will make your room look spacious and beautiful, without sacrificing safety.
Jessica Ackerman, author and staff designer at WallDecorandHomeAccents.com, specializes in candle sconces and French wall decor.