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The Safest Way to Install Large Mirrors

The Safest Way to Install Large Mirrors - House of Mirrors - Featured Image

Mirrors are both functional and decorative; a brilliant source of design adding light, interest and a feeling of space to any room. They have a bounty of applications! Choosing the perfect size, frame and shape of a mirror is essential to accomplishing your decorating goals. Don’t be afraid of large mirrors. An oversized mirror is great for cramped quarters since it expands the sense of visual space and draws attention to your interior design. It provides a dramatic focal point and brings depth to a room. But how do you safely install a large mirror? Read on to find out. 

Tools and supplies you’ll need:  

Having the right tools and supplies handy makes hanging a large mirror simpler, quicker and ensures success. You’ll need:

  • Wall screws/wall anchors/hardware (see information below)
  • Drill
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Multifunctional stud finder
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Someone to assist with lifting, measuring, and mounting the mirror

Things to consider:

  • What type of wall are you hanging your mirror on? Determine whether you are hanging your mirror on plaster, drywall, brick or concrete block. To decide if you have plaster or drywall, poke the wall lightly with a tack. I’ll easily penetrate drywall but will not mark plaster.
  • How much does the mirror weigh? The weight of a mirror affects the type and amount of hardware you use for hanging it. The weight may be on the packaging. If not, use a bathroom scale. Heavy mirrors need an anchor, such as a stud in the wall, affecting where you can place them.
  • What is the correct hardware? When purchasing hardware for hanging, check the packaging. It will tell you the type of wall the fastener is suitable for, how to install it, and what drill bit size you need (if necessary). Most newly purchased mirrors have mounting hardware included. Check that it is correct for your situation.
    • Drywall anchors are sheaths inserted into the wall. When a screw is driven into the anchor, its sides expand to make it stay firmly in place. 
    • Toggle bolts are used on plaster; a winged nut that is inserted through a pre-drilled hole. The spring-loaded wings open to provide a base and prevent the screw from pulling out. 
    • Hardwall hangers are hooks intended specifically for difficult surfaces like concrete blocks and brick walls. The plastic hook attaches to the wall with small metal nails that pound into the wall surface with a hammer. 
    • Use brackets to hang heavy unbacked mirrors. 
    • Use monkey hooks to hang a heavy mirror if you don’t have any tools.
  • Is your mirror ready to hang? Turn your mirror over and see if there are already hooks or other hanging hardware installed. If not, you’ll have to attach it yourself. 
  • Locate your studs. The safest way to hang a large mirror on drywall is to install it directly on top of wall studs, which are the vertical pieces of wood that the drywall sheets are attached to. Use a multifunction stud finder to locate any studs, pipes, or wires in the area. 

Steps for hanging:

  • Have a friend or family member hold the mirror up to the wall. Step back and look. Visualize the finished product and find the exact placement you want.
  • Line up a level below the mirror’s bottom edge and make sure it’s straight. Set the mirror down, keeping the level in place as a straightedge. Draw a light pencil line along the top of the level indicating the position of the mirror’s bottom edge once it’s hung. Make the line as long as the bottom of the mirror.
  • Use a tape measure to find the distance between the bottom edge of the mirror and the top edge of the hanging point/hole on the mirror. Measure the same distance up from the line you drew on the wall. Draw a second line at that height, making sure it’s parallel to the first.
  • If the mirror only has one hanging point, measure from the side of the mirror to the center of the hanging point. Measure the same distance on the wall, along the second line. Mark where the hanging point will go.
  • If your mirror has two hanging points on the back, (which makes it difficult to accurately measure and space out the hardware) take a piece of masking tape and lay it horizontally across the two hooks on the back of the mirror. Use a pen to mark where the two hooks are under the tape, then peel off the tape and place it on your wall, on the second line. Keep the tape on the wall while you install the hardware, then peel it off once you’re done.
  • Install your hanger on the wall, at the place(s) determined using the hardware suited to your wall type (see the above information). Instructions for installing the hardware should be on the packaging.
  • Hang your mirror. Step back to check placement and levelling. 

Mirrors come in many shapes, sizes, colours and styles. They’re versatile decorative objects that create glamour, make an impact and work wonders in any design. Don’t be afraid to try an oversize mirror in your home. Purchase and use the correct hardware for your wall type and for your mirror size and weight. Hang your large mirror correctly and enjoy it for many years. 

Want to add a distinctive mirror to your home?  Call Calgary’s premier glass company, House of Mirrors & Glass. Visit our showroom to see our large selection of custom and pre-cut mirrors. Don’t know what you’re looking for? No problem! Our knowledgeable staff can help you find the cut, size and style of mirror that works for you. We’ll even help you install your purchase! Call (403) 253-3777 today.