How to hang a heavy wall mirror

Updated March 20, 2018

One of the easiest and most effective ways to make a small room appear larger is to hang a large wall mirror on one end of the room. Mirrors not only make the room seem bigger, but they also reflect light -- a welcome feature in a room that has small windows or no windows at all. However, unlike framed photographs, mirrors are usually very heavy, so hanging them safely and securely is crucial.

Observe the mirror to see whether or not it has a frame around it. If the mirror has a frame, ensure that there are strong screw eyes on either side of the back of the frame. Picture wire should be threaded from one screw eye to the other one and the ends of the wire should be securely twisted around the screw eyes and then around main wire itself. If the mirror has no frame, it will have to be installed with mirror clips.

Decide where you wish to hang the mirror. Use the pencil to make a small mark on the wall at the centre top of the mirror. You will need two points from which to hang the mirror, and the distance between the two points is normally a bit less than half of the width of the mirror. Use a level and make pencil marks where you think these points should be; remember that they will be a bit above the level of the screw eyes.

Use an electronic stud finder to determine what lies behind those two points you marked -- plasterboard or a stud. If you are lucky enough to find a stud, use the electric drill and a bit that is smaller than the diameter of your wood screw to drill a pilot hole. Use a screwdriver to screw the wood screw into the stud. Do not screw it flush to the wall -- allow the head of the wood screw to project from the wall about 3 mm (1/8 inch) so that you can get the picture wire around the screw head.

Use a toggle bolt at point(s) where you do not find a stud. The directions on the toggle bolt package will instruct you what size drill bit to use to drill the hole through the drywall. With the screw turned about six times into the hole in the "wings" or hinged part of the toggle bolt, pinch the "wings" of the toggle bolt together and insert the hinged end of the "wings" into the hole in the drywall. Push the "wings" through to the other side of the plasterboard, then pull back on the screw and turn the screw. As the screw turns, it pulls the "wings" portion of the toggle bolt back toward the plasterboard, effectively pressing on the inside part of the drywall while the screw head presses on the outside of the plasterboard. After the screw head is snug against the wall, unscrew it enough to get the picture wire around the screw head.

Use mirror clips if the wall mirror has no frame around it. These mirror clips are usually made of clear plastic and are often seen on frameless wall mirrors in bathrooms. Measure and mark at least two points where the lower edge of the mirror will be positioned. Be sure to use a level to ensure the mirror will be straight. Use an electronic stud finder to determine whether there is a stud behind the points or not. If there is a stud, drill a pilot hole, then use a long wood screw to attach the mirror clip to the wall. If there is only plasterboard at the marked point, use a small toggle bolt to attach the mirror clip to the wall. Remember not to tighten these clips until you have the wall mirror in place.

While your helper holds the frameless mirror as it rests in the lower mirror clips, mark the points where the top mirror clips should be installed. Remove the mirror while you drill the holes and install the top clips. Lift the mirror into the lower mirror clips, centre the mirror and tighten the screws. You may have to move the top clips upside-down to get the mirror flush to the wall before tightening the lower clips. Then position the top clips and tighten the screws.


If the mirror is well over 22.7 kg (50 lb), you will have to find studs, hang a horizontal piece of wood -- about 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick by 7.5 cm (3 inches) tall, by half the width of the mirror -- on the wall and attach it to the studs with several long, wood screws. The mirror will have to be hung from this horizontal board using long wood screws.


Be sure to have one or two other people on hand to help you hold the mirror while you measure and later hang the mirror.

Things You'll Need

  • Wall mirror
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Electronic stud finder
  • Toggle bolts
  • Long wood screws
  • Electric drill and bits
  • Screw eyes
  • Picture wire
  • Screw driver
  • Mirror clips
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About the Author

Chris Deziel has a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in humanities. Besides having an abiding interest in popular science, Deziel has been active in the building and home design trades since 1975. As a landscape builder, he helped establish two gardening companies.