How to hang a headboard on a wall without exposing hardware

Perhaps you have seen a beautiful headboard installed on a wall and wondered how it was attached without exposing mounting brackets.

Headboards designed to mount flush to a wall, rather than to a bed, typically use a cleat system. Installing cleats is not difficult and the system can be used even with heavy headboards and large art pieces, cabinets and other heavy objects.

Slide the stud finder along the headboard wall until you locate all of the studs within the width of the headboard. There should be at least three at 16 inches on centre. Mark each stud location.

Determine the height of the headboard on the wall. Most headboards become visible just above the top edge of the mattress. Mark the height and width of the headboard on the wall.

Divide the height of your headboard (on the wall) in half and draw a level horizontal line from one side of the headboard to the other. Mark the stud locations on this level line.

Screw the bottom portion of your extra-thin flush-mount cleats into the studs at each stud location along your level line. The fingers of the cleats should point upward.

Place your headboard face down on the floor. Divide the height of the headboard in half. Draw a level, horizontal pencil line across the width of the headboard. Measure and mark the locations of each wall bracket and match those measurements on your headboard. Screw the top portion of the extra-thin flush-mount cleats into the back of the headboard so that the cleats face down.

Take your headboard to the wall. Center your headboard on your width pencil marks. Lift your headboard above your height mark and slide it evenly down the wall until the cleats connect. This is best done with two people guiding the headboard. Once the cleats engage, the headboard will be solid against the wall and the brackets will not be visible.


Long single cleats are also available at art supply supplies. These larger cleats will usually carry additional weight for extra heavy pieces.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Stud finder
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Extra-thin flush-mount cleats
  • Screw driver
  • Wall anchors (optional)
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About the Author

F.R.R. Mallory has been published since 1996, writing books, short stories, articles and essays. She has worked as an architect, restored cars, designed clothing, renovated homes and makes crafts. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with bachelor's degrees in psychology and English. Her fiction short story "Black Ice" recently won a National Space Society contest.