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How do I hang a heavy chandelier?

Updated February 21, 2017

Chandeliers add beauty, elegance and style to a room, but they also may present a challenge due to their weight. You can hang a heavy chandelier with more confidence if your ceiling is braced. Adding a brace to your ceiling is not difficult, whether you have easy access through the attic or if you cut an opening in the ceiling. Your local home improvement store has all of the materials necessary to hang a heavy chandelier.

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  1. Insert a nail into the ceiling where you plan to hang your chandelier. This will tell you where to place your ceiling brace once you are in the attic. You'll have to cut a larger opening in your ceiling or go through the second-story floor to get to your joists if you don't have access from the attic.

  2. Measure the distance between your joists, and cut the 2-inch by 4-inch wood board to fit snugly between the joists. Attach the metal hook to the centre of a 4-inch side.

  3. Brace your ceiling by attaching the board to the joists with an "L" bracket on top and on bottom of the board. Make sure that the hook is hanging down.

  4. Cut a small hole in your ceiling if you are working from the attic. The opening should be large enough for the chandelier's hanger and wire to fit through.

  5. Add the junction box to house the wiring for your chandelier in one corner, where the wood board meets the joist. Secure the box with wood screws.

  6. Hire an electrician to run the wiring for the chandelier according to the chandelier manufacturer's requirements and the building codes for your area.

  7. Hang the chandelier on the hook attached to the wood brace. Cut off the power and have the electrician attach the chandelier wires to the junction box wires.

  8. Tip

    Decorative medallions can cover openings in the ceiling and balance the look of a heavy chandelier. Check for medallion dimensions before you cut if this is your option.


    Electrical work should be performed by a professional. Toggle bolts are not strong enough to hang a heavy chandelier.

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Things You'll Need

  • 3-inch nail
  • Measuring tape
  • 2- by 4-inch wood board
  • Saw
  • 4 "L" brackets
  • Screwdriver
  • Wood screws
  • Junction box
  • Electrical wire
  • Metal hook

About the Author

Katherine Kally is a freelance writer specializing in eco-friendly home-improvement projects, practical craft ideas and cost-effective decorating solutions. Kally's work has been featured on sites across the Web. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of South Carolina and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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