Hanging a mirror in your home might seem like an easy task. You just pick up the mirror and hang it over the nails on the wall, right? 

But what if the mirror is heavy?

Will you require larger nails or other types of brackets to do so? What are the other tools you’ll need? And are there any hacks to safely hang a mirror? 

In this article, we’ll share a step-by-step guide on how to hang a mirror and how you can do it easily at home.

Things to prepare when hanging a mirror

First, let’s look at what you need to prepare and some tips to get things started. Having the proper hardware and tools are essential to a successful mirror hanging project. 

You wouldn’t want to start hanging the mirror only to discover you don’t have a hammer or measuring tape on hand! To sum up, here is a list of tools you’ll need:

  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Painters tape or masking tape.
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Hammer
  • Wall plugs or anchors
  • Level Ruler

Besides the tools above, you might want to get one of your family members to help you with lifting, measuring, and mounting the mirror – especially if you’re attempting to hang the mirror by yourself.

Pro Tip: When buying mounting hardware such as nails or wall anchors, be sure to check the weight rating on your mirror packaging.

Step-by-step guide to hanging a heavy mirror at home

In general, there 4 steps to hanging a mirror. Of course, there are many ways to do it, and the way you hang your mirror might be slightly different.

This is because every mirror installation project is different.

For example, the weight of the mirror will determine the type of tools you need. The shape of the mirror too will influence the steps and also the type of wall you’re installing the mirror onto. 

Step 1: Find out your wall type.

Before you buy anything from the furniture shop or hardware store, be sure to determine first your wall type.

Generally, there are 3 types of walls:

  1. Masonry (such as brick walls)
  2. Drywall (usually seen in new homes or remodeled houses)
  3. Plaster wall (mostly found in very old homes)

Most houses in Malaysia are constructed are masonry, using brick and cement – which is the best case to hang heavy mirrors. They are stronger than drywall or plaster walls.

Step 2: Visualize the mirror in your room.

Next, identify where you want to hang your mirror. Doing this requires you to visualize how the mirror will fit in the room.

You want to be practical, so visualize if the mirror will potentially restrict any movement in the area.

Ask yourself:

  • Will this mirror be too big or too small for this room?
  • Will the style and structure of the mirror fit into your room?
  • Will the mirror clash with any of your room decor? (think visual conflict and color imbalances)

If you have the measurement of the mirror you wanted to buy, mark the spots on the wall where the mirror would be hung. This will help you visualize the mirror in the room.

Mark the measurement of the mirror on the wall to visualize.

Pro Tip: A common mistake that many homeowners make is to accidentally drill holes into wall areas where there are pipes and live wires. Make sure to refer to pictures you have taken during the construction process. Or refer to a room layout if you have one.

Step 3: Determine the mirror specs, and get the right screws and wall plugs.

Now it’s finally time to shop for your mirror! 

Most mirrors will include the necessary screws and wall plug together, saving you the trouble of having to get the right mounting hardware.

However, if that isn’t the case, check the product specifications of the mirror you’re planning to buy. Depending on the size of the mirror, the furniture shop or hardware store you are buying the mirror from should be able to tell you the screw sizes to buy.

Pro Tip: Some mirrors will already have the brackets installed on them. So, you only need to install the screw onto your wall in order to anchor the mirror. 

Step 4: Leveling your mirror.

Leveling your mirror is a work of art itself and requires patience and consistency. 

For this last step in hanging a heavy mirror, you’ll require a spirit level (pictured below) and a pencil. 

Image Source: GaugeHow

To level your mirror, you start by marking the two brackets of your mirror on the level. Use a pencil to do the marking. You can draw a line or circle as your reference. 

Then, transfer the reference points onto the wall you want to hang the mirror on. Before you start marking, make sure the leveling bubble is centered and leveled in the middle (you can see the indicator shown on the level). 

Once the bubble is leveled, draw the marking on your wall. These markings will be where you want to install your screws. Lastly, simply anchor your mirror’s bracket onto the screws after they are installed. 

And that’s how you make sure your mirror is leveled properly. Here’s a helpful video that shows you how:

How to hang a mirror without nails or screws.

You might be a homeowner who prefers not to damage your walls with nails. In this case, what we usually recommend is to use velcro or other adhesive materials to hang your mirrors.

If you prefer to do it this way, here are the steps you can follow to hang your mirror without nails:

  1. Measure and level the position of the mirror ( as mentioned earlier).
  2. Wipe down the area using a damp cloth and let it dry.
  3. Cut the velcro/adhesive materials you used. 
  4. Stick it to the back of the mirror and then remove the backing.
  5. Press firmly the mirror on the wall and make sure it is stable. 

How to hang a mirror without a frame.

Image Source: Glass Shop

While it’s easy to hang a framed mirror, what about a frameless mirror? The steps are almost the same, it’s just the mechanics are a bit different. 

Most frameless mirrors will probably come with mirror clips. These clips are usually installed at the top and bottom of the mirror (to hold the frameless mirror in position). 

Example of a rounded mirror clip.

Otherwise, you can easily buy mirror clips from hardware stores.

And here are the steps to install a mirror without a frame:

  1. Identify the area you want to install the mirror and make sure to level properly.
  2. Mark the areas where you want to install the clips.
  3. Drill pilot holes into the wall (for the clips)
  4. Insert the mirror clips into the holes. (use a hammer if necessary)
  5. Attach the mirror in between the clips. 

If you prefer a minimalistic look and like to hang a frameless mirror without the mirror clips, then consider doing so with adhesive (in the previous step). That said, we wouldn’t recommend using adhesive to hang heavy mirrors.

How to hang a mirror on a door.

Besides hanging a mirror on the wall, you can also hang it on the door as well. The steps are fairly simple and you have a few ways to do it:

Use an over-the-door mirror hanger.

With a designated over-the-door mirror hanger, you simply hook it over to your door, and screw the other end of the hanger to your mirror.

This is a great way to place a mirror on a door, without having to drill holes into the door.

Use mirror clips.

Otherwise, when it comes to hanging mirrors on doors, most people would recommend using mirror clips.

Buy a few plastic mirror clips, which you drill into the door and then clip your mirror to hold it in place.

An example of plastic clips

Final tips & tricks to hanging a mirror.

Now that you know how to hang a mirror, here are some final tips we’d like to share to ensure your mirror-hanging project to be successful.

Firstly, focus on the type of frame or hangers you use for the mirrors. Although seemingly small, the frame or hangers you use will influence the way your room looks. The frame usually features the look the of the mirror.

Next, if you are installing mirror in a tall room, getting a vertical mirror would be best. On the other hand, if you’re installing a mirror in a wide room, using a horizontal mirror works better aesthetically.

A horizontal mirror on a wide wall

This comes down to achieving design symmetry in your room, where you are hanging the mirror.

Lastly, think ahead about the lighting in your room. Such as, whether having the mirror on a spot might affect the reflection of light in the room and whether that’s suitable.

Final thoughts

Have you hung a mirror at home by yourself? What was the hardest part of doing it? Is it more about knowing how to use a drill or is it more about making sure measurements are correct?

Drop your thoughts into the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you at HOMA2u.

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