The best way to hang a heavy mirror –according to the pros

This simple DIY will protect walls from damage and ensure a secure fixing first time

Neutral room, assorted sofas, alcove storage, sash window, gilded mirror
(Image credit: Sarah Kaye Representation)

Heavy mirrors are a sign of good quality, and they often look more luxurious than a lighter more inexpensive option. This weight comes at a cost, however – that being how difficult it is to hang them safely. 

If you have mainly drywall in your home and very little solid brick, then it can be tricky to decorate with mirrors without the worry of potentially damaging your interior walls. 

The good news is that a few simple tools could allow you to hang your mirror almost anywhere you desire.

The best way to hang a heavy mirror  

Here, experts have detailed the best way to hang a heavy mirror in your home without causing any damage.

A square mirror in a neutral hallway

(Image credit: Husband Wife)

Working out the best – and worst – places to hang a mirror in your home should start with locating your wall studs and making a judgment on the best placement from there, says Shlomo Cherniak, handyman, contractor, and owner of Cherniak Home Services in Baltimore. 

You can do this using a stud finder tool, available at Amazon, or alternatively, tapping works well. Tap along the wall moving in increments along the length of the wall until the taping turns from sounding hollow and echoey to solid. This is where your wall stud is.

Stud Finder Wall Scanner | $29.99 at Amazon

 Stud Finder Wall Scanner | $29.99 at Amazon
This rapid stud finder is a handy tool to have in your kit for any quick DIY projects and hanging all sorts of wall decor around your home. Far more reliable than the tapping method, the tool can also help to locate any metal structures such as wiring or pipes behind your wall too to prevent screwing or nailing anything into important main supplies. 

Shlomo Cherniak

Shlomo Cherniak is a handyman and founder of Cherinak Home Services in Baltimore. He has over seven years of experience in home improvement, with him and his team specializing in everything from installing kitchen cabinets to fixing leaky faucets to hanging pictures on the wall.

Unlike hanging a picture, it is then essential to use a wall anchor to offer the heavy mirror adequate support and prevent it from sliding back off of the wall, adds Jay Sanders, professional contractor and owner of Dream Castle Construction, Baltimore. 

‘Regular hooks are not supportive enough for large or heavy mirrors,’ he warns, ‘especially if the wall is made of drywall or plaster.’ Once you have drilled a hole in the wall, insert the wall anchor before screening your screw into it, he says. 

The wall anchor will expand as the screw enters, creating a strong support behind the wall to prevent the screw from sliding right back out again when put under pressure from the mirror.

living area with blue sofa and large round mirror behind and vaulted wood panelled ceiling

(Image credit: Julie Soefer)

If you have a solid wall, such as one made of brick or stone, then you will not need to find a wall stud to help secure the mirror. Instead, you can use a smart drilling tip to ensure the screw holds in place, says Jay Sanders, contractor.

‘Drill into the brick slightly deeper than the screw,’ he suggests. ‘The extra room helps secure the wall anchor, allowing for adequate space to accommodate it as it expands to hold the screw and mirror in place.’

Shlomo Cherniak, a handyman, suggests using Tapcon screws, available at Amazon, for a job like this for the perfect wall support for heavy objects without the need for anchors.


Is it best to hang a mirror with a nail or screw?

It is best to hang a mirror with a screw over a nail if you want to ensure that it is held tightly in place – especially if the mirror is on the heavier side. A screw has better purchase when added to a wall or stud (especially when paired with a plug) and so is less likely to fall out over time or when knocked.
Lighter or smaller mirrors can be hung with a nail, however, so long as it is hammered into a stud and tested for weight.

How long should screws be for a heavy mirror?

When using screws to hang a heavy mirror it is best to use ones that are three inches or a little longer to help offer the mirror adequate support. Make sure to add the screws into the wall stud or use a drywall anchor to ensure it holds in place and use more than one to hang a heavy mirror.  

Hanging a heavy mirror can be nerve-wracking, but it is simple with the right tools and a little confidence. If you are concerned about the mirror falling, test the weight the screws can hold slowly by placing the mirror and hovering your hands nearby to test. From there, you could also pad the floor around it for a day in case it does come away. 

Following these expert tips should ensure that your mirror is safely secured.

Chiana Dickson
Content Editor

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for two years, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.