How to Hang a Heavy Mirror

Rose Morrison

Jun 28, 2023

a large mirror hanging in an all white bathroom by someone who knows how to hang a heavy mirror

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Mirrors are an easy upgrade to any space. They bring essential sunshine into your home and reflect nature’s beauty better than any painting. Decorating with large ones brightens your interior but can be a bear to install if you don’t know how to hang a heavy mirror.

This guide will walk you through the considerations you need to make before starting the process, the materials you’ll need and how to get your mirror mounted. 

Considerations Before Hanging

When learning how to hang a heavy mirror, there are three things you must remember to check for. Once you have these squared away, you can gather your supplies and start. 

Wall Type

Hanging on different building materials requires slightly different materials, so it’s essential to understand what you’re working with and how it could affect your project. The most common possibilities are drywall, plaster and brick. You must purchase hardware rated for your particular wall material. For brick, you may also need a special masonry drill bit. 

Mirror Weight and Dimensions 

Getting the dimension and weight of any wall decor is an essential starting point. It will affect your placement and the type of hardware you use. You’ll need to buy screws designed to withstand more than your mirror ways. The size of your mirror will also determine whether or not you can hang it from studs. 

Hanging Method

You have two primary options to hang a heavy mirror — with a wire or with cleats. Some decor may come with D-hooks in place. However, those won’t give you the same stability unless you string stainless steel picture wire through the hooks and hang it that way. Cleats are the most secure option and work great for the heaviest projects. 

Materials Needed:

Gathers these tools and supplies to complete your mirror hanging project like a professional. 

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Stud finder
  • Level
  • Screws and Anchors
  • Drill 
  • Stainless steel hanging wire or cleats
  • Mirror

How to Hang a Heavy Mirror With Wire

If your mirror has D-hooks on the back or a steel cable already installed, it should be light enough to use wire. Follow this method to hang your heavy mirror.  

1. Find Your Studs

Screwing into at least one stud is the best way to support a heavy mirror. Otherwise, you’ll need to add wall anchors to each hole. Use a stud finder to locate the best spots to drill. Most boards are spaced 16 inches apart. However, distances may vary depending on the builder, the location in your home and the age of your property. 

Don’t assume your house follows standard measurements. Do the extra work to ensure you’re being safe and getting a proper installation. 

2. Mark Your Holes

Once you find your studs, use the mirror’s measurements to pencil in where you need to drill. Ensure you’re getting the correct height and distance apart. Remember, the top of your mirror will still sit several inches above the mounting point. 

3. Check the Level

Before you make any permanent marks in your wall, use a laser or bubble level to check that your holes line up. Otherwise, it will throw off your final result, ending in a tipping mess rather than a pristine reflection.  

4. Drill Holes and Add Hardware

Now the fun part. Use an electric drill to bore holes into your wall — ensure your safety by checking for live wires or pipes before you begin. 

If you’re screwing into studs, all you need to do is add your screws and leave them ¼ inch out to give you a solid hanging surface. When screwing directly into the drywall, add wall anchors designed for your wall type and mirror weight. Then add the screws and leave them out ¼ inch from the wall. 

5. Place the Mirror

Get a buddy and raise the mirror into place. Have someone watch at the back to ensure the wire hooks onto both screws. Then step back and make adjustments until the mirror sits level. You can check it with your leveling tool again or eyeball it. 

How to Hang a Heavy Mirror With Cleats

The heaviest mirrors need something even sturdier than wire. Metal French cleats will give your decor the secure hold you need. It’s also far easier to keep mirrors level with this hang type than with steel cable. Follow these steps to hang your mirror with cleats. 

1. Mark Your Desired Height 

Wall cleats are more challenging to adjust once installed, so you want to make sure you get them right the first time. As such, a great way to start is to figure out what height you want your mirror to sit at. Make a mark on your wall where you’d like the top of the frame to hit. From there, measure and pencil in a point 2-4 inches lower, where your cleats will hang. 

2. Check the Level

Once you install the cleat, you can no longer adjust the level, so you need to get it correct right now. Starting at your marked point, use a laser level and tape to set a clear line for your cleat to screw into. Mark all the necessary holes and check the level one last time. 

3. Install the Wall Cleat

You’ve made your marks and are ready to install the cleat on the wall. The metal piece’s bottom has a line of screw holes for you to use, so the same size can work for various situations. 

You should use at least two to three screws to hold it in place, depending on the size of your mirror. If you can screw into studs on both ends, two screws should suffice. Otherwise, try to line it up with a stud near the middle and use screws and anchors on the ends for three screws total. 

4. Attach the Cleat to Your Mirror

Repeat the same process to attach the other cleat to the back of your mirror. Measure the same distance down from the top of the frame and check the level a few times. When securing the cleat to the mirror, place the row of screw holes on the top edge.

5. Hang the Mirror

Both cleat pieces have a large, angled lip. When you and a buddy lift the mirror into place, raise it high enough so that when you lower it again, the top lip will catch on the bottom one and hold it securely. 

Heavy Mirrors Make a Big Statement

While small mirrors work to bring in subtle amounts of natural light, larger, heavier ones reflect a cascade of sunshine. It’s the easiest way to maximize the windows you already have and bring nature further into your home. Even better, you only need to make a few adjustments to your regular hanging techniques to hang a heavy mirror. Grab your materials and a partner to get your new wall decor in place. 

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