Expert advice on how to hang a wall mirror. First consider, the type of wall you wish to hang your mirror upon, then, the correct fixings required to complete the job with ease.
We have listed the most common forms of walls. Depending on the age and type of your property there may be variations. Most walls may include two types of materials.
- Plasterboard (featuring stud work)
- Plasterboard (featuring bonding adhesive known as dot and dab)
- Lath and plaster
- Concrete block or brick (solid masonry wall)
- Tiled (solid masonry wall)
What is plasterboard?
Plasterboard consists of two layers of lining paper holding a inner layer of plaster in place. The plaster is a soft mineral. Dehydrated gypsum (or plaster) became known as plaster of Paris used in the art and the medical field. Upon addition of water, after some time plaster of Paris becomes regular gypsum (dihydrated) again, causing the material to set in ways that are useful for casting and construction. Mainly used as a finish for internal walls and ceilings, and also known in the construction world as drywall.
Plasterboard was introduced to Britain around 1916. Although the British building industry was initially slow to adopt this new product, in 1927 sales gradually increased. A more modern factory was purchased and able to keep up with the demand. Today, plasterboard is mainly used for internal partition walls.
Over the years, many have struggled to find a plasterboard fixing that can hold heavy furnishings such as shelves, wall mirrors, art work and cabinets. Gripit provide an instant solution to what was an enduring problem. Gripit plasterboard fixings hold hold up 74kg with no need for battens, wall modifications or compromises. These fixings save time, money and labour. The unique gripping wings allow Gripit to be installed in walls with extremely limited cavity space.
Plasterboard featuring stud work
Stud work is the supportive framework of a wall or partition. A stud wall comprises of a frame of timber (or metal) secured to the floor, ceiling and walls. The stud frame is then covered with plasterboard. Studs are the centre parts. Studs form walls and generally carry vertical lands such as a partition wall which separate spaces.
Plasterboard featuring dot and dab
Dot and dab became prevalent in England in late 1970’s. It quickly became popular die to its low cost, fast installation, quicker drying time and ease of finish. Walls finished this way can be painted almost immediately. This form of wall can be used as both wooden and masonry walls and ceilings. The process involves plasterboard being directly attached to wood or masonry walls or ceilings using dots and dabs of adhesive.
For a stud, dot and dab, double thickness or insulated plasterboard wall you need our undercutting tool. This creates a recess to allow the gripping wings of the grip It Fixing to open. You can purchase the undercutting tool with your fixings.
Hanging a mirror on a plasterboard wall
Wall fixings for a plasterboard wall: Use 2 Grip It Fixings or 2 Spiral Fixings with 2 Screws
Grip It Fixings
We offer two choices, Grip It Fixings or metal jet plugs. We will briefly explain the differences and our personal pereferences. Here at Soraya Interiors we sell both types.
Once Grip It Fixings have been screwed in place and the wings have opened, Grip Its will hold the weight of any heavy mirror with ease. The weight is distributed across the back of the wall. They do not move and can not be pulled out. A great benefit is that they can be unscrewed and reused.
Spiral fixings are another perfect choice for a plasterboard wall. These fixings are more well known and have been used for many years. After making a small pilot hole, the fixing with deep cutting threads will self drill into plasterboard. For many not be the best choice on a plasterboard wall for heavier mirrors. They can will extreme weight be pulled out of the wall.
The world’s ultimate plasterboard fixing. Grip It Fixings can hold a weight comfortably up to 74kg on a plasterboard wall! Grip Its were Designed by Jordan Daykin, who in 2014 became the youngest person to get investment on Dragons’ Den.
Grip It Fixings utilise a unique 3-way system which distributes the load. This means the installation of any fixtures and fittings on a plasterboard wall such as radiators, kitchen cabinets, lighting, curtain rails, TV’s, tiebacks and wall mirrors become easier. Grip It Fixings allows for more design freedom where you can load your fixings with confidence and less concern for the stability of your thin walls. We guarantee you will get the job done faster and simpler with the assurance a good job has been done.
What is lath and plaster?
Lath and plaster was a building process used before the introduction of plasterboard. Used to finish mainly interior partition walls and ceilings until the 1930’s.
To partition a room, wooden laths made from hardwood. To improve the strength and durability of the laths, the lengths of timber followed the grain. These narrow strips of wood (laths) were nailed in between but horizontally across the upright wall studs or joists. Plaster was then applied upward and over the wall, covering and forcing the plaster into all the gaps in between the wooden laths and joists.
Hanging a mirror on a lath and plaster wall
Wall fixings for a lath and plaster wall: Use 2 screws
If you have a property predating the 1930’s and are wishing to hang a mirror on the wall, please follow this process. Its important you use a detector to first find where your electric wires, pipes and screws are so you can avoid these. Then seek out where the upright joist or studs are positioned. It is these upright wooden joists you will need to screw into. If you are unable to find any in the right place, then batten across the wall from 2 studs you can find and then mount your mirror from the batten. Use long enough screws purchased from a DIY store to grip into the wooden stud.
What is a masonry wall?
There are various types of masonry walls used in building construction. Masonry walls are the most durable part of any building or structure. The word masonry is the word used for construction with mortar as a binding material with individual units of stones, bricks, concrete blocks and tiles etc.
With the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the production of bricks increased to a large extent with the rise of factory building in England. In London, the bright red brick was chosen for construction, interestingly, in order to make the buildings more visible in the heavily polluted fog so as to prevent traffic accidents.
Although mainly used on exterior walls, bricks are often used as internal partition walls in older properties, refurbished barns and factories. While aged bricks are visual a beautiful feature in an house, care is needed when hanging a mirror. Unlike a soft plasterboard or lath and plaster covered wall, masonry tools and fixings will be required for a brick concrete or tiled wall.
Hanging a mirror on a masonry wall
Wall fixings for a masonry wall: Use 2 wall plugs and 2 screws
Wall plugs are made specifically for solid masonry walls. They also come with a high impact load and knock in protection which prevents distortion on installation. The small wings stop rotation when the fixings are being screwed.
Hanging a garden mirror on a shed, fence or wall
We advise that you purchase a garden mirror which has been designed for outdoor use. Our garden mirrors here at Soraya Interiors have been frost protected with a powder. A garden mirror can be hung from a head, fence or masonry wall.
To hang a mirror from the shed or fence, use long enough screws purchased from a DIY store to grip into the wooden structure. If you feel that the fence or shed is to thin, we suggest you use a batten. This can used either on the outside or behind the wooden structure you are hanging off.
To hang a garden wall mirror from a solid masonry wall, use masonry fixings. Here at Soraya Interiors we sell single pack masonry fixings delivered free to your door.
Will my mirror fit or look to big? If you are concerned if a mirror will look to big or to small against your chosen wall. Using newspaper, cut out and stick together the overall size of your mirror. Then blue tac the newspaper cutout to the wall.
How to hang a wall mirror?
Never drill directly above or below light switches or plug sockets. Use an electronic detector to check for electric cables, pipes and studs and other utilities before drilling. A heavy mirror is best placed hanging from 2 fixings. This will prevent the mirror from moving and is safer.
1. Decide where the mirror is to go
With help, hold the mirror against the wall, when you are happy with the height – mark the top of the mirror on the wall with pencil. If you are unsure where to hang the mirror or its size for your chosen space, using newspaper, cut out and stick together the overall size of your mirror. Then blue tac the newspaper cutout to the wall.
2. Mark the centre of the mirror
On the rear of the mirror, measure and mark the centre of the mirror or frame. Measure from the centre of the mirror each half to each external side of the mirror or frame and write this measurement down.
3. Measure the distance from each strap hanger
Measure the distance from each strap hanger (which will hold the wall fixing) to the top of the mirror or frame and write this measurement down. With string, putting tension on 2 equal places, measure from the string up to the top of the mirror or frame.
4. Transfer the above measurements to the wall
You have already marked the top of the mirror on the wall. Mark the centre of the mirror on the wall. You may be doing this part by eye. After this everything will be measured from your centre mark. (A) Measure and mark from the centre mark, the half measurement of each external side of the mirror. (B) Measure down and mark what was the distance from each strap hanger hole to the top of the mirror now onto the wall. This will be where the wall fixing will go. Check that the marks line up, you can do this with your tape measure or with a spirit level.
5. Drill the fixing into the wall
We give you a number of options as you may have decided on the fixings you will use but on one side you have stud or dot and dab.
For a plasterboard wall using Grip It Fixings: Using a flat drill bit sold with the Grip It pack, drill the 2 holes where the fixings will be placed. Tap the Grip It fixings in place and turn until you feel the wings have fully opened. The screw should protrude out from the fixing just enough for the strap hangers to hang of.
For a plasterboard wall with a stud: Using a long screw, drill this into the stud until you have a firm hold.
For a plasterboard wall with dot and dab and using Grip It Fixings: The dab of plaster makes the wall thicker. The under cutter tool sold with the Grip It Fixing pack will cut a recess into the thicker plaster to allow the wings on the Grip It to open. Then, Tap the Grip It fixings in place and turn until you feel the wings have fully opened. The screw should protrude out from the fixing just enough for the strap hangers to hang of.
For a plasterboard wall using a spiral fixings: Make a small pilot hole with a small screwdriver. Then screw the spiral fixing into the wall. The fixing should sit flush with the wall. If there is a stud, use a normal screw as explained above. If there is dot and dab, we suggest you use a Grip It fixing with the undercutter tool as explained above.
For a masonry wall using wall plugs: Using a masonry drill, drill a small hole into the wall. The hole you drill should be the same size as your wall plug. Then hammer gently the wall plug into the hole until flush with the wall. Finish by screwing the screws into the wall plugs, leaving enough space just to hold the strap hanger from the mirror.
CONGRATULATIONS! You are ready to hang your mirror. Now, how to keep your mirror clean!