It seems that the more beautiful a mirror is the heavier it is, leaving you in need to learn how to hang a heavy mirror without disastrous results. In most US homes, a heavy mirror is hung on drywall, defying the usual methods of hanging heavy objects with toggles. Even threading metal rings on the toggle bolt will not prevent the weight of a heavy mirror from slowly rubbing away at the drywall. In the end, a heavy mirror hung on drywall will tilt forward, causing the butterfly clasps of the toggle to slip out of the wall and bring the mirror crashing down. Of course, you could use a wall beam to hang the mirror, but what if there isn’t one where you want to hang the mirror? In that case, you’ll need to hang your heavy mirror by giving the drywall decorative support.
Hang a Heavy Mirror with Lamp Chains
Though you will still hang your heavy mirror on drywall using toggles for the initial stage, it’s important to add support from above or below. If you want to hang the mirror well above the floor, you can hang it on lamp chains for a decorative solution to the problem of hanging a heavy mirror on drywall. I prefer dark lamp chains with large loops, but you’ll find a wide selection at your home improvement store.
Choose your lamp chain by its design not color, as you can spray paint the chain to match your mirror. Drill two tiny holes at the top right and left of the mirror frame, well away from the mirror itself. Insert long screw hooks into the holes, or use simple screws for a more rough look. Loop the chain on the screws then hang the mirror by the chain on a swag hook.
Hanging a heavy mirror on drywall using a lamp chain does not obviate the need to support the back of the mirror with toggles as you would have done normally. What the chain will do is keep the mirror hanging straight and take the pressure off the toggles. In effect, the toggles at the back will protect the swag hook on the top and vice versa. With this double-support system you can hang a heavy mirror on drywall and keep it stable indefinitely.
Hang a Heavy Mirror with Decorative Shelf Support Brackets
Yet another way to supplement the usual method of hanging a heavy mirror on drywall using toggles is to offer support from below. If your mirror is hung over a mantelpiece, fireplace or shelf, you can slip shelf support brackets under the heavy mirror, effectively resting it on them. Use decorative shelf support brackets and paint them the same color as your wall (see article pictures), to help your mirror support disappear from sight.
As you hang the heavy mirror on drywall first slip the support brackets beneath it and mark the wall. Hang the heavy mirror using toggles that connect to the back, but slip the support brackets in immediately. You can use two shelf support brackets at the bottom sides of the heavy mirror. For an especially heavy mirror, consider creating a line of decorative shelf support brackets to secure the heavy mirror firmly.
Both the lamp chain method and the shelf bracket method will make hanging a heavy mirror on drywall a lot easier. The added support from above or below will hold the mirror in place for you as you secure its back with toggles. You’ll still want another person there to help hang the heavy mirror, but much of the weight can be born by the top or bottom supports.
For more drywall solutions, see how to patch very large holes in drywall, and how to texture drywall.