My beautiful bride purchased a mirror at Kirkland's and asked me to hang it in the entry way. The label states SKU 16-084713 "Mirror 30x60 Tortois". The mirror is not small, measuring 37" x 67", and weighs 39 pounds.
We have a high, presently empty entry way. Across from the stair landing, is a large bare wall with only a console table to break the expanse. Although the table is not small, it looks rather pathetic under the space. My bride wants the mirror installed on this wall, with the bottom located one foot above the table (or about 3.5' above the floor).
A label on the mirror's back states:
TO PROPERLY HANG YOUR BEAUTIFUL NEW MIRROR/PICTURE
This item comes to you with special hangers securely fastened to the back. DO NOT USE PICTURE WIRE to hang this mirror/picture. Instead, drive the proper size picture hooks securely into the wall, spaced so that the hanger will hang from those hooks. This will give even distribution of weight and a safe installation. Picture wire does not evenly distribute the weight of the mirror/picture and causes strain on both wire and hangers.
Correct distribution of weight using two hooks insures safe installation.
Hmmm, how to attach a 39 pound mirror to a wall? What are the odds that studs will will be found 35" (hanger-to-hanger width) and centered on the wall? Small and I do not hit the jackpot. The wall is 102.5" wide. One stud is almost centered, probably to enable an electric outlet to be centered on the wall. A second stud is 12" to the right of the center stud and a third is about 22" to the left. Most studs are roughly 16" on center give or take an inch. Of course, I could be incompetent with my old stud finder. The distance is close to that between the right and left studs, but trying to use those studs would result in an off-center mirror. Despite my most winsome looks, my bride decides that an off-center mirror is not ok.
If the mirror is to be elegantly centered, I cannot follow the label's exhortation and "drive the proper size picture hooks securely into the wall". If driven directly into the wall at each hanger, the picture hooks would be driven into drywall only and that does not seem secure. I am aware of drywall anchors and molly bolts and head off into the DIY Internet.
The following information is based purely on reviewing internet material. I have no idea whether or to what extent any of this works. I would greatly appreciate comments from anyone who has experience with any of the below referenced products or approaches.
Most commenters encourage would-be mirror-hangers to use studs for at least two support points if at all possible. (Although a significant minority seem to believe that molly or expansion bolts in drywall would be sufficient.) Not wanting a shattered mirror and, even more importantly, damaged drywall in the foyer, I opt for the conservative approach and decide that I need to use the center and right studs if at all possible.
Several options are found. One writer suggests contacting a local ironmonger to obtain a metal plate that can distribute weight across the studs. Unfortunately, ironmongers are not common in Katy. Another option is to install a wooden bar, fastened with 3" wood screws at the center and right studs and perhaps using a molly bolt equidistant (12") to the left. I assume I would install heavy duty picture hooks at each end. The bar would be about 1/2" to 3/4" thick, 3" wide and 36" long. I do not yet know what hooks might work for mirrors or how they would be installed. One downside of this option is that the bar's thickness and the hook would cause the mirror top to lean forward considerably. Perhaps the hook could be installed on the top of the bar, rather than the front, but that would likely be weaker.
The best option appears to be through the use of a "French cleat". I have never heard of this before, but the concept is relative simple. Take a board, say a 1x6 plank, and rip down the middle with the saw blade tilted 45°. Half the board is installed horizontally on the wall with the cut on the top, angling from the front down to the wall. The other half is installed horizontally on the mirror with the cut on the bottom, with the angle such that the mirror-bound board fits with the wall-bound board as though whole. Instead of making a French cleat from wood, several metal options are also available and are referred to also as z-clips or z-hangers.
I am not sure of the material comprising the mirror frame. However, if it holds the hangers (D-rings), the material should holds a cleat. In order to make the mirror parallel with the wall and to provide additional support, cleats at the bottom and top seem best. Below are sites that may be of use. I have not yet begun to investigate what hardware stores in Katy might be best. If you have any experience hanging heavy mirrors on walls, please let me know your thoughts!
Information on French cleats:
Wouldn’t You Like to Hang a Heavy Mirror Like a Carpenter? (by Virginia Sole-Smith)
Instructions for creating a "French Cleat" to hang a mirror
Building a French Cleat (by Tom Hintz)
How to install a French cleat (video)
Different metal cleats
Rockler Steel Cleats
Aluminum Hanging Cleat
Carina Z Hanger
Hangman Products Z Hanger
Information on different drywall fasteners
Wall fixings for hollow surfaces
You Can Hang ALMOST Anything With Wall Anchors
Hangers, Screws & Anchors (Lowe's)
Choosing the Proper Fastener
How to hang stuff up
E-Z Products Self-Drilling Drywall Anchors
TOGGLER® Anchor System
Good mirror-hanging sites that do not reference cleats
Hang a Heavy Mirror on Drywall
How to Hang a Large Heavy Mirror by Joyann Bradley
How to Hang Heavy Items on Walls
Hang Tight by Jay Somerset
Question: "Can you hang a 45 pound mirror on dry wall with no studs backing it?"
How to Use Anchor Screws
How to Hang Heavy Objects Using Toggle Bolts (video)
How to Hang a Cabinet (not very useful, but quite humorous)
Attach-It Picture Hanging System