While drywall provides fire resistance and soundproofing, it can also be a surface where you can mount your heavy mirror. This will make your space feel larger. But, you are worrying if your mirror might fall and shatter into pieces. Thus, we discovered ways to help you hang your mirror securely.
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You can hang a heavy mirror on drywall using anchors or hanging materials. Attach these materials to your drywall, so it can bear the weight of your mirror. Here are the common materials giving strong support for drywall:
- Self-drilling drywall anchor
- Molly bolts
- Toggle bolts
- Screw into the stud
- Mounting panel
In this post, we also discussed the characteristics of drywall that you must consider, the right anchor type for your mirror size, and the steps to install. Keep on reading to learn all about it.
How Much Weight Can Drywall Hold?
Given that drywall is not very strong, adding anchors on drywall boosts the amount of weight it can support.
Self-drilling Drywall Anchors
Dubbed self-tapping or threaded anchors, self-drilling anchors have sharp shanks. As a result, precise holes are made in the sheetrock once inserted, omitting the need for hole prep. Depending on the size, they have a holding power of 25 to 75 pounds.
If you are looking for an affordable and easy-to-use anchor, plastic anchors with screws are a good choice. They offer heavy-duty fastening that lasts for years.
Molly bolts or mollies are versatile hollow anchors. They feature removable screws which can be reinserted in the same spot whenever necessary. The holding power of these bolts varies from 25 to 50 pounds.
Within a pre-drilled hole, it will expand as you insert it with the help of a hollow wall gun.
Being the strongest among drywall anchors, the toggle bolt is built to bear 50 to 100 pounds. It comes in plastic and metal versions. The latter is more heavy-duty and can be used outdoors.
A durable toggle bolt with spring-action wings is great for anchoring objects into hollow drywall. Compared to a regular bolt, its wings fold flat against the bolt during insertion. Thus, this bolt disperses the weight of your heavy mirror over a larger area.
Note that installing this requires a pre-drilled hole. The hole must be three times wider than the bolt's diameter to insert it with ease.
Screw Into The Stud
Behind the drywall, cavities or bays are in between the studs. Wall studs are 16 to 24 inches apart. Without the screw into the stud, the heavy pieces will easily fall and damage your drywall in the process. This can hold pieces over 50 pounds.
- For 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch drywall, use 1 1/4-inch drywall screws.
- For 5/8-inch drywall, use 1 5/8-inch drywall screws
If the location of the wall stud is far from your desired position in the drywall, you can make a continuous mounting surface. This will bridge the two edges together. Improvise a mounting plate using a small of plywood. Along with the drywall anchors, the plywood panel attached to the stud will reinforce the drywall's bearing capacity.
To have more insight about other hanging materials, check this post:
Steps to Install
Things you will need in this project:
- Pencil or painter's tape
- Anchors and hanging materials
- Drill and screwdriver set
- Tape measure
- Stud finder
- Bathroom scale (optional)
1. Weigh The Mirror
The weight of the mirror determines the right type of hardware. Thus, either you check the weight indicated in its packaging or weigh it using a bathroom scale.
Afterward, transport the mirror to your desired area. If you can't carry the mirror on your own, seek assistance from a friend or family member to avoid any incidents.
2. Choose A Spot To Hang And Prep The Area
Clear out the intended area, giving vertical and horizontal clearance. After placing the mirror at eye level, mark the spot with painter's tape or pencil. This will help you visualize the outcome.
3. Secure The Anchors
Ensure the anchors you will insert are compatible with your drywall. When properly installed, the right anchor will hold the mirror tightly on drywall. You will need one to two anchors depending on the pre-installed hangers at the back of your mirror.
Drywall anchors differ in length and weight capacity. Thus, explore the 29-hole steel drill bit measuring guide starting from 1/16 inch to 1/2 inch. Then, follow the gauge for recommended bits to avoid an undersized or oversized hole.
Drill into the drywall at a 90-degree angle using a cordless hand drill. Most of the drills available in the market today are powered by a battery, making them portable. Similarly, to reduce the number of tools, they come with bit accessories for drilling and driving.
4. Mount The Mirror
Dust the wall before hanging the mirror. Hang the mirror by clipping or inserting the pre-installed wiring, hooks, or D-rings into the drywall anchor. If the mounted mirror is swinging or leaning, stick a double-sided foam tape or clear tabs to prevent moving.
Do Drywall Anchors Need A Stud?
You need a wall stud in fastening your drywall anchors. Wall studs are vertical framing within walls, providing structural support. Thus, it secures any heavy pieces or decor you hang.
Find The Wall Stud
According to the Good Housekeeping Institute, to find the wall stud easily, you can either try one or two of these techniques:
- Measure 16 to 24 inches from the edge of your window, power outlet, or light switch.
- Spot the dimples where the stud is fastened by holding the flashlight parallel to the wall.
- Drill a hole and feel where there is resistance.
- Tap or hammer your wall gently and hear where the sound is muffled.
- Download a magnetic stud finder app on your smartphone.
- Move from left to right the portable stud finder against the wall.
Nonetheless, among these techniques stud finder is the quickest. With its LCD and audio alarm, you can locate the center and edges of studs that are 0.5 to 1.5 inch deep in one step.
Can You Hammer-In Drywall Anchors?
Gently tap any kind of anchor with a mallet or hammer into the wall until it is fully inserted. Its edge must be flushed into the wall, ensuring it fits tightly.
Why Are My Drywall Anchors Pulling Out?
Drooping or falling out is a common problem with drywall anchors. The following are the reasons why your drywall anchors pull out:
- The anchor's size is too small for the hole you made.
- The anchor cracked the drywall.
- Self-drilling screws leave big holes when not controlled.
- The piece or decor is too heavy.
- Constant indirect pulling or touching such as in toilet paper holder.
Can You Reuse Drywall Anchor Holes?
In a DIY forum, an individual shared that you cannot reuse all drywall anchor holes. Loose anchor holes will not hold well, but you can still fix them. If the hole is not too large, you can insert a toggle or butterfly bolt to reuse the hole. This bolt has a bar that swivels or clamps against the back of the drywall for more stability.
Moreover, you can watch this video of a man repairing damaged drywall anchors and reusing the holes in his bathroom towel rack.
What do you use to fill drywall holes?
Filling drywall holes is an easy task with a waterproof spackle kit. Spackle contains gypsum and binding agents, creating a thicker consistency than joint compound. It has low shrinkage when dry.
Another alternative for filling small areas is wood filler. It comes in a resealable tube, making it handy. Likewise, it resists shrinking and cracking. You can sand and paint it upon drying.
Drywall with the right anchor has a strong bearing capacity and is durable enough for you to hang a heavy mirror. Similarly, knowing the weight of your mirror is key to choosing wisely amidst the several hardware materials available. This will avoid any drooping and falling mirrors.
Following our advice, you will see a stress-free you reflected back in that mirror!
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