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Mirror magic: how to hang a mirror at home

Mirror mirror on the wall – you've found a design you think is the fairest of them all. The perfect full-length for all-important outfit changes? Maybe it's the bathroom beauty you (and your skin) would be lost without, or the hallway saviour for last minute checks. Our mirror's aren't just for practical matters – they can do magic for the look of your space, too. Can't wait another second to get it hung up? Read on, and we'll show you how.

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Choosing a spot

Mirrors are great for creating the illusion of space – so wherever you hang it, you want it to work its magic. Opposite or next to a window or light source is the sweet spot to make it look like you’ve got more square footage.


Long mirrors placed in a landscape position are great for expanding how wide your room looks, and placing it length-ways will make any low ceilings look higher. Just choose how you want to emphasise your space. A large mirror on a big wall will feel right at home, but something smaller in the same place might look lost. If you're not keen on a single big mirror, mix and match smaller styles and artwork to create a stylish gallery wall.


The actual shape and detail of your mirror is where you can introduce even more nuances to your space. Square and rectangular mirrors add structure to the walls, and something round could feel more casual and relaxed. If you're looking for a little visual interest, play around with asymmetrical shapes and sizes – they’ll help break up any plain sections of wall you might not want.


Mirrors as accessories are also key to your interior in other rooms, like your bathroom or bedroom. Even though it's all about practicality, mirrors attached to your wardrobe door will also add interest to your bedroom, and can make it look larger. And a wall-mounted bathroom mirror will not only help you get ready in the morning, but means you can do it in style. Choose one with an extra shelf for your bathroom bits and bobs. Who said functional wasn’t fun?

How to hang a mirror

It's always easier to get a professional to do all the work of installing bigger stuff onto walls. But if you're ready to save some cash and give it a go yourself, here are the steps you'll need to follow to get that mirror up:

 

Don’t just start drilling holes – there are a few things to think about first. Number one? Check for wires or pipes running behind the spot where you want to hang the mirror, with a pipe and live wire detector. If there's a light switch or a socket under your chosen place, it's likely it will have wires above it – so you might want to find a different spot.

Next, figure out what kind of fixings you'll need for your mirror weight and wall type:

- Double picture hook. Maximum load = 5kg, for wood and plasterboard

- Plasterboard fastening. Maximum load = 15kg, for plasterboard

- Screw and rawl plug. Maximum load = 20kg, for brick

- Hanging hook. Maximum load = 40kg, for brick and wood

Plaster or drywall isn’t strong enough to support a heavy wall mirror, so make sure any screws or hooks are over wooden support beams behind the plaster.

Finally, make sure the back of your mirror already has hooks or brackets attached. If you can't see them, you'll need to fix them yourself before starting, or keep it as a freestanding mirror.

Hanging a heavy mirror

For mirrors over 16kg, you’ll need to find a spot on the wall where you can anchor your mirror more securely. Try to find the stud in the wall – knock and listen, and avoid the places where it sounds too hollow. You could use a stud finding tool, or try to see if you can find other nails or screws that can point to the structural beams inside the wall. Heavier mirrors will also need wall fixings with a higher weight load.

It’s hang time

Step 1. 

Get your tools ready. You’ll need:

A paper stencil of your mirror dimensions (you can use this before you start measuring to find out where exactly you want your mirror to go)

Rawl plugs

A drill, and a matching head the size of your wall plugs

 A screwdriver

A tape measure

A pencil

A spirit level

 

Step 2. 

Mirrors work best when their centre is at eye level, which is usually 150cm from the ground. Or, if you're putting your mirror above furniture, leave at least 15-20cm between the bottom of the mirror and the top of your piece. Measure where you want your mirror to go, making sure there's enough space. If your mirror has a hanging wire, mark the wall in the spot where you'll suspend it. If it doesn't, use a mirror bracket – attach it first to the mirror, then mark the wall where each drill hole should be.

Step 3.

Double-check your measurements are right (better safe than sorry). If you’re using a drill, drill a hole into the wall, insert your rawl plug, then insert a screw most of the way into that. Repeat until all your holes are done. If you’re using a hammer, hammer each nail into the wall, leaving the end exposed.

Step 4.

Hang your mirror, then check it's straight (and clean).

Can’t drill into the walls?

If you're renting your home and can't actually drill into the walls, don’t worry – there are still plenty of ways to get some of that mirror magic. Free-standing mirrors will easily fit into your decor, so get that one you like and perfect the lean. You can also fix small mirrors onto the wall with specialised adhesive tape – just make sure the tape can handle the weight of the mirror itself. And if you want to save on space, try an over-the-door mirror to hang from your bedroom or bathroom door, too.

A mirror can really change the way your room feels, aside from practical matters. Extra light, the illusion of extra space – and a big dose of style. So grab a pencil, roll up your sleeves and reflect on what we’ve told you.