Getting that family photo to stay on the wall will take a lot more than one nail. And for renters, you may not even get the chance to deck the walls in mirrors and photos because of rules against adding holes.
So how can one decorate their space and ensure it stays in place?
While hanging things on the wall isn’t exactly rocket science, there are a few methods you can use to get your décor up on the wall. So, let’s check out how you can hang just about anything to your wall.
Wall Prep and Hanging Tips
First things first, before you start hammering away at your wall of choice, there are a few preparations you’ll need to make.
Step 1: Determine the type of wall you ware working with
Not all walls are made of the same stuff. Some walls have brittle plaster and lath, while others are made of drywall, wood, cinder block, or stone. It is important to know what the type of wall is that you’re working with. Since some wall types won’t work with all wall hanging methods such as press-in hooks or even screws. For example, plaster, stone, and cinder block are tougher than drywall and wood.
Step 2: Clean the wall
Before you start nailing, screwing, or even sticking something on your wall, you’ll need to clean it first. Cleaning the wall allows you to check for any chips, holes, peeling wallpaper, and so on. And if you’re trying to stick things on the wall, a clean surface will ensure the adhesives work instead of falling off.
Step 3: Locate the stud
Studs are the small framing parts that support the wall. The average distance between studs in most homes is between 16 to 24-inches. A stud finder will make it easy to find wall studs in your home. But if you don’t have one, you can measure from the corner of your wall in 16 to 24-inch increments.
Other ways to find a stud are looking at your baseboards, light switches and gently tapping the wall with a rubber mallet as you can see on this website. If you use the tapping method, you’ll want to pay close attention to the change in sounds. A hard sound is a stud, and a light sound is drywall.
Step 4: Check for pipes, air ducts, wires, and anything else that may get in the way
Stud finders are an ideal tool to have in these cases. Stud finders will detect any pipes and wires near a stud. Before you begin drilling anywhere near a live wire, you’ll want to shut off power to the room you’re working in to avoid any accidents.
Step 5: Sticking it to the stud
Before you bore into the wall, it is best to use screws in place of nails. Screws are easy to remove and minimize structural damage to your wall, while nails can cause the stud to crack and they are harder to remove. The ideal screw size is somewhere between a 1-inch and 1 ¼ of an inch.
Step 6: Did you hit something?
If you are having a hard time drilling into something – stop! Your drill may have either hit the air duct, a pipe, or a metal protector plate. Overworking the drill bit can also wear it down and cause it to snap when drilling. The best thing to do in these cases is to pull back and drill in a different place.
Step 7: Alternative hanging options
Not everyone can bore holes into their walls. You can use a variety of adhesive hooks, hook-and-loop tape, hanging strips, drywall hooks, and press-in hooks to hang things on the wall. The only drawback to adhesives is they won’t hold up heavy items.
With all of these handy wall prep tips in mind, let’s get straight to the wall hangings!
Ways to Hang Picture Frames and Mirrors
Hanging pictures up requires more than some string and nails. To get your frames to stay in place, you’ll want to factor in the weight of the frame and whether or not it is hangable. After all, not all frames have hooks for screw heads.
Heavy Picture Frames
If you have an open back picture, canvas art, or a frame that has no hooks, you can use a cleat picture hanger. Cleat hangers involve an interlocking back that is attached to the back of your picture and the other part is bolted to the wall. These hangers can hold up to 60 pounds.
Ideal for small frames, pictures, and lightweight mirrors. You only need to place the hook where you want it and drive the pin through the hole and into the drywall. These hangers can handle up to 100 pounds.
Mirrors can be tough to hang, especially the large heavy ones. So to keep your mirror on the wall, and the 7 years of bad luck away, use a hanger clip with an elongated hole. Before you go to install the mirror, tick or trace the area you want the mirror to be. Then install the clips and place the mirror on the bottom clips. Use the top clips to hold the mirror in place.
Mounting a TV on the Wall
Keeping your brand new flatscreen TV on the wall is simple, you only need a wall-mount bracket for your TV’s size. The only things you need to consider is cord lengths, making sure the bracket is level, and finding two studs to mount the bracket on.
Getting Your Stuff to Hang on Stone
To get anything to hang on stone, concrete, or cinder block, you’ll need concrete anchors. These are a strong type of screw with a diamond tip that is capable of piercing through concrete.
Hanging Objects by Weight
Outside of different types of walls, the weight of the object is also a point to consider. Depending on the weight and type of object will determine what to use to hang them on the wall.
To keep your curtains from falling, install the curtain rod above the window with wood screws. For tapestries and light quilts, you would use a tapestry clamp that can be fastened to the wall. Heavier fabrics will require a rod and sleeve.
If you’re looking to install shelves, towel racks, mirrors, and medium-weight picture frames, then you’ll only need some drywall anchors. Depending on the object, you may want to use the wall studs.
If you’re looking to hang up a bike, you’ll need a vertical bike mount. These mounts come with a hook and should be mounted onto a stud. For other heavy items, toggle anchors are ideal. You can install these in drywall, concrete, plaster, and other hard surfaces. Toggle anchors can hold more than 235 pounds.
Getting your favorite photos or even a bookshelf to stay on the wall can be hard if you’re not using the right method. Knowing the item, the type of wall, and the weight of what you’re hanging will help you hang just about anything on your walls. We hope this guide helps you find the right screw or bolt for your next DIY hanging project.