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BY: Jean Nayar
What’s the best way to hang a bathroom mirror? The answer depends on what kind of bathroom mirror you’d like to mount, as mirrors are either framed or frameless:
Framed mirrors can be hung using a traditional picture hanger, or by way of the wire hanger typically pre-attached to the frame.
Frameless mirrors, on the other hand, are best hung with mounting clips and mirror brackets.
Both mounting methods are easy and ideally rely on wall studs to ensure that the mirror will have enough support to keep it from falling off the wall and breaking. If mounting onto studs is not feasible, you’ll need wall anchors to support the frame. Frameless mirrors can also be mounted with mastic, a very strong adhesive. If you want to remove a mirror applied with mastic, however, you’ll damage any drywall behind the adhesive, and the mirror will break. (The methods described here do not involve mastic.)
HOW TO INSTALL A FRAMED MIRROR
Determine bracket type:
1. Examine the type of brackets on the back of the mirror. They will either be individual picture brackets or two brackets on each side of the frame attached to a long piece of wire. Individual brackets will require one screw for each bracket. Wire hangers that are less than 3 feet long can be hung on a single screw in the middle. Wire hangers that are more than 3 feet long will require more screws.
Position the mirror:
2. Hold the mirror against the wall and place a level at the top of the mirror. Mark the mirror’s placement with a pencil around the top and bottom corners.
3. Slide the stud finder along the bathroom wall to locate the stud(s). Mark the location with a pencil.
4. Measure the distance from the top of the mirror to the hangers or wire on the back of the mirror. Use this measurement to mark the positions for the screws, placing at least one mark on a stud if possible. Use a level and a yardstick/metal ruler to mark the position of the other screw if needed.
Insert the screws:
5. Drill pilot holes into the marks for the screws or wall anchors. If the screws will be mounted on drywall rather than on studs, tap the anchors in place with a hammer, using a threaded wall anchor, plastic toggle anchor, or metal expandable anchor, depending on the weight of your mirror. If your marks fall on a stud, drill a small pilot hole directly into the stud. Then insert the screws, leaving a short length of screw extending from the wall surface.
Hang the mirror:
6. Place the mirror hangers onto the screws. If your mirror will be hung on a wire, adjust it to make it level.
HOW TO INSTALL A FRAMELESS MIRROR
Position the mirror:
1. Hold the mirror against the wall and place a level at the top of the mirror. Mark the mirror’s placement with a pencil around the top and bottom corners. Determine the number of clips required to support it.
Locate the studs:
2. Slide a stud finder along the wall to locate the studs. Mark their location with a pencil.
Install the clips:
3. Measure and mark the positions of the bottom clips. Drill holes for the screws into the studs if they’re centered behind the position of the mirror. If not, aim to position at least one clip on a stud if possible. Otherwise, mark the positions of the bottom clips on the drywall.
4. Tap in appropriate wall anchors and screw in the clips, squaring them into place.
Install the mirror:
5. Slide the mirror into the clips. Mark the positions of the upper clips and brackets on the wall. Remove the mirror.
6. Mark and drill pilot holes. Insert wall anchors if necessary and screw the clip brackets into place.
7. Replace the mirror into the bottom clips and insert the top clips into the brackets to secure the mirror in place.
Jean Nayar is a licensed real estate agent and design journalist who’s authored nine books on decorating and design, including Green Living by Design, the best-selling Staged to Sell (or Keep) and The Happy Home Project: A Practical Guide to Adding Style and Substance to Your Home. The former editor in chief of Kitchens & Baths, Easy Decorating and Remodeling & Makeovers blogs at TheHappyHomeWorkshop.com about living with style, sustainability and substance.