Is your wall brick or plaster? It’s important to know before you hang a heavy artwork or install a mirror. Recently this 2.4 metre wide 100 kg mirror had to be installed on a plaster and stud wall. A weight like this is too much for plaster alone to support. The solution is french cleats, an age-old hanging device that is screwed onto the back of the frame. Its counterpart is fastened to the wall with anchor points at the studs. The mirror is lifted into position with its cleats effectively forming a ‘monkey grip’.
(Thanks to Kathy and Allan Harvey for allowing the use of their home to demonstrate.)
Four simple steps. (Tread carefully.)
Step 1. Locate the studs using an electronic stud finder or, with the skill of a thoracic surgeon, rap on the wall to locate them by ear. Now fix the ‘bottom’ half of your french cleat to the wall at the studs using screws heavy enough to support the weight of the mirror. Make sure the cleat is perfectly level or there’ll be trouble later!
Step 2. Attach the other half of the cleat to the back of the mirror frame. If the frame is well constructed, fix it to the top frame member, which will allow the whole thing to hang. If the frame’s corner joints look weak, put the cleat on the bottom bar in order to support the mirror’s weight from beneath. Anchor it to a couple of studs at the top to prevent an otherwise inevitable slow-motion topple forward!
Step 3. Using enough people-power to avoid back injuries (search out strong young family members), lift the mirror and hang its cleat over the cleat on the wall. Make sure everybody keeps their weight under it while someone checks to make sure the cleats are securely locked together.
Step 4. Finally, check for level. If it’s not, you’ll need to measure how far out it is, take the mirror down then re-position one of the cleats accordingly. (Remember, I did say, at Step 1, you should be very careful here.)
• Electronic stud finder
• Spirit level
• Suitable heavy screws for stud walls (countersunk) or expanding bolts for brick
• Appropriate ladder or platform
To make a booking or ask about a job, please phone me from 9.00am – 6.00pm, Mon – Friday on 0403 803 015. Or email: email@example.com
Servicing all metro Melbourne as well as country areas by arrangement.