Keep­ing heavy items se­cure when hang­ing them on the wall

The Day - - HOME SOURCE - By Day Mar­ket­ing

No home is com­plete with­out a few pic­tures or works of art on the walls. Most of these pieces will be fairly light­weight, al­low­ing them to be se­cured with a hanger or two.

But some ob­jects will be con­sid­er­ably heav­ier than a fam­ily photo. You might want to put up a hefty mir­ror, a large paint­ing, or even a non-tra­di­tional item that will be a fo­cal point in the room. How­ever, you'll also want to make sure the weight of the ob­ject won't cause it to come crash­ing down.

Many hang­ers are rated up to a cer­tain weight, so it helps to know how heavy the ob­ject you're try­ing to hang is. If pos­si­ble, step onto a bath­room scale while hold­ing the item, then weigh your­self. By sub­tract­ing your weight from the first fig­ure, you'll know how much the ob­ject weighs.

You'll also want to con­sider the wall it­self. Erin Car­lyle, writ­ing for the home de­sign site Houzz, says most homes will fea­ture dry­wall and wooden studs. You may need to con­sult with a frame shop or other pro­fes­sional to see the best way to hang an ob­ject on an­other sur­face, such as brick or stone. These walls will re­quire a spe­cial type of drill in or­der to ef­fec­tively se­cure a hanger.

Fas­ten­ing a hanger to a wall stud will of­fer a more se­cure pur­chase. Brett Martin, writ­ing for Pop­u­lar Me­chan­ics, says you can use a stud finder or rap your knuck­les on the wall and lis­ten for a more solid tone. Wall studs are typ­i­cally lo­cated about 16 inches apart, so you can also mea­sure out from a more ob­vi­ous lo­ca­tion for a stud, such as to the side of a light switch se­cured to the stud.

A tra­di­tional set of pic­ture hang­ers may be ca­pa­ble of hold­ing up the ob­ject. Tim Snyder, writ­ing for This Old House, says an­gled hang­ers will typ­i­cally hold 20 pounds or less. Other hooks are rated for up to 50 pounds apiece.

Spe­cial­ized fas­ten­ers will of­fer a more tena­cious hold, which can be par­tic­u­larly use­ful if you aren't able to se­cure ev­ery hanger to a stud. Car­lyle says these fas­ten­ers in­clude dry­wall an­chors, which cre­ate more sta­bil­ity for screws drilled into the wall, and tog­gle bolts, spring-loaded mech­a­nisms which de­ploy wings af­ter they are put in place to give a more solid grip on the back of the wall.

When in­stalling a tog­gle bolt, you should know ex­actly where the fas­ten­ers need to be. Once the wings have been ex­tended, the bolt can't be re­moved.

Molly bolts in­clude a sleeve which will give the hanger more pur­chase on the wall. Snyder says there are a num­ber of other an­chor bolts as well, in­clud­ing ones that can be sim­ply tapped into the wall be­fore an ex­pand­ing sleeve of­fers more pur­chase. How­ever, these may only be rated for lighter loads.

De­ter­mine how many hang­ers you'll need to re­li­ably dis­trib­ute the ob­ject's weight. Car­lyle says that if the mir­ror or art­work has a wire on the back for hang­ing, you can hold the piece by the wire be­fore putting it on the wall. This will let you know if the wire will be strong enough to hold the ob­ject and if you'll need more than one hanger.

For par­tic­u­larly heavy art­work, French cleats will of­ten pro­vide the most sta­bil­ity. This de­vice is an in­ter­lock­ing bracket, with one piece mounted on the wall and the other on the back of the frame. Sim­ply slide the art­work into the wall-mounted piece to dis­play it.

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