December 18, 2012

Reader Q: How to Hang a Heavy Mirror on Brick


You have a brick fireplace.  You want to hang something heavy on it.  Probably a mirror, to bounce a little light around the room.  No problem (and good idea, by the way, I'm sure it will look fabulous).  There is obviously more than one way to do this (and always default to professionals) but here's how we hung the super heavy duty mirror we stenciled and framed.

  • Drill
  • Drill bit (for wood)
  • Masonry bit (some masonry screw brands sell the bit in the package)
  • Masonry screws
  • Wood screws
  • Masking tape
  • Pencil

Get to it:

1.  We measured where we wanted the mirror hung, choosing two anchor points (for more strength) in the mortar between the bricks.

2.  We taped off the length of the screw on the drill bit, so we knew what depth to make the hole (this is the "poor man's depth gauge").

Masking tape works well, because it doesn't leave a sticky residue on the bit.

3.   Using a masonry drill bit that came with our masonry screws, we drilled holes into the mortar, stopping when we reached our poor man's depth gauge.  Handy Hubs kept the drill as straight as possible, so as not to enlarge the hole.

Step number three made a huge mess.

4.  Finally, we drove in the masonry screws, making sure they hugged the brick as tightly as possible, so they are nice and secure.

Easy-peasy.  Next we tackled the back of the mirror.

1.  We picked up some heavy duty hangers from our local hardware store and screwed them into the wood the mirror is mounted to, using wood screws.  We pre-drilled these holes too, to ensure a tighter fit (pre-drilling also keeps the wood from splitting).

2.  Using heavy duty picture hanging wire (this stuff is weight-rated), we tightly strung it from the hangers, actually triple-stranding it to make it extra tough.  We also kept quite a long tail, wrapping it back onto itself.

 3.  We also wanted to make sure the wire sat where it should on the screws, so we marked the points in pencil on the back of the mirror.  It's important the wire isn't too loosey-goosey, so we adjusted the tension accordingly.

And that's it!  I was really stressed about hanging something really heavy on the brick (I pictured the whole fireplace crumbling or hearing a crash*bang and finding bits of shiny Hungarian poem everywhere), but Hubs knew what he was doing!  Knock on wood, six months later the mirror is still perfectly vertical.

P.S. I know I promised details on hanging the mirror back in the summer, when I stenciled the Hungarian poem on the mirror, which Handy Hubby and I then made a frame for.  I feel terrible because readers asked for details ages ago and, although I answered Q's via email, this post is a little belated (I was distracted).  But I wanted to make good on a promise before the year ends.  In case there's an apocalypse and there's no more Dans le Townhouse, I don't want your first post apocalyptic thoughts to be, "You know, that Tanya promised a post on hanging that kick ass mirror and never delivered.  Hope she gets eaten by wildebeesties".


  1. Replies
    1. Awww, thanks! It's taken awhile, but I finally really like the living room. It's cozy but still airy. And I learned to like the brick Hubby is vehemently against painting ;)

  2. ...eaten by wildebessties... haha, you're funny.

    Hey, I too use the poor man's depth gauge when I don't want to drill all the way through a board. Does the trick- funny I'm not the only one who does this. I thought I'd invented it ; )

    1. When trying to determine if that WAS the right spelling for wildebeests, we learned the beesties are the young ones, lol.

    2. Yeah, I looked it up too (not b/c I expected it was wrong but wondered if it was just a cute word that you made up) BUT I just meant I was amused by the whole apocalyptic scenario- chuckle!

      now to go read your winter woolies post- somehow I missed it. Don't know if I didn't get my email notification or if I somehow missed it. Either way, I now have an unexpected post to go read.

    3. Ooo, a BONUS post, lol.
      I do tend to use made-upy words, so I can understand wanting to be doubly sure. It looks like we won't be having an apocalypse, at least not soon (YAY!), so no wildebeesties and more blogging!

  3. Had to laugh at your "poor man's depth gauge" since my husband, who is a professional finishing carpenter, uses that method all the time. So you can call it "professional man's depth gauge" from now on ! Merry Christmas. Louise

    1. Oooo, I love that! Alrighty, it is henceforth a "professional man's depth gauge," which I like the sound of even better :)

      Happy Holidays to you too!


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