When it comes to getting a look I want in the house, nothing drives me to find a solution more than someone telling me it can’t be done. Enter me wanting an extra large mirror over our fireplace. The tall vaulted ceilings in our living room and the large blank space above the fireplace were just begging for a huge mirror. The problem I ran into was that all the mirrors meant for hanging were too small, and the mirrors that were the right size were not designed to be hung. I decided to take a chance and ordered a massive leaning floor mirror. And, despite everyone I talked to (handymen, store sales assistants, etc.) telling me it couldn’t be done, it worked. I’ll show you my solution for how to hang a heavy floor mirror to the wall.
This DIY sunburst mirror was one of the very first projects I shared on the blog nine years ago. I made it to fit the small space over our fireplace in another home, but it was just not the right scale for this house and I was ready for a different style.
Now that’s a big mirror, huh?! I chose this mirror not only because of it’s size, but because I loved the thin frame and how the arch at the top softens the look. It’s hard to tell in photos because I’m shooting from down low, but it reflects SO much more light into the room. The mirror fills that space over the fireplace perfectly and the arched top blends in with the other arches throughout the house. Almost like it was made for the house.
How to Find a Large Fireplace Mirror
Most mirrors aren’t large enough for a two story wall. To find a tall enough mirror I had to open my search up to include floor mirrors. You will run into a lot that are too narrow so pay close attention to the measurements. The mirror we went with is 50″ wide by 72″ tall. When determining the size you want, I find it helpful to mark it out the dimensions in painter’s tape on the wall.
How to Hang a Heavy Mirror
The first thing you will need to determine is what the mirror’s backing material is made out of. This will be the deciding factor in whether or not it can work. Our mirror had a 3/4th thick backing made out of MDF. This made the mirror really heavy (110 lbs.) but was perfect for attaching hanging hardware because we knew the MDF was thick enough to accept screws.
The sturdiest hardware for hanging a heavy mirror or art is a French cleat. I used this heavy duty cleat designed to hold 200 lbs. For our mirror I used two side by side for a total of 400 lbs. of security. One side of the cleat is screwed into the wall and the other side is screwed into the mirror backing. The part of the cleat that’s on the mirror slides over the wall cleat and holds it into place. YOU MUST HAVE THE WALL CLEAT SCREWED INTO STUDS. Like, for real. Wall anchors are not going to be enough to hold this much weight long term. This was another reason I went with two cleats over just one. It gave me more width to hit more wall studs, dispersing the weight of the mirror.
Also, make sure you have help when lifting a heavy mirror into place. We actually had to have three guys on three ladders to install this. Two on each side lifting and one in front to keep it from falling forward. Some of these mirrors can be very heavy and awkward so make sure you have appropriate help.
Why Not Sit the Mirror on the Mantel?
The mirror appears to be sitting on the top of the fireplace, but it’s completely attached to the wall and there is no weight placed on the mantel. Our fireplace is a cast cement surround that is attached to the wall with adhesive and a few screws. It’s not meant to hold a lot of weight on top and would more than likely pull away from the wall if I tried sitting this mirror on the mantel. The thought of a huge mirror getting knocked down on someone or falling down from the surround collapsing was too much for me. Completely attaching it to the wall was the only safe option.
Extra Large Mirrors
Now that you know how to hang a heavy floor mirror on the wall you have more options! Here are some large mirrors that would look great over a fireplace. I also included a shorter version of ours if you love it but something smaller. Also, some of these come in multiple colors!