Here are the Best Tips that All Art Installers Recommend

Introduction:

In the Part 1 of this article we have discussed:

  • Typical problems that you may encounter when hanging a heavy mirror
  • Why a picture hanging system is usually a great way to do it
  • How to select the right type of rail
  • What installation options are available
  • How to select the right hanging wires

However, there are at least two more important parts that you will need to complete your picture hanging system:

Most art installers, Interior designers, private house owners etc. use mirrors smartly to create a sense of space and light, especially in tight/not well enlightened indoor spaces.

The most popular options to hang a mirror are:

  • Gluing to the wall: although this option suits well frameless mirrors, being a permanent solution, this is not very practical for those who love to refresh their interior spaces regularly, or change house/office quite often.
  • Using a set of wall hook: once again, this is a semi-permanent option that may not suit those who like to change their furniture quite often. In this case, it is possible to un-hook the mirror and relocate it somewhere else. However, the wall hooks will need to follow and that means unscrewing them from the wall, repairing the holes they will leave behind, and fix the hooks again to another wall.
Wall hooks

If you have standard plaster walls and light mirrors or artwork, this may not be that big of an issue. However, it can become a daunting task for those who have concrete, masonry or stone walls, as these materials are hard to drill in or tend to crack.

Other times, you may have very brittle walls, therefore you don’t want to hang anything heavy on them.

All that being considered, it is quite evident that wall hooks, although simple and cheap, cannot really be used in just any case.

How to Hang a Heavy Mirror: Why a Picture Hanging System is the Best Solution

We have discussed in the Part 1 of this article how a picture hanging system can assist with hanging your valuables from the ceiling, whenever you are in presence of “difficult” walls.

You have done your math, selected the type of rail and installation, chosen your wires.

But how to choose your hooks properly?

The Artiteq’s hooks are available in a range variation to suit different load capacities as well as appearance requirements. However, all of them work around the same simple, yet reliable system.

One end of the hanging wire is inserted into the Hook’s body. The Hooks then become the fixtures that connect your mirror’s frame to the system. The hooks are provided of a clutch system that can be:

Mini hook
Artiteq Ratchet Hook internal details
Artiteq Frame Hanger Main

Can I install Multiple Hooks on the Same Hanging Wire?

It is a common practice to have multiple pictures/artworks hung on a same wire in order to compose wider art displays. This is possible, and it is highly recommended for those who are blessed with very high ceilings and want to get the most out of the available space on their walls.

However, it is important to choose a wire of a proper load capacity. Normally, the wire’s load capacity should exceed the one’s of the hook(s) summed together.

So, if, for example, you are going to have two Micro Grip (1mm) on a single wire, being each of these Hooks capable of 10kg load, you should select a wire capable of at least 10+10 = 20kg. A 2mm stainless steel wire can hold up to 20Kg, so it would be a great choice in this case.

Picture Hooks with Manual Clutch System: The Hook Mini Screw

The Hook Mini Screw are the simplest and most affordable option for those who need to hang lightweight art and don’t need to replace/reposition their artworks too often. The hook is adjustable at any length along the wire by just turning a side screw clockwise/anticlockwise. This hook holds up to 4Kg and work best with 2mm thick wires (either nylon or stainless steel). A good choice to hang small mirrors only. If used in combination with Perlon wires, the screw mechanism tends to cerate small indentations (micro-damages) on the wire, overtime. It is recommended to keep re-positioning at minimum to extend the wire’s life or be ready to replace the wire regularly (3-5 years). This requirement doesn’t apply to stainless steel wires, which have unlimited lifespan.

Mini hook

Picture Hooks with Automatic Clutch System: The Ratchet Hook

The Ratchet Hook is provided of a spring-operated clutch system that self-adjust itself and allows for maximum 15Kg to be hung on a single wire. The automatic clutch has also another advantage: it prevents the indentation damage discussed above, thus the hooks which are provided of that are likely to ensure longer life to the wire, even under multiple adjustments through the lifecycle.

The Ratchet Hook is designed to suit 2mm thick wires.

You position the hooks at any length along the wire, by temporarily disengaging the clutch system (e.g., pressing a top button). Once perfect positioning is achieved, the clutch will hold the hook stably in position under load.

Artiteq Ratchet Hook internal details

Picture Hooks with Automatic Clutch System: The Micro Grip

Similarly, to the Ratchet Hook, the Micro Grip hook is provided of a spring-operated clutch system that self-adjust itself and allows from 10Kg to 20Kg to be hung on a single hook. There are three versions   of the Micro Grip:

  • Micro Grip 1mm: to suit 1mm thick wires (Perlon and Stainless steel). This hook can hold up to 10Kg.
  • Micro Grip 2mm: to suit 2mm thick wires (Perlon and Stainless steel). This hook can hold up to 20Kg.
  • Micro Grip Lock 2mm: to suit 2mm thick wires (Perlon and Stainless steel). This hook can hold up to 20Kg and has an additional locking device to prevent steal of the artwork. Interestingly, the Micro Grip Lock has also successfully been used by museums and galleries located in seismic areas where regular earthquakes may otherwise cause their expensive artworks to fall and potentially get damaged.
Side-by-side comparison showing the new design of the Artiteq Micro Grip 1 mm Hook, highlighting its streamlined, fiberglass-reinforced structure, available through Hang Logic, an Australian Artiteq importer.

Picture Hooks with Automatic Clutch System: The Frame Hanger

The Frame Hanger is the only type of “hook” that is fasten directly onto your frame. This solution provides the best results in terms of reducing the forward tilting problem that some frames have. The frame hanger will improve the geometry of your hanging and contain considerably the possibility of movement that your frame would normally have if hung by using a traditional string and hook system.

Being attached directly to the frame, the Frame Hanger reduces this unwanted movement to zero and ensure that your paintings, photos, etc. lays flat to the wall.

Artiteq Frame Hanger is supplies in two versions, to suit:

  • 1mm thick wires (Perlon and Stainless steel). This Frame Hanger holds up to 10Kg.
  • 2mm thick wires (Perlon and Stainless steel). This Frame Hanger holds up to 20Kg.

Practical Tip from the Art Installer:

Before using the Frame Hanger to hang your heavy mirror, it is important that you verify the following:

  • How much your mirror weights
  • The possibility to drill straight into the mirror frame
  • Frame hangers work best if installed in the inner part of the frame, closer to the edge as possible. Do you have this possibility on your frame?

Hanging a Heavy Mirror: Frame Accessories

Now that you have selected your rail, hanging wires and hooks, it is time to look at the back of your mirror or artwork and check what options are available to have it hung to your system.

No options? Let’s create some them!

It is quite popular for framed artworks and canvas to have a cotton/metal string running behind them. However, you will find out that this solution comes with the following problems:

  • It doesn’t last long and needs to be replaced at some point: will that be enough to hold the weight? And for how long?
  • It is not in an optimal position to prevent forward tilting of the frame: the further away from the top edge of the frame, the more pronounced the tilting will be: this is not really aesthetically appealing

Artiteq provides a range of solutions in terms of frame fittings. The most popular among art installers, homeowners, artists, etc. are:

  • D-Rings
  • Frame Plates
  • Spacers

D-Rings are D-shape fittings that you screw (or glue) to the left hand and right-hand side of the back of your mirror, picture frame or canvas stretcher.

To reduce the forward tilt of your frame you should position the D-rings as high as possible on the back of your picture frame or canvas stretcher. 8 cm below the top of your canvas is a good average.

All you will have to do is then engage one of the Artiteq’s Hooks into the D-Rings, and you are done!

You will then have a flexible system that can be adjusted horizontally (moving along the track) and up and down (moving along the hanging wire). You will have the possibility to adjust your mirror to the height at which you would like your it to hang. Gently hold the hook in the D-ring whilst doing this to ensure that it does not slip out.

Sliding your hooks into the D-rings gives your picture more stability than attaching the hooks to a wire or string on the back of your picture.

D-rings come in 3 sizes:  10kg, 20kg, 25kg

The type and the length of the screws that you will use to fasten the D-Rings to your frame will depend on the material that your frame is made of, as well as its thickness.

D-ring used to hang heavy picture frames
Photo of Artiteq 1 mm Perlon hanging wire with 1 mm Micro Grip Hook and D-ring all used to hang a picture.

Frame Plates are an even more robust options for those who need to hang a very heavy mirror or artwork. These metal plates are to be fixed directly to the frame by means of 2 screws each, they can handle heavy loads, and are supplied in two versions to suit wooden or aluminium frames.

Artiteq Frame Hanger for timber or metal, providing secure and stable hanging, available at HANG LOGIC.

Frame Spacers are the perfect, affordable solution to ensure optimal positioning of your frames onto the wall, while preserving their integrity. Nobody likes marks and scratches left by the frames onto the walls, although this may be a fairly common issue when installing/rotating art. Our Art Installers always place Frame Spacers at the corners of the frames, on all their artworks, before every installation. Because they are cheap and save you from potentially high costs if you were to accidentally damage a wall.

Looking for an All-in-One solution?

Learn more about our Heavy-Duty Hanger Kits here

Conclusions:

There is a wide array of options when it comes to select hooks and frame fittings for your heavy mirror, artworks, photo collection. It is important to identify what the intended use of your system will be (permanent installation or always-changing display?), what the involved loads are, what the attachment possibility are as well as the material that your frames are made of. Artiteq provides a number of products to suit all the needs in terms of load capacity, appearance and practicality.

Time for an upgrade?

Are you looking to know more about how can you improve the beauty and efficiency of your rental property, private home, office, etc.?

Whether you are looking for something simple to keep your walls tidy and pristine or comprehensive systems to create an impressive art display, we are just a phone call away.

Contact us today at [email protected] for a FREE consultation. Or, if you prefer to work things out yourself, sift through our frequently asked questions.