Hanging a mirror with mirror screws

Some mirrors are supplied with pre-drilled holes for fixing the mirror in place. In these cases the most attractive finish is achieved if you hang the mirror with mirror screws. These are specially designed screws that come in two parts. The screw part is the same as any other screw except that it has a tiny threaded hole drilled in the screw head, into which you screw the second part of the design – a small dome shaped cap. Now, the whole process is very simple, but you really do need to be very accurate with your measurements, and gentle with your actions, otherwise it is all too easy to crack the mirror. The wall surface needs to be taken into consideration as this will determine the type of wall plugs you use, and what drill bit you will need to make holes in the wall. More information on this is provided in my guides ‘Fixing into masonry walls’ and ‘Fixing into hollow walls’.

Marking hole for fixing mirror 1. Position and level the mirror. Mark through the holes with a pencil. Be as precise as possible.
Drilling fixing hole for mirror 2. Put the mirror aside and drill pilot holes through the marks. In this example the mirror is being fixed into a hollow wall. The best drill bit to use is an hss one or a wood bit such as the one shown here. Note this type of wood bit has a point on the end making it extremely accurate. Many carpenters and joiners won’t like seeing a wood bit used to drill into plasterboard, but accuracy is vital here and this type of bit is perfect!. Insert wall plugs.
mirror screws 3. Most mirrors of this type will be supplied with rubber washers or inserts that are positioned into or around the hole for protection, so position these before inserting mirror screws and fixing in place. Only ever use a hand held screwdriver for fixing screws and be as gentle as possible when inserting them. Do not overtighten.
Screwing on dome of mirror screw 4. Finally screw the domed caps in place for a neat finish.

Mirror hanging tips

  • Most walls are not completely flat so when you tighten the screws, this can have the effect of bending the mirror which will clearly lead to breaking it – so again – don’t overtighten.
  • For heavy mirrors, you really need two people, and if you have a hollow wall, you will need as many of the fixings as possible to go into wooden studs.
  • When positioning the domed caps, take great care to insert them completely straight, otherwise you can easily cross thread the shank and make them impossible to screw in place. Again, there is no need to tighten these directly onto the mirror surface, just a couple of turns are needed to hold them in place.
  • Mirror screws can also be used for other jobs where a decorative screw head is needed. For example, I often use them when fixing bath panels in place.

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