Mirrors reflect light and create the illusion of a brighter, larger space, making them a powerful decorating tool. From the type of hanger and method of installation to the placement of the mirror in relation to furniture, the installation process affects the overall look and safety of your mirror wall decor.

Choosing Placement

Before you start drilling holes for the mirror hardware, test the placement options to get the proper height. Functionality and aesthetics play a role in height. Leave at least 4 to 6 inches between the top of the furniture and the bottom of the mirror frame to create a visual break between the two. Hang a mirror above a dresser or vanity so it is high enough to use for functional purposes, such as getting dressed.

The mirror reflects the view on the opposite side of the room, so position the mirror to reflect a key decorative element in the room, such as a chandelier, rather than a less attractive area, such as a television or storage area.

  • Trace the mirror onto a piece of paper. Use painter's tape to stick the paper to the wall. This gives you an idea of how much space it takes and the height that looks best compared to the furniture placement.
  • Test both horizontal and vertical orientation of the mirror to see which option looks best.
  • Ask two helpers to hold the actual mirror in place once you choose a location. Look at the reflection from different angles.
  • Brighten the room by placing the mirror so it reflects light from a window or doorway.

Getting the Right Hardware

The hardware for the mirror needs to be solid and secure, especially if you hang the mirror above a couch or other seating areas. At least two D-rings -- one on each side of the frame -- offer a more secure hold than a wire. The D-rings should be rated for the weight of the mirror to reduce the risk of the mirror falling.

Screws and anchors are necessary to secure the mirror to the wall. If the studs align with the placement of the D-rings on the mirror, use at least 2 1/2-inch wood screws for drywall or 3-inch screws for plaster walls.

If the stud location doesn't work, use wall anchors to securely hold the screws into the wall. Winged anchors work well for a stable installation.

Making Your Mark

Make a light pencil mark along the top edge of the mirror once you choose the hanging location and height. Take the mirror down from the wall to make accurate marks using a tape measure.

  • Measure the furniture below the mirror to determine the midpoint so you can center the mirror above the piece. Mark the midpoint on the wall along the line you marked for the mirror placement.
  • Measure down from the top of the mirror to the D-rings or fasteners. Measure down the same distance on the wall from the line marking the top of the mirror. Draw a horizontal pencil line on the wall.
  • Place a piece of painter's tape on the back of the mirror so it covers the hangers. Poke a hold through the tape where the screws would go to fit into the hangers. Measure across the mirror and mark the midpoint of the mirror on the painter's tape.
  • Remove the tape from the mirror. Place it on the wall so the holes line up with the horizontal line marking the hanger height. The midpoint mark on the tape should line up with the midpoint mark you made on the wall.
  • Mark the hanger locations on the wall using the holes in the tape as a guide.
  • Use a stud finder to determine if the hanger locations line up with studs. This determines if you will use wood screws directly into the studs or wall anchors.

Hanging the Mirror

The wall marks serve as a guide for actually hanging the mirror.

  • Drill pilot holes slightly smaller than the anchor or wood screws being used. Use the holes marked on the wall as a guide.
  • Install the winged anchors if you are using them. Insert the screws into the anchors. If the studs align with your holes, place the screws in the wall.
  • With a helper, lift the mirror to the wall. Place the hangers on the back of the mirror over the screws.

Accenting the Display

Home decor accents near the mirror dress up the display and create a focal point in the room. If the mirror is just above a dresser, mantel or table, place decorative pieces in front of it, such as candles of different heights or framed artwork leaned against the mirror. A variation on this idea is to place a grouping of mirrors on the wall above a piece of furniture to create a dramatic display. Mix in framed art or other wall decor in the arrangement if you prefer.