Hanging a heavy mirror

I've bought this big heavy mirror that looks like a Saxon battle shield. I thought it would hang on the wall no probs but it turns out that the wall is plaster board. I assume that drilling it and sticking in a raw plug won't be enough? Or will it? I don't want the mirror (plus chunk of wall) to come crashing down... Any input appreciated. I'm guessing there must be something designed for this task?
--
john

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who has a view on the state of your walls...
Strongest, definitely secure fitting is to find the vertical wooden studs to which the plasterboard (PB) is attached, and then put a decent length woodscrew (say 10gauge * 2.5inch, or 4.5x70mm for the metricated ;-) into that. You can find the studs almost reliably by careful tapping (listen for the change in the echo as you work horizontally across); confirm by drilling *small* (1/16th inch) holes at half-inch or so horizontal intervals, or if you prefer one hole away to the side of apparent stud location through which you pass one arm of a coathanger folded into a stiff U, rotating it using the other arm to find the position of the edge of the stud inside the cavity).
That restricts where your mirror hangs to where the studs run. You can run a batten (bit of wood) on the surface between two studs to regain flexibility, but unless the mirror's *really* big the batten will be visible and unpretty.
There's a wide range of plasterboard fittings which can take a fair old load directly, though. I've had a lot of success with the hollow wall anchors which Screwfix sell as part numbers 18266, 12229 amd 11143 for different thicknesses of PB. They fit flush to the wall, with a permanent threaded anchor (M5 thread) left in the wall. Gravity toggles are pretty reliable too, though they're a once-only fitting (the back bit falls into the cavity when you unscrew the bolt). For lighter things, the metal 'redi-drivas' they sell (cat. 11923) are easy to use, and would in practice probably be OK for your mirror, but I wouldn't trust it to a single one (a couple sharing the load with a picture wire would be better).
You'll find most of these fixings at d-i-y SupaStores and your friendly local round-the-corner merchant, too...
Stefek
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snipped-for-privacy@hp.com wrote in wrote:

All sounds terribly complicated. Thumping the wall revealed nothing but my hearing is shot so it comes as no surprise. I may mount it over the toilet - at least that's a brick wall :)
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john

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wrote:

If you use the right plugs (read a Screwfix catalogue) you can hang a surprising load on plasterboard. Some are huge screws, some are wings at the back. Avoid those commonplace masonry plugs that try to expand in a hole - they'll break themselves out of plasterboard even before you get the mirror up.
The trick is that it's a static load, not something like a coathook. Any plug with a varying load on it tends to work loose in plasterboard.
-- Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
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Yep. Looks like a large, coarse thread metal screw, which screws into the plasterboard (no hole needed), with a smaller bolt that screws into that. I have a 3ft x 2ft mirror quite happily hanging from plasterboard on four of those.
There is something similiar, but with the larger part made from plastic. My experience is that they frequently break when you try to screw them into the plasterboard.
Colin Bignell
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Sneezy wrote:

Don't use a raw plug without preparation! First, top and tail it, scrape it with a sharp knife, and boil it in linseed oil and salad cream for 20 mins/gramme. Drain, allow to cool, season to taste. The raw plug will then be a cooked plug. However, I doubt it would even then be suitable for hanging a mirror on plastered bored.
HTH.
J.B.
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lol. So I guess they're not called raw plugs? Must have a name that sounds something similar. If I knew all about DIY-related stuff I wouldn't be posting here though, would I? I could have said "short brown/red spikey bit of plastic" but how daft would that be?
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john

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Rawlplug was the company that first made wall plugs (IIRC) made out of fibre. So the name became generic - like Hoover. They still exist, but many others now make wall plugs, and they're all plastic these days.
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*The fact that no one understands you doesn't mean you're an artist

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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Bit more info - the thing weighs (according to Ikea) 5.6 kg (!) and hangs from one screw - one of those fittings shaped like a keyhole. I doubt there's a fixing that can reliably (i.e. guaranteed) hold that kind of weight on one screw.
--
john

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wrote:

Sure there is.
Something like metal wall anchors, considering the nature of the attachment on the mirror
http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro.jsp?ts 464&id143
chosen in a suitable size. 18266,12229,11143 depending on board thickness.
You can do them right up and then slacken the bolt the right amount to hand the mirror on the head. A very solid fixing for a plasterboard wall.
B&Q and others certainly have them as well.
.andy
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So the next muppet question is, "How do you know how thick the plasterboard is?" My thoughts so far are (a) put hammer through wall, measure thickness, replaster; and (b) some sort of penetrating ultrasound thing.
It should be law that every house has a big list of everything in it, right down to the screws used :)
--
john

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wrote:

Drill a hole of about 6mm where the fixing is going to go. This type of fixing will need a larger hole anyway. Unbend a paper clip and then put a sharp right angled bend towards one end. Clip off the end to leave about a 3mm hook. Insert hook into hole, move to edge and pull forward until the hook contacts the back of the board. Mark the wire with felt tip at the front face of the board. Remove the wire and the board thickness can be measured from the mark to the corner of the hook.

That would involve builders being able to read and write....... :-) .andy
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I think I can manage that. Bigger than 6mm? Crikey. Knowing my luck I'll drill the whole right where there's a wooden batten :) This house has just being decorated by the landlord ready for me moving in. I have a long list of things I can't do without permission, bla, bla. Last thing I want to do is rip a huge hole in the plasterboard. Might end up in a tent in the park if I do :D

My parent's house has the front door and hallway at the /back/ of the house. When the builders crossed to the other side of the street, they clearly forgot to turn the plan round...
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john

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Erm... I realise I might be stating the obvious but if you happen to land on a wooden stud\batten\noggin that would be just what you want for a good fixing.
SJW A.C.S. Ltd.
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snipped-for-privacy@telling.you (Lurch) wrote in

Yes but the hole at 6mm will be too big, no? Don't ask me - I'm a disaster waiting to happen. My DIY history is a long list of blood, chaos and destruction. I have scars :)
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john

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wrote:

Don't we all. :-)
If you happen to hit a stud, if you are drilling carefully you will know it anyway. Alternatively, use an old screwdriver first - a small one to make a hole. It will go through plasterboard easily with a twist and stop if you find a stud.
If you do, then simply put in an appropriate wood screw (4 or 5mm should do it).
If you feel accident prone, then an investment in a pipe and cable detector might be prudent.
.andy
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