With kids bouncing around the home, well-secured objects are imperative.

How to Hang Heavy Objects

by Lorna Hordos

Hanging heavy objects properly and securely on the wall or from the ceiling won't just protect them from crashing to the floor and breaking, but can protect your family from the results of such an accident, too. You don't have to resort to boarding mirrors, artwork or curio wall units to walls or roping large hanging plants to roof rafters; your options for keeping such things in place are quite unobtrusive.

1. Stuck on Hooks

Although some adhesive-backed hooks have the ability to hold up to about 15 pounds, they’re only as dependable as the surface to which they cling, such as that of clean, cured paint. Before relying on such a hook to hold up heavy holiday decorations or art, for example, refer to the label for correct preparation and mounting. The manufacturer may direct you to wash the wall, and warn against hanging valuable items or heirlooms and using the hooks on wallpaper.

2. Wall Anchors Away

Drywall or wallboard requires support to hold heavy objects. The powdery material easily crumbles -- even a large, study-looking nail or screw can slice through drywall under continual “pulling” on a towel rack or the weight of a large, framed print. To mount or hang such objects using screws, install hollow, threaded wall anchors -- in which to mount the screws -- for increased drywall gripping power.

3. Leveraging Picture Hangers

Large picture hangers often come with two thin nails; however, the seemingly frail nails can hold up to 50 pounds because of their downward angle into the hanger and wall in conjunction with the leverage or angle of the hanger against the wall. These should be sunk into wall studs.

4. Bolt Talk

Clamp-style bolts come in a variety of strengths and styles. The strongest of these are toggle bolts. This type of hardware is useful for mounting shelving brackets for shelves that will hold heavy items and for hanging weighty objects from the ceiling. A typical toggle bolt has spring-loaded wings that spread open once you screw the fastener through a drilled hole in the wall. The opened wings and the bolt’s exposed hardware grip the wall and can hold up to 100 pounds. Hollow wall anchors or molly bolts grip the wall in a similar way and are useful for hanging towel bars or lighter shelving. Again, mount into wall studs.

5. What a Stud

Wall studs are the heroes of the heavyweight-hanging process. Inside the walls, studs run vertically and evenly -- about every 12 to 18 inches, depending on the wall and local codes. They provide a durable, fixed base in which to drive fasteners such as nails, screws, mirror clips or flush mounts for holding up the heaviest art, mirrors and wall accessories. Locate a stud using a stud finder. Use a fastener that is long enough to go through the wall’s finish, such as 1-inch drywall, and at least another 1 1/2 inches into the stud. As for hanging large plants or other heavy objects from the ceiling, locate a solid joist as a supportive base.

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