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I'm hanging a heavy, 30" circular mirror with two mounting brackets 18-20" apart so I have two options:

  1. Use one drywall anchor for a screw and mount the other screw into a stud.

  2. Use two drywall anchors and mount both screws into the drywall.

Which one is better for safety and stability? Would using one stud and one drywall imbalance the screws? Or would it make no difference either way?

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  • How wide is the mirror and what is the spacing between the mounting brackets?
    – FreeMan
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 11:57
  • The circular mirror is 30" in diameter. The hanging brackets are 18-20" apart.
    – srrvnn
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 13:39
  • I edited that info into the question itself. That's where it belongs so it's much more obviously visible to others.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 15:15
  • Does the mirror's design support direct adhesive? Ie, can you glue the mirror to the wall?
    – Criggie
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 20:50

4 Answers 4

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Given this situation, one screw into a stud and one into a good anchor.

If the mirror is wider than 16 inches, consider putting a piece of wood across two studs and two screws into the wood.

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  • 3
    Drywall is not meant to hold heavy breakable items. That is what studs are for.
    – crip659
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 10:31
  • 6
    @crip659 Unless it's a 200kg mirror, there are plenty of suitable anchors that can hold up a mirror perfectly well in drywall alone. EZ-Anchors or toggle bolts would both be perfectly fine in this application.
    – J...
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 13:47
  • 2
    @J... But even with the best of anchors, one screw in a stud and one anchor is better than two anchors. If nothing else than because you might hit a weak spot if the drywall has been previously broken/patched. Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 13:57
  • 1
    @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact Sure, and fifty kilos of cement is better than a screw and a stud. If the game is to fasten it secure from one-in-a-millenium earthquakes, Russian artillery, the Chixulub impactor, and small tactical nuclear strikes then why stop with a 2x4? A few pieces of rebar are cheap, and a couple of bags of concrete are a small bit of insurance. I mean, in the middle of a geophysical catastrophe, do you really want to be worrying about your mirrors falling down too? Just fill that wall cavity with stone and you can sleep soundly. ;P
    – J...
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 14:05
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    Based on the updated info the OP just supplied (the hanging brackets are 18-20" apart), the ideal solution is the last sentence of this answer: Attach a cleat to the wall through the studs, then hang the mirror from the cleat.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 15:16
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As the other answer states - using a cleat is ideal, however will push the mirror off the wall slightly. This may not be acceptable.

To answer the question at hand - if you can hit a stud, there's no reason not to. If the drywall plug in the other mount should fail, the screw into the stud will (hopefully) be able to hold the entire weight of the mirror. It will be crooked, but not broken as it would be if just drywall plugs were used.

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Depending on how wide the mirror is, I'd explore a stringer across the back of the mirror so that it has two positions that line up with your studs.

You could also install a bearer board on the wall to do the same job, either a small hidden one behind the mirror, or a large one that acts as a plinth and clearly becomes part of the surround of the mirror.

If you had the wall open with the lining removed, then it makes a lot of sense to put a large piece of particle board behind the area for support. Same goes for anywhere that could have a TV wall bracket attached too.

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Sometimes you can move the hooks on items such as mirrors, allowing you to hang where you want while also hitting at least one stud.

However, if you buy some really beefy anchors with a high-load rating and make sure that they are snug and bite well when you install them, you will be fine. Hitting a stud is NOT REQUIRED.

I am confounded as to why your other responses think you need to add blocking or cleats. It's not like you're hanging a cabinet full of dishes. Beefy anchors/proper placement and installation/hang. Poof, done.

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  • Because people tend to do about half the "right" things you tell 'em, but about twice the "wrong" things, and we like to see people's projects succeed. Not that using wall anchors is inherently "wrong", but people will tend to skimp on them or install them improperly.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Apr 12, 2022 at 13:26

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