This wall is not shared by another tenant directly next door but does have a unit above me. I cannot find a stud. i have used a magnet stud finder. I have nailed a 2.5" nail into the wall in 1 inch increments. AND even though the rest of the house is sheetrock, and i saw studs when we were remodeling, i cannot find anything on this wall. the other side of the wall is exterior and perhaps there is a large space between the wall. What can i do??? I have so many holes in the wall now and i cannot place the mirror anywhere else. is there something that is very strong that would work if the mirror were to start falling over. I live in an earthquake zone and i do not feel comfortable having a piece of furniture just leaning against the wall unsecured. super frustrated. Please help.

  • 1
    I'd use a non-magnetic stud-finder to search for wooden studs. – RedGrittyBrick Mar 6 '14 at 9:03
  • 3
    If the mirror is resting on the floor and you only want to secure it to the wall to prevent tipping, you don't need great strength. Perhaps even a toggle bolt in the drywall will be enough. – Eli Iser Mar 6 '14 at 9:25
  • yes. thank you for your response. i'm new here and didn't realize i needed to log in to see this part. – Regi Mar 6 '14 at 19:52
  • yes the mirror is on floor but i must have it tied to the wall in case a child or my cats were to get under it and tip it. it would be very dangerous if it fell on anyone or thing. – Regi Mar 6 '14 at 19:52
  • @RedGrittyBrick - As an often-puzzled owner of a non-magnetic studfinder, I now mostly use rare-earth magnets (not a studfinder of any sort) and a pencil, as they reliably locate drywall screws, and sorting out where those are gives me a much clearer picture of what's going on behind the wall than my studfinder does most days... – Ecnerwal Mar 7 '14 at 2:17

My preferred anchors in drywall for heavier loads are the newer toggle strap types.

toggle strap

These have a steel brace that rests inside the wall, spreading te load over about 3 inches. They also have the benefit of allowing you to remove and reinstall the bolt, which older toggles didn't allow.

The toggle is installed through a hole, usually 3/8 or 1/2 inch. The straps are slid to rotate the toggle bar until it is perpendicular to the wall. the Toggle is insterted and the straps are then slid back turning the bar parallel to the back of the drywall. The straps are pulled forward and the collar is pushed in to the face of the drywall, locking hte toggle in place. The excess straps are then broken off, and the toggle is ready for a bolt. (It reads loger than it takes.)

Rigid Attachment

You can drill holes in the mirror frame and into the wall to mark where the toggle should go. Once the toggle is installed, you can bolt throught those holes to lock the mirror to the wall. If the mirror is resting on the floor, only two toggles should be needed near the top.

Loose Attachment

You also could attach the mirror to the toggles using heavy duty braided picture wire. Insert two heavy hookeyes into the back of the frame. You can make an attachment point for the wire at the toggle bolt using a piece of perforated metal strapping, or an S hook bent to close the loops. Put the bolt through this attachment point and into the toggle. Tighten. Then loop the wire through the wall attachment point and the hookeys and close the loop with several twists of wire.

This second method is not meant to hold the mirror tight to the wall, just to provide a leash if it were to tip forward. Again, two toggles should be sufficient.

Links and images are for illustration only and are not endorsements of products or services.
  • 2
    Here is a YouTube video demonstrating the installation of toggle straps. – Tester101 Mar 6 '14 at 13:27
  • @Tester101 ... worth a thousand words! – bib Mar 6 '14 at 13:29
  • THANK YOU FOR THE YOU TUBE REFERENCE. I feel this should have been a 20 min project that has now turned into 2-3 trips to the hardware store and now day two of trying to get this thing secure. The hardware store guy told me drywall anchors would not be a good choice if the mirror were falling over as they might just pull from the wall, so this looks much stronger. Thanks so, so, so much. i'm going to give this a whirl. – Regi Mar 6 '14 at 19:57
  • Old fashion drywall anchors are worthless. There are lots of choices now. Personally, I'm not a fan of toggle types, they are a real pain to get out if the plan changes or you hit a hard backing. The toggle screws tend to be small and sometimes very hard to tighten if the backing spins inside the wall. I love the new corkscrews and some are rated at 50 pounds each. They are easy in and easy out. – shirlock homes Mar 6 '14 at 23:34
  • @shirlockhomes I agree that the new strap toggles call for mor surgery if you want to fully remove them, but I have never had them spin inside (like the old toggles sometimes did. The bolts go up to 1/4 (again, much heftier than the old style). I like corkscrews when the load is shear, but not when its tension - pulling outward - as this application contemplates. – bib Mar 7 '14 at 1:36

The weight is not the issue here, since it is resting on the floor. One method could be to use a few corkscrew type drywall anchors on the top and sides of the mirror with metal mirror mounting clips. You can get the anchors and clips at any hardware dept.

  • Thank you. I'm headed to new store for options of toggle or corkscrew thingy's. – Regi Mar 6 '14 at 19:58

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