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How To Hang A Mirror Above The Fireplace

mirror above fireplace

Tips & Ideas For Hanging & Displaying A Mirror Over A Mantle

Before the electric light was invented, mirrors were placed above the fireplace to reflect candle light around the room.

Back in the day, mirrors were also an expensive item & owning one was a display of your wealth.

But being wealthy in days gone by meant you may have created a few potential enemies.

So a mirror over the fireplace was also a way to see over your shoulder at who’s coming through the door!

But nowadays, mirrors are affordable & come in many contemporary & modern styles.

They’re a wonderful addition to your décor & to this day, they're still a great addition above the mantle.

So how do you hang a mirror above the fireplace? There are a number of methods from adhesive hooks & strips, wall glues, as well as nails, screws & hooks. Each method will depend on the size & weight of your mirror.

There's a few things to consider when hanging a mirror above your mantle which will be covered in this article, these being:

1. Choosing the right style of mirror to suit your mantle & décor.

2. Correct proportions, size & placement.

3. Methods for hanging a mirror safely & securely.

4. Alternative ways for displaying a mirror over a mantle.

1. Finding The Right Style Mirror To Suit Your Décor & Mantle

If you already have your mirror & you’re excited to get it up on the wall, you can skip this section.

But otherwise, it’s best to make the right choice first before you start screwing in hooks or drilling holes.

It’s great that there's so many styles of mirrors on the market, as you won’t have a problem finding the right one.

But it can also be overwhelming, there’s just too many gorgeous mirrors & it can be difficult to decide on just one!

But you need to consider the style or theme of your décor.

If you want choice & variety, then check out Casagear's fabulous range of wall mirrors.

Ornate Mirrors

ornate silver mirror on mantle

Ornate mirrors can have gilded frames & can be very elegant & are well suited for a more formal room.

They’ll sit well with a traditional open fireplace or period mantle.

Ornate & decorative mirrors can also be a great contrast to a modern or even industrial style décor, placed above a sleeker & contemporary fireplace.

Frameless Mirrors

large frameless mirror above fireplace

Frameless mirrors can be a good choice if you don’t want the mirror to be as dominant.

A question that’s often asked is what shape mirror to use above a fireplace.

Framed & frameless mirrors come in many different shapes & sizes, meaning a square or rectangular mirror will blend well with modern décor.

A round or oval mirror will add a touch of elegance.

There's also framed & frameless mirrors in unusual shapes & styles that will fit with vintage décor for example.

Wooden Framed Mirrors

wall mirror in wood frame

Wood frames can be very versatile, they can be ornate, but also come in modern styles that suit industrial, rustic & coastal themed décor.

Coloured Mirrors & Frames

mirror in bright green frame

Wall mirrors are more than just a reflective sheet of glass.

With all the many styles, they can be art in & of themselves.

As well as the various frame styles, they can also be colourful too.

A colourful frame is a wonderful way to make the mirror, as well as the fireplace, even more of a centrepiece to the room.


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downloadable wall art

2. How Big Should A Mirror Be Above A Fireplace?

Round, Square Or Rectangular Mirror? Choosing The Best Shape & Size

Understanding where the mirror is going to hang in relation to the fireplace is important in getting the proportions right.

Each fireplace will be different.

There’s the traditional open fireplace with the chimney protruding into the room.

Sometimes the firebox is swapped out for a gas heater or other modern type.

This means the mantle may be removed, and you have the fireplace sitting flush to a featureless wall.

In newer builds, the chimney wall may be much wider in relation to the fireplace.

And then there are simply fires & heaters that are fitted into a standard wall.

So you need to find the right size & shape mirror that will be in proportion to your particular situation.


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How High Should A Mirror Hang Above The Mantel?

I’ve covered these rules of thumb in other articles, as they relate to anything you’re hanging on the wall.

These guidelines are the 66% rule, in which 66% of the wall space should be above the mirror being hung & 33% between the mirror & the mantle.

infographic for mirror proportions above fireplace

Another guideline that interior designers use for the actual size of any artwork being hung, is it should be approximately 80% the width of the item it's hanging above.

These are just guidelines, as mirrors & the wall space available will vary.

A large mirror can look great & create an impact in a space by virtually taking up all the available wall space.

But too small a mirror will look lost, so whether it’s square, rectangular or round, the mirror needs to be an appropriate size.


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The images above are an example of how breaking the rules can create a fabulous impact. Following the size guidelines would of meant using a much smaller mirror, which on such a tall wall space would appear lost.

The 80% concept can also be used for a flat, bare wall.

If you don’t have a mantle & you’re sizing the mirror to the width of the firebox or heater, it may seem undersized in relation to wall or other décor elements.

By arranging other types of wall art, you will be able to incorporate a smaller mirror.

Try placing chairs either side of a fire that sits on a larger wall.

Then you can incorporate a larger mirror & it won’t feel so dominating.

large mirror above fireplace

This mirror is not only large, it also has a very visually heavy frame. Without the larger armchairs, it could be quite overwhelming & dominate the space.

Who says you have to use one mirror?

By arranging multiple mirrors, you can get even more creative.

3. Securing A Mirror Above A Fireplace

The last thing you want, once your beautiful mirror has been hung, is for it to come crashing down.

So it’s important to make sure you’re using the most secure hanging method to suit the style of mirror.

Hanging A Framed Mirror

Framed mirrors generally come with hanging hardware attached, usually D hooks, a French cleat or a strong wire.

Depending on which of these you’re working with, not all these methods will be applicable.

So let’s take a look at the options so you can decide what’s best.

Command Strips & Other Adhesive Hooks

I was undecided to even include this method, but double sided tapes & adhesive hooks can be surprisingly strong.

Should a print or other art come loose, it probably isn’t going to be a danger to anyone.

But you definitely don't want a large mirror crashing down!

Perhaps if you have a small lightweight mirror in a plastic frame, or you’re arranging a number of small mirrors, you may feel comfortable with this method.

Methods For Hanging A Heavier Mirror


If your mirror is going up on drywall ( or plasterboard ), make sure to find the wall studs.

A nail just in drywall can only hold a few lbs, or a couple of kg at most.

Whereas a nail hammered into a stud will hold up to 20 lbs, that’s 9 kg

Using more than one nail of course, will be even stronger.

Hercules Or Monkey Hooks

Another good option for drywall are Hercules hooks, also known as monkey hooks, because of their curved shape.

They simply pierce through the drywall & then brace against the inside wall.

They're rated to hold as much as 150 lbs or 60 kg.

Hardwall Hooks

These are designed to hammer straight into concrete or masonry.

Providing they're used correctly & are flat to the wall, they’re rated to hold around 22 to 33lb, that’s 10 to 15 kg.

Screws & Screw Hooks

Probably the most used & practical way to hang a mirror, simply due to their weight bearing capabilities.

Again, if you’re going into drywall, you’ll need to locate the studs.

Brick or masonry walls will require drilling a hole first to insert a wall plug for the screw or hook to .. well ..screw into.

But when used correctly, your mirror will stay on the wall even through the strongest earthquake!


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Hanging A Frameless Mirror

For a sleeker or minimalist look, you may want to use a frameless mirror over the mantle.

There’s a few hanging methods available..


Mostly used in bathrooms, industrial strength adhesives are available specifically for mirrors.

This stuff is strong & providing the wall is clean & correctly prepped, can be used on tiles, drywall & painted surfaces.

Mounting Clips

You'll need to know the weight & thickness of your mirror to match the clips.

Then mark out where they need to sit on the wall & simply screw into place.

Depending on how you secure them to the wall will also determine how much weight they’ll hold.

They’re rated to at least 20 lb or 9 kg, but if you’re using them on drywall with a heavy mirror, toggle bolts, also known as butterfly anchors will be the go.

J Channel

Mostly used for really large mirrors in gyms & other studios, they are as the name suggests.

The channel is secured to the wall where the bottom of the mirror will sit.

This is done by drilling & using wall plugs to secure the channel.

The clips at the top are secured the same way.

Adhesive is also applied to the back of the mirror.


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4. Creative Ideas For Displaying A Mirror Over Your Fireplace

If you’ve made it this far through the article, thanks for sticking around!

You may want to avoid any drilling or gluing, so here's some alternative ways to show off your beautiful wall mirror.


Can’t get much simpler, but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective.

Simply leaning your mirror on the mantle against the wall can have a more relaxed vibe & when surrounded by other ornaments & decorations will still be a wonderful focal point.

Just make sure it’s secure & won’t slide forward.


Don’t have a mantle?

Why not fix a shelf & rest your mirror on this.

This can work with a protruding or flat wall.

Picture Rail

If you’re fortunate to have a picture rail, simply hang the mirror as you would an artwork.

Alternatively, some mouldings ( or cornices as they’re known in some countries ) are able to accommodate a hook from which you could also hang the mirror.

Decorative Panels

Okay, this will require some fixing to the wall though.

It may be simpler to simply hang the mirror.

But decorative panels do create a wonderful feature, especially on flat walls where the fireplace sits flush.


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Mount the panel or mesh the full width of the chimney & right up to the ceiling.

If you have a flat wall, you can still cut the panel to an appropriate size to visually create this affect.

Then you’re able to hang your mirror & even other wall art & decorations.

I’ve been toying with this idea for ages & one day I’ll do it at my place.

There’s all sorts of panels available from faux brick, tiles, wood, concrete & stone.

But you can even use pegboard & for an industrial look, try concrete reinforcing (or reo as it's called here in Australia ) mesh.


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Final Thoughts

It’s almost as if the mantle was invented to have a mirror above it.

Some people prefer artwork over the fireplace, but there’s so many amazing mirror designs, I feel they are art.

I hope this article has helped & inspired you to use a mirror for your fireplace & if you feel it could help someone else, I'm always grateful for a share.


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