Learn About the 2 Types of Picture Frame Hardware and How to Install It
If you've ever had trouble installing your own picture frame hardware, then you know it can be tricky. Luckily, most quality wall picture frames come with frame hardware installed, but if you happen to get a frame without hanging hardware this article will explain want you need to do.
The most important step when installing picture frame hardware is to make sure you choose the right type and size of hardware for your frame. The two common types of picture frame hardware are saw tooth hangers and eye hooks. Although these two types of hangers do the same thing, each has a slightly different best use.
Saw Tooth Hangers
Saw tooth hangers are best used for picture frames smaller than 11x14. The name "saw tooth" is exactly how the hardware looks - a jagged, saw blade rectangular shaped hanger that is installed at the top center point of your frame. The saw tooth hanger keeps the nail securely positioned and helps the frame remain even on the wall. Before you install the saw tooth hanger be sure you know which direction the picture will hang so it is centered on the right part of the frame. If you can't estimate the center of the frame, use a tape measure for accuracy. Place a dot at the center point of the frame and center the saw tooth hanger over the dot. If you want to be sure the hanger is even on the frame, it's best to use a level. Once the hanger is level and centered, hammer in the two small nails on each side of the saw tooth hanger and you're done.
Eye hooks screw into the wood of the frame. They work especially well for heavy or large picture frames. Eye hooks take a little more work to install than saw tooth hangers, but once you know how to install them, you will feel more confident in adding them yourself.
Eye hooks are placed on each side of the frame about one-third of the way down from the top of the picture frame. Using a tape measure, measure the back of the frame from the top of the frame to where you want to install the first eye hook. Mark on the back of the frame where the screw will go. Then, use that same measurement for placement of the second eye hook. Accurately measuring for the screw placement will ensure that your picture frame hangs level.
Once you've determined the placement of your screws, drill two tiny holes where the screws will go so it will make the installation easier. When the screws are secured in place cut a length of wire longer than the width of the frame to attach to the eye hooks. Put one end of the wire through the eye hook until you have a piece of wire long enough to wrap several times around the long piece of the wire. Then take the other end of the wire and thread it through the eye hook. Before you secure the wire, hold on to the unsecured piece of wire and with your other hand form a triangular shape where the nail would sit. While keeping the triangular shape in the wire to allow enough wire for hanging, wrap the short end of the wire around the long wire several times and secure it in place. The wire should be able to create a triangular shape that is snug and doesn't extend beyond the back of the frame where it can be seen. Cut off any excess wire and make sure that each end is wrapped tightly.
Now you are ready to hang your wall frame. Pick the wall space where you want it to hang and have someone hold the picture so you can see if it looks good on the wall. If you have multiple wall picture frames, it is a good idea to position them on the floor and determine how they should be displayed before you hammer nails in your wall. When arranging your frames on the floor, use a string to represent the wall area so you can determine the proper spacing of your picture frames.
Be sure when installing your wall picture frame that the nail goes into a wall stud. The spacing in most homes is 16 inches between studs. If you are unsure or can't find a stud, you can use a "stud finder" available at any hardware store, or use wall anchors for added support in sheetrock. If you're hanging a frame on a cement, concrete or brick wall then you'll have to do things a little differently compared to sheet rock. For any type of cement, brick or concrete wall, pre-drill the holes with a mason bit and use screws with wall anchors. Be sure the screw and wall anchor are tightly in place so the frame won't fall off and get damaged.
It may take some extra effort to install your frame hardware and hang your picture, but once you see your picture frame displayed on the wall, you'll be happy with the result and glad you took the extra time to do it.
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