How to Hang Pictures Safely to Prevent Them From Falling

  • by Michael Jackness
  • 4 min read

 

Gravity. 

It’s easy to blame your broken framed painting on a force of nature, although you still wouldn’t be too happy about it. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help avoid this nightmare.

Let’s discuss some possible reasons pictures and art could fall to the ground and what you can do to prevent it from happening.


So, Why Do Frames Fall?

Going back to gravity, as we all know, it’s a force that pulls everything downward to the ground or actually to the center of the earth. This means that the picture hangerand the framed art hanging on the wall are under constant stress because they’re constantly being pulled downwards by gravity.

However, this isn’t the only reason items fall from the wall

Other reasons could be: 

  • Type and quality of the picture hangers used

  • Improper installation of hanging hardware

  • Quality of the frame

  • Tremors or unusually high traffic causing the walls to shake

  • The condition of the wall itself

Let’s discuss these reasons one by one.



Three frames on the wall but one of them is falling


  1. Condition, quality, and type of hanger used


There are things to consider when hanging pictures and art on the wall. A few of these include  the condition, quality, and type of hanger you will use to hang the item. When the hanging method fails, it’s usually at the  most vulnerable point.
Failures are likely to occur in the following parts:
  • Wall Hardware
  • Frame Hardware
  • Wire on Frame

    Was the hanger brand new or in very good condition? Was it a high-quality component supplied by a  trusted professional? Was the wire appropriately tied? Did you use the right hanger for your frame?

    Consider these questions next time you need to select a type of hanger. Focusing on these factors will ensure that your pictures, art, or signs hang safely on the wall.

    Here are some things to look out for when choosing picture hangers:

    • There should be no flaws like rust, missing holes, bent parts etc.

    • The product and its inclusions (nails and screws) should be in perfect condition – no flaws such as dents, scratches, and deformation.

    • Weight capacity of the hanger should be 1-3 times heavier than the object you’re hanging.

     

    1. Improper installation of hanging hardware


    Another reason that frames may fall could be due to improper installation.

    Some picture hangers are slightly more challenging  to use than others, such as French Cleats, Adjustable J Hooks,  T-head screws, or Security Kits. Because of the complexity, it’s understandable why there might be some hiccups during installation. 

    The key is to thoroughly read and follow the instructions. If you’re not familiar with the product at all, feel free to email our support team or read the guides provided on our blog. 

    Here are a fewinstallation tips to remember when installing hangers or hooks:

    • Use tools like a measuring tape and level for accuracy

    • For drywall and plaster hooks, install in a stud for a stronger hold

    • When installing on plaster walls, tape the wall surrounding the area where you’re installing to avoid cracking

    • Avoid over-hammering and tightening screws too much as this can compromise the hanger’s holding power

    • Pre-drill pilot holes when necessary


    Picture frame with a bubble level


    1. Quality or condition of the frame

    The next thing to consider is the condition and quality of the frame itself. Like anything you buy in a store, always check if the item is brand new or in a new condition.

    If reusing an old frame, ensure it’s still in good enough condition to hang on a wall. The frame's wood, metal, or polyurethane material should still be sturdy, not bent or dented, and should be able to withstand the force pulling it down daily (that darn gravity again). 

    At Picture Hang Solutions, we have hangers compatible with both wood and metal frames. D-rings, strap hangers, and sawtooths are the best choices for hanging wood frames.  

    Meanwhile, we have several metal frame hangers that you can use for metal frames with the Nielsen #11 profile. These metal frame hangers are designed to fit perfectly into the frame channels.

     

    1. Tremors and vibrations

    Shaking of the walls may cause wall fixtures, decor, frames, and other objects to fall. These tremors are caused by the following:

    • Slamming of a door
    • Banging on the wall
    • People jumping on the floor
    • Heavy vehicles passing by
    • Earthquakes

    If you want to keep your frames safe from sudden shaking, you can use Tremor Hooks.

    These brass hooks with locking mechanisms keep the wire or ring from coming disengaged thus preventing the items from falling off the wall. The wire will stay in place despite tremors and vibrations felt on or near the wall. Tremor hooks can support 30 or 75 lbs, perfect for medium-sized paintings, pictures, and signs.

    Another option to help your frames stay in place are our Security Kits.

    These frame hanging kits include mounting plates, wall brackets, and a security T-head screw along with a wrench (sometimes included in kit otherwise sold separately in 2 different sizes). The T-head screw keeps the frame secure on the wall by inserting its head into the mounting plate attached to the back of the frame and rotates 90 degrees to lock.


    1. The condition of the wall


    Last but not least, the reason frames fall is literally what’s going on behind them: the walls. 

    With time, walls can age and gradually deteriorate. When they do, they won’t be strong enough to hold the picture hangers and frames for as long as you want. Your effort in choosing the proper hardware, sturdy frame and then installing the hanging hardware properly will all go to waste if the wall is actually the problem. 

    Make sure to check your wall’s condition before installing anything on it. 

     

    RELATED ARTICLE: 5 Ways to Know if You Have a Plaster Wall or Drywall



     


    Final Thoughts

    It’s not fair to blame gravity for every item that falls off a wall; it’s a force of nature and is beyond our control.

    Instead, we should focus on the things that we can control, and these are the five things discussed above.  For safe and secure picture hanging, just remember to consider these factors before hanging frames on the wall and you’ll have nothing to worry about. 

    Happy Hanging and let us know if we can help you in any way!

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