If you are reading this it is likely you have either purchased a new acrylic face mounted image or are contemplating doing so. By following these detailed instructions, you can securely mount your new piece(s) of art. These instructions apply to standard drywall construction. If you are mounting to masonary, cement or other surface please contact us for special instructions.
Having the right tools makes the job much easier. The stud finder pictured above is only necessary if you want to screw directly into the wall studs. The method we use employs wall anchors instead, avoiding the need to locate the studs. In addition to what is pictured above, you will need a hammer, a drill bit designed for metal, and wall anchors. Various types of wall anchors are available at any home store. It is your preference as to which type to use. We prefer the plastic sleeve type. If you are hanging a grouping of acrylics, a longer level is essential to make sure they all align up properly.
Step 1: Remove the Z Bar from the back of the acrylic.
The Z Bar is a piece of metal in the shape of a Z that mounts to the wall upon which the acrylic is hung. The Z Bar is taped to the back of the acrylic. Simply remove the tape and it will come off in your hand. Be careful as there may be sharp edges.
Step 2: Locate and mark the center of the Z Bar and drill mounting holes.
Measure the length of the Z Bar and mark the center point with a pencil or sharpie. Next, drill mounting holes in the Z Bar using a metal drill bit. For For pieces 20 x 30 or smaller, 2 holes are enough. For 24 x 36 pieces we drill three holes. For 32 x 48 pieces we drill four. Evenly space your holes starting about three inches in from the edge. There is no need to measure spacing, just eye it up. Also, the holes do not need to be level. Just try and get them in the center of the large flat area of the Z Bar. The holes should be slightly larger in diameter than the screws that came with your wall anchors. You can drill a smaller diameter hole with the metal drill bit and then widen it with a wood drill bit if you need to.
Step 3: Locate the bottom edge of the Z Bar.
From this point on it is helpful to have two sets of hands. First determine how far off the floor you want to hang your art. Most guidance is to hang the center of the piece 55-60 inches from the floor. Furniture, doorways, light fixtures and other things can impact the optimal height for any piece of art. Hold the acrylic against the wall. Adjust the height as needed. When the piece is in the optimal position have your helper mark the bottom edge of the acrylic by drawing a line across the wall. This line designates where the bottom of the acrylic will be when hung. Next replace the Z Bar on the back of the piece. Carefully measure from the bottom edge of the acrylic to the bottom edge of the Z Bar. Transfer that measurement to the wall by measuring up from the line you just made. This new mark is where the bottom of the Z Bar needs to be mounted to have the acrylic hang at your desired height. This process only determines the height position for the Z Bar. Lateral position will vary by application. But if you want to center the piece on the wall all you have to do is measure the width of the wall and mark the center point along the line you just made to designate the height of the Z Bar.
Step 4: Mount the Z Bar to the wall.
By this point you should have a line on the wall showing where the bottom edge of the Z Bar should be mounted to have the piece hang at the desired height and a mark along that line showing where the center of the piece should be to achieve the desired lateral positioning. That point is ground zero so to speak. Line up the center mark on the Z Bar with your ground zero point. Have your helper hold the Z Bar so it is relatively level along the line on the wall. Using the same drill bit you used to drill the mounting holes in the Z Bar, place the drill bit in one of the mounting holes and then drill a hole in the wall. Most wall anchor kits come with a drill bit that is the proper diameter for the wall anchor to secure properly in the wall. Set the Z Bar aside and use that drill bit to widen the hole you just made to the proper diameter for your wall anchor. Using your hammer, tap the wall anchor into the hole you just made so that the outer lip of the anchor is flush with the wall. Next, replace the Z Bar and screw it to the wall leaving it a little loose.
Step 5: Level the Z Bar and complete installation.
By this point, the Z Bar should be on the wall with one screw somewhat loose to allow for adjustment. This step is critical to make sure the piece is level. Place the level on the top of the Z Bar and adjust as needed to make it perfectly level. Have your helper hold it in that position. Using the same drill bit you used to drill the mounting holes, place the bit in each of the remaining mounting holes and drill holes in the wall. Allow the Z Bar to drop out of the way and using the drill bit that came with your wall anchors, widen each of the holes you just made. Next, tap in wall anchors and screw the Z Bar into the wall. At this point the Z Bar should be securely mounted to the wall. Lift the acrylic so that the top of the metal frame goes over the Z Bar. Then slide the piece down so that the metal frame is resting on the Z Bar. If the piece is not level you can place facial tissue between the Z Bar and metal frame to shim it.
Step 6: Clean your acrylic and enjoy your art.
No doubt in the process of hanging your acrylic it acquired some unwanted fingerprints. Using a clean micro fiber cloth, use either distilled water or a product called Novus (available on Amazon) to clean your acrylic. Do not use Windex or any other commercial glass cleaner, especially those with ammonia. Now sit back and enjoy your piece.