How High to Hang Art

Art will always look lifeless if you hang it incorrectly. Even though it costs a thousand dollars yet barely attracts people. But if you hang it in an expert’s way, it might be the main attraction of your house.

Don’t worry. You don’t have to be an expert to hang art on the wall. We will describe to you how high to hang art in order to make it attractive. Frankly, the rules we have shared are extremely easy and can be followed by anyone.

You have to be patient and follow them from the beginning until the end. So go through this writing and get the most exciting suggestion of hanging art.

How High to Hang Art?

art hang top sofa

The method of hanging pictures on a wall involves many factors. One of the major factors is height. It is generally recommended that art should be hung at eye level. But the question is, what height is optimal for hanging art at eye level?

As a matter of fact, eye-level height is not fixed. But 57 to 60 inches is considered a general eye level for most people. So make sure when you are hanging your art. The center point of your art will stay between 57 inches to 60 inches area.

Let’s see the picture hanging height for different situations.

1. Height for Single Art

There is no complication if you want to hang single artwork. Generally, art should be hung between 57 inches to 60 inches. When hanging your art in the bedroom, 57 inches is more appropriate.

But if it’s in the living room, it’s better to hook it at 60 inches. Because if you look from a distance, this height is more comfortable to watch.

2. Height for Double Art

Suppose you have two pieces of artwork, one is big, and another is small. How do you hang it? Well, there are two different ways you can follow. One is the Horizontal approach, and another is the vertical approach.

Let’s see them in detail.

i) Horizontal Approaches

In this approach, we put our art next to each other alongside. First, measure 57-inches on the wall from the floor. Now figure out the center of the picture. Next, place both the arts horizontally by leveling the center points.

They can also be positioned by leveling their top points. It mostly depends on the art’s size and type. But never hang them, leveling their bottom line. That doesn’t look appropriate.

ii) Vertical Approach

This method is more appropriate for horizontal canvas wall art. However, if your canvas is vertical, that’s also fine. Here the art will be hung up and down position.

This means one art will go up, and another will place down by maintaining the centerline. Consider both arts as one and find their center points. Let us explain clearly.

Suppose the height of your first art is 12 inches and the second one is 16 inches. Take a 4 inches gap between them. Now sum up all the numbers and divide them by 2. So it will be 12+4+16 = 32; and then divided by 2,  32/2 = 16.

Well, 16 will be your center point. Now find the eye level on the wall, which is 57 inches. Finally, hang your art appropriately so that the center point is aligned with eye level.

None of your pictures should go above 75 inches. If it goes, then shift to the horizontal approaches. Because if your art goes above 75 inches, that’d be pretty uncomfortable to watch.

3. Height for Group Arts

Let’s assume you have got a set of 5 artwork. All are different in size. In this type of situation, always pick the largest one first. Then hang it in the middle at eye level.

Now the other artwork will be surrounded by the largest one. You can arrange them by your choice. There are two things you need to keep in mind. First, when you place artwork next to each other, the gap should always be the same.

Second, None of any artwork will go over 75 inches or under 36 inches area. Anything in between this measurement will be great.

What is the 57-inch Rule?

The ‘57-inch rule’ is a very common measurement for hanging art on the wall. The rule is followed by museums, art galleries, or other display rooms that exhibit their artwork. 

Frankly, the idea of the ‘57-inch rule’ is very simple. The art should be hung 57 inches up from the ground. Why 57 inches? Because it is considered the magic height. That is the standard eye-level height for most people.

So when a visitor looks at the picture from that position, he will get the most comfortable viewpoint.

Well, let’s see the steps of the hanging picture followed by the 57-inch rule.

Step 1: Measurement of the Wall

Take a measurement tape, and measure 57 inches from the ground to the wall- Lebel the height with a marker that is the position where we will hang our artwork.

Step 2: Find the Center of the Art

Most people make mistakes at this stage. They attach a hook on top of the artwork and hang it on the wall, which is completely the wrong approach. Not the top, Rather, the center of the art will be attached to the 57-inch height.

To figure out the center, you have to divide the art length by 2. Let’s assume we have an art that is 20 inches long and 18 inches wide. So, we will divide the height 20 by 2, which is 10.

Therefore, 10 inches will our center, and that is the point that should align with our eye level.

Step 3: Set up a Hook

We need to put a hook or nail on the wall, previously marked. Better use a drill machine to create a hole.

On the other hand, attach a wire to your art to properly hang on the wall. Make sure the position of the wire is 2-3 inches over the center. It’s because when you hang your photo, the wire will loosen a little, and it will go down an inch or two.

Thus, the central point of art will not match with the focal point of the wall.

Step 4: Place Your Art

Now you are almost there. Before hanging your art on the walls, recheck the thread you tied earlier; make sure it is tight enough. Now place your art on the wall.

Go 5 to 6 feet away from the wall, and see whether it’s aligned correctly or not.

How far down from the ceiling should a picture be hung?

We do not measure the distance from the ceiling but the floor. It’s because nobody knows how high your ceiling is. And even if we measure from the ceiling, we will never get a fixed distance.

That’s the reason people measure the distance from the floor. And it’s very convenient, to be honest. Well, the highest point is 57 to 60 inches off the ground.

In contrast, 36 inches is considering the lowest point of hanging artwork. But this measurement is not fixed. Sometimes it depends on different random aspects. For instance, along with the viewer’s height, the size and location of the art may vary.

Usually, we do not go under 36 inches when hanging pictures at home. It’s because our furniture and other essential items cover much of the wall’s bottom area at home.

However, we can see the exception in the art gallery or museum. There, the arts can hang in a very high position.

Rules for Hanging Art

art frame on brick wall

Beautiful artwork can lose its attraction for mispositioning. Likewise, regular art may come to the limelight for proper placement. So It’s your choice how you will decorate with pictures on the wall.

If you want to make your art look attractive on the wall, never skip the rules. Check out these 5 basic steps of hanging art.

Hang Artwork at Eye Level –

After selecting a wide big fresh wall, your first job would be to find eye level. Generally, the eye level is between 57 to 60  inches from the ground.

But we encourage you to use your sense of balance to figure out the focal point. If your height is more than average, you could pick a higher position if you want.

Try to use a measuring tape to measure the distance.  Finally, mark the position with a pencil. This is the position where the center of your art will be located.

Treat Multiple Art Pieces As One

It doesn’t matter how much art you have got. Count them as one picture and find the center point.

Next, cut some paper according to your art’s size. You can also use the newspaper if you want. And then attach them to the wall with masking tape.

These papers will help you formulate a good idea about placement. In addition, you will also understand the mistakes you might make.

Well, if you feel your composition is right. You can remove those papers from the wall. But before removing the papers, label the top center of every paper.

Use Good Screw and Nail for Hanging Arts

Since the position of the art has been fixed. Now you can start putting nails on the walls. But be aware of your wall. There are several types of walls, including drywall, concrete, plaster, and mason.

It would help if you used a small plated nail hanger for drywall or plaster. You could use hard nails for concrete and masonry since the surface will be very hard.

Choosing the right hook for the art is important based on its size and weight. Suppose you need good support for your medium size art. You can choose the specialty hooks.

These hooks are particularly great for drywall. However, when your art is big and heavy, you can use the anchor screw. This screw will attach your art tightly to the wall. So there is no risk of dropping your artwork.

Concrete and masonry are best to use this type of screw, by the way. A good replacement for the anchor screw is the sawtooth bar. If you don’t find an anchor screw, you can use this bar.

Moreover, if you want something convenient and easy to remove, the removable adhesive pads will be a solution. You don’t have to create any holes in the wall to use this.

Unfortunately, you can not use these pads for all sorts of arts. This will be great for the lightweight arts.

Hang Gallery Walls with Cohesive Spacing

NowPrepare your art for hanging walls. The most important step of this stage is to maintain the spacing. When you are hanging your art on the wall, the distance between two art pieces should always be the same.

Suppose you take 2-inch spacing between two arts. It should be true for all other arts. Otherwise, it won’t seem very pleasant.

Normally, people take 3 to 4-inch space between two canvases for big artwork. The size usually falls between 30 and 40 inches when it comes to large art. If your art is even bigger than that, you can take 5-inch space.

2 to 3 inch gaps are more than enough for medium size art. 15 to 30-inch size is considered medium art.

Finally, anything below 15 is small art. 1 to 1.5 inches is a good spacing for this art.

Art can also be arranged without taking up any space when it is extremely small. 5 to 8 inches of art can be an example of tiny art.

Proper Lighting Installation

Frankly, your art will look lifeless without appropriate lighting. Most people overlook this part due to financial reasons, but it’s really worth it. Moreover, it will make your art more appealing, so why not!

Before installing the lights, you have to know the art type and size. If it’s an oil canvas, then one method. If it’s an illustration, then probably something else.

There are three light mounting methods: surface mounted, suspension mounted and recessed mounted.

Surface and suspension mounted methods are mainly used in museums and art galleries. It’s because the ceiling is way too high. But for houses, you can follow the recessed mounted installation.

The installation of these methods is extremely easy. Moreover, you can add many lights to it.

The light should be used based on the tone of the art. If it is illustration arts, then you can use cool wight lights. For oil or acrylic-based canvas, warm white is best.

However, we encourage you to pick the light according to your overall environment.

When Should You Break The Eye Level Rule?

Although we keep saying follow the magic number or ’57 inch rule’, it doesn’t always seem magical. Since it’s your house, you can make it in your own way.

There are some particular situations when you can break the eye level rule. For example, if you want to decorate your kid’s room with art. You can break eye level because your kid can’t see if you’d hang them on a 57-inch top.

Similarly, if your ceiling is very high and you want to place your art at the very top, it won’t be a sin. Usually, antique shops and old museums hang their art in that way, which doesn’t look bad.

Also, if you want to hang pictures in the corridor, better hang them above eye level. Otherwise, people could hit them while walking.

What To Hang On Your Staircase?

The staircase is incredibly commonplace to showcase art. Hanging art on the stairs will be tricky because you will get different eye levels for each stair.

The main suggestion would be to measure the magic number (57-inch  measurement) for every stair. Frankly, measuring eye level for every satire would be a little tough.

So it is better to get masking tape and place it on the wall diagonally according to the satire angle. In that way, you can do it very easily.

Art carries memory. And your home is the right place to arrange those memories in a better way. Like other palaces, the staircase could be a spot where you can hang the art, bringing memory.

One quick tip – Never put big art on the staircase. It will be hard to see from the stairs. Rather put medium and small art.

Final Word

Since you have reached this far, now you know how high to hang art.

To get a comfortable view, you always have to pick the right height for the art.

Initially, we have shared the ‘57 inch rule’ to let you know the right height. But we also added the right measurement for different art compositions. The rules of hanging art have been described in detail later on.

We highlighted the important steps in the main rules, including different hanging tools, appropriate spacing methods, and alignment.

Other than the basic rules, some additional tips have been discussed. By following those tips, you could make your arts more appealing.

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About Tom

Tom is a blogger and artist who also loves technology. He spends his days blogging about the latest developments in the world of art, and he enjoys sharing his thoughts with readers on what it means to be an artist today. Tom has always been interested in technology - but it wasn't until he was 13 years old that he discovered how much fun making websites could be! Tom is a fun-loving, adventure seeking creative type. He enjoys reviewing art products and technology gadgets on his blog and has been doing so for over 5 years now! He spends most of his time in the studio, at the beach, or out exploring new places.

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