Blasting sounds from the rear, front, side, mid, and ceiling speakers is all fun until you realize that hanging speakers on your walls without mounts is quite tricky. Many speakers come with wall mounts that fit nicely into tiny holes drilled on the walls, while others don’t have that privilege. So, how do you install your mountless ceiling surround sound speakers without mounts?
Here are 6 ways to hang speakers without using mounts:
- Use command hooks.
- Use picture hooks.
- Make shelves for your speakers.
- Use alien tape if the walls are smooth enough.
- Use eye bolts and ringing chains.
- Use a cargo net.
Before I go any deeper, it is essential to point out that the six methods listed above only work best for lighter speakers. Heavier speakers with massive drivers may fall off if you attempt installing them at heights without the proper mounts. This detailed article will walk you step by step on how to hang your speakers on your preferred sweet spot without using mounts.
1. Use Command Hooks
Command hooks have found many uses in people’s homes over the years. They hold on firmly to many surfaces, including metal, glass, tile, wood, and painted walls – a property that makes them very suitable for hanging speakers without mounts.
In addition, they do all that without a nail hole or wall anchor, making your installation quick and seamless.
Today, there is a vast collection of command hooks ranging from metal to plastic. However, most command hooks feature the traditional design of a hook at the front and an adhesive at the back.
Different hooks support different weights. Still, generally, you want something that can support the weight of a lighter speaker weighing less than 4 pounds (1.8 kg). 4 pounds sounds way too little, but that’s the average weight a command strip can handle.
Larger command hooks can bear up to 16 pounds (7.2kg), although I strongly recommend placing speakers with such a weight on the ground.
Next, follow these steps to mount your speakers using command hooks:
- Select the sweet spot to mount your speakers. You can do a little experiment to find the best location and angle for an enhanced listening experience.
- Clean the spot with a clean fabric slightly soaked in rubbing alcohol. Cleaning the wall clears the dust and the invisible dirt film and ensures that the adhesive comes into bare contact with the surface. Give the alcohol a few minutes to dry.
- Peel off the light paper film covering the adhesive part of the command hook and immediately press it in place. You want to put a little motionless pressure to help it stick faster and firmer. Leave it to rest for a few minutes.
- Lastly, locate the keyhole on the back of your speaker (most speakers come with a tiny hole at the back). Put the hook end of the command strip into the speaker’s keyhole and let it hang.
Command hooks are a simple yet effective way to hang the speaker without mounts. The only problem comes when moving to a new house. Yanking the hook off of the wall leaves an ugly paintless patch. Fortunately, it leaves no holes, and you can repaint the patch afresh.
2. Use Picture Hooks.
Picture hooks are more like command hooks in the making. Instead of having an adhesive on the backside, they have tiny holes and slightly long nails that you can hammer deep into the wall.
If you do not want any nails on your walls, go for the adhesive-type picture hooks. Follow the procedure discussed above (using command hooks) to mount your speakers using sticky picture hooks.
However, nail-in picture hooks are more substantial than command hooks. The nails/screws dig into the wall provide the much-needed extra support for heavier speakers.
A simple picture hook with a single hole and nail can hold up to 25 pounds (11kg). Yet again, I strongly advise you only to hang up lighter speakers. If you try to hang hefty ones, they are more likely to fall and break.
Here is how to use picture hooks instead of mounts:
- Find a good spot on the wall. Avoid hard bricks and heavy-duty concrete because it may damage the nail. Mark the site with a pencil or marker.
- Place the picture hook on the wall. Push the nail onto the mark and hammer it down.
- Keep hammering until the nail is completely buried into the wall. If your picture hook came with a screw, drill a tiny hole and then use a screwdriver to drive the screw into the wall. Using the keyhole, hang your speaker on the hook.
Picture hooks have a tighter grip on the wall. For more robust support, use a hook with two nails/screws. Also, go for a brass picture hook, which lasts longer.
3. Make Shelves for Your Speakers
DIY speaker shelves sound a little cliche, but believe it or not, they can provide a solid surface for your speakers. Of course, the speaker’s weight comes into play when making the shelves. The shelf material also comes into play because you do not want to use materials that vibrate with every sound the speaker produces.
With that in mind, here is how to build a simple shelf for your speakers:
- Pick a material. MDF boards and plywood are great options for this kind of project.
- Take the measurements of the speaker cabinet. Give a few inches of allowance just in case you switch to an even bigger speaker. Transfer the measurements to your material (MDF or Plywood) and mark them.
- Cut out the big flat top and six smaller, rectangular blocks to support it. Nail or glue two of the rectangular blocks together at a right angle. Proceed to nail/glue two more rectangular blocks at a right angle.
- In an inverted ”L” shape, nail the two sets at a fair distance from each other so that they can support the top surface. Glue the flat top surface on the inverted L structures and leave some space between the wall and the wooden mini-table for the speaker wires. Scrap off the rough edges with sandpaper.
If that approach seems far too simple, you can build a better-looking shelf after watching the video below:
MDF is the most suitable material for this project. It’s light, strong, and high density. It can also support slightly heavier speakers for a long time.
4. Use Alien Tape if the Walls Are Thick Enough
Alien tape is a neat piece of adhesive technology. It eliminates the need for nails and screws. It also allows you to stick anything to a wooden surface, which is where you’ll mount your speakers without mounts.
Unlike ordinary tape, this tape is a double-sided adhesive.
Alien tape is so strong it can hold up to 17 pounds (7.7kg). You can use this fantastic stuff to stick medium-sized speakers and soundbars to a smooth, wooden wall.
Here’s what to do when hanging your speaker/soundbar, using alien tape:
- Select a suitable spot on your wall to place the speaker/soundbar. Clean the area thoroughly using a clean piece of cloth soaked or smeared in rubbing alcohol. Doing so removes all the dirt and provides a solid anchor for the “nano grip.”
- Wait for the surface to dry completely. As you wait, measure the length and width of your soundbar.
- Transfer the measurements to the cleaned spot on the wall and mark them with a pencil or marker pen. Cut the size of alien tape that fits your speaker’s measurements.
- Place the alien tape on the markings. Stick your speaker/soundbar on the adhesive and press it tightly onto the wall for a minute or two. Make sure it sticks firmly.
Using adhesives in mounting speakers is easy. Just apply some glue to the back of a speaker box and stick it to the wall.
As easy as it sounds, there are a few drawbacks you need to watch out for. For starters, using adhesives is okay, so long as your speakers do not get hot or vibrate violently.
High temperature and vibrations tear off the speaker from the glued surface bit by bit. The speaker will fall off sooner or later and perhaps get damaged in the process. Another issue with adhesives is that they tend to rip off the paint, leaving behind hideous patches.
Alien tape solves the issue by not leaving behind any gluey residues or ripping out large chunks of paint. If it helps, you can use alien tape repeatedly before it weakens.
5. Use Eye Bolts and Ring Chains
In this trick, you’re going to drill a few holes into your speaker box. But before that, check your manufacturer’s manual/guide, find out where the main wires are, and avoid damaging the speaker. Once you’re sure that no wire passes near your drilling points:
- Make two tiny holes and wind two eye bolts in your speaker box. Tighten them.
- Put ring chains on each eye bolt.
- Install two small swivel hooks on the ceiling and pass each chain into its own hook.
- Lift your speakers and suspend them from the top.
You can also use stainless steel cables with eye bolts to hang speakers from the ceiling and the wall. They firmly hold the speaker in place.
Still, all in all, eye bolts are pretty solid. Although I strongly insist you do not install bulky speakers on your ceiling, they can support heavy speakers.
6. Use a Cargo Net
Some good old cargo net may be the solution for hanging larger, massive speakers without using mounts. Of course, you’re going to need a few metal swivel hooks mounted on the roof to bear the speaker’s weight.
To hang heavier speakers with a cargo net:
- Identify your sweet spot on the ceiling.
- Stick four swivel hooks on the ceiling.
- Make four rope loops, each at the corner of the cargo net.
- Hang two of these loops on the hooks mounted on the ceiling.
- Place the speaker on the cargo net.
- Lift the other two loops onto the two remaining hooks.
- Tighten the ropes to lift your speaker.
Using a cargo net is a trick that goes together with ceiling applications. So, if you have some ceiling speakers without mounts, give the cargo net a try. I recommend not to try this with sub because it’s too risky (who knows when the speaker may fall). And if it does, it will either get damaged, hurt someone, or do both.
The Last Resort
Did you know? Not all speakers will come with mounts in the first purchase. Secondly, buying mounts for every speaker in your surround system can be expensive. Instead, try the methods described in the article. If nothing works, try the following:
- Place the speakers on the ground
- Buy speakers that do not need to be mounted anywhere
If you have heavy speakers, always place them on the ground for safety reasons. However, if you still want to install them without mounts, buy strong hooks and build strong shelves to support their weight.
You can also buy speakers that do not need to be mounted anywhere as a last resort. For instance, a soundbar with a subwoofer can come in quite handy where dedicated surround sound systems are out of the question. In this case, you would only have to worry about the soundbar’s placement (which can go right beneath the TV). On the other hand, the sub can go anywhere since bass is omnidirectional.
Last but not least, you may use adhesives to hang your speakers. It is cost-effective. However, always check how they’re holding up and give them a boost every once in a while.
Hanging speakers is almost like art. People use various materials to achieve their desired look. You can use as many materials as you please, from cargo nets to wooden boards. When hanging your mountless speakers, bear in mind the weight of your speaker and build strong supports so that the speakers don’t fall off and hurt someone.