Bunnings is the popular choice for budget-savvy renovators, when it comes to picture hanging rails is a low-cost option right for you?

Using a hanging system to display artwork or hang mirrors can transform the look of your rooms, and potentially add functionality and change the way you use your space.

If you like variety and would like to be able to move or change your artwork when you re-arrange your furniture, or just feel like a change of colour scheme using a hanging system allows you to be flexible without damaging your walls.

The cost of a picture hanging system can vary considerably, depending on the style, layout, number, and size of rooms.

Picture hanging systems are produced worldwide by specialised manufacturers can be bought from local suppliers or some large hardware companies, such Bunnings.

From a customer point of view, how can you be sure you get the system that is right for you?  Which objective figures and facts should you look for to ensure you are getting the best quality/price ratio?

In simple words: what are the alternatives available in the local market?

As a customer myself, I decided to write this article to look at some of the current options Australia, and several interesting (sometimes surprising) facts emerged because of my research.

Brands distributed by Bunnings.

As they are the largest, and most popular hardware store, I started my research at Bunnings, and I came across two different brands, specifically ‘Zenith’ and ‘[email protected]’. It is not clear whether these brands indicate the importer or the manufacturers, as I could not find an official website for either brand.

Picture hanging systems

Two alternatives from the Netherlands

An online search for picture hanging systems identifies two different brands, Artiteq and STAS (both based in the Netherlands).

Based in Tilburg, Artiteq was founded in 1995, and it seems to have built a solid and long-lasting reputation regarding the quality of its supplies and services 1995. They have their own Research & Development department. They claim to develop all products with a Safety Factor of 3 or 5, depending on the materials used. They manufacture all their products locally, in the Netherlands, and then distribute them worldwide in over 60 countries!

In terms of quality, Artiteq applies the quality assurance of TÜV[1], a certification and provides a 10-year guarantee on all of its products.

That’s awesome!

STAS founded in 1995 in Eindhoven by brothers Rien and André Stas. Similarly, they also design, manufacture and get their products tested locally by TÜV and then sell them worldwide through importers and resellers in about 50 different countries.

The next step in my research was to compare the product range, price and flexibility of each brand.

[1] internationally active, independent service companies from Germany and Austria that testinspect and certify technical systems, facilities and objects of all kinds in order to minimize hazards and prevent damages.

Product Range

Table 1: How the three brands compare in terms of product range

Zenith (Bunnings)ARTITEQSTAS
Picture rails
The only length available ranges from 300mm to 2m.

Not enough to cover larger rooms, unless you have multiple joints.

Choice restricted to wall-attachable rails only. No choice of exterior finish.

Available sizes range from 2 to 3 metres.

There is a wide choice between wall rails, built-in and ceiling fixed rails.

It is possible to choose between white primer, bright white, and aluminium exterior finish. The rails are paintable.

Available sizes range from 2 to 3 metres.

It is possible to select between wall and ceiling fixed rails.

White and aluminium exterior finish, with more colours on request.

Hanging wires
Both Nylon and Steel wire are available, although in a limited range of wire diameter (2 or 6mm) and length.

These big diameters might be too big to suit certain applications where a nearly invisible wire is required.

Steel and Perlon (high resistance Nylon 6) are available as materials for wires. 2 choices of diameters (1mm or 2mm). Lengths between 100-500mm.

The steel end of the hanging wire is available in two different designs: solid slider (to accommodate installations on a slope – e.g. staircase!) and twister (standard design).

Steel and Nylon are available as materials for wires. with 2 choices of diameters (1mm or 2mm). Lengths between 100-500mm.

One option for the steel end of the hanging wire.

HooksOnly one kind of hook is available. No options are available to fix typical issues like forwarding tilting, etc.Wide array of hooks to suit different load capacities and applications. Additionally, some hooks have interesting features, e.g. to prevent picture’s forward tilting and to lock the artwork in place to prevent removal.Good choice of hooks, although load capacity is the only element of variance between the hooks.

Suitability

Different type of wall is another crucial aspect to factor in when selecting a picture hanging system. The most common kind of wall finish is probably plasterboard (Gyproc). Still, perhaps your favourite photo collection looks much better on a fancy brick wall. Maybe you have just found a beautiful nature painting that you want to hang in your kitchen, but you got tiles on your walls and do not want to crack them.

The option currently sold at Bunnings is only suitable for timber frames and can only be installed on a flat wall. Therefore, if your walls are made of a material other than plasterboard, and you wish to hang artworks from the ceiling, there’s no way you can use the products from this supplier.

Conversely, both Artiteq and STAS offer a wider choice of products, and it’s possible to install them on brick walls, concrete and stone. However, there are better options for that. As discussed in a previous article, ceiling attached rails provide an intelligent alternative to drilling in ‘difficult’ walls.

It is also interesting to note that Artiteq is currently the only manufacturer supplying hanging systems that can be installed on a slope. Their technology is named Solid Slider. This would work perfect if you perhaps want to make your living space extra-classy and hang your artworks or photos along your stairway!

Picture hanging systems
Picture Hanging System with steel hanging wires

Load capacity

A picture hanging system is made of (at least) one picture rail and related fixtures, hanging wires and the hooks. Its load capacity is usually expressed as the maximum weight (in kg) carried by each unit of length (1 metre).

To safely achieve the maximum load capacity, it is crucial to install wall/ceiling fixtures of the appropriate type at the spacing recommended by the manufacturer.

While the rails and the hooks tend to be the sturdiest parts of the system, the hanging wires will most likely fail if not selected correctly. Hence, the selection of the diameter and material of the hanging cables (nylon or steel) will determine the system’s adequate load capacity.

Both Artiteq and STAS offer hanging wires to suit a range of weights.

Examples:

Say we have to hang 50Kg mirrors. A picture rail capable of 100kg/m would undoubtedly be up to the job. However, suppose you chose to hang the mirror with two wires whose max capacity is 20kg. In that case, you are probably courting a disaster.

You might have of a picture rail capable of holding 60kg/m and a series of artwork whose weight is 20kg. Under the hypothesis that two wires hang each artwork, then two hanging cables like the ones in the example before would undoubtedly do the job. However, if more than three objects were to be hung in 1m, that would be enough to exceed the load capacity of the picture rail.

These two examples explain how it is to select the correct system components to achieve the best results.

This challenge becomes easier when you are able to choose from a wide variety of geometries and load capacities, which should be able to be combined to suit most applications. This is the case with the two Dutch manufacturers. Their picture rails offer extensive load capabilities ranging from 20kg/m to 100kg/m.

Picture hooks for nylon and steel wire hanging wires

Price

The table below shows the minimum and the maximum cost of a hypothetical picture hanging system featuring the following:

  • 2m long rail, wall attached, white. Price is inclusive of all required wall fixtures.
  • Two nylon hanging wires.
  • Two hooks

Table 2- Average prices in SA for a simple picture hanging system

Average prices in South Australia – (As of 26/04/22)
BrandDistributorPicture railsHanging wiresHooksOverall
[A$/m][A$/m][A$/m]
ARTITEQHANG LOGIC$15.25 – $23.75$2.46 – $4.45$2.14 – $11.95
STASPHS$25.38 – $29.57$3.76 – $4.63$3.30 – $11.24
ZENITHBUNNINGS$10 – $55$2 – $3$5.75 – $6

Installation service and guarantee

The distributors usually offer installation services.

Both Hang Logic and PHS offer an installation service if the client requires up to 10 years of guarantee on their products. Conversely, Bunnings supplies the materials only, but the installation is left to the client’s skills.

Interestingly, besides installation, Hang Logic also offers an inclusive package of consultation and design to better guide the client through the best product(s).

Picture Hanging Systems installed at Harris Orchard

Conclusions

Although both Artiteq and STAS may be more expensive than Bunnings for some of their components, they both offer high-quality products, most of which have been tested by third parties, and provide a ten-year guarantee.  Furthermore, the two Dutch producers have a wider range of products and components whilst the range at Bunnings is quite limited and may not be suitable for some applications.

Pricewise, Artiteq’s picture hanging systems seem to be overall better priced than STAS and have a fantastic range of products that suit all needs and applications, thus making this competitor the one with the best quality/price ratio currently on the market.

That is why at Hang Logic we choose to supply and install the Artiteq range of picture hanging systems.

Time for an upgrade?

Are you looking to learn more about how can you improve the beauty and efficiency of your house?

Whether you seek something simple to keep your walls tidy and pristine or comprehensive systems to create an impressive art display, we are just a phone call or an email away.

Contact us today by calling us on 0432 924 305 or email us at [email protected] for a FREE consultation.  Or, if you prefer to work things out yourself, sift through our frequently asked questions.