Can I cut the Galvanized/Stainless Cables? Nylon Cords?
Before deciding to cut a cable, consider reserving the extra length for future possible use. If any extra cable length is visible, it may be easily coiled and hidden behind the artwork/object. This way if you need the cable to be longer in the future you will have that length at your disposal.
Having said that, our Nylon Cords may be cut without any special tools or process. Further, there are many situations that will cause the need for steel cables to be field trimmed.
Galvanized/stainless steel cable should not be trimmed with common wire cutters, which are typically designed for soft copper wires. These will damage and fray steel “aircraft” cable that we provide. When our cables are cut in our factory the ends are fused to avoid frays. If you cut them in the field they are likely to fray. However, we offer an inexpensive kit (Cable Trim Kit (PN #U5150AA) and procedure that will greatly assist your effort to professionally “field cut” our steel/stainless steel cables.
For more informations, you may download a guide on how the kit is used.
Can I mix different cables and rods on the same track?
Yes. All but one of our tracks are compatible with both cables and rods. That list includes
The track that is compatible with only cables and cords is Click Rail Track.
Can I paint rods to achieve a finish color other than the selection you provide?
Unfortunately, no. If you were to paint a rod, the paint will likely be damaged when any of our rod hooks interacts with the rod. Also, that “foreign” paint may cause the hook to not perform as anticipated, lessening its ability to support a load.
Can I paint tracks to achieve a different color?
Yes. The following table lists the standard finish for each track that will likely provide you the best base from which to proceed.
- Classic Wall Track / Anodized Silver or Champagne
- Classic Ceiling Track / Anodized Silver or Champagne
- Display Reveal / Anodized Silver
- Contempo® Track / Natural
- Click Rail Track / White Painted, flat-finish (Cool), Note: This finish will act as a primer.
A couple of additional notes.1)Always refer to your local paint professional for additional insights and guidance.
2)When painting Click Rail Track, make every attempt to keep paint out of the bottom slot as paint build-up in this area could have a negative impact on ease of use for the product.
Can your systems be used with an existing “picture rail” wood molding?Yes! If your interior space has pre-installed "picture rails" as were common in residences and commercial buildings from the 1880's thru the 1920's, you have two options. We can custom bend rods for your use that will be compatible with your molding. We offer a family of Picture Molding Hangers. They are available in two sizes and three finishes. They simply hang over the top of the molding just as would original hardware. These would be matched with our Loop-End cables. This will result in the look of times past with the functionality of our newly engineered systems. You may even fabricate a cloth sleeve to cover the cable/cord to further finesse the look as was the case during the Victorian era.
Can your tracks be installed onto a brick wall?
Yes, with one exception. Mounting fasteners are included with Wall Track, Ceiling Track, Click Rail Track and Contempo® Track. The provided hardware includes screws and Triple Grip® Anchors, at a minimum. These proprietary anchors are rated for use in drywall (3/8'', 1/2'', 5/8''), brick, plaster, concrete and ceramic tiles. However, the correct fastener is critical to maintaining the weight capacity, and safety, of such a system and the installer is always ultimately responsible in determining the most appropriate fastener(s) for a particular installation. Please refer to the Installation Guide that accompanies your shipment. For your convenience you may also download these guides in advance.The exception is Display Reveal. It cannot be installed directly onto a brick surface.
Wall Track, Ceiling Track and Contempo Track are all shipped with screws, which are painted to match the color of the track. Click Rail Track is further supplied with Click and Connect connectors and Contempo Track, with spacers.When mounting Click Rail Track, it is particularly important that any brick elements are “in line” with the wall itself. Please call your AS Hanging Display Systems Customer Service representative for additional assistance if any brick elements are not well aligned as there are alternate connectors, which may aid your installation.
What insight can you provide me regarding where I might install a track?
You may elect any approach that makes sense in your application. However, you should be aware that our track could last for as long as the building stands. For that reason you may want to think of aesthetics as well as functionality. Basically, that means it is best to treat our track as you would any architectural feature. Think of the way a crown molding would be installed. It runs around the entire room and a result becomes integrated into the overall design.
When our tracks are mounted only above certain areas “where art or objects will be hanging” and not over door openings or above windows, it causes the track to draw extra attention. Typically a hanging system has the best appearance when it is installed on the entire length of a wall, from corner to corner, or in an unbroken lap around the entire room.
Particularly with regards to our Click Rail Track, which is very discreet, be aware that some designers feel it is too small for some walls. Some have mounted it on top of a finish carpentry detail to give it more visual presence. Others have hidden it behind other finish details. It can be used in conjunction with both contemporary and traditional decor and even be integrated with crown moldings.
Additionally, most track is installed at the ceiling/wall intersection. On very tall walls it is sometimes mounted a reasonable distance down from the ceiling, perhaps nine feet above the floor. This makes its use more friendly while also acting to scale the wall to more human proportions. When the track is mounted 9 – 10 feet or higher from the adjacent floor you may consider rods as your vertical component, which are very convenient in these circumstances. Rods may be suspended from
Do not forget our Classic Ceiling Track as well, which is often perfect when the wall surface is difficult (masonry, stone, glass, concrete etc.)
Do I need special tools to install the track?
This depends on your wall structure. Mounting track to concrete walls or other masonry surfaces is more difficult simply because the wall surface is so much more difficult to drill into. That being said, installing most any of our systems to most walls is a rather common Do-It-Yourself (DIY) activity. It has been done more than 40,000 times.
Feel free to download the Install Guide for the system/product you are considering so you can preview the installation steps.
However, we have one track that is not a common DIY activity. That would be our Display Reveal, which is built into wall, typically during new construction or major remodeling. You can download and preview that Install Guide as well.
Do you have a catalog that I can take to a meeting to discuss our project?
Yes, we have a couple of options available to you. First, we have a catalog that contains a variety of application photos and a listing of many of our components and parts. You may request a copy by calling our Customer Service Department (toll free) at 866-935-6949.
We also have this catalog available as a downloadable pdf file. You may download it here.
Lastly, we have an interactive catalog that offers a rich experience and acts as a great way to gain exposure to our product and the concepts behind them. That can be viewed anywhere you have Internet access.
How do I determine how many tracks will be required for my application?
Have a plan on where you will be attaching tracks. Tracks that start and stop draw unneeded attention. It is advisable to mount track as a lap around a room just as crown molding would be handled. At the minimum, mount track from corner to corner on the entire length of a wall.
Measure the length of all the wall segments on which you will be mounting track. Total these and divide by 6 (assumes you will be using a track that is available in 6 foot lengths.) and round up. That is the minimum number of tracks to purchase.
If there are corners, breaks for window openings or column and doors, for example you will have to cut the track to fit around these obstructions. This will cause scrap. We recommend budgeting 10 – 20% for scrap. The more cuts you require tends to drive up the scrap rate.
Here is an example. Let’s say we need to install track on all the walls of a 16-foot by 15.5-foot room. There are no breaks in these four walls (the simplest). This is a total of 63 linear feet. 63 divided by 6 is 10.5 and would purchase 11 tracks. We would mathematically only have three feet left over.
Assuming we start on a 16 foot long wall. We will consume two 6 foot lengths and four feet of a third track, leaving 2 feet of scrap. Next, we might mount track to the 15.5 foot long wall. That would consume two lengths of track and 3.5 feet of a third, leaving 2.5 feet of scrap. Then we are back at the second 16 foot long wall. Again, this consumes two 6 foot tracks and four feet of a third track, again leaving 2 feet of scrap.
So far we have used 9 lengths of track and have scrap pieces in these lengths.
- 2 feet
- 2.5 feet
- 2 feet
On the last wall, which is 15.5 feel long, we will use our last two lengths of track and then we need a 3.5 foot long length to complete the installation. However, our longest scrap piece is only 2.5 feet. Using it and a 1 foot long piece of another scrap would cause many seams in a short span.
These are best to avoid. However, it would leave us with only 3 feet of scrap, about 5%.
As shown in this example, experience shows that 12 tracks will serve us better. We would have another 2.5 foot long piece of scrap, a total of 14%. Also, more cuts for additional obstacles are likely to generate additional scrap, trending towards 20%.
How far apart are the pre-drilled holes in the tracks that you supply?
Classic Wall Track, Classic Ceiling Track and Contempo® Track are each supplied with nine pre-drilled holes and the holes are each distributed in the same manner. The first hole is 4 inches from the track end. The remaining holes are spaced 8 inches on center from the first hole near the track end. These holes are 0.16 inch/4mm in diameter to accept #6 size screw.
Click Rail Track is not pre-drilled because it snaps onto supplied clips. Our Display Reveal, while the mounting flanges have many holes, this is a completely different install process, for which there is a detailed Install Guide
How many rods/cables do I need?
Calculate your needs according to the number of art pieces you would like to display.
In a gallery or exhibition space, plan for 3.5 – 4.0 rods/cables/cords per each length of track (6-feet) and 1.25 to 1.5 hooks per rod/cable/cord.
In typical residential spaces you may cut that back and plan on 3.0 – 3.5 per length of track and 1.0 – 1.25 hooks per vertical element.
However there are a couple other variables that would influence the above.
- 1. If you hang miniatures or small artwork more densely, additional rods/cables/cords will be required.
- 2. Additionally, more hooks will be needed if you hang multiple pieces vertically from the same rod/cable/cord (1-up, 2-up, 3-up, etc.).
- 3. And, if you elect to hang objects from two vertical elements, your rod/cable/cord count will be pushed upwards.
Several small frames may be suspended from a single rod/cable/cord, however be careful to not exceed weight limitations of any individual component. See our Weight Support Guide for more specifics on this topic.
How will my artwork connect to your systems?
While our several hanging systems have no particular requirements, there are several tips for optimizing the presentation of your display materials for hanging systems. We have created a series of “How To” guides for optimizing your presentation, particularly of framed art. You can download these from here. You may also read these on our extensive blog.
Beyond that, we offer a series of specialty hooks that are optimized for various objects that you may have or encounter. Specifically, and speaking of the way in which the rear side of objects are prepared, we offer hooks optimized for;
- plaques with a horizontal slot
- plaques, or similar, with a keyhole
- French cleats
- sawtooth hanger
- glass panels
- all types of sign substrates such as rigid Sintra, or plexiglass and crushable foamcore
- aluminum frames
I have a Plexiglas panel that I need to hang in my store, what kind of hook should I use?
You have a few choices and they can be decided by how the vertical cables will interface with your display.
First, we offer Side Clamps, which are available in two designs (Econo Side Clamps and Pro Side Clamps). Both are available in single-sided and double-sided configurations. Further, the Pro series is available in three sizes to accommodate a wide variety of panel thicknesses. A display made of these fittings will feature cables, which pass by the left and right side of display panels. Typically, each panel will interact with four side clamps, two on the left and two on the right. Side Clamps rely upon compression on the host material or a through hole in the same.
Next, we offer Panel Hooks. These are a family of unique (they are patented) hooks, which support a panel on a ledge created by the Panel Hook. (Think of a miniaturized version a poster resting on a chalk ledge at the bottom of a chalkboard.) Then, Panel Hooks are inverted and retain the top of the panel so it does not fall forward. Panel Hooks, and a related Utility Hook, are widely versatile to panel thickness, facilitating materials less than 3/16” thick up to 5/8”. Panel Hooks do not require compression clamping of the display material, as do the other fittings mentioned here.
Typically, a panel will interact with four fittings, but it may be only two if the panels are small and/or out of reach from the public. Panel Hooks are offered in four configurations for conventional and back-to-back displays. Cables used in this display configuration will pass behind the display material.
Lastly, we offer Top Clamps. The cables used in a display relying upon Top Clamps will terminate at the top of display panels. With these fittings a typical panel will interact with only two hardware elements. Top clamps come in three sizes. Optionally, we offer a related product, Top-Bottom Clamps, which you would use if you desire to hang another panel immediately below the upper one.
Feel free to review a document we have prepared, titled Compatibility Guide, Top and Top-Bottom Clamps to Panel Type and Thickness.
I want to install your system in a public space but don’t want the display to be messed with. What do you recommend?
There are degrees of “messed with avoidance” you can consider.
First, you can install with our secure hooks. These will “secure” the display material to a cable or rod in a manner that will make it less convenient to lift off or remove a framed piece. Examples of these hooks for cables include our Mini Hook, Secure Gripper Hook, Secure Self-Gripping Hook and Aluminum Frame Hook. Materials held with Side Clamps will also behave similarly. If rods are being used as the vertical element, Secure Gallery Classic Hook would be your choice.
With the above it is possible to overcome the secure feature, typically by removing the hook from the cable or rod. This can be avoided by adding a Cable Stop or Rod Collar to the bottom of the cable or rod, respectively. At this point the “secure” system we were discussing is just short of an anti-theft system. The only thing needed to take it this extra step is to add an anti-theft vertical element to the combination. That is the subject of another FAQ and blog story.
Lastly, if your concern is more about the display being tampered with, as in repositioning the cables or rods, then you might consider tensioning the vertical elements. This is most commonly done with Cable Tensioners and Rod-End Hangers for cables and rods, respectively. Another way to achieve tensioned cables is to use our Fixed or Articulated Piers to mount the cables.
Is it possible to install a track at near eye-level to avoid using cable or rods? Is there a way to hang art directly?
The short answer, yes! This would be done with our S-Hook or C-Hanger. However, be aware that there will be no up/down adjustment. Alternatively, you may get a very similar result by using very short vertical elements, short enough to hide the entire vertical component behind the frame, if the rail is mounted at the correct height. Extra cable length may be coiled and hidden behind the frame in most installations.
This is popularly done with our Display Reveal.
Is there a maximum size for panels/boards I can hang using your Panel Hooks/Utility Hooks?
While there is a weight limitation there is no maximum size per say. That being said, the panel should be stiff enough to support its own weight when supported from below. Otherwise it may bow. One way to check this is to stand the panel on its edge and rest it on the floor. If it bows in this test; it will bow when supported with Panel Hooks / Utility Hooks. To overcome this dynamic you could stiffen a display panel by adding vertical “ribs” on the rear side of the panel. These ribs would act as “backbones” and would help in preventing the display panels from bending.
I want to display a number of panels side by side without creating a vertical gap between the panels. What can you propose?
You have two choices.
You may use our Panel Hooks / Utility Hooks, of which there are five different variations. These allow panels to butt up against the adjacent panels in side by side, above and below, and back to back. So, it becomes just a matter of panel placement. We have created a document to illustrate this in detail. You can download “Application Guide, Panel Hook Multi-Panel Design” at your convenience.
You may also use our Top Clamps. These attach to panels from the top edge, leaving the left and right edges clear of obstructions allowing panels to butt up against neighboring panels.
I am aware of your Side Clamps and Panel Hooks. Is there a way to hang an unframed panel from one cable?
Yes, absolutely. You may hang an unframed panel using a single cable equipped with our Panel Hooks, Wide (H3006). You would simply “sandwich” a display panel between a hook holding the bottom of your item and an inverted hook holding the top edge of your panel. You may also need to add Bumpers or a Frame Stabilizer, Cables to the rear side of the panel to help it counter any “twisting” in the cable. That is why we recommend two cables and four Panel Hooks.
Be aware, depending on the size and material of the panel, there is likely an upper size range where you would want to go back to a more conventional two-cable approach.
Refer to the following document for more details: “Application Guide, Panel Hook, Wide”.
The same is also possible with two panels mounted back to back. Just replace the H3006 hook with the H3031, Panel Hook, Wide, Two-Sided. Refer to the following document for more details: “Application Guide, Panel Hook, Wide, Two-Sided”. However in this instance there is not opportunity to add Bumpers or Stabilizers.
My wall object is prepared with a sawtooth hanger on the back. What is the best hook for this?
The best hook for interacting with a sawtooth hanger is our Utility Hook (H3004).
When/why should I use galvanized/stainless steel cables vs. Nylon cords?
You can look at this in one or more of several ways. Both steel cables (galvanized and stainless) are rated for 45 lbs. of weight. Nylon cords are rated for 15 lbs. For that reason we recommend Nylon Cords be limited to residential or very lightweight commercial applications.
Also, Nylon cords should never be used in tensioned applications. That is the exclusive domain of steel cables. However, be aware that both types of cables/cords may be used in pairs to share the weight of heavier objects.
On the other hand, Nylon cords are nearly transparent. So if you are looking for the most discreet solution, Nylon cords may be your best choice. But this attribute can be overrated. In well-illuminated spaces the cords will give themselves up in two ways. Highlights from light sources will reflect on the cords. Also, in this type of lighting the cord will cast a shadow on the wall, very similar to the stainless version, and sometimes that will be more visible than the cord itself.
Lastly, it is certainly true that the length of Nylon cords is easy to trim. That cannot be said of steel cables. But, do not hesitate to use stainless cables because they are difficult to trim. With either of Nylon or steel vertical elements, simply coil the extra length and hang it behind the artwork. In most applications there is no need to trim extra cable length.
Can you help me on choosing a track finish for my space? Help me understand your finishes.
Over the years we have addressed several special color requests. The most frequent requests have been added to the product line, particularly in the Click Rail Track. Some of these colors are less than obvious and serve clever purposes.
Here is the model you might consider for evaluating color selection.
Silver: If your walls are off-white in the “cool” tones, or if they are grey (not greige), blues, greens; you might consider "Silver". It does a good job of blending in with these “cool” surroundings.
Champagne: This is a finish color that is compatible with and a chameleon color for earth tones, shades of tan, beige and greige, browns and the “warm” shades of the color wheel.
Black: Well it is the classic color that doesn’t need an introduction. In commercial applications like hospitality and food-services where the ceiling is painted black, or very dark, to recede, this is your choice. This track will also recede. This is also very popular in contemporary spaces, contrasting with white.
White, semi-gloss (warm): This is a slightly warm shade of white and is semi-gloss to better match the finish commonly used in many interior trim treatments.
White, flat-finish (cool): This is a cool white shade and is flat finished as is commonly used on many interior walls. This finish may also be thought of as “primer painted”.
Faux Wood: We offer two vinyl wrapped faux wood finishes. One that will blend in well with light woods such as maple and a second for darker wood finishes and Walnut, in particular.
The silver and champagne colors are anodized which is a very hard finish and will give many years, if not decades, of service in an interior location. It is an electro conversion of the top few molecular layers of aluminum and is the “gold standard” in aluminum finishing.
Because anodizing is not available in all colors, our two whites and black are powder-coat painted. This is a process where dry paint powders are electrostatically transferred to the metal and then baked in an oven where the powders are melted and flow into a continuous sealed finish. It is not that different from baked enamel, which is famously long lived. Either finish is premium. If you would like to see these finishes feel free to order one of our Sample Kits or call our Customer Service Department, toll free at 866-935-6949.
What do you recommend for an award plaque that I received? It has a slot routed into the rear surface. Do you have a hook for this?
The best hook for interacting with a horizontal slot as in the back of an award plaque, for example, is our Utility Hook (H3004). If the slot is vertical or if it is keyhole shaped, we recommend the Multi-Purpose Hook (H3012) or our Self-Gripping Hook (H3007). It all depends on the shape of the slot.
I have paintings that have wood frames with wire stretched between two eye-hooks at the back of the frame. What components should I use?
A hang wire attached one either edge of the back of a frame is very common indeed. The wire may be attached to eye-hooks or D-ring hangers. It makes no difference which track you begin with because you may choose from any of our tracks and you may use either cables or rods as your vertical element.
If your painting is large (or wider than about 24-inches), you might consider two cords/cables/rods (one on the left side, one on the right side and each couple with a hook). As mentioned in other FAQs listed here, you may elect to move the attachment points (D-rings or eye-hooks) on the rear side of the painting further up the frame.
What is your cable diameter?
Nylon Cords (transparent and colored) are 0.078-inches (2.0mm). There are single strand extruded Nylon.
Galvanized and Stainless Steel Cables are 0.071-inches (1.8mm). These are made of 7-around-7 strand woven steel for strength and flexibility.
When do I select galvanized steel vs. stainless steel cable?
The galvanized steel and stainless steel cables are a simple, robust and cost effective hanging solution. Steel cables will support up to 45 lbs. Be aware, however, that hooks have separate capacities. Stainless steel cable is made of stainless steel and will maintain its appearance over a very long time period. It will not rust. Galvanized steel cables are made of carbon steel and can rust. For this purpose we have our cable plated with a galvanized (zinc) process. This finish greatly slows oxidation but over time the cable will take on a dull grey appearance and this can transfer to hands and clothing or wall when adjusting the system. That is the only difference between the two.
When or why should I use 2 cables/rods over a single cable/rod?
There are several decision points for when you might add a second cable/rod. First, our general rule is that when a frame is 24 inches wide you might consider it. This will make balancing the object much easier. Second, is strength. If you find yourself bumping up against the weight capacity of a single cable or rod, or hook, you can fabricate additional capacity with a second cable/rod. Third, you will find two cables present items more professionally. Lastly, there are situations where a second cable/rod or are almost needed; that is when using cables/rods in a tensioned manner (when they are held in tension between an upper and lower point).
For a more in depth discussion on the topic please read this blog story.
Where should the hang wire/eye hook be placed on the back of my artwork?
We recommend that the point of attachment, on the rear side of the object, be as high as possible, without the hook showing behind the top edge.
We offer a detailed series of “How To” documents to help you optimize your displays with our systems.
Which, if any, picture hooks are adjustable up and down the cables/cords/rods while a painting is attached?
Most of our hooks will support this functionality! All of our rod hooks make this very easy! You will also find “self-gripping” type hooks for cables also very convenient. This maneuver should not be attempted with a “thumb screw” type hook.
Will the holes hit the studs in the wall and ceiling?
This is impossible to predict as building codes vary by location, building type and age and a number of other variables. Our tracks and included hardware are intended to be independent of wall/ceiling studs. In other words, to achieve the rated weight performance as shown in our Weight Guide, it is not necessary to place the supplied fasteners in studs. Always refer to the Installation Guide that accompanied your shipment. You may preview such documentation in advance by downloading it here.
Can I get my order overnight?
If you place your order before 9:00 am EST we are usually able to ship it the same day. This applies to shipments to the USA and Canada only. Call us toll free at 866-935-6949 to coordinate.
Do you provide a tracking number?
Yes, in our normal workflow, once your order is shipped, you will receive an email that will include the tracking number for your order.
Do you require a minimum order size?
No! All our products are sold separately and you may order just one of anything. However, we do require a minimum shipping charge.
What is the minimum freight charge?
With one exception, all our deliveries are made by FedEx. There is a minimum shipping charge of $11.95 for domestic US orders, and $10.50 for delivery addresses in Canada. The shipping charge is based on weight and zip code/postal code destination of the order.
What is included in your shipping cost?
Everything is included in our shipping fee: packaging, handling, shipping, and all Customs/export documentation, if needed.
What is your lead-time for delivery?
We seldom allow the inventory level of an item to drop to a point where it becomes “out of stock”. As a result, 99% of orders are shipped complete, from stock, on the next business day after order acceptance. This allows us to carefully prepare, pack and ship your order.
Contact us for information on overseas orders: Toll Free 866-935-6949 and in Canada at 450-619-7999.
What shipping method do you offer?
Can I get samples of your products?
Yes! Visit this location to order a comprehensive Sample Kit.