Hat and coat hooks are needed in all homes, and fitting them is a job that can easily carried out by a competent person. Though a relatively small job, quite a few tools are required to complete the work.
To begin with, it has to be decided which type of hooks are going to be used, as there are variations in design and the material in which they are made. You will also need to decide how many hooks are required in relation to the space that there is available to fit them. There is no standard width to the gap that the hook should be set apart, so common sense must prevail. If set too close together, there will be a problem hanging bulky coats next to each other, which will also make it difficult when a single coat is taken off. Consider too the space for hats, as some do require a considerable space.
In this example, I have chosen four aluminium hat and coat hooks, which will be mounted on a softwood piece 100mm x 25mm (PAR) redwood timber. They will be spaced out equally to what I consider to be an adequate gap. The timber batten can be of any material that you chose, hardwood, softwood, or MDF, and can be either painted, stained or varnished.
The length of the timber batten is related to the available wall space, the amount of hooks used, and the most suitable gap set between them.
In this example, I have a wall space of 800mm available; four hooks set 150mm apart, with a 50mm space at each end of the batten. Including the width of each hook, this works out that a batten length of 640mm will accommodate all the hooks and will also fit easily within the 800mm wall space.
Begin calculating the length of the batten by laying out all the hooks onto a work surface, and set them at equal distances apart according to your needs. In addition to the length that this gives, add 100mm for the two 50mm overhangs, and this will give the true length of the required 100mm x 25mm batten.
Using a small plane, such as a block plane, chamfer the four face edges of the batten at a 45-degree angle, taking off equal amounts from each edge. This will enhance the appearance of the finished batten.
Now place the batten onto a work surface, and set out the positions of all the hooks at the predetermined distances apart, allowing 50mm from each end, then place the centre of the hook onto each mark in turn and mark its edge onto the timber. Using a square draw a faint line so that each hook can be positioned on the batten vertically, and with each bracket held in this position, mark each screw hole into the wood using a bradawl.
On a relatively short batten, two screws would be sufficient to fix the batten to the wall, longer length would benefit form an additionscrew close to the centre.
The objective here is to fix the batten to the wall without the heads of the fixing wall screws being visible when the hooks are in place. This is done by marking the position of the fixing screw onto the batten, so that they are positioned behind the hook position, and does not interfere with the two hole positions that will be used to fix the hook as shown here in the diagram on the right. When fixing into a masonry wall, 63mm countersunk, No 10 gauge screws would be an ideal size, and the two holes to accommodate them should be drilled into the batten. The drill size should be equal to the diameter of the screw shank, so that the screws are a snug fit that can be slid into the hole. Next, countersink each hole so the screw head finishes flush with the surface of the batten. Place the batten on the wall, and ensure that the distance between it and the floor is sufficient for a coat to hang, and place a spirit level onto the batten, ensuring that it is level. While in this position, mark through the two pre drilled holes using a bradawl, remove the batten, and drill the two holes into the brickwork using a No 7 masonry bit, slightly deeper than the length of the screw that protrudes beyond the batten.
Insert the two brown plugs into the wall, place the two screws through the batten into the plugs, and tap them in until the plugs reach the bottom of holes. Screw the batten securely onto the wall and check again for being level. If it is found that it is slightly out, the batten can be tapped up or down, then refit all the hooks onto the batten.
The batten can be painted before or after being fixed onto the wall, but in both cases, all the hooks should be removed.