How to Choose The Right Art Hanging Track System


When hanging valuable artworks it is essential that you select a high specification, professional art hanging system. Here we share a step-by-step guide to help you choose the right track system for your installation setting and artworks.

In this guide we take you through a series of simple questions to determine the right track solution. All of our tracks are designed to the highest specification and professional grade, suitable for hanging artworks in museums, galleries, historic houses (listing dependent) and commercial spaces.

Note: This guide is specifically for Track (Rails) and assumes you have opted against fixing artworks directly to the wall. For direct to wall fixing, please see our Ryman Hangers or Link Hangers, which are world renowned and used by leading institutions such as the Tate Galleries and MoMA.


In order to determine the most suitable track for your installation setting and artworks, you will need to consider the following points, which we will discuss below.

The installation setting (to determine the right track, and quantity)

  1. Installation phase
  2. Installation position
  3. Surface structure
  4. Architectural details
  5. Layout and openings

The artworks to be hung (to determine the right hanging components)

  1. Weight
  2. Wall height and positioning
  3. Desired finish
  4. Security & flexibility
  5. Current frame condition

Prefer this information as a downloadable PDF?

We have a handy two page PDF version of the information displayed below. Please feel free to download it for your projects.

Choosing a Track PDF


Our Track Systems can be split into 2 core parts:

  1. The Track (Rails) - The channel that attaches to, or is built into, the wall or ceiling
  2. The Hanging Sets - Made up of Top Block, Hanging Length and Art Connector (Hanging Component), that the hangs from the track and connects to the artwork

Track is available in individual 2.5m lengths. Hanging Sets are sold in pairs (as it takes a pair to suspend an artwork).

(Example show includes a cross section of H Track, Stainless Steel Cable, and Ryman Barrels)

Step 1: Assessing The Installation Setting

In order to select a track (rail), you need a clear picture of the installation setting, as this has a significant influence over which track system is most suitable.

Important: No matter the material strength of the art hanging track, it must rely on the structure of the wall to stay in place. To safeguard valuable artworks, you need to know what’s in the wall or ceiling you are attaching it to.

Let's dive in...

Consideration 1: During what phase of construction will your track be installed?


Consideration 2: What position on the wall or ceiling will the track be installed?

  • Fitted in the ceiling (C Track)
  • Fixed to finished face of a wall, directly below ceiling (H Track)
  • Recessed above wall panel (T Track)
  • Built into the wall, finishing flush with the wall surface (Flush Mount Track)


Consideration 3: What are the conditions of the wall or ceiling structure?

It is important to establish the support structure of the wall, as rather than determine which track can be used, this largely determines the weight carrying capacity of the track (rail) and the fixing type to be used.

In terms of the condition of the wall or ceiling, is it:

  • Existing lathe and plaster
  • Plasterboard, no added structural support
  • Plasterboard, with existing structural support or the ability to add more
  • Brick or concrete blocks
  • Stone Panels

This is a very relevant point to also highlight an important question: Does your installation setting have any historic preservation restrictions that might limit how/where you install your artworks? In historic houses and listed buildings this must be checked and planning permission may be needed, especially in the case of grade one listed buildings. We have worked with clients in such instances previously and would be happy to offer advice. Please contact us using the form at the bottom of this page.


Consideration 4: What architectural details need to be factored in?

Architectural details can create special conditions for installation. It is important you consider these as they can impact both the track that is most suitable and how you need to install the track. These might include:

  • Applied Wall panels (plasterboard, joinery, fabric, ceramic, concrete)
  • Moulding at the top of a wall or ceiling
  • No moulding
  • Existing picture rail
  • Light cove at the top of the wall
  • Lay-in ceiling tiles
  • Track built into wall
  • Slope at stairs
  • Curved walls


Consideration 5: Layout & Openings

Finally, to determine the required length of track (rail), consider room layout and other factors that influence the number of track cuts for the installation, such as:

  • Doors and windows that go up to the ceiling and will interrupt the continuous run of track
  • Number of inside/outside corners in the space
  • Built-in cabinetry
  • Fireplaces

Related to this consideration, we have the following advice:

  • You will need to make sure each wall run has an access mouth for installing the hanging sets in all tracks other than Flush Mount Track.
  • Always mitre inside and outside corners for a neat finish with no exposed track ends.
  • Where possible, always continue track above windows and doors, rather than start-stopping track sections, in order to achieve the most seamless, visually quiet finish.

Track (Rail) Options

With all the above considered, you should now be able to provisionally select a track. Some elements of Step 2, mainly relating artwork weights, may impact this, though.

Flush Mount Track
H Track
T Track
C Track

Browse Track Products

Flush Mount Track (Rail)Flush Mount Track (Rail)
Flush Mount Track (Rail)from $152.88 (ex VAT)
H Track (Rail)H Track (Rail)
H Track (Rail)from $111.72 (ex VAT)

T Track (Rail)T Track (Rail)
T Track (Rail)from $126.42 (ex VAT)
C Track (Rail)C Track (Rail)
C Track (Rail)from $67.62 (ex VAT)

Step 2: Assessing The Artworks You Intend to Hang

By now you may have determined which track option is right for you, although some of the considerations in this section may also impact this (such as artwork weight). This step, however, is predominently about selecting the right hanging sets to go with your track.

What are hanging sets? Hanging sets are the elements that hang from the track and attach to the back of your artwork. They are made up of a Top Block, Hanging Length and Artwork Connector. The Top Block is determined by the Track, the Hanging Length and Artwork Connector components can be selected based on your hanging needs, which we discuss below.

Consideration 1: What is the maximum weight of the artworks you intend to hang?

In order to:

a) Double check the track you've chosen is suitable, and

b) Select the right hanging sets

You need to know the maximum weight of the artworks you intend to suspend from the track. As a guide based on standard installation practices, the following maximum weights apply:

For heavier artworks, please contact us to discuss further, as there are certain installation practices and hanging set options that will allow you to hang heavier artworks from our tracks.

When it then comes to choosing your hanging set, as a guide based on standard installation practice, the following maximum weights apply:

  • Perlon Cord: Supports artworks of up to 25kg each
  • Stainless Steel Cable: Supports artworks of up to 60kg each
  • Stainless Steel Rods: Supports artworks of up to 150kg each


Consideration 2: Wall height and desired artwork positioning

Best practice is to always install an artwork so that the centre of the work is at eye level. There are exceptions, though, such as installing artworks around staircases.

Regardless of the final position you desire for the artworks, the distance between the track position and the point you would like the artwork to hang will determine what length of hanging length you need. We offer all our hanging lengths (Perlon Cord, Stainless Steel Cable, and Stainless Steel Rods) in 1.5m and 2.5m lengths as standard. In some instances bespoke lengths are available, please contact us.


Consideration 3: Desired Finish
With all installations, you want the artwork to be the star of the show, with the hanging system discreetly blending into it's surroundings as the unobtrusive supporting cast. With that in mind, there are several ways in which our hanging lengths offer that discretion:

  • Perlon Cord: Semi-transparent and only 2mm in diameter, this cord by design blends in well with the wall it sits in front of.
  • Stainless Steel Cable: Even finer at 1.5mm diameter, our stainless steel cable is silver in colour and can sit neatly within a range of settings.
  • Stainless Steel Rods: at 5mm diameter and available in silver or white, or powder coated to a bespoke RAL colour, for maximum weight loading capacity and subtlety our rods offer the most flexible option when it comes to customisation.


Consideration 4: What level of security (and flexibility) is needed?
When hanging artworks in museums, galleries, historic houses or commercial settings, often the works are of a high fiscal and cultural value and so security is extremely important. In such instances we have the following advice:

  • Opt for our Ryman Barrels, Ryman hangers, and use our High Security Spring Keepers to secure the Ryman Hanger on the back of the artwork to the Ryman Barrel. Without the correct security key it is extremely difficult for artworks to then be removed.
  • Opt for Stainless Steel Rods, as these are virtually impossible to lift out of the track channel and, when artworks are attached, impossible to twist out of the top blocks. When used in conjunction with our Ryman Hangers the artworks are effectively locked in place and therefore extremely difficult to remove.

If the artworks you intend to hang are likely to change frequently, you will find that all of our tracks and hanging lengths facilitate quick and easy artwork changeover. That said, Hook Barrels are by far the swiftest artwork connector, if speed and convenience is of higher priority than security.


Consideration 5: What is the current condition of the frames?

Does the frame already have a fixing on the back, such as a Ryman Hangers, other fixings such as D rings, or none at all?

  • Ryman Hangers: You will need Ryman Barrels as your artwork connector.
  • D Rings & cord/string: You will need Hook Barrels as your artwork connector.
  • None: If you are starting fresh, we recommend using our Ryman hangers and Ryman Barrels, these are best as the Ryman Hanger gives you the option of hanging from our track, directly to the wall or on storage hooks, meaning you only need one hook type for all 3 applications, thus minimising frame damage. Ryman hangers also offer the highest level of security, as discussed in point 4 above.

Hanging Lengths

Now you can choose your Hanging Length:

Perlon Cord
Stainless Steel Cable
Stainless Steel Rods

Artwork Connectors

Lastly, you can choose your Artwork Connectors (Hanging Components):

Ryman Barrel
Hook Barrel
Browse Hanging Sets

Hanging Set for H TrackHanging Set for H Track
Hanging Set for H Trackfrom $39.69 (ex VAT)
Hanging Set for Flush Mount TrackHanging Set for Flush Mount Track

Hanging Set for T TrackHanging Set for T Track
Hanging Set for T Trackfrom $47.04 (ex VAT)
Hanging Set for C TrackHanging Set for C Track
Hanging Set for C Trackfrom $39.69 (ex VAT)

Got more questions? 

You can get in touch with us using the form at the bottom of this page, or alternatively some of your questions may have been answered in our FAQ section, which offers extensive advice relating to generic and specific hanging system use.




Hanging System Enquiry Form



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