How to Use Hardware Cloth Around Your Home

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At first glance, hardware cloth might not look like much. But once you learn how to use hardware cloth around your home, and all the many ways you can, you won't ever look at this material the same way.

Find out how to use hardware cloth around your home to do all kinds of different repairs and craft projects. Once you learn how versatile this material is, you will always keep some handy for all your DIY projects.

What Is Hardware Cloth?

The name hardware cloth can be a bit deceiving to those who are new to this particular material, as it’s not actually a cloth at all. Rather, this term describes welded wire mesh, which you’ve likely seen used for a range of different things.

This material comes in different sizes, commonly in half-inch or one-inch measurements. It may also be metal-coated for looks or strength, such as a stainless steel finish.

Hardware cloth is typically available in three main types. Galvanized varieties are coated with metal, while fiberglass is highly durable and affordable, and aluminum is resistant to corrosion and UV rays but it can be a little more difficult to work with.

Different Sizes of Hardware Cloth

Hardware cloth comes in all different types and sizes. Depending on the project you're trying to complete, you may need smaller or larger hardware cloth.

The most common sizes of hardware cloth are 1/8-inch, 1/4-inch, and 1/2-inch. This refers to the amount of space between wires, the size of the spaces that create the mesh openings.

You will mostly use 1/8 hardware cloth outside. The 1/8 hardware cloth size is best for covering screen doors, gutters, crawl space openings, and it works well in the garden.

This is the smallest size of hardware cloth and it's very effective for keeping out small rodents in garden areas.

The 1/4 inch hardware cloth is also extremely useful for outside tasks. This is a perfect size for chicken coops and tree guards.

Try the 1/2 inch hardware cloth, the largest size, for home projects of all kinds.

If you need hardware cloth for chicken coop designs or outside uses, go with a smaller size. Most projects can be completed with wire mesh in larger sizes.

How to Use Hardware Cloth

There are seemingly endless uses for hardware cloth. Big pieces, small pieces, and oddly-shaped scraps, all can be used for all sorts of different DIY projects.

Once you start using hardware cloth for DIY projects, you'll just discover more and more different ways to use it. This flexible mesh material is strong, it's easy to work with, and it's affordable and easy to find.

Basically, this stuff was made for the DIYer.

Patch a Hole In the Wall

Hardware cloth is a handy way to patch a hole in a wall in a pinch.

Start out by cutting a piece of cloth so that it's slightly larger than the hole.

Put double-sided mounting tape on the inside of the drywall and push the hardware cloth through the hole. Using pliers, pull the cloth forward and press it against the tape.

After you add a coat of joint compound on top of the hardware cloth and it dries, do a second coat and then sand and paint the wall.

This is an easy way to patch a hole when you don't want to go through all the trouble of cutting and placing drywall. You can apply this same fix, on a smaller scale, to holes where pests are getting in the house as well.

Jewelry Organizer

Using an old picture frame and some hardware cloth is the recipe for a chic and functional jewelry organizer. Simply trim the mesh to match the size of the frame, and then use a staple gun to secure it around the back edges.

Flip the frame to the front side, hang it against the wall or lean upright on a dresser, and use the openings to hang jewelry. Not only will your favorite accessories be easy to grab, but they will be stylishly displayed.

Tool Storage

Use hardware cloth and canning jars to create a functional space in which to store small tools, like screwdrivers.

Cut a piece of cloth a bit larger than the size of a jar opening. Close the jar rim over the mesh. Screwdrivers can stand up in the square openings so they are ready for easy access.

Secure a Banging Pipe

Have a pipe that's knocking? It's one of the worst sounds in the world but with hardware cloth, it's easily fixed.

Use your hardware cloth to form a horseshoe shape, using only a thin strip of material. Then, fit it snugly against the pipe, folding the edges outward at a right angle.

Attach each side of the mesh to the wall with washers and screws on either side of the pipe and it will be secured. This will prevent that knocking sound and restore your peace of mind.

Rustic Kitchen Decor

Farmhouse-style kitchens are a huge trend, and you can easily use hardware cloth to make your kitchen cabinets fit that vibe. Instead of glass in the cabinet openings, install this mesh.

Apply the mesh to the backside of the cabinet and you will add plenty of rustic flair to the kitchen. This is also a useful technique for garden shed and laundry room areas, which fit a rustic theme very well.

In the Garden

There are tons of ways to use hardware cloth in garden areas. Use hardware cloth to protect tree trunks from animal damage, create cages around plants, or shore up garden fencing.

Hardware cloth is actually more effective than chicken wire and works very well to keep pests and animals out of your garden areas. Hardware cloth maintains its shape and it does not tear easily, so it is perfect for garden use.

Use it for chicken coops, to create protective cages, and find other ways to protect plants using this wire mesh.

Other Uses for Hardware Cloth

Various types of hardware cloth are found in all kinds of industries. It may be used in engineering and building.

Chemical companies use hardware cloth to filter liquids and gases. It's even used by the food industry to process and strain various types of foods.

Hardware cloth is used in a huge variety of ways and you can find lots of ways to use it around the house.


Always wear work gloves and eye protection if you are cutting hardware cloth. This is a mesh, not a fabric, and little pieces of flying debris can do real damage to your soft tissues.

Keep these soft tissues protected so you can keep on working on all your creative projects and home improvement fixes.

Tin snips are the most effective tool for cutting hardware cloth, so make sure to have a set on hand when you use this material.

Use Hardware Cloth Around Your Home

Use hardware cloth to make repairs, to make upgrades to what you’ve already got, or to make something completely new. Play around with different uses for hardware cloth and the more familiar you get with the material, the more ideas you will get for ways you can use it for all kinds of DIY tasks.

Hardware Cloth FAQs

What is hardware cloth used for?

Hardware cloth is used for a variety of applications and by a large number of industries, from hardware to food services to everyday DIYers. You can use it around the house for simple repairs and to make a brand-new item that didn't exist before.

Experiment with different uses for hardware cloth in the house and out in the garden, and you'll start to find all sorts of uses for this durable, versatile material.

What do you attach hardware cloth with?

If you're using hardware cloth to make a repair or you're using it somehow in conjunction with another material, such as a cabinet door, you will use different methods of securing the hardware cloth depending on what it's being attached to.

Hardware cloth can be secured with carpentry tacks, small nails, glue, caulk, and many other different materials. Mesh by design is easy to use and this particular type of mesh can be used in a number of ways with all kinds of other materials.

Why is hardware cloth called hardware cloth?

Different types of wire cloth have been around since at least the days of ancient Egypt. Medieval chain mail is a type of hardware cloth, actually.

Wire cloth of all types has been used by cultures all over the world for all kinds of things, from building to personal clothing to decoration.

The term hardware cloth was first used in the late 1890s, though wire mesh is thousands of years older than this.

How long will hardware cloth last in the ground?

Hardware cloth can rust and corrode when it is buried in or laying on the ground. The amount of time it takes for this to happen really depends on the moisture content in the ground and the climate conditions in your area.

Galvanized hardware cloth, which is steel-coated, can actually last for up to 20 years and maybe even longer in dry climates.

Should hardware cloth be on the inside or outside run?

If you're using hardware cloth to build a chicken coop, which is a very effective use of this material, you should always place it on the outside run of the coop.

Can squirrels chew through hardware cloth?

Many rodents, including squirrels, can chew through some types of hardware cloth. Fiberglass and aluminum hardware cloth don't even pose much of a challenge to these gnawing rodents.

Galvanized steeled hardware cloth, however, will definitely stop squirrels and mice. Hardware cloth fencing works very well to keep pests out of garden areas.

Will hardware cloth keep mice out?

Only certain types of hardware cloth will keep mice away. You need galvanized steel hardware cloth to effectively block mice.

Other types of hardware cloth won't stop mice, as they can chew right through it.

Does hardware cloth bend?

Hardware cloth is highly flexible. It can be bent and folded and rolled and shaped in all kinds of ways, which is why it's such a versatile DIY tool.

Does hardware cloth rust on ground?

Hardware cloth, like any other metal, will rust on the ground because it is constantly exposed to moisture. However, the amount of time it takes for this rust and corrosion to occur depends entirely upon how long the material sits on the ground and how wet it is where you are.

In dryer climates, galvanized steel hardware cloth may last for up to 20 years or longer without corroding and rusting.

How to cut hardware cloth?

Hardware cloth wire is not thick or difficult to cut, but normal scissors won't do the trick.

Cutting hardware cloth is not difficult as long as you have the right tool. Tin snips are the best way to cut hardware cloth.

There are so many different hardware cloth uses, it's worth it to invest in a pair of these snips so that you can easily work with hardware cloth any time.

Even stainless hardware cloth can be cut with these snips. Once you have the right tools and the material, you can start learning how to install hardware cloth for any type of DIY project you might have on your to-do list.

How do you fasten hardware cloth?

Hardware cloth is incredibly easy to work with. You can actually use zip ties to secure hardware cloth to itself, if you like.

Fasten hardware cloth to other materials using nails, glue, caulk, the list goes on. There are lots of different ways you can use hardware cloth and many different ways it can be secured.

The more you work with hardware cloth, the more ways you'll find to use it.

Further Reading

4 Tips when Using Fiberglass Cloth and Resin

5 Best Uses for Galvanized Steel Wire

Keep a Chicken Coop Safe from Predators

Make an Affordable Chicken Wire Fence

Use Galvanized Wire for an Inexpensive Trellis