The standard method to mount video doorbells and other outdoor smart gear on your home is drilling and anchoring. If you don’t want to drill holes in your house, here’s how to avoid it.
Why Use Mounting Tape?
To be sure, drilling a hole, setting an anchor, and mounting your video doorbell or other gear directly into the structure of your home is by far the most secure way to mount it—both in terms of actual stability and in terms of anti-theft security.
But there are plenty of reasons why you might want to avoid doing so. Perhaps you’re renting, and drilling holes into the door frame or siding is out of the question. Perhaps you have a historic home—or even a new one for that matter—and you don’t want to drill holes in the stone or brickwork. Or, if the only suitable mounting space for your video doorbell is over your siding, you may wish to avoid poking holes in it (creating a potential leak point in the process).
Whatever your reason for not wanting to go the traditional drill-and-anchor route, using mounting tape is a viable alternative.
Of course, strong tapes could also potentially damage surfaces and coatings, too. So if you’re in a situation where you want to use a video doorbell, but you absolutely must do it in a leave-no-trace way, we recommend looking at no-drill door-mount options that allow you to secure your video doorbell to the door by tension alone.
Selecting the Right Mounting Tape
There are quite a few different kinds of tape you can use to mount your video doorbell. The two biggest considerations are how permanent you want the mount to be and the weather conditions the mounting location will endure.
A mounting tape that would work fine inside the climate-controlled envelope of your home will likely fail within days when used outside in a climate with high temperatures and humidity. At the same time, whether your doorbell will be mounted under a covered porch roof or will be exposed to the elements also factors into the kind of tape you’ll need.
If you want to take the least aggressive approach with the minimal amount of risk to the mounting surface, 3M makes outdoor weather-rated versions of its popular Command tape. If you have a smooth, non-porous surface to stick the doorbell to and you want to play it safe, it’s worth trying.
3M Outdoor Command Strips
If you’re worried about your deposit money and still want to tape-mount, try these gentle but strong strips.
The strips won’t adhere well, or at all, to highly textured surfaces like brick, stucco, rough wood (like cedar shake), and such. A near-perfect location Command tape strips would be on the glass of a sidelight window beside the door.
If you’d like a solution that’s a bit more permanent (though not impossible to remove), consider 3M’s Very High Bond (VHB) heavy-duty mounting tape. The stuff has a nearly legendary reputation for applications big and small, and it’s a reputation well deserved. Plastic to brick, aluminum to aluminum, glass to glass, you can mount practically anything with VHB tape.
It’s water resistant and temperature resistant, and although it can be removed using heat or solvents, once you apply the tape, it’s simply not going anywhere without somebody working to get it off.
Before you order a pack or roll of tape, however, do keep reading. Some video doorbells require you order an additional kit, and some of those kits ship with high-quality tape included.
Video Doorbell Tape Mounting Plates
Selecting the tape is only part of the equation. The second part is determining if you need any additional parts to make the mounting process viable.
You need to examine the particular video doorbell you have and determine how the doorbell attaches to the default mounting plate (which the manufacturer presumes you will mount with screws). You also need to look at how the video doorbell is charged. Do you need to bring the entire unit inside to charge? Does it have a removable battery?
If you’re lucky, the provided mounting plate will have a fairly large rear surface area perfect for attaching the mounting tape and an easy way to access the battery or remove the doorbell.
If you’re less lucky, you may need to look for a specific no-drill mounting plate for your particular model. Ring makes first-party plates specifically for this purpose. Other companies make third-party plates for various smart home video doorbells.
This no-drill mount for the Google Nest doorbell, from Wasserstein—a smart home accessory company—for instance, includes not just a mounting plate you can attach the OEM Nest plate to but even comes pre-taped with a ring of 3M VHB tape on the back. They have similar models for video doorbells from Blink and Arlo.
You’ll also find a variety of plastic and aluminum mounting plates for various video doorbells like this one for Blink.
You can also, of course, simply make your own mounting plate with a piece of scrap wood. A basic piece of pine scrap sized around 4 inches wide, 6 inches tall, and a half inch thick or so, painted or stained to match your home, would be a perfectly serviceable “base” to screw your video doorbell’s original plate into. Then you just use some tape to mount the scrap wood base where you’d like it and you’re in business.
The DIY base plate approach also has an added benefit. If you would like to use a particular specialty baseplate with your doorbell video camera, like an angled plate for your Google Nest Doorbell, it’s easier to mount them to a regular piece of wood and then secure the piece of wood than to search for a specialty mount with a flat tape-friendly back.
Finally, if all this talk of putting heavy-duty might-damage-the-paint tape on your rental has you sweating the loss of your deposit, do check out these no-drill/no-tape solutions for attaching your video doorbell to the door itself.