In this paper we propose a method to solve Solid Mechanics and fluid–structure interaction problems using always a fixed background mesh for the spatial discretization. The main feature of the method is that it properly accounts for the advection of information as the domain boundary evolves. To achieve this, we use an Arbitrary Lagrangian–Eulerian (ALE) framework, the distinctive characteristic being that at each time step results are projected onto a fixed, background mesh. For solid mechanics problems subject to large strains, the fixed‐mesh (FM)‐ALE method avoids the element stretching found in fully Lagrangian approaches. For FSI problems, FM‐ALE allows for the use of a single background mesh to solve both the fluid and the structure.