An Overview of Drywall Anchors


As far as fixing into drywall is concerned, two questions tend to arise more than any others:

What are the benefits of drywall anchors?

What are the different types of drywall anchors?

Benefits of Drywall Anchors

There are three main potential benefits of using drywall anchors.

Self Tapping

Heavy-duty drywall anchors self tap, which means you can easily screw the anchors into a wall. Self tapping speeds up dry wall installations, as well as helping prevent tears and creases from forming on wall surfaces, which can be a real issue with fragile plasterboard.

Easy to Hide

Because you can counter sink heavy-duty drywall anchors into a wall surface, you can cover the anchor with a little putty and a couple of paint applications. Low quality drywall anchors can be difficult to hide and hence, decrease aesthetic appeal. However this isn’t an issue if the anchor is easily hidden, by a picture or shelving bracket for example.

Ideal for Shelving Brackets

A heavy-duty drywall anchor represents the most effective way to install shelves. The flat surface on an L-bracket especially comes in handy during shelf installation projects. You simply connect the locking blade to the rear of the drywall anchor.

Types of Drywall Anchors

There are several types of drywall anchors to choose from. The key to selecting the right drywall anchor involves learning the strengths and weaknesses of each type. You have to use the right drywall anchor for the correct application of the anchor or else the consequences could be frustrating at the very least!

Primary Type #1: Solid Drywall Expansion Anchor

Expansion drywall anchors work best when screwing into thick materials, such as brick, mortar, metal, or mortar. The anchor expands, whenever you thread a bolt or a screw through an expansion drywall anchor. Expansion anchors fall within the heavy-duty drywall anchor category.

Primary Type #2: Hollow Drywall Anchor

Hollow drywall anchors represent the easiest anchor to install. However, easy installation means hollow drywall anchors also produce the weakest connections. You can only use hollow anchors in drywall and blue board. Drill a hole and insert hollow anchors into the hole. The anchor spreads within the hollow section of a piece of drywall, and is hence ‘anchored’ to the drywall.

Types within the Primary Types

There are also different subtypes of drywall anchors that fall within the two primary categories. This is where you will notice a disparity in anchor quality.

Plastic Expansion Drywall Anchors

Considered one of the most common drywall anchors, plastic expansion anchors offer the weakest connection for the hollow drywall anchor category. The heavily ribbed anchor does possess outstanding gripping capability, which makes the anchor a good solution for installing into solid materials. The anchors rate out at 14 kilogrammes for concrete, but only 4 kilogrammes in drywall, so these should be limited to lightweight objects such as pictures and clocks on hollow walls.

Winged Plastic Anchors

This type of hollow drywall anchor is designed for use within hollow walls. Although less expensive to manufacture than the cost of metal drywall anchors, plastic hollow anchors provide more than double the strength provided by using plastic expansion anchors. Hollow drywall anchors receive a rating up to 16 kilogrammes.

Threaded Anchors

This anchor looks like a large, threaded nut that has a pointed shape at the end. The large heads secure firmly into drywall, as well as work well with #6 and #8 sheet metal screws. You can find both metal and nylon threaded drywall anchors. Threaded anchors can hold between 14 and 40 kilogrammes depending on the design and application.

Toggle Bolts

Toggle bolts have the most strength of any hollow wall anchor. Two parts comprise a rugged drywall anchor: the winged arms and machine bolt. The metal winged arms come together to permit the toggle bolt to fit nicely into a drilled hole in a wall. Depending on size, toggle bolts can easily hold between 22 and 45 kilogrammes. The spring loaded winged arms make toggle bolts perfect for mounting heavy objects such as shelving or mirrors.

How to Install Toggle Bolts

Since toggle bolts hang heavy objects, let’s spend some time reviewing how to install them. First, use a pencil to mark the hanging point. Then, drill a hole by using a bit the size of the toggle end. Push the bolt through the hole of the item you plan to use for support (typically a bracket). Thread on the toggle and make sure the tips face the screw head. Snap the toggle closed and tap the bolt shaped end into the wall. Finally, tighten the bolt by pulling on the threads until the toggle end secures to the wall.

If you possess basic do it yourself skills should have no problem sinking drywall anchors into walls. The important thing to remember is to use the right anchors for the right job. Otherwise, you can expect a wall to succumb to poorly installed anchors and begin to crack. If you feel less than confident about your DIY skills, hire a contractor to ensure you hang everything you want, anywhere you want.

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