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How to Use Drywall Anchors

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When you need to hang anything directly on a drywall surface but are concerned that it may slide out or harm the fragile material, drywall anchors come in handy. Drilling a pilot hole, then pushing, screwing, or tapping the anchor into place, is all that is required to use drywall anchors. Different anchors are intended to hold in different ways, but they will all offer a firm, long-lasting grip on the wall.

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Drilling the Pilot Hole

1. Choose a nice location to hang your item. Unlike other types of mounting, drywall anchors do not need the location of a strong wall stud. They are intended to be installed straight into the drywall, allowing you to hang even big things without worry of slippage or damage. Select a wall portion where your item will not compete for space with other fixtures and decorations.
You will have far more control over the end configuration of your wall if you do not have to search for a stud.

2. Mark the location of your desired hanging with a pencil. Make a little dot or ‘X’ in the precise location where you want the anchor to go. When it’s time to start drilling, this mark will act as a visual assistance, making it simpler to recall the ideal positioning of attached objects and helping you to work quickly and effectively.

  • If you’re just hanging one item, you may simply eyeball the reference mark depending on the required height and location.
  • Use a level and a tape measure or ruler to check that neighboring marks are appropriately spaced and level when putting several anchors.

3. Fit an appropriate-sized bit to an electric drill. Always use a drill bit with the same diameter as the kind of anchor you’re installing. If the pilot hole is too big, the anchor will simply slide out. If it’s too tiny, the anchor may not fit, or the tight constraints may cause it to malfunction.

  • The dimensions of most drywall anchors are clearly specified on the box. Simply measure the width of the anchor to estimate the size of the drill bit required. Your hole should be somewhat smaller than the anchor. You’ll need to gently tap the anchor into place while installing it.
  • If you can’t identify the dimensions of the anchors you’re using, you may do a size comparison by holding them up side by side with many other bits.
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4. Drill a perfect 90-degree angle into the drywall. Maintain a firm hand and hold the drill bit perpendicular to the wall to ensure the hole is as straight as possible. After you’ve drilled your pilot hole, you may use it to install any sort of drywall anchor. If you don’t have an electric drill, a pilot hole may be made using an awl or hammer and nail-set or nail. Another option is to create your hole with a Phillips head screwdriver. To make your hole, press the tip of the screwdriver on the wall and spin it back and forth.
Although not every kind of wall anchor needs a pre-drilled pilot hole, it is a useful initial step that may save you time that you might otherwise waste fighting to get an anchor through difficult drywall by hand.

5. Rep for each of your desired hanging locations. If you’re installing many anchors, such as a TV, coat rack, or floating shelf, you’ll need to drill a pilot hole for each anchor. If you indicated the location of each individual pilot hole previously, this should just take a few seconds more.

  • Drill slowly to ensure that the work is done correctly. If one or more of the holes were drilled at an unexpected angle, your mounted object may not hang properly.
  • When hanging large goods like televisions, be sure to screw into at least one wall stud. To find the stud, use a stud finder.
How to Use Drywall Anchors

Installing Different Types of Anchors

1. Hand-insert plastic expansion anchors into the pilot hole. After drilling the proper location, just insert the plastic shaft into the hole and push hard until it is seated. When you insert the provided mounting screw, the point of the anchor flares out, preventing it from poking through the walls. If your expansion anchor begins to spin as you enter your screw, cut another anchor lengthwise and put one half of it into the area between the anchor and the hole’s side. Another option is to remove the anchor and use the following size up.

  • Expansion anchors are the most simple and least expensive sort of drywall anchor. They’re great for hanging lightweight goods like tiny framed paintings, paper towel racks, and anything weighing less than 10 pounds.
  • It’s vital to remember that expansion anchors are only as strong as the wall in which they’re put.
  • Because drywall is a soft substance, the anchor is more likely to come loose and pull away over time.
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2. To attach self-drilling anchors, use an electric drill or screwdriver. Insert the anchor’s tip into the pilot hole and twist it clockwise to sink it deep into the drywall. If you don’t have an electric drill, self-drilling anchors may be screwed in using a handheld screwdriver, as the name implies.
Self-drilling anchors provide somewhat greater stability than standard expansion anchors. As a result, they are suitable for hanging goods weighing 10-25 lbs, such as shadow boxes and curtain rods with thick curtains.

3. Hollow wall anchors should be tapped and screwed into position. Hammer the anchor into the drywall, ensuring sure the head is flat with the wall. Then, using a screwdriver, tighten the middle screw. As you move, the collars on the rear will expand out to tightly grasp the wall.

  • Hollow wall anchors (sometimes known as “molly bolts”) are available in a variety of lengths. Make sure you know the thickness of your wall so you can buy the suitable size anchors.
  • Hollow wall anchors are typically your best choice for attaching goods weighing 25-50 lbs, such as cabinets, floating shelves, and full-length mirrors.

4. Screw toggle bolts firmly for a secure fit. A nut with spring-loaded collapsible wings is affixed to the end of the toggle bolt. Pass the wings through the pilot hole—they’ll snap open when they reach the opposite side of the wall. Screw the adjustable anchor head into place to reinforce the drywall on both sides. To assure correct installation of the toggle bolt, drill a pilot hole the same diameter as the wings when completely compressed.
Listen for its wings to spring open when you screw in your toggle. If you don’t hear them open, you may need to press in or flip the toggle.

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When should you not use drywall anchors?

The weight constraints indicated on drywall anchor packages will be determined by the thickness of the wall. If you’re unsure, imagine your walls are half an inch thick. Most essential, never use drywall anchors that are specially rated for use in ceilings.

Can you use drywall anchors without studs?

Unfortunately, studs are seldom, if ever, placed precisely where you need them, but that’s OK. In most cases, a hollow-wall anchor, which is intended to adhere to the wall in the hollow areas between the studs, will suffice.

Are anchors Good for drywall?

Types of Drywall Anchors
Anchors for threaded drywall: These self-drilling anchors, which resemble screws, are a simple method to fasten screws into drywall since they do not need pre-drilling. Threaded anchors can hold greater weight than plastic expansion drywall anchors and are suitable for things weighing up to 50 pounds.

Do you pre drill holes for drywall anchors?

We usually suggest pre-drilling holes before adding anchors. This will guarantee that your anchor goes into your drywall smoothly. When pre-drilling, use a bit that is smaller than the size of your anchor. You may skip this step if your anchor is self-drilling.

Can I mount a TV with drywall anchors?

You may use drywall anchors for the following home improvement projects: TV mounts: It is feasible to attach a 30-pound TV bracket on drywall without drilling the bracket into a stud.

Can you hammer in drywall anchors?

Tap the anchor into the wall gently with a rubber mallet or hammer until you reach the threads. Screw the anchor into the wall with a screwdriver until the head of the anchor is flush with the drywall.

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