How To Choose the Right Fastener For The Job: part 5

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Every day something near and dear falls off someone’s wall or ceiling! Hollow wall anchors are used to securely hang items of light to moderate weight into drywall in areas where there are no wall studs. Wall anchors keep hanging screws or nails from ripping out of drywall from the weight of the items they secure. Pictures, decorative items and light shelves can all be hung where there is no stud if properly anchored with a wall anchor.

As a result hollow wall anchors are probably some of the most used anchors by the average home owner. There are several types of these wall anchors. Choosing the right wall anchor for the job starts with determining how heavy an item is and how much of a load will be placed on it.

Choose the Right FastenerPlastic wall anchors are used for light objects such as slight decorations and light pictures. Hollow wall anchors, sometimes called molly bolts, are for medium-weight frames and pictures. Toggle bolts are used for large objects such as heavy pictures and wood shelves. All three systems expand behind the wall to hold the screws inside them in place, but the heavy-duty anchors expand further and are made of stronger material.

The Plastic anchor consists of a cylindrical body with four anti-rotation fins. It acts as a wedge or expansion type anchor as the screw is inserted which allows the anchor to become a rigid, weight-distributing anchor. They can and are also be used in solid substrates or substrates thicker than its grip range. In hollow walls they are usually used for light weight objects.

Choose the Right FastenerThe drywall screw anchor is a relatively new anchor being used today. It can be either plastic or metal and has coarse treads on the outside of the anchor that bite into the drywall and hold it fast. It is self tapping and can be turned into the drywall with a hand screw driver. After it is in place a screw can be turned into the center of it to hold your object to the wall. It holds stronger and better then a plastic anchor but won’t carry the weight a toggle bolt will carry.

The toggle fastener works on a spring principle. It has holding arms that open after the screw and holder are inserted through a predrilled hole. These arms grip the wall as the screw is tightened. These are good for heavier items. You can select different sizes according to the thickness and length of the bolt. Fixture to be mounted must be assembled with screw and holder before inserting it into a wall.

Choose the Right FastenerAnother form of anchor, the molly bolt, consists of a screw in a metal sleeve. When the sleeve is inserted into a pre-drilled hole and the screw is turned, the sleeve spreads. The screw can be removed and inserted in the fixture to be mounted and replaced. These anchors work very well. They used to always require a pilot hole but now a pointed version is available for smaller diameter anchors. These anchors work similar to a toggle in that they are held in place by pressure on the back side of the wall. However they do it by compressing expanded metal straps that are designed to buckle in a specific manner as the bolt tightens and compresses the umbrella closure. They are usually used for medium weight objects.

Hanging a wall shelf, heavy picture or fastening other objects to a wall all requires the same thing. That is to be attached directly and firmly, distributing weight to the wall to which they are fastened.

Hollow wall anchors are a fairly common anchor that will keep your wall decorations safe. They can securely fasten mirrors, pictures, cabinets, curtain-drapes-shelf brackets, bathroom fixtures, to hollow walls of plaster, wall board, or gypsum etc. When choosing a hollow wall anchor use one that will safely support the weight of the object you’re hanging.

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  1. Julius says:

    Though these series of articles have been very good and all. Not all the fasteners you have been talking about are available every where.

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  3. You seem very well-informed about this subject and it comes across. Looking forward to future posts. Thanks 🙂

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  9. I didn’t realize that using the right fasteners can help you make sure your decorations don’t fall out of your drywall. My sister recently moved into a new home. Hopefully, this article can help her choose hardware that can help her decorate the area safely.

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