How to Install a Ceiling Hook

In many cases, ceilings are untapped real estate.
These are places perfect for hanging lamps, pot racks, plants or other household items. Although the practice of installing a ceiling hook seems simple, the fact that the location of a ceiling stud is hidden makes it more difficult. Placing a hook into a stud is always the best way to go, as it is more secure and will hold a greater weight than hooks mounted into the drywall of the ceiling. This project usually only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete.

Step 1

Determine the approximate location for the hook to be placed in the ceiling. Consider the use for the hook when choosing the spot. If hanging something heavy, you may want a hook with a larger thread.

Step 2

Use a stud sensor to locate a stud in the approximate area of the ceiling where you want to put the hook. Many stud sensors are capable of reading through ceilings with light Spackle but may have trouble with heavy Spackle.

Step 3

Drill a pilot hole for the hook through the drywall and into the stud. The bit used should not be bigger than the threads on the hook, and in fact it is better for it to be slightly smaller so that the threads bite into the stud completely.

Step 4

Begin screwing the hook into the ceiling. Be careful to get the hook straight so it doesn't round out the drywall while you insert it. If you encounter resistance screwing the hook into the stud, take a pair of pliers to help turn the hook into the stud.

Step 5

Wrap your finger over the new hook and give it a tug downward to check its hold. If it doesn’t shift at all, then you know the hook is securely held in the stud. Carefully hang the item on the hook.

Things You Will Need

  • Ceiling hook
  • Stud sensor
  • Magnet
  • Drill and bits
  • Pliers
  • Drywall or butterfly anchor


  • Magnets are also effective in locating the drywall screws to indicate the location of a stud.
  • Use a plastic drywall anchor or metal butterfly anchor if you are unable to put the hook into a stud and are forced to mount it only to the drywall.


  • Don’t remove the hook to drill again if it is tight when going in. This may cause the hole to become too large and the anchor for the hook too weak.