How to Use Dry Wall Anchors

Drywall anchors are helpful for hanging items on a wall in between studs.

Drywall AnchorDrywall Anchor
You can use these anchors to hang light items including lightweight shelving, or heavy items such as a framed picture. Light items include things that are less than 10 lbs. , while medium loads generally weigh 10 lbs. to 25 lbs. and heavy items are 25 lbs. to 50 lbs. , according to estimates by ThisOldHouse. com. Installing drywall anchors can be challenging depending on the project, and requires attention to detail.

Select a drywall anchor based on how it will be used. For example, expanding plastic sleeves and appropriate screws are suitable for hanging light-to-medium loads in drywall, while a tap-in anchor is appropriate for installing a light item such as a smoke alarm or doorbell chime. Meanwhile, molly bolts or toggle bolts are more appropriate for hanging medium-to-heavier items such as a towel rack or heavy-duty shelving.

Tap the pointed end and flat shank of a tap-in anchor in the drywall if hanging a light item. Make sure the top flange is flush with the surface of the wall. Drive a screw into the flange hole for hanging the item of your choice.

Drill a hole into which the expanding plastic sleeve will fit snuggly if hanging something of light-to-medium weight, and tap it with a hammer so the anchor flange is seated against the surface. Drive a screw into the sleeve.

Drill a hole in the wall big enough to hold the spring-loaded toggle if using a toggle bolt to hang heavy loads in drywall. Place the bracket/hanging fixture you want to anchor to the drywall over the toggle bolt fastener's threaded bolt. Insert the toggle into the drilled hole and tighten the bolt and fixture.

Tap the screw head to seat the round flange of a molly bolt flush with the surface of the wall if you want to hang a heavy item in drywall and do not have any of the other types of drywall anchors available. Molly bolts are not as easy to use as other drywall anchors but still are effective. Turn the screw but not so hard that the anchor flange begins to make a depression in the drywall surface. Unscrew the bolt and hang your item.

Things You Will Need

  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Bracket or other hanging fixture

About the Author

YaShekia King, of Indianapolis, began writing professionally in 2003. Her work has appeared in several publications including the "South Bend Tribune" and "Clouds Across the Stars," an international book. She also is a licensed Realtor and clinical certified dental assistant. King holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ball State University.