Shelf Hanging on Drywall


Old 08-04-03, 06:18 PM
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Angry Shelf Hanging on Drywall

When I went to hang a shelf on my wall, I drilled the correct size hole per instructions and went to insert the anchor. Since it was too large, I tapped it in with a hammer. I then went to screw the screw in and when I applied pressure, both the achor and the screw fell inside the wall!

Now, I believe I have too large a hole for the anchor. Short of filling the hole in with spackle, what are my options??

If I do need to spackle, can I try again to screw into that patched spot?
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Old 08-04-03, 07:01 PM
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Since you are using the word "anchor" I will have to assume - and I may be very wrong - that you were using a plastic plug. "Anchors" is a term that ususally means a plastic, fibre or metal plug that is inserted into a hole and will receive a screw. "Anchors" will work on drywall, but the proper fastener for "hollow walls" (drywall, plasterboard, gypsumboard etc etc) is either a "toggle bolt" or a "MollyBolt." "Toggles" are long screws that have springloaded wings or butterflys attached to the threads. The wings fold to fit through the hole and once fully inserted the wings will spring open and hold the screw in place. The shortfalls of a "toggle" is that the wings will fall off and drop deep down inside the wall if the screw is unscrewed and removed. "Mollys" have a long screw that fits through a capped head with prongs and the threaded screw fits through shoulders that expand behind the wall when the screw is tightened. You can remove a screw from a "Molly" without the shoulders falling off. All that said - a "toggle" needs a very big hole for the wings to fit into the wall, and the hole needed is usually much bigger in diameter than a hole for an "anchor" of similar size. A "toggle" may work for you.

Whenever anyone comes into my store for shelf fasteners I always ask what the shelves are for. "Anchors" "toggles" and/or "Mollys" will work almost anywhere for nick-nack type shelves, but when TVs, stereos, large books, fish tanks, etc are planned for the shelves a different method, finding and using studs is advised - but it *sounds* to me like a toggle will work for you.
Old 09-22-03, 06:13 PM
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Massachusetts
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If this is exposed where it can be seen you may also want a fender washer. This is an oversized washer that will cover the hole.
Old 12-10-03, 11:06 AM
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They have a "deal"(I am not sure what they are called) you tap into the dry wall with your screw driver to start it, and screw into the dry wall, kind of like a coarse cork screw type of thread. They hold pretty well for a lighter shelf. There are ones made of plastic and ones made of metal.
Old 12-23-03, 03:59 PM
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drywall auger

I believe they're called drywall augers. I've had good success with them, as long as they're not placed too close together(ie. towel rack, tissue holder, ect). I recommend pre-drilling a small hole first to keep back of drywall from "blowing out" as you push/screw auger in place.

In addition, I would not recommend trying to place a new "anchor" in a patch. Try to relocate shelf so new "anchors" are not adjacent to patch.
Old 12-23-03, 05:44 PM
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"Scru-N-Grips" was the copyrighted name for those fasteners ... now generic; just like Kleenix is to tissues.
Old 01-01-04, 05:27 PM
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For a shelf with any weight on it, a toggle bolt is the way to go. But the Togglers I use have a plastic cap attached by two plastic strips to the steel channel that goes in the wall. The plastic cap slides down the strips to hold the channel in place. This way, when the screw is removed, the anchor stays in place and does not fall down inside the wall.
Old 01-02-04, 05:38 AM
Join Date: Nov 2002
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rawl plugs were the first I remember, usually used for concrete, but occationally used on drywall for light loads. A shelf should have either Molly bolts or toggle bolts, because they hold up a higher load. Use a stud locato and grab as many studs as possible. The length depends on the thickness of the material your penetrating. The dry wall is usually 1/2" plus you want to be in the wood at least an inch, plus the shelf material thickness..X
Old 01-02-04, 05:46 AM
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grabbing studs

by this I mean use standard wood screws where you can grab wood. The Molly bolt or toggle is good because it spreads its load holding power over a larger area. The only downfall to the toggle is if you unscrew it the spring bolt falls down inside the wall and you'll need another spring bolt....also they require a decent size hold to get the springbolt through.... The molly bolt on the other hand once secured, secures the nut to the wall.
Old 02-05-04, 10:35 AM
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I have a similar question if I can tag onto this thread.

I have a large shelf that I would like to affix to a wall. It is 48" long and has keyholes bored into the supports. By itself, the shelf weighs just under 10lbs and is made of light wood (pine or balsam). I plan to use it to showcase collectible figurines, frames and trophies. I would like to center this shelf over a nice oak bureau that is 36", but to center on wall, I will miss the studs. I would rather not damage the wall should I decide to move this at a later point in time.

My questions:

* should I use the keyholes to support the shelf? soft wood and I don't want the weight to splinter/break and fall.
* should I affix sawtooth hangers? the sawtooth hangers affix with tiny nails - will this be strong enough? again, falling/breaking concerns.
* won't screws or molly-bolts permanently damage the wall?

When I hang small lightweight picture frames I use sawtooth hangers on the frame and a wire nail driven down at a 45 degree angle. If the photo is large/heavy I use a picture hanger (45 degree nail with metal to catch the wire or saw tooth hanger.

I await your comments/suggestions as I would like to FINALLY cross this project off my "to-do" list. Thank you.
Old 02-06-04, 05:01 PM
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Massachusetts
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you might want to get the plastic plugs that expand on the back side, they used to be called Rawl plugs, but that was a brand name for a product, just like plastic laminate is commly called Formica (a brand)...try use a screw on every slot the bracket provides. as far as patching gypsum's easy as pie...on a white wall some use bar soap to hide the holes, or tooth-paste. I prefer spackle available premixed and can be applied with your finger if you wish... don't sweat about wall holes on sheet rock... paneling might be a bit different.
Old 03-05-04, 09:48 PM
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i have used what i call a zip fastener for light loads and they seem to work well. it an anchor that is threaded and screws into the rock. sort of like a lag shield. some are rated for 25 pds. small ones around 10. i think the brand name is e z anchor.
Old 10-27-05, 03:45 AM
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Might want to consider

You may also want to consider another product callled Anchor Wraps by LePage.

I have used a British version of this called WetNFix ( works well with anchors and big holes! I live in an old house and the walls are so crumbly its just useless trying to hang any fixtures. Give it a bash

Bill M

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