Putting up a shelf on drywall


Old 03-10-14, 01:02 PM
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Putting up a shelf on drywall

I'm trying to put up some shelving - easy enough, huh? Well, not for me. The shelves have a vertical back, so you screw that straight to the wall. Knowing that the wall is drywall, I bough some screws that are designed to screw things to drywall - Hillman Pop-Toggles, 5/8".

I then drilled the necessarily large (1/2") holes in the wall and inserted the plastic bits that are supposed to expand. I found that the flange that (supposedly) keeps the plastic bit out of the hole is, in fact, of a size that allows it to go through the hole (perhaps the hole shouldn't have been as big?). Notwithstanding that, I inserted the screws into the plastic bits (through the boards I was screwing to the wall) and happily started to screw. The problem is that the plastic bit inside the wall rotates with the screw, rather than getting pulled toward the screw (and thus opening up to provide the hold on the inside of the drywall). So I was unable to actually screw the screws in.

Dimensions - the shelves are 1/2" wide; the holes are 3/16" wide.

I'm left with three holes in the wall and (perhaps?) the wrong kinds of screws.

Any help/advice/assistance would be gratefully received.
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Old 03-10-14, 02:47 PM
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It is a waste of time and possibly unsafe to attach shelving to drywall. Shelving should be attached to studs.
Old 03-10-14, 02:55 PM
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I agree! you want to use nails [or screws] long enough to go thru the cleat, drywall and securely into the studs. Will the shelving hide the holes or do you need to repair them first?
Old 03-10-14, 04:56 PM
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Dimensions - the shelves are 1/2" wide; the holes are 3/16" wide.
How are the shelves only a 1/2" wide?

Go to your local hardware store and buy some of these: Zinc Speed Anchor for # 6 Screw for Drywall The metal ones work better than the plastic. Screw the shelf into as many studs as you can. Use the drywall anchors in the area lacking studs.
Old 03-11-14, 05:53 AM
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What's important here is the estimated weight that you plan on putting on the shelves. Using drywall anchors is no problem if only nick-knack items are being shelved. But if you're going to keep books or heavy items then going into a stud is important. Those speed anchors are fine but I prefer a toggle bolt.

Old 03-11-14, 12:33 PM
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Thanks all.

These shelves are rather unusual - if you can imagine a 'U' shape, with a short left hand stem, that's what they look like in cross section. The right-hand stem is 1/2", and that's what gets screwed to the wall. The shelves are designed to hold books with the book cover facing out, rather than the spine, like we usually put books on shelves.

Also, the holes in the shelves are pre-drilled, so I can't use studs. It looks like the toggle wing bolts will do the trick.

Again, thanks all.
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