Written by Frank Gardner
Before buying anchors, work out the plasterboard thickness, the depth of the cavity behind it, and check for obstructions such as plumbing. Do this by:
Always match the anchor to the thickness of the wall. Some anchors need space to pop open and can't be used in thin or insulated walls.
Also use the correct screw. Some anchors come with sheet metal screws but you can often use a similar size wood screw.
Metal toggles only accept machine screws with a specific type of thread so if you need extra depth use longer screws of the same type.
Choose a hanger based on the weight of the picture or mirror. They come in various sizes, with holes for as many as four pins.
A four-pin hanger can hold the heaviest of mirrors but for extra strength, and to prevent the frame from tipping, position a pair of hangers about 10-in. apart.
Secure the hanger by marking the hanging point on the wall and positioning the small pins in the angled holes. Lightly tap them into the plasterboard using a hammer. To remove the hanger, use pliers to grab the ends of the pins and twist them out, pulling gently upwards.
Plastic anchors often aren't up to the task, so use smart, self-drilling metal toggles for cavity walls.
Arrows on the face of the anchor show the alignment of the metal flange when it opens. Probe the wall to check there is room for the metal flange then turn it slightly in or out to adjust the orientation.
Remove fittings by undoing the anchor screw to expose the wall if a repaint is needed, leaving the anchor in the wall to be used again.
Install the anchor using a drill with a No. 2 Phillips head bit, slowing as the thread engages in the plasterboard and tightening until snug.
Secure the screw by winding it into the anchor. As it tightens the metal flange pops out and is drawn to the back of the plasterboard.
Instead of using supplied plastic anchors, use self-drilling, screw-in anchors that are secured using a No. 2 Phillips head screwdriver or drill bit.
Metal or plastic, they work well for hanging small shelves and other decorative items that aren't used much and don't have to support a lot of weight.
Also use them to secure keyhole plates recessed or secured to the surface of shelves or pictures so they sit flat against the wall.
Install the anchor using a drill with a driver bit, slowing down as the large thread engages with the wall. Stop when the anchor is snug.
Secure the screw leaving enough space behind the screw head for the keyhole to slip over. Avoiding stripping the thread by over-tightening.
If it is impossible to secure shelf brackets to a stud, mount them on plasterboard using mechanical anchors called molly bolts. They're secured using a setting tool and have wings that extend behind the plasterboard.
These cavity anchors can secure material from 3/8-in. to 1 1/2-in. thick and the pre-fitted screw can be removed without losing the anchor inside the wall so the shelf can be taken down then reinstalled. Use at least two for each shelf bracket.
Make the appropriate sized holes using a drill with a twist bit then use a setting tool to install the molly bolt.
Secure the bracket using a screwdriver to remove the machine screw. Position the bracket and refit the screw, tightening until secure.
Most shelf brackets and tracks have several mounting holes to utilize the combined strength of multiple fasteners, so choose plastic toggles that don't pull out of the wall when the screws are tightened.
The toggles have wings that extend when tapped into a 3/8-in. hole. There are two standard sizes, one for a bare material thickness of 1/8-in. to 1/2-in. and one for 1/2-in. to 3/4-in. For greater carrying capacity, secure additional toggles.
Mark the holes by aligning the shelf track against the wall using a spirit level then drill the recommended size holes.
Attach the track by securing screws into the anchors, stopping when the screw is snug to the track and the track is snug to the wall.
March 12, 2013 9:40 PM
Excellent photos to go along with how-to instructions. Also, appreciated the cut lengthwise drywall sheet, gives clear aspect.
© 2012 Reiman Media Group, LLC.