How to Install a Drywall Anchor

How to Install a Drywall Anchor – Best Professional Tips

Screws are frequently used to secure goods to walls. You might want to utilize a set of screws for mounting shelves, a coat rack, a mirror, framed photos, etc. Unfortunately, screws might not be enough on their own. Drywall anchors can be necessary, how to Install a drywall Anchor depends on where the objects are mounted.

You have some goods to hang, but you don’t want them to tumble off your wall and break into a million pieces in the future. Your best friend will most likely be a type of drywall anchor. Plastic sleeve anchors, self-drilling threaded anchors, molly bolts, and toggle bolt anchors are the most common types. Each of them expands, bites into, or grabs the drywall to complete the same basic task. If you’re not sure how to install a drywall anchor, we’ve got you covered.

What Are Drywall Anchors?

Ideally, you should use the studs as the anchor when hanging large objects from your walls. This isn’t always doable, especially if you have a certain spot in mind for something to be hung and there isn’t a stud there.

Unfortunately, if you were to simply drive a screw into drywall, the brittleness of the drywall material would prevent the screw’s threads from fully engaging with the material, thus weakening the screw’s overall holding strength.

In such a situation, drywall anchors come in handy. A drywall anchor is placed in between the screw and the drywall, effectively biting into the drywall. After that, you screw into the anchor to secure everything.

There are various types of drywall anchors available, and you may want to use a particular type depending on what you are mounting or hanging.

Works of Drywall Anchor

You might be curious as to how drywall anchors function. Of course, screws are usually placed directly into a wall. You might need to drill pilot holes first. Regardless, you will most likely screw something directly into the wall when utilizing screws to attach something to it. However, there are several circumstances in which you might choose to employ drywall anchors.

You won’t put the screws into the drywall directly while using drywall anchors. You will put them into the drywall anchors instead. You must drill pilot holes before using drywall anchors. The drywall anchors can then be inserted into these pilot holes. Once everything is in place, you may put the screws into the drywall anchors. Drywall anchors expand on their own. The back of a drywall anchor will expand when a screw is inserted into it.

Which Drywall Anchor Do I Need to Pick?

You must be aware of the weight of the object you plan to fasten to the wall before selecting a drywall anchor. Make sure the drywall anchor you select has the strength to keep your shelf, rack, or TV mount firmly in place. In most cases, it’s preferable to buy a drywall anchor that comes with the screws, unless you already have a range of sizes.

A 3M Claw is an alternative to a typical drywall anchor. Because you don’t need to screw it in, this picture-hanging product functions differently from typical drywall anchors. Instead, you use your thumbs to firmly press the hooked claw of the device into the drywall.

Fortunately, a lot of drywall anchor manufacturers make it simple to determine which type to select by providing a holding power rating on the box. Use the instructions below to decide which type you need if the weight restriction is not visible on the label.

  • Expansion Drywall Anchors

The split shank of expansion drywall anchors expands when you place them within a drilled hole. The expanded shank will then securely hold the object in place while screws are inserted into the anchor. Expansion drywall anchors can often support light objects weighing up to 25 pounds, however, the precise weight limit varies by model and size. The usage of this kind of drywall anchor in ceilings is not recommended.

  • Anchors for Threaded Drywall

The threaded shank of this kind of drywall anchor can be screwed into the drywall. The barbs at the end of the shank extend when a screw is inserted into the anchor, giving it a firm grip on the drywall. A threaded drywall anchor may support up to 75 pounds depending on the size you pick.

  • Bolts, Molly

When a screw is inserted, molly bolts’ pointed ends press outward to help the screw grab the drywall. A molly bolt needs to be installed first, and depending on the type and size, it should be able to support up to 55 pounds. Because you can remove the screws and then reinstall them without having a new anchor, molly bolts are distinctive among drywall anchors. For fixtures that you might wish to update in the future, it is a wise decision.

  • Toggle Bolts

The strongest drywall anchors on the market are toggle bolts, and big metal toggle bolts can be used to hang objects weighing up to 100 pounds. Drilling a hole three times the size of the toggle bolt is required to utilize it. Two wings at the end of the shank slide along the rear of the wall when the toggle bolt is inserted, holding it in place.

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How to install a drywall anchor

Have the appropriate drywall anchors been chosen? After that, you must install them. The procedures for installing your drywall anchors are listed below. Note that only threaded, self-drilling drywall anchors are covered by these instructions.

How to Install a Drywall Anchor

How To Install A Plastic Sleeve Anchor

  • Mark the location where you want to hang whatever it is you’re trying to hang using a pencil.
  • Create a pilot hole by drilling. To do this, you can use a wide range of equipment, but the pilot hole must be narrower than the anchor’s width. The package will specify the size to use if a pilot bit is not included with the set.
  • When the head of the anchor is flush with the wall, insert it into the pilot hole and tap it into position. The best tool is a rubber mallet, but a tiny finish nailer can do that.
  • To set the screw, use a screwdriver. Use a drill, but go slowly to avoid going into overdrive.

How to Install a Self-Drilling Threaded Anchor

  • Set a hanging point marker.
  • Lightly tap the anchor into the wall with a rubber mallet or hammer until the threads are exposed.
  • Screw the anchor into the wall with a screwdriver until the drywall is flush with the head of the anchor. Again, proceed slowly and with caution if you decide to use a drill.
  • Using the same screwdriver or drill, set the screw to the desired depth.

Using Molly Bolts for Anchoring

Molly bolts, often known as “hollow wall anchors,” typically come in two varieties: pointed and unpointed. You must drill a pilot hole into the drywall before using the dull-tipped, unpointed anchors. Pilot holes are not necessary for pointed-tip designs; you may just tap these with a hammer. Additionally, molly bolts with barbed heads might be found. The drywall surface is gripped by these barbs, which prevent the anchor from spinning inside its hole.

  • Mark the location where you want to hang things.
  • Drill a pilot hole if necessary. The size you need for the pilot hole can be found on the packaging.
  • After installation, tighten the bolt in the molly’s sleeve. As a result, the legs will spread out and grab the opposite side of the drywall.
  • Back the screw out of the sleeve after tightening the molly bolt, then hang from the screw’s head.

How to Install a Toggle Bolt Drywall Anchor

Toggle bolt anchors come in handy when you need to hang something heavy but can’t find a wall stud to hang it on. Naturally, there are a few things to consider before beginning. You’ll need to drill a hole for the toggles to fit through, for starters. Toggle bolts can truly only be used in conjunction with a bracket that will cover the hole since this requires a hole that is wider than the screw head. Additionally, even though these drywall anchors can hold a respectable amount of weight, putting too much weight on your rather soft drywall can cause it to fail.

  • Set a hanging point marker.
  • Drill a hole that is large enough to accommodate the toggle bolt when it is folded. The specifications for drill bit widths should be provided by the manufacturer’s instructions, which are printed on the side of the toggle bolt box.
  • To attach the bracket to the wall, insert the bolt through it. The toggle should now be attached to the bolt with its points facing the screw head.
  • Close the toggle and insert the bolt and toggle into the wall. The toggle will open up and grab the wall as soon as it passes over the drywall’s backside.
  • When the bolt is snug, tighten it.

Snaptoggles Installation

We like Snaptoggles better than Molly bolts or toggle bolts. The basic answer is that you can take out the bolt and reinstall it as necessary. Compared to conventional toggle bolts, this offers a significant advantage. Despite requiring a few steps, they are also, in our perspective, simpler to install than Molly bolts:

  • Drill the hole to the proper size.
  • Through the opening, insert the metal channel of the Snaptoggle.
  • Holding the strap ends together, pull the metal channel with one hand until it is secured behind the wall.
  • With your other hand, ratchet the cap along the straps until the flange is flush with the wall.
  • Push your thumb side to side, in between the straps at the wall, until the straps are snapped off level with the flange of the cap.
  • Put your object in place, put the machined bolt in, and then tighten it up tightly.


Read on for answers to these and other concerns concerning these specialist fasteners, such as whether predrilling holes are necessary for drywall anchors and how much weight they can support.

  1. Do you pre-drill holes for drywall anchors?

Depending on the type of anchor, you may or may not need to predrill a hole for it. The installation of threaded drywall anchors does not require a pilot hole. You’ll need to drill a pilot hole if the anchor doesn’t have a threaded tip. Use a drill bit with a diameter equal to the anchor’s body.

  1. Why are the drywall anchors on my wall spinning?

One of two things is causing your drywall anchor to spin. You drilled a hole that was too big if the anchor required a pilot hole. If you’re utilizing a threaded drywall anchor, you’ve overtightened it and the drywall around it has been stripped off as a result. Either use a larger anchor and screw or drill a new hole at a different spot on the wall.

  1. Can drywall anchors be hammered in?

The kind of drywall anchor will determine this. Installing a threaded anchor into drywall requires the use of a screwdriver or cordless driver. The anchor and maybe the wall will be damaged if you try to hammer it in. If the pilot hole isn’t too small, you can use a hammer to tap an unthreaded drywall anchor into it. Light tapping and a snug fit are required for the anchor to enter the hole.

  1. How much can an anchor for drywall support?

The weight capability of a drywall anchor varies depending on the type of anchor. The weight capacity of plastic threaded drywall anchors is 75 pounds.

Final Thought,

Using the methods outlined above, you may significantly raise the load-bearing weight of drywall from a pound or two to 75 pounds. When you Install a Drywall Anchor and using drywall anchors, it’s important to pay close attention to weight because the size and load ratings of these pieces of equipment differ. Smaller plug-style anchors may only be able to withstand 10 pounds, but large threaded anchors may be able to sustain up to 75 pounds. The anchor will stay firmly attached to the drywall by paying close attention to an anchor’s load constraints and the item’s overall weight (together with the weight of any things it will carry).

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