A Comprehensive Guide to Wall Anchors

Decorating your walls with art and photographs is one of the best ways to add a personal touch to your home décor. It brings your house alive and has the potential to elicit a sense of warmth and belonging. However, sometimes when you’re hanging things, you might not be able to find a stud in the position you need it to be in. Luckily, that doesn’t mean you can’t use that spot. Wall anchors are made so that you can hang your heavy décor into drywall without worrying about something toppling over or ruining your wall. Check out the different types of anchors available in this comprehensive guide.

Plastic Expansion Anchors

These are your basic anchors that often come with your decoration.    They come in variety of different colors and sizes and are used in a many different types of wall materials.    They work by spread slightly when the screw is inserted applying pressure to a larger area than just a screw was used by itself.   These anchors are generally considered the least strong and usually only hold around 10lbs when used in a drywall wall.

 Winged Plastic Anchors     

These anchors are good for your medium-duty jobs. They hold much more than your traditional plastic anchors since the wings fully expand once they’re inserted. You do need to use a drill to create a pilot hole, but they can support 25-35lbs when installed properly.

Threaded Anchors

These anchors are easy to install and can be done using only a screwdriver. They are technically self-starting, but work best if you create a small hole where you plan on installing the anchor first.  These are a stronger than plastic expansion anchors, and are sufficient for most typical wall hangings.     Note always check the weight of your decoration vs the capacity of the anchors you are using.   These function by screwing them into your drywall wall and then installing screw to hold your decoration.  Note this style of anchor is does not work on concrete or block walls.

 Hollow Wall Anchors, also called Molly Bolts

These are a more heavy-duty type of anchor and are beneficial when you want to hang something that will have to hold a lot of weight like, shelving units. They are easy to install and can hold up to 50lbs.     However you will need a drill for installation and they come in a wide variety of sizes depending on the expected load and wall thickness so choosing the right molly hanger is important.     These hanger work by spreading open once you insert into the wall and screw in the included fastening screw.   Once they are installed they are pretty much permanent so make you are confident in your placement before installation.

Toggle Bolt Anchors

Toggle bolt anchors are some of the strongest anchors you can use. They are extremely strong and can be used in walls of varying thickness. When hanging a heavy item, you should use a toggle bolt as they can hold well over 50lbs depending on the size of the anchor used and the thickness of the wall. The installation is more complicated than other anchors but the benefits far outweigh this. You can even use toggle bolts to suspend things from your ceilings.    These work by inserting the winged partition through the wall and it will snap open providing a wide area to spread the load.  These anchors cannot be removed so verify your placement before installing.   It also need to be noted that if you remove the screw from these anchors and the wings are not firmly seated into the back of the wall the wings can fall within your wall and you will have to install a new anchor.

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