How to Use Anchor Bolts in Drywall

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How to Use Anchor Bolts in Drywall

Drywall is the final piece of the puzzle in the construction of interior walls in most modern houses. This is what faces into a room and gets painted, wallpapered, or otherwise decorated, often with pictures, mirrors, shelves, or wall sculptures. These hanging pieces are often heavy; when this is the case, a drywall anchor will ensure that whatever is hanging stays in place and does not rip itself out of the relatively thin sheet of drywall, which sits on top of a hollow wooden frame.


Types of Anchor Bolts

There are several different types of drywall (or hollow-wall) anchor bolts. These anchor bolts can hold heavy loads that hang from drywall without requiring the support of a wooden stud beam, which is often difficult to find. If the item in question needs placing at a point on a wall that lines up with a stud, these fasteners are not ideal. Knowing which kind to use for the job in question will help do-it-yourself installers avoid gravity-induced disaster. Online sellers may offer a wider variety than the more common types of bolts.


Bolt Type

Characteristics and Applications

Expanding anchor


Suitable for relatively light loads and smaller screws

Anchor is tapped directly into wall or through a drilled guide hole

Molly bolt


Suitable for heavier loads

Pointed bolts can be tapped into wall; flat bolts need a drilled guide hole

Toggle bolt


Suitable for heaviest loads and large screws

Large guide hole is drilled, through which closed toggle is inserted

Toggle opens once inserted, giving strong support for screws


Drywall anchors of all types typically need additional tools in order to work. For example, if the anchor in question requires a drilled guide hole, the installer will need to have a drill with appropriately sized drill bits.


How to Install Anchor Bolts

  1. Users should determine the weight of the item that will hang on drywall and ensure that the specific anchor will support that weight. It is fine to use an anchor rated for a higher weight than the item in question, but those who wish to avoid large wall holes and potentially broken hanging items should never gamble on an anchor that is for a lower weight.
  2. Prior to installation, users should also ensure that they have all the proper tools for the job, including drills, screw drivers, measuring tools, and levelling tools to ensure a straight fit on the wall.
  3. Measurements should be precise, checked at least twice, and marked with a light guide mark in pencil or chalk. To avoid confusion or mistakes that result in unnecessary wall holes, users should mark the exact spot on the wall where the installation of the guide hole or anchor bolt will be. A stud finder may be necessary to ensure the anchor is going into a hollow space in the wall.
  4. Anchors should install according to specific package directions; if a guide hole is necessary, drill it at this point. Users should be sure to use the drill bit size specified on package directions to avoid drilling a hole that is too big for the anchor. If the guide hole is too big, the anchor will not be snug and may even fall through the hole into the hollow wall.
  5. Install the final screws after the anchor installs properly and is flush with the wall. Some products, such as wall shelf brackets, will have pre-drilled guide holes that are for the installation of screws into the anchor. For things like picture frames and wall sculptures, the items hang directly on the screw.


How to Buy Anchor Bolts on eBay

Shoppers who know the specific type of bolt they need to complete their project can simply enter it into the search bar found on any eBay page. For those who are not completely certain, searching based on broader terms like 'drywall anchor' or 'anchor bolt' will introduce a range of products for review. Both new and used anchor bolts are available for purchase from sellers on eBay; in some cases, these anchors will be bundled with other products like screws or packages of multiple anchor sizes. Just a little bit of searching can help handy people find the perfect solution to their drywall-fastening dilemmas.

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