We don't know how many people don't have the "privilege" to install drywall anchors for one reason or another. Of course, this brings up the question, what are the best drywall anchors for mounting TVs and other heavy objects on the wall? The professionals in our office got together to discuss our favorites and exchange ideas on which drywall anchors perform best in various situations.
A brief summary of our thoughts on using drywall anchors
Overall, when choosing the best drywall anchors for any job, we look at two things most: capacity and convenience. The best drywall anchor has to convince us that it will hold the item we plan to install. It would also help if the drywall anchors could be installed easily and without fuss.
These two things guide all of our recommendations, so realize that what we recommend here, we use ourselves. Combined, we have over 100 years of experience hanging items from drywall. If you find yourself just getting started, we hope our experience will help you.
Traditionally, toggle bolts have been the first choice for suspending heavy objects from drywall. Recently, however, some of our staff have used Snaptoggles that have the same (or better) support and more features. While the toggle bolts only work once – if you remove the bolt you lose the rear part – the snap catch stays in the wall when you remove the bolt. This makes them even more useful. We think they are the best drywall anchors for mounting TVs and other heavy objects.
Toggler Snaptoggles do require you to drill a 1/2" hole. But, for example, when mounting a TV stand on a wall, it is very simple to align the mounting holes. Snaptoggles allow you to insert a bolt through the bracket directly into the fixed anchor. The holes in the mount only need to fit the bolts, not the wider diameter of the toggle.
Edit's note on holding power: These drywall anchors claim to have very high pull-out (stretch) values (hundreds of pounds!) and shear weight–even on the small 3/16" models. Both are important because heavy objects can both pull down the hanging bracket and away from the wall. For heavy items like TVs, we still recommend trying to attach at least one side of the bracket to the studs. This converts most of the remaining connection points to require shear rather than tension. This is especially important with articulating TV mounts and over-the-range microwaves, for example. Get it wrong, and you'll soon need to learn how to patch holes in drywall.
You can read the instructions on the Toggler website, but the gist involves drilling a hole, inserting the Snaptoggle, pulling the strap to tighten it, and breaking off the plastic pull strap. All that's left is the socket for the included machine threaded bolt. Simpson Strong Tie also makes a version called FlipToggle that works just as well.
We do use them for TV stands, over-the-range microwaves, chunky wall sconces, vanity lights, and even chunky mirrors.
Best Drywall Anchor for Heavy-Duty Mirrors
Just to clarify, if you want to hang a mirror, we'd classify it as a heavy item – nothing like hanging a simple painting. For heavy mirrors we turn again to the Simpson FlipToggle (see link above) or the Toggler Snaptoggle you can find at Lowe's.
Like any heavy item, we always like to hold on to the studs. But if you can't, using a FlipToggle or Snaptoggle can give you the pull-out strength you need to support something as heavy as a large mirror. Of all the options available, these are some of the best drywall anchors for heavy mirrors and similar items.
Best Drywall Anchors for Medium Items (50-100 lbs)
When you find something that works, you tend to stick with it. But instead of repeating the above advice (which does work here), let's look at another option.
While standard self-drilling plastic anchors can safely hold up to 50 pounds, their pullout force is still relatively low. To get around this, the best drywall anchors for medium weight items will actually (intentionally) split once the screws are inserted. These anchors can support up to 75 lbs per anchor.
Best Drywall Anchors for Heavy Duty Shelving, Floating Shelves, and Cabinets
For heavy-duty shelving, floating shelves, and cabinets, we always want to hammer out a bolt. This means you want to attach as many brackets to the studs (or cinder blocks on exterior block walls) as possible. If you're not sure how to find studs, check out our article on how to use a stud finder. Drywall anchors do a good job of preventing "shear" forces from pushing the wall directly onto the fasteners. However, with shelving, you have to make sure that the brackets or attachment points don't pull out of the wall as you add weight.
Check out our recommendations for the best stud finders.
Once the bracket is secured to the stud or block wall, other connection points that may not be under much tension or stress will work well with self-drilling plastic drywall fasteners. Again, we recommend using split anchors, each capable of supporting up to 75 lbs (see photo above).
Best Drywall Anchor for Medium Weight (25-50 lbs)
For medium weight items, we focus on ease of use. On the lighter side, we like the EZ-Anchor Self-Tapping Drywall Anchor. We started using plastic and metal versions of these portables many years ago when they first came out.
In some cases, the metal version may "loosen" in the drywall if you happen to use a power tool to insert the screws. We found that the screws were sometimes over tightened. The plastic version always seems to work well and is great for items weighing under 50 lbs. We usually have several boxes of these on hand.
Best Drywall Anchor for Lightweight (Up to 25 Lbs)
On anything lightweight, you can pair almost anything – including unconventional solutions like Super Hooks picture hangers or picture hanging kits using hooks and nails. If you're hanging items that tend to pull away from the wall with a lot of force, don't use either of these solutions.
Of course, the advantage of these solutions is that they are relatively easy to remove and clean up. Both solutions leave only a very small hole to fill with drywall plaster or grout should you need to relocate something and/or repaint.
Given how easy these hooks and systems are to install, we prefer them to drilling and using larger anchors for tasks that hardly stress their potential.
Best Drywall Anchors for Curtain Rods and Towel Rods
Unless you plan to use heavy blackout drapes, we usually find that the combined weight of the curtain rod and drapes is less than 50 lbs. This opens up your available options. Another thing we've found is that when installing a curtain rod, the studs are usually nearby.
When installing curtain rods, use a small drill and drill whenever possible to check for studs. Then, after tapping the wood, use suitable wood screws to secure the rods to the wall at these locations. For the rest, traditional self-drilling drywall anchors will suffice.
When dealing with how to install a towel rail, you need to attach it very firmly to the wall. Since the placement of these rods usually doesn't give you a lot of flexibility, you may miss the chance to hit the stud. We recommend at least strong split plastic self-drilling anchors. Better yet, use the Simpson Strong Tie FlipToggle or the previously recommended Toggler Snaptoggle.
Best Drywall Anchors for Ceilings
Why would you hang something from the ceiling? We can think of a few examples from the garage. You may need to install a hanging bike hanger. Or, how about ceiling-mounted storage for your camping gear? In any case, whenever you are securing something to the ceiling, you must use fasteners with high tensile or pull-out strength. We also recommend using a stud finder whenever possible to locate studs.
Some of the suggestions above work well. You can also look for metal self-drilling toggle anchors. Like toggle bolts, they have a metal "backing" that pulls against the drywall once you insert the screw. You then fasten it tightly to the drywall, with each fastener supporting up to 85 pounds.
How to Install Drywall Anchor
We wrote a very thorough article on how to install drywall anchors. Be sure to check out all the details. We handle a wide variety of anchors, from plastic sleeve anchors to self-drilling threaded anchors, and even Morley and toggle bolts.
All of these drywall anchors achieve the same basic effect. After installation, they expand and grip the drywall.
Can you reuse drywall anchor holes?
Therefore, one of the main issues with most drywall anchors tends to be reusability. With simple anchors, frequent screw removal can cause the anchor to back out of the hole, compromising the anchor's grip and causing minor damage to the point of entry. At that point, you greatly reduce the stability and effectiveness of the anchor.
Toggle bolts, while strong, can drop into wall cavities when threaded machine bolts or screws are removed. Since they usually secure the device to the wall (like a stand or TV mount), you have to completely remove the bolts to remove the bracket or stand. This leaves a hole for you. Fortunately, all you have to do is insert another toggle bolt and reattach.
This brings us to our favorite anchors – Toggler or SnapToggle. Since these fasteners create a secure socket for a threaded bolt or screw, you can actually remove the screw—leaving the threaded female portion of the anchor in place. These really make sense when dealing with microwave wall mounts or flat screen TV mounts.
How to Fill, Patch and Repair Anchor Holes in Drywall
The great thing about drywall is that it's usually easy to patch and repair. While you may come across a large area that needs replacing, small patches don't require much effort or time. When removing something from a wall where drywall anchors are used, you want it to look like the anchor was never there.
To do this, simply remove the screws, sink the anchor slightly, and apply a small amount of paint caulk or drywall mud. After a little paint, it's gone. Most walls have some sort of texture, which makes it easier to hide small drywall anchor holes.
how are we
Do you agree with our suggestion? disagree? Let us know your favorite drywall anchors or tips for getting the best results by leaving a comment below.