5 Uses for Drywall Anchors

A type of fastener that has a lot of different uses are drywall anchors. These versatile anchoring screws are used when you need to attach something to a wall when there is no stud present. Drywall anchors are typically found in two parts, but can be purchased in separate pieces. They consist of a screw and a plastic sleeve that is inserted into the drywall. There are small tabs on the sides of them that grab a hold of the drywall so that they aren't easily ripped out.

Different Types of Drywall Anchors

There are generally three different types of drywall anchors available to DIY homeowners today. With each different type of drywall anchor there is a different use.

  • Expansion - This type of drywall anchor expands when the screw is inserted into it. As the screw is tightened, the anchor then expands to fit into the pilot hole and then compress into the drywall itself. This is a great anchor that can hold a considerable amount of weight--a great drywall anchor for paneling, drywall, and some masonry projects.
  • Sleeve - A sleeve drywall anchor us the basic type with the small tabs on the outside. They are great for simple uses and are the most commonly seen in homes today. This type of anchor is used mostly in drywall and paneling applications.
  • Toggle - This type of drywall anchor is great for heavy loads, as there is a metal part that flips out after it is inserted into a pilot hole. Once it is flipped out, you will then tighten the screw, which brings the toggle closer to the drywall backing. Toggle anchors are great for use in masonry, brick, and tile walls.

Uses for Drywall Anchors

With each different type of drywall anchor, there is also a different use. While they can be interchanged for different projects, it is best to notice that they each have a load rating according to the type of material that it is placed in.

  • Picture Hanging - The most common use of drywall anchors is to hang pictures on walls. Depending on where you want the pictures, there might not be a stud for the screw to go into. Sleeve and expansion anchors are perfect for this application.
  • Mirror Hanging - Another application for drywall anchors is to hang full length mirrors in hollow core doors, on concrete walls, or into regular drywall. Depending on the size of the mirror, and the type of material you are anchoring it to, you might use any of the three different types.
  • Hanging Shelves - If you have some masonry walls that you want to hang a shelf on, drywall anchors are great for this application. An expansion or a toggle type of anchor will be the most suited, as they can support the weight associated with shelving.
  • Framing Walls - For a project like finishing a basement and placing up some small 1 inch studs, a sleeve drywall anchor will give the best holding power.
  • Hanging Items - When there comes a need for hanging something in a drywall or a false ceiling, the toggle drywall anchor will help you get the job done right.