Wall anchors are used to prevent damage to plaster walls when hanging heavy items like artwork or other items from walls. Wall anchors can be constructed of either plastic or metal and are usually slightly smaller than the nail or screw that is being used to hang the item on the wall.
Types of Wall Anchors
Toggle bolts are metal wall anchors that have two wings on either side of the screw anchor. When sliding these anchors into place, the wings need to be folded back and when the anchor is fully through the wall, the wings spring open. Toggle bolts are excellent for providing support for moderate to heavy objects on walls.
Molly wall anchors are also commonly called hollow-wall anchors. They are constructed of metal and look very similar to plastic wall anchors. They are pushed into a hole that is drilled into the wall. When the screw is threaded through the anchor, small slotted sides of the anchor expand and flatten out against the wall, providing a wide support base. Molly anchors are good for hanging object that are light to moderately heavy.
Plastic wall anchors are very good for hanging object that range from light to very moderate in weight. They are constructed of plastic and look very similar to hollow-wall anchors. However, instead of being constructed of metal, they are made from plastic and they do not have small slots on the side of the anchor. Instead, they appear like a large plastic screw thread. Once the plastic anchor is pushed into place, a metal screw is threaded through the center of the anchor. As the screw progresses, the plastic threads of the anchor expand and create a larger support for the anchor.
Choose the location where you want to install the wall anchor. Mark this spot with a pencil.
If you are installing molly anchors or toggle bolts, thread the screw into place before beginning to install the anchor.
Using a drill, drill a hole where you have marked the wall. Use a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the screw you will be using the hole, especially if you are using plastic wall anchors.
Press the wall anchor into the hole. With toggle bolts you will need to fold down the toggle wings as you insert them into the wall. When the bolt is completely in place the toggles will pop open to provide support for the weight being placed against the wall. With molly bolts and plastic wall anchors, all you need to do is press the anchor into the hole.
Install the screws in the wall anchors. With molly bolts and plastic anchors, the screws will be slightly smaller than the anchor and the anchor will automatically expand as the screw progresses in the anchor, providing support to the wall.