Best Drywall Anchors for Mounting TVs and Other Heavy Items
We don’t know too many people who, for whatever reason, didn’t have the “privilege” of installing drywall anchors. That, of course, begs the question of what are the best drywall anchors for mounting televisions and other heavy objects on your wall. The professionals in our office came together to discuss our favorites and share ideas on which drywall anchors would produce the best results in different scenarios.
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Brief recap of our views on using drywall anchors
Overall, when we select the best drywall anchors for each job, we value two things most: capacity and comfort. The best drywall anchor needs to give us confidence that it can hold the item we want to mount. It also helps if this drywall anchor is easy to install without a fuss.
These two things guide all of our recommendations. So make sure that we also use what we recommend here ourselves. Together we had over 100 years of experience hanging items on drywall that we could draw from. Hopefully our experience will help you when you are just starting out.
Best drywall anchors for assembling televisions and other heavy items
T-bolts traditionally served as a point of contact for hanging heavy objects on drywall. More recently, however, some of our crews have been using snaptoggles that offer the same (or better) holding power and more features. While a toggle bolt works once – you lose the back piece if you remove the bolt – snaptoggles stay in the wall when you remove the bolt. This makes them infinitely more useful. We believe they are the best drywall anchors for mounting televisions and other heavy objects.
For Toggler Snaptoggles you will need to drill a 1/2 inch hole. However, lining up your bracket holes is child’s play if you are placing a TV bracket on a wall, for example. With snaptoggles you can insert the bolt through the bracket directly into the attached anchor. The hole in the bracket only needs to match the bolt – not the larger diameter of the toggle.
Editor’s note on holding power: These drywall anchors have both very high pull-out values (hundreds of pounds!) And very high shear weight – even on the small 3/16 inch models. Both are important as heavy objects can be pulled down from the hanging bracket or pulled away from the wall. This is especially important if you are articulating TV mounts and microwave ovens over range, for example. If you get it wrong, you will soon have to learn how to mend a hole in drywall.
You can read the instructions on the Toggler website, but the gist is to drill a hole, insert the snaptoggle, pull the strap tight to tighten, and then snap off the plastic drawstrings. What remains is the receptacle for your supplied machine thread bolt. Simpson Strong Tie also makes a version of this FlipToggle that works just as well.
We have indeed used these on TV mounts, over-the-range microwaves, heavy wall lights, vanity lights, and even heavy mirrors.
Best drywall anchor for heavy mirrors
Just to be clear, if you want to hang a mirror, we’ll classify it as a heavy object – not at all like hanging a simple picture. For heavy mirrors, we turn to either the Simpson FlipToggle (see link above) or the Toggler Snaptoggle, which you can find at Lowe’s.
Like anything difficult, we always prefer to catch a stud. However, if you can’t use a FlipToggle or Snaptoggle, then you are getting the pull-out force needed to carry something as heavy as a large mirror. Of all the options available, these offer the best drywall anchor for heavy mirrors and similar items.
Best drywall anchors for medium weight items (50-100 lbs)
Most of the time, when you find something that works, stick with it. Instead of rewarming the recommendations above (which actually work here), let’s look at another option.
While standard plastic self-drilling anchors can safely hold up to 50 pounds, they still have a relatively low pull-out force. To counter this, the best drywall anchors for medium weight items are split (on purpose) as soon as you insert the screw. These anchors support up to 75 pounds per anchor.
Best drywall anchors for heavy shelves, floating shelves, and closets
With heavy shelves, floating shelves, and cabinets, we always want to hit a bolt. That said, you want to attach as many brackets as you can to a stud (or cinder block on an outer block wall). Check out our article on using a stud finder if you’re not sure how to find a stud. Drywall anchors protect very well against the shear force that presses on the fastening element directly on the wall. For shelving, however, you need to make sure that the bracket or mounting point does not pull out of the wall when you add weight.
Read our recommendations for the best bolt finders.
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Once you’ve attached the bracket to a stud or log wall, using self-drilling plastic drywall fasteners works well for other attachment points that may not be as strained or stressed. We again recommend the split anchors for up to 75 pounds of support per anchor (see photo above).
Best drywall anchors for medium weights (25-50 lbs)
We pay attention to user-friendliness for medium-weight articles. On the lighter side, we like self-tapping drywall anchors from EZ-Anchor. Many years ago when they came out, we used both plastic and metal versions of these practical products.
In some cases, if you accidentally use a power tool to insert the screw, the metal versions in the drywall can “loosen”. We find that the screws can sometimes get stuck. The plastic versions always seem to work well and are ideal for items under 50 pounds in weight. We usually have a couple of boxes on hand.
Best drywall anchors for light weights (up to 25 lbs)
Anything that’s light can take almost anything with you – including unconventional solutions like Super Hooks picture hangers or a picture hanging kit that uses hooks and nails. Do not use either of these solutions if the item you are hanging has a tendency to separate from the wall with significant force.
The advantage of these solutions is, of course, that they are relatively easy to remove and clean. Both solutions only leave a very small hole that can be filled with drywall putty or mud if you need to move and / or repaint something.
Given the ease with which these hooks and systems are easy to install, we prefer them to the hassle of drilling and using larger anchors for tasks that barely detract from their potential.
Best drywall anchors for curtain rods and towel rails
Unless you plan on using heavy blackout drapes, we often find curtain rods and drapes dropping under 50 pounds total weight. This opens up the possibilities available to you. Another thing we find is that studs are often around when curtain rods are being installed.
If possible, use a small drill bit and drill to check the presence of studs when installing the curtain rods. Then, when you hit wood, attach the rod to the wall at these points with a suitable wood screw. Incidentally, a conventional self-drilling drywall anchor should be sufficient.
When you are dealing with installing a towel rail, you want a very strong hold on the wall. Since the placement of these poles often doesn’t give you as much flexibility, you may miss out on hitting studs. We recommend at least the use of strongly splitting self-drilling plastic anchors. Better yet, use the Simpson Strong Tie FlipToggle or Toggler Snaptoggle recommendations from earlier.
Best drywall anchors for the ceiling
Why would you ever hang something from the ceiling? We can think of several cases in the garage. You may want to install a hanging bike rack. Or how about a blanket storage for your camping gear? In any case, when anchoring objects to the ceiling, you must use a fastener with high tensile or pull-out strength. We also recommend using a stud finder whenever possible to locate the studs.
Some of the above recommendations work great. You can also look for self-drilling metal tilting anchors. Like toggle screws, these have a metal back that pulls against the drywall after the screw is inserted. You then press it firmly against the drywall and it supports up to 85 pounds per fastener.
How to install drywall anchors
We wrote a pretty thorough article on installing drywall anchors. Be sure to double-check all the details. We deal with all types of anchors, from plastic sleeve anchors to self-drilling threaded anchors to molly and toggle screws.
All of these drywall anchors achieve the same basic result. Once installed, they expand and grip the drywall.
Can you reuse drywall anchor holes?
One of the main problems with most drywall anchors is reusability. For simple anchors, often removing the screw damages the handle of the anchor by pulling it out of the hole and slightly damaging the entry point. At this point, you will significantly reduce the stability and effectiveness of the anchor.
Tilt screws, although strong, will fall into the wall cavity when the threaded machine screw or screw is removed. Since they usually hold a device on the wall – like a bracket or TV bracket – you need to completely remove the screw to remove the bracket or bracket. This leaves you with a hole. Fortunately, you can just insert and reattach another toggle bolt.
That brings us to our favorite anchor – the Toggler or SnapToggle. Because these fasteners provide a secure receptacle for the threaded stud or screw, you can actually remove the screw, leaving the female threaded portion of the anchor in place. When it comes to microwave wall mounts or flat screen TVs, these really make sense.
How to fill, mend, and repair anchor holes in drywall
The great thing about drywall is that it’s generally easy to patch and fix. While you may come across cases where large areas need replacing, small patches don’t take much effort or time. When removing something from the wall that a drywall anchor was used for, you want it to look like the anchor never existed.
To do this, simply remove the screw, countersink the anchor a little more and apply a dab of painter’s sealant or drywall mud. After a little paint it just disappears. Most of the walls have a texture that makes it even easier to hide small drywall anchor holes.
How did we do it
Do you agree with our suggestions? Disagree? Leave a comment below and let us know your favorite drywall anchors or tips for the best results.