What is a Drywall Anchor?
Drywall anchors, also commonly referred to as wall anchors, are inserts placed into walls that have screws or bolts a stable purchase, and additional support. Most widely used in DIY projects and necessary home improvements, where you may need to hang decorations on walls or ceilings and want to ensure you have a stable hold. They are commonly placed into a drilled hole where they can be screwed into for maximum grip when hanging or securing objects from walls or ceilings.
Drywall anchors come in a range of different types and can be adapted to assist with any situations that require extra support.
The most commonly used Drywall anchors have toggle arms which expand into the hole and provide a tight fit, but other types incorporate threads and additional screw.
Many situations may require the use of a drywall anchor, and they are available in any DIY store or building providers. Drywall anchors are usually relatively cheap and easy to use for DIY enthusiasts of any level. All you will need to install most drywall anchors is a drill and maybe a hammer.
With so many different types of drywall anchors, they are an extremely versatile addition to your toolbox and can come in handy in many situations.
Drywall Anchor Uses
With the many different types of drywall anchors available, there is an endless list of uses for them.
Domestically, many of the lighter load bearing drywall anchors are used to hang up wall decorations and photo frames and can add support to the screw so you can avoid damaging the wall.
Mounting TV brackets is one of the most popular domestic uses of drywall anchors, but great care should be taken when choosing what type is right for the job!
When hanging shelves that will be supporting a more significant load, it is wise to use a drywall anchor to help you secure the pressure and stop the screw from pulling away from the wall or tearing the plaster. When screwing through ceramic tiles, a plastic drywall anchor can be used to protect the tile from cracking, and a similar wall anchor can also be purchased for hanging frameless mirrors.
When hanging heavy loads from ceilings or hollow walls, there is a huge range of heavy-duty drywall anchors you can purchase to spread out the load and help support the screws or bolts.
Although long, this list of uses barely scratches the surface of what you can do with drywall anchors.
Materials Used in Drywall Anchors?
Plastic is the most common and cost-effective material from which drywall anchors are manufactured.
Toggle bolts, a type of drywall anchor are commonly made from plastic, but we can explain more about the different kinds of drywall anchors later!
Many drywall anchors suitable for smaller loads are made from plastic, which makes it a very economical option for adding extra support to wall hangings and pictures around the home. As plastic is a widely available and lightweight material, these types of drywall anchors are prevalent for online purchase and home delivery.
When buying plastic drywall anchors, they are mainly sold in multipacks because of their meager price per anchor.
Plastic drywall anchors are relatively flimsy and should not be reused once removed. Doping so may result in an unstable hold, which may cause the screw to come away from the wall.
Steel Anchor Screws
The second most common material used in the manufacturing of drywall anchors is steel.
Steel drywall anchors vare perfect for bearing the weight and strains of heavier loads. Used mainly in industrial uses, or heavy-duty domestic projects, steel drywall anchors offer an extremely stable grip for the screws or bolts being used.
An example of a steel drywall anchor is the steel hollow wall anchor or ‘Molly Bolt.’
Steel drywall bolts are the most durable option and are perfect for hanging massive mirrors and TV sets that require that extra support a drywall anchor can offer. Steel anchors are slightly more expensive than the plastic types and can cost a little extra if being shipped or home-delivered.
Great for hanging objects from ceilings or support beams, steel drywall anchors are the best choice for heavier loads.
Steel drywall anchors are very sturdy and can often be reused when removed from the wall.
Zinc Anchor Screws
Although not as popular as plastic or steel drywall anchors, zinc is another material that is commonly used in the manufacturing of drywall anchors.
Mostly, these drywall anchors are made from a steel cast that is then coated in zinc to give it more durability and protection. However, drywall anchors made entirely from zinc are available too.
When coated with zinc, drywall anchors can support higher loads and are less likely to be damaged by rust or erosion.
A typical application for these types of drywall anchor is for projects outside that may be exposed to harsher conditions.
When hanging items in bathrooms, zinc is also an excellent option to prevent the damp conditions from affecting anchors’ integrity.
Zinc is the most expensive material used in the manufacture of drywall anchors; however, they still come at a very economical price point.
As zinc is a less common material for drywall anchors, these types of anchors may need to be specially ordered from a more significant building provider or machine shop.
Different Types of Drywall Anchor
Toggle bolts are one of the most widely used drywall anchors because of their economical price and wide range of availability.
When hanging heavier loads from your walls, a toggle bolt is the most popular choice, as they can typically bear loads up to 300 lbs. However, more substantial versions of the toggle bolt can be ordered for situations that require some extra support.
Toggle bolts come in a range of sizes, the most popular being 1/4 inch, and are regularly sold in multipacks because of their low price.
The most common material for toggle bolts to be made from is plastic, making them an excellent option for ordering online, as the shipping cost will remain relatively low. However, if hanging more massive objects, we would recommend using steel bolts.
Toggle bolts are super easy to install, and you do not require much DIY experience for an easy installation.
To install a toggle bolt, you simply drill a hole in the wall and insert the toggle bolt through the hole. The bolts toggles will expand in the wall to give the anchor the extra grip you need. Toggle bolts are incredibly versatile and are great for hanging household wall decorations such as pictures of small mirrors.
Toggle bolts are super easy to install and only require the use of a drill.
Strap Toggle Drywall Bolt
Very similar to toggle bolts, strap drywall bolts follow the same basic principle as the toggle bolt, but the method differs ever so slightly.
Strap Toggle Bolts, as the name suggests, utilize a strap to add extra support to the toggle bolt.
Strap wall anchors can usually support slightly more weight than your typical toggle bolt and are a popular choice for those who rent their homes. This popularity is because they do not damage the wall as much as other types of drywall anchors, as they require a smaller access hole but can still offer additional support.
Although it may sound confusing, Installing a strap toggle bolt is a very straight forward process and is just the same as installing your regular toggle bolt with one or two extra steps.
Strap toggle bolts can typically be used to support weights up to 200 lbs, but depending on size and material, it can be used in loads up to 500 lbs.
The most common application for these types of drywall bolts is for shelves that will be carrying a significant load or massive portraits or family photos.
Strap toggle bolts are slightly more expensive than regular toggle bolts and can usually be purchased in packs of four. They are available from most DIY stores across the nation.
All you need to install these drywall anchors is a drill and some elbow grease.
Steel Hollow Drywall Anchor
When looking for a more secure hold for heavier loads, steel hollow drywall anchors, more commonly known as ‘Molly Bolts,’ are the best type of drywall anchor to use. Steel hollow drywall anchors are effectively metal casing that fit over a screw or bolt, which gives it a much firmer grip than other less durable drywall anchors. Molly bolts are extraordinarily adaptable and possess a vast range of industrial and domestic applications.
When hanging heavy loads such as TV sets or massive mirrors, the molly bolt is the best option to use.
A single 1/8 inch molly bolt can support 30 lbs alone.
When spreading the load over a large surface area, molly bolts can support massive amounts.
Molly bolts utilize expandable fins that grip the inside of the hole when driven into the wall, and they are ideal for situations where you do not know the depth wall, which also makes them perfect for hanging items from the ceiling or support beams.
Molly bolts can be coated ion zinc and used for many household applications, and they are perfect for use in cold and damp conditions as they are incredibly durable.
Steel hollow drywall anchors are very easy to use, they are usually inserted into a drilled hole, and hammered into the wall before the screw is inserted.
All you need to install Molly bolts is a drill, a hammer, and a screwdriver.
Plastic Expansion Anchors
Plastic expansion drywall anchors are a staple of any handyman’s toolbox. Being the most widely available drywall anchor, plastic expansion anchors have a vast range of uses in the building and home decoration industry and are mostly used for many DIY home improvements.
Plastic expansion anchors are the go-to wall anchor for lightweight applications, and should only be used to hold loads from 15-20 lbs, although you may get certain types which hold slightly more.
This type of wall anchor is the most popular and widely available and can be found in a considerable number of DIY stores.
As they are commonly manufactured from plastic, these plugs are incredibly cost-effective and can usually be purchased in packs ranging from twenty to a hundred pieces.
The most popular option for purchasing plastic expansion anchors is online, as they are incredibly cheap and lightweight, which makes shipping cost very economical.
Plastic expansion anchors are most commonly used to hang pictures or artwork on drywalls, and they are straightforward to install and are often called ‘plugs,’ as a nod to their valuable yet direct use and installation. They are simply placed inside a drilled hole to provide a medium for the screw to grip.
All you need to install these drywall anchors is a drill, they can usually be pressed into the hole using finger pressure, but you may need training for smaller holes.
Where to Buy Drywall Anchors?
With so many types of drywall anchors available, there are many brands and variations available to purchase, and great care should be taken when choosing your drywall anchors, especially if they will be securing items you value. Trusted manufacturers and building providers are always the best options when looking for wall anchors, and We have compiled a list of some of the best places to buy your drywall anchors and the brands that offer the most exceptional quality.
LOWES USA / CANADA
Lowes Canada is one of the most significant building providers in North America.
Lowes offers a considerable range of drywall anchors to suit any necessity you can come up against. Lowes online store gives you the option to reserve an order online and collect it in-store, or you can have it shipped directly to your house.
Cobra is the most popular brand of drywall anchors available in Lowes, and as a trusted and high-quality brand, Cobra gets our recommendation.
Cobra manufactures all their drywall anchors in Canada, and use excellent quality materials to do so,
Walmart is probably the largest store in North America, although not a building provider, Walmart does offer a massive range of items for DIY and home improvements. Walmart stock a limited supply of drywall anchors in their home improvement section; however, don’t expect to find any of the more intricate or sturdier options.
Walmart offers home delivery service, and they usually have excellent prices on their home improvement range.
The most popular brand of drywall anchors stocked by Walmart is Arrow.
Arrow is a famous brand of drywall anchors who are mainly known for its very affordable anchor sets and DIY products.
HomeHardware is a prevalent Canadian hardware chain with stores all across Canada. They have a great online store with a massive range of supplies and can deliver items to your nearest store if needed.
HomeHardware is an excellent store to buy drywall anchors of any kind, and if they don’t have the one you need in stock, they can usually source it promptly.
HomeHardware’s most popular brand is Cobra; however,they do stock wall anchors manufactured by Home Pak, high quality, and significantly priced toolmaking company.
Home depot is probably the most popular hardware stores in North America, and for a good reason.
Home Depot stock a vast range of building supplies and tools, and can source building materials from any of their immense variety of stores across the American continent. Their online delivery service offers a high-value shipping price and a speedy delivery.
Home Depot’s most popular brand of drywall anchor is the EZ Ancor range.
EZ Ancor is a subsidiary of Buildex, and specialize in the production of drywall anchors of exceptional quality at relatively low prices.