Lath and plaster

Can someone advise how one normally screws fixings into a lath and plaster partition wall? I thought I'd be able to do this as per a regular partion using a plasterboard rawlplug, but the plaster broke away as I drilled and the laths behind didn't give me any level of confidence relating to holding up a screw fixing.
PoP
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PoP wrote on Friday (23/01/2004) :

Much depends upon what you are trying to hang on the wall. Fairly light items can be fixed by screws into the lath. Heavier by finding the vertical timbers and if necessary fixing a batton between the timbers.
Between the two extremes, you could use what are called toggle bolts. These take the form of a long machine screw, with a nut which has a pair of spring out wings attached to it. You make a hole in the plaster, poke the wings through, it springs open allowing you to tighten the screw against them.
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Generally speaking (as you are describing it) I would say "you don't"!
The laths must be nailed to timbers here and there. The most secure method is to run a batten (or battens) between two or more of these, on the surface and screwed through to the timber, and fix to that/them. Unsightly but it won't (a) fall down or (b) destroy the wall.
You don't say what you are fixing of course. If it's for a framed picture, you might be able to get a cavity fixing in (sprungloaded wings which pop out (assuming there is a cavity at the centre) or if there's no cavity, huge soft block fixing plugs might work. If it's a kitchen wall unit, use the battens!
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Find the studs with a detector or some stiff wire. I use an old coat hanger. If you need to put something in between the studs you will have to screw a batton to the studs as a ground.
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and dont split the lath. If you can try and find a stud or noggin to fix to this would be good. You could gripfill a 'driva' plasterboard fixing into the wall, this has worked in the past.
SJW A.C.S. Ltd.
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Best thing of course is to fix into the studwork if possible, and for heavy items you might need to fix battens etc. to that first.
You are correct in doubting the laths though I have fixed very light things into them.
I have had success with the metal spring toggles. I used these to mount radiators on the wall successfully.
Trick was not to try drilling a hole. They normally require a relatively large hole. Drilling through L&P with loosish plaster just leave s a load of plaster on the ground. We found that using a screwdriver to locate the whole between the laths, and then making an oblong hole worked best.
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Chris French, Leeds

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It really depends on the load. For light loads, butterfly bolts that have spring 'wings' and spread the load over the laths are fairly strong - at least as good as plasterboard.
For heavy things you need to fix to the studs - or run a noggin between them if you can't fix into them directly.
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On Sat, 24 Jan 2004 10:16:58 +0000 (GMT), Dave Plowman

I wasn't explicit about what I was trying to add. It's a simple frame around a CH water tank which is very unsightly. I used a couple of those cheap louvre doors, and the attachment to the l&p wall was a vertical frame member to hang one of the louvre doors - very light, little weight to worry about.
This is immediately adjacent to a door frame so in the end I used some pinkgrip. I suppose I'm now feeling a little unsure about whether this will hold up, though most of the weight will taken by the floor rather than the wall.
PoP
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Perhaps you could fix the vertical to a horizontal run at the top which is firmly fixed to a stud - then just use a couple of butterfly bolts on the vertical to tie it all together?
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