I am currently decorating my new flat and would like to mount things
(shelves etc) on the plasterboard. I have bought some plasterboard plugs
from screwfix (quote 58219) but these dont appear to have a long enough
'neck' to reach through to the other side before they split out into the
arrow head. The walls appear to be about and inch thick.
During the 'cleanup', I have taken out some screws that were mounted
using standard brown rawl plugs - would these be a strong enough fixing
for things like book shelves or should I try and hunt out plasterboard
plugs with longer 'necks' ??
You mean you have some of these ?:
Which fix through the plasterboard just by turning them with a screw driver.
Or is it that you want to fix something directly on to the brick wall behind
the plasterboard ?
If you want to hang anything heavy, or that is going to take heavy or
fragile items, then you'd need to find the studs, the upright timbers,
behind the plasterboard to get a secure enough fixing.
Plasterboard is to light to take any kind of weight like book shelves. The
fixings above will eventually pull out of the wall if they are taking any
You can't mount shelves directly to plasterboard. You either need to connect
to the brick wall behind, if there is one, or the vertical wooden beams,
called studs. Also, you might not have plasterboard, if it is as thick as
you say. It might be a lath and plaster wall. Is it an old flat?
When I was fitting the kitchen wall units I knew they were going to be
taking some weight so I made sure at least 2 of the 4 were screwed
directly to the wall beams; the rest of the mountings were the ones
BigWallop mentions in his post, and I also screwed the cabinets
I don't think plasterboard itself would be strong enough for a
bookshelf, particularly if its only been nailed up instead of using
drywall screws which is what I use, but then again I'm paranoid and
always overdo things 'just to make sure' :)
The brown rawlplugs should only be used for pictures or light fittings
I've never got on well with that type of fixing. For relatively
light duty things - small shelves, CD racks, & the like - I've
found the metal screw-in drivers (s-fix 11923) to be easy to position
exactly and quick to use. I tend to drill a small (5mm dia) pilot first,
more to see if there's a stud behind (if so, happy happy joy for strength,
use a woodscrew direct into the wood instead) than to make the ReadiDriva
go in more easily, though that's a handy side-effect. They also come out
again easily leaving a reasonable hole for Polyfilling; though they'll
often crack the skim coat just around the fixing as you apply that
For heavier loads - yes, shelves full of paperbacks - I've been happy
with the "hollow wall anchor" they sell - 18266, 12229, and 11143,
depending on thickness of plasterboard and thickness of fitting. Just
sometimes the should-be-captive nut at the back on these decides not
to be captive, leaving you spinning the mounting screw uselessly instead
of bending the legs of the fitting up against the back of the board; I've
taken to doing a half-turn or so with the fitting not yet inserted to
check for this. On a few occaisions it's still gone wrong, and I've had
to partially unscrew then snap off the head of the fitting (it comes off
easily, presumably deliberately) and pushed the half-bent body of the
fitting back into the unknown depths of the cavity ;-) These fittings
are quite nice at redecoration time, as the bolts screw out allowing
you to take the shelf/cupboard/whatever off the wall, and then replace
it with the same bolts into the same anchor - unlike gravity toggles,
which fall into the cavity if you ever take the screw out.
For *really* heavy stuff - TV wall mounting bracket, say, or the long
run of Spur uprights holding 4 room-length and 2 most-of-room-length
shelves in the study-at-home where I'm sitting right now, which are
full of papers & hardback books, I took the trouble to find the studs
at their 60cm intervals and screwed straight in with bigass woodscrews
almost-but-not-quite into the plasterboard forming the wall of the room
next door ;-) I'm also lucky with the construction of this house, which
though 'modern' timber-frame and PB-n-stud walls is a good Swedish-kit
instance of same, where the builders seem to have used PB which is 12.5
or 15mm thick rather than the 9.5mm which is more common; so what
works well in this thickness of PB may be a little dodgier in thinner
- "standard" - stuff.
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