Mounting 107: Anchors

We’ve consulted Mounting Taskers to share their knowledge on all things anchors! And we aren’t talking about the kind that you drop from a boat…⚓

Anchors are fasteners that help ensure items are safely attached to a wall. Essentially, they’re sleeves for a screw that bite into a wall—creating an anchoring point that supports a mounted item. Some are self-drilling while others require a pre-drilled hole before securing. Anchors are used:

  • When mounting to a stud isn’t possible;
  • When the surface you are mounting on is hollow (doors, drywalls, ceilings) or very thick (concrete, brick); 
  • If the item you are mounting is light enough to be supported by an anchor alone.

There are many different types of anchors, so the type you choose for your task depends on load weight, wall type, and how it can be installed or removed. Drop the anchor to learn from Taskers all about the different types of anchors and when to use each type. 

Concrete Anchor 

  • Ideal for attaching dense materials together, like bathtub attachments, countertops, and cement. 
  • If being used for appliances, be sure to look for corrosion-resistant fasteners.

Expansion Anchor

  • Also known as a wedge anchor. 
  • Can be used for masonry, concrete, brick, and other hard surface materials. 
  • Provide a strong holding power by expanding once they are installed.

Hollow Wall Anchor

  • Also known as a molly bolt.
  • Able to take on a fair amount of weight (roughly 50 lbs or 22.5 kg).
  • Can be used across various wall and load types. 

Drywall Anchor

  • Can hold a medium amount of weight and are relatively simple to install. 
  • Come in both plastic or metal form – metal can be reused for other jobs, plastic cannot.
  • These types of anchors  have threads that help them hold securely into the surface they’re gripping. 

Toggle Bolts 

  • Ideal for any wall type with hollow space behind it—for example, drywall over studs or lathe and plaster.
  • Able to hold a fair amount of weight—making them ideal for heavier-duty mounting tasks.

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We’ve only just grazed the surface of the anchor world. There are so many more to choose from, all specified for different types of use. Be sure to consult other helpful guides for a deeper dive into the world of anchors and their different uses. 

2 Thoughts

  1. Toggle bolts allow fine-tuning items that need to be leveled, because the 1/2” hole has enough play in it to make small adjustments. Screw-in anchors don’t give you this flexibility.

  2. Beware of using the new type of drywall anchors that screw into the drywall directly with no hole required. They are great for permanent applications where the item will never be removed. But once the screw is initially tightened into them, if you try to remove the screw, the entire anchor will unthread itself some the drywall and leave a large ugly hole. The older type of plastic expansion anchors (that do require a drilled hole) allow the screw to be be installed and removed as needed without any damage.

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