Tips to secure shelves, art to drywall

4 types to choose from

By Inman News Feed
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Sep. 23, 2011

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Toggle bolts

A toggle bolt is a long machine-threaded screw with a pair of spring-loaded metal wings at the end. First, drill a pilot hole of the correct diameter. Insert the toggle bolt through the object you wish to attach, then compress the wings and push them into the hole in the wall.

Push the screw into the wall until the wings pop open again inside the wall. Pull back on the screw so the wings are in contact with the back of the wall, and tighten the screw. Toggle bolts work well for heavier installations, but if you remove the screw, the toggle wings inside the wall are lost.

Toggle bolts are sized by the diameter and length of the screw, depending on the thickness of the wall and the thickness of the object you're attaching.

Another type of toggle bolt is called the SnapToggle. It works in a similar fashion, but has a different design that allows the wing to remain in place if the bolt is removed. SnapToggles are a little more expensive than conventional toggle bolts, but are faster and easier to install, and are a better choice if you intend to remove the item being fastened.

Drywall anchors are available at home centers, hardware stores, lumberyards, and many other retailers. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's specific instructions for installation and load ratings.

Remodeling and repair questions? Email Paul at All product reviews are based on the author's actual testing of free review samples provided by the manufacturers.

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