Drywall anchors work by using a wedge system inside of the hollow anchor. A screw is put through the sheetrock, and when you turn it, it causes a wedge to be forced out from behind it breaking off the drywall. The more you tighten the screw, the further back in the wedge gets pushed. The wedge acts as an expansion joint for your wall, leaving room for wood movement without cracking the sheetrock in the process.

The advantage of a drywall anchor is that they need no extra work to hold things on your walls since they are actually going into studs or joists that already exist there. You can either buy these at hardware stores or make them yourself with just some screws, and dowel rods since all of the work is done by the screws themselves.

How do drywall anchors work, Zazzy Home

When installing one, just put it in the hole and ensure it’s flush with the wall. Then screw your anchor bolt through your sheetrock into your drywall anchor until they are tight together. Try not to over-tighten too much because if you do, you could crack your drywall or bend your anchor, which will no longer hold anything up there for very long.

The most common type of drywall anchors is expansion anchors, which use friction against themselves to stick in place but can still be removed relatively easily when necessary. Just unscrew it like usual and pull on the end that’s sticking out slightly with some pliers (don’t try this on painted surfaces since it won’t be easy).

For molly bolts, you will need to drill a small hole first before screwing it in. Then, once it’s tight all the way, make sure your screw doesn’t protrude too much from either side of the anchor because that could result in cracking drywall as well.

The main problem with these anchors is that they don’t work well in rigid materials such as concrete or brick. If you try to screw through the side of a wall, it’s practically guaranteed that it won’t hold for very long. However, if there were a stud protruding from behind somewhere, this would be a great option if you could cover up the exposed screw afterward.

For heavy-duty projects such as mounting TVs and shelves on your walls, use toggle bolts instead since they’re more robust and can carry more weight without breaking. Just drill a small hole where you want to mount it on your wall first, so gravity doesn’t give you any surprises while pulling downwards. Then pull back on the wings until they spread open inside the wall.

Now you’ll want to stick the bolt through your item and let go so that all of its weight is now balanced on those wings until it falls over and goes back into place. While it’s not recommended, you can also use toggle bolts as a drywall anchor if you don’t have any studs around for regular ones to go into.

After screwing in the bolt, pull outwards on both sides of the toggle with pliers before using a screwdriver to open up each wing without breaking them. You might need a hammer for this part since they’re powerful, but there shouldn’t be too much force involved due to how light your object will be. After this step, tighten the top part of the toggle bolt, and you should be good to go!

There are also a few more options, such as big toggle bolts, which can hold lots of weight but won’t work in most cases since they’re just too big. But, again, you’ll need to experiment with different types around your house or even at a hardware store before deciding on one that works best for what you need to do.

The last type is called a lead anchor, which requires a hole drilled first, then it’s put through from behind and turned clockwise until tight against the drywall. These are great because they don’t require drilling into studs or joists if they happen to be right next to where you want to put something up on the wall. However, this takes time to get used to since it’s not like most other anchors.

How do drywall anchors work, Zazzy Home

The problem with lead anchors is that they don’t work well for lightweight objects such as pictures or small racks of shelves. However, you can mix it up by using two different sizes to get more stability without overdoing it on the weight. For example, use a big one for your TV and a smaller one behind it somewhere next to where you want to put something else that doesn’t need much support.

When you’re finished with your wall anchors and no longer need them anymore, unscrew the bolt from the inside by turning it counter-clockwise or back out like a regular screw.

Concrete anchors should only really be used if there is no other option since they can be challenging to remove later on down the road if, for some reason, you don’t want them there anymore. In addition, they usually require a unique tool to unscrew the anchor from behind. Just drill a hole into your sheetrock, then put the tip of the device in and turn it so that it backs out the concrete piece.

To remount anything you have on the wall with anchors, reverse your process, adding a screw right where the old one was originally. Sometimes you might need a slightly longer or wider drywall anchor for certain things but overall not too challenging to do at all. If you’re using drywall anchors to hang something heavy, make sure you use multiple pieces if possible since they aren’t super strong as opposed to metal ones that can hold up tons of weight all by themselves.

That’s all there really is to it. It can be tricky to get used to using these different anchors, but the more you do, the better they’ll work. As long as you don’t try to use them for weighty objects, though, you should be just fine doing whatever you want without any problem whatsoever!


Meet Jeff. For the last 10 years, he's been repairing and fixing problem homes - from leaky roofs to faulty wiring. He started blogging about his experiences as a way to help others who might be struggling with home repairs, and he's become something of an expert in the field. Jeff is always up for a challenge, and he loves sharing his tips and advice with others. When it comes to home repairs, Jeff knows what he's talking about. So if you're looking for some help and guidance, be sure to check out his latest guide!

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