You may have been using drywall anchors to hang things on your wall. But have you wondered if you can also use them on your ceiling? But you certainly do not want them to cause any accidents at home.
In this article, our construction experts will discuss the safe methods of using drywall ceiling anchors.
Hanging Fixtures on Your Drywall Ceiling: 2 Ways
Method #1: Hanging Using a Ceiling Joist
This is the simplest method because it will not require to use of any drywall anchors. Instead, you will attach it directly to the ceiling joist or beam.
This method is advisable if you will hang heavy objects because the ceiling joist can fully support the weight. However, it could be challenging to locate the joist because you cannot see through the ceiling.
But there are tools that you can use to find the ceiling joist, such as the stud finder. This tool can help you find the ceiling joist by placing it flat on the wall and moving it around. It will flash the light when it finally detects the joist behind the ceiling.
Another simple tool that you can use at home is a small earth magnet. The good side of using earth magnet is it is cheaper and readily available. Also, it is easier to use.
It will simply stick to the stud screw, which is the center of a joist. Therefore, you are certain that you will drill in the right spot.
However, keeping one to two inches from the magnet is important, so you will not drill into the stud screw. Start drilling a hole where you will insert the screw. Remember to keep the hole smaller than the screw so that the screw will not slide out.
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Method #2: Hanging Using Drywall Anchors
Another way of hanging objects on your ceiling is by using drywall anchors. Using drywall anchors is helpful, especially when hanging an object on a particular spot without a joist or beam.
Using drywall anchors on your ceiling is beneficial. Aside from being safer and having a strong grip compared to nails or screws, they will not damage your ceiling.
Recommended Drywall Anchors for Ceilings
There are many types of drywall anchors that you can use on the ceiling depending on the weight of the objects you will hang.
Typically, the manufacturers specify the maximum weight that the drywall anchor can hold. However, as you will use them on the ceiling, the rule of thumb is to set only a third of the indicated maximum weight limit.
Therefore, if the manufacturer’s indicated maximum weight the drywall anchor can hold is 100 lbs (45.36kg), then the maximum weight of the object should be 33.33 lbs (15.12kg) only. This will ensure that the drywall anchor can safely hold the object from the ceiling.
Below are the guidelines you can follow to determine what type of drywall anchor is more appropriate.
For Lightweight Objects
If you’d like to hang light objects on the ceiling, such as small plants, chimes, or baby carousels, you can use plastic drywall anchor, which is cheaper and can buy in bulk. You can also use the small steel drywall anchors, which are a bit more expensive but sturdier.
This type of drywall anchor is easy to use. You will just drill a hole in your ceiling and insert the anchor into it. Pull the anchor upwards, and it will expand. Put the object and attach the screw.
These types of drywalls can hold a maximum weight of 10lb (4.5kg).
For Heavy Objects
If the object you will hang is heavier than 10lb (4.5kg), then you will need a sturdier and stronger drywall anchor to support the weight.
The toggle bolt anchor is the most recommended type of anchor to use for heavier objects. It is designed to distribute the weight evenly, thus holding heavier objects safely.
The strongest type of toggle bolt anchor has a mechanism like a spring. It looks like a screw with two vertical wings.
These wings should be pressed down parallel to the screw while you drill a hole in the ceiling so that the wings can pass through. Once they pass through the hole, the wings will snap back so that you can attach the screw to the drywall.
This mechanism can hold heavier objects without the risk of falling off.
For Big Objects
For bigger objects that you need to hang on the ceiling, such as ladders, hammocks, and bike racks, you will need to attach them directly to the ceiling joist to support the heavy weight fully.
You will need more sophisticated equipment and hardware to install them. But all the fasteners and hooks you will need are usually included in the package.
Types of Drywall Anchors
It is important to determine the type of drywall anchor which best support the weight of the object you want to hang. Below are the three most common types of drywall anchors.
Self-drilling Drywall Anchors
This type of drywall anchor has sharp threads and drill bits to easily pass-through walls without the help of tools and equipment. Therefore, it is commonly used for DIY projects.
Ideally, it can hold objects that weigh 25 lbs (11.34kg) to 75 lbs (34.02kg), depending on the anchor’s size. Therefore, you can use it to hang heavy objects as well.
The downside of using this type of anchor is they tend to expand due to drilling and hitting, so they are not reusable. Also, they are not powerful enough to hold objects for long.
Toggle Bolt Drywall Anchor
This is one of the strongest types of anchors. It has a half an inch thick toggle bolt that can support heavier objects from 100 lbs (45.36 kg) to 105 lbs (47.63kg).
It is recommended for home-fix projects such as attaching roof gutters, ceiling fans, window blinds, shelves, cabinets, and more.
Expansion Drywall Anchors
This type of anchor is also popular for DIYers because they are durable, flexible, and easy to use. However, they can only support lightweight objects. Also, they tend to expand and can no longer be reused.
To install it, determine the spot where you want to hang the object and punch holes. You can use a hammer or just press the anchors into the holes, then fasten the screws using a screwdriver.
The Benefits of Utilizing Drywall Anchors
Easy and Quick Installation
Installing drywall anchors is easy, and you do not need special tools and equipment.
When you buy the drywall anchors, all you will need to install them is already included in the package.
Safer to Install
Drywall anchors can safely hold heavy objects from the ceiling. However, it is important to follow the weight limit set by the manufacturer to ensure that the drywall anchor can support the object’s weight.
Hanging objects using drywall anchors can add aesthetic value to your home. Drywall anchors offer the distinct advantage of preserving aesthetics by ensuring a seamless and visually pleasing result.
By securely fastening objects such as artwork, mirrors, or shelves to drywall, these anchors eliminate the need for unsightly nails or screws that can damage the delicate surface.
Factors to Consider in Finding the Right Drywall Anchors
When choosing a drywall anchor, consider the materials they are made of and their durability. Some drywall anchors, like plastic expansion drywall anchors, are cheaper but cannot hold objects for long and are not reusable.
The Objects’ Weight
To ensure safety and durability, it is important to consider the object’s weight before deciding what type of drywall anchor you will use.
The type of drywall anchor you will use also depends on the surface you will attach them to. Some drywall anchors, like the self-drilling anchors, may not pass through a thick and hard wall.
The Drawbacks of Utilizing Drywall Anchors
Limited Installation Points
The structural integrity of the drywall affects the integrity of the anchor installation. If drywall does not have enough edge support, it compromises the anchor’s stability.
Not as Stable as Screwing in a Stud
Although drywall anchors can hold objects, they are not as steady as screwing a stud. A stud is stronger, so it is a more secure option.
Some drywall anchors cannot hold objects for long, and the objects may fall off eventually, especially if you use drywall anchors made of plastic materials .
Installing a Drywall Anchor in 3 Steps
Materials Needed: screw, hammer or rubber mallet, drill, and a screwdriver.
Step #1: Start Drilling the Holes
Ensure that the hole is smaller than the anchor so that the screw will not slide out.
Step #2: Widen the Anchors
Use a hammer or mallet to tap the anchor. The width depends on the type of anchor you will use, such as the following.
Step #3: Install and Strengthen the Fixture
Slowly insert the screw and tighten it using the screwdriver. Ensure that the anchor is steady and sturdy.
Our Top Picks for a Drywall Anchor
Can I use drywall anchors on wood studs?
It is not recommended to use drywall anchors on wood studs. Rather, drill directly into the drywall’s thickness. It will be much stronger if you screw wood directly into the stud.
How do drywall anchors differ from toggle bolts?
Toggle bolts are a type of drywall anchor. Unlike other types of drywall anchors, toggle bolts need a larger hole for their spring-loaded section.
Using drywall anchors has many advantages if you choose the appropriate type for your project. Before buying drywall anchors, you should consider the weight of the objects and the wall where you will attach them.
Hopefully, our construction experts were able to guide you on how to use the drywall ceiling anchors safely. If you follow these guidelines, there is nothing to worry about.
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