Potential for seven years of bad luck?
July 12, 2008 3:27 PM   Subscribe

How reliable are wall anchors like these? I just hung a 35-pound mirror using two of these and two screws, and I want to be sure it won't some crashing down...

First of all, I have no studs available in the position I need, so I had no choice (other than not hanging the it) but to hang the mirror directly into the drywall. The drywall appeared to be about half an inch thick. The anchors I used were labelled "hollow wall, medium duty knotting anchors," leaving me to define what "medium duty" is. Also, the screws were 2" long and came packaged with the anchors, so I know the anchors and screws are matching sizes.

Presently, the mirror seems extremely secure--I tugged on it, even gave it a little shove, and it didn't budge. But, I am still so scared. Do you, in all your experience hanging heavy objects, feel that I have selected appropriate anchors for this project? I know this seems like a stupid question, but I am in earnest. I have little experience hanging things, and I would not want this mirror to fall on the cat.
posted by foxinthesnow to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Those are really for concrete they wont hold very well in drywall.Try some easy anchors instead
posted by SatansCabanaboy at 3:44 PM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

Here is a nice overview of the standard kinds of wall anchors. I think 35lbs is a little on the heavy side, but supporting mirrors and other flat objects where the load is perpendicular to the anchor is exactly the kind of application at which plastic expansion anchors perform best. You'll probably be OK, but I'd probably have used threaded drywall anchors (as suggested by SatansCabanaboy) or, if I intended the mirror to be permanent, molly bolts.
posted by RichardP at 3:50 PM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

They are probably ok. But just ok. I've done way more than my fair share of hanging things in my life. (Don't ask.) And those kinds of anchors were my least favorite, especially for anything heavy and/or breakable. Like a mirror. The main problem with those kinds of anchors is, depending on the center of gravity of the object, there can be a slight but constant pressure pulling away from the anchor. Those don't have much bite to them, and it's possible that they could start pulling out.

Here's a quick guide to different kinds of anchors. The Nylon Toggle Wall Grip is a good bet for a heavy mirror. The Molly Bolt is most secure but may be overkill.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 3:51 PM on July 12, 2008 [3 favorites]

For half-inch drywall, they should be fine. Quarter-inch, not so much. There's a vast collection of nice drywall hooks out there, though, that will be a lot more reliable.
posted by Krrrlson at 4:08 PM on July 12, 2008

Just to be safe, I would at least use the EZ anchors. The metal ones rated for 50 lbs. They work pretty well for most picture /mirror hangin.
posted by MiggySawdust at 4:57 PM on July 12, 2008

The easy anchors linked by SatansCabanaboy are perfect for most any hanging job - easy to position, easy to screw into drywall, and hold a lot of weight. The only downside is they will leave a considerable hole when removed, but any hole will have to be patched anyway. The picture you linked will work for drywall as well, but I would go with the easy anchors for peace of mind. Once you put them in, there will be no doubting their strength.
posted by shinynewnick at 5:55 PM on July 12, 2008

I would not want this mirror to fall on the cat.

Then use the molly bolt. Your cat is worth $2 for hardware and a couple of holes drilled into the wall.
posted by selfmedicating at 7:00 PM on July 12, 2008

Nthing EZ Anchors....I have crap walls in my apartment and put everything up with them and so far (knock on drywall) everything's holding on tight.
posted by kenzi23 at 7:50 PM on July 12, 2008

Those are really for concrete

No, they're commonly used plastic wall anchors for use on drywall. That's 17+ lbs of weight per anchor which is more than adequate for this application.
posted by Neiltupper at 8:41 PM on July 12, 2008

Those are definitely not concrete anchors. They're relatively cheesy drywall anchors. Personally I would say that 35 lbs is a bit much for just two of those. I would use something more substantial.
posted by madmethods at 10:07 PM on July 12, 2008

I agree that those may well be adequate, but they would not bring me peace of mind the way that molly bolts or toggle bolts would.

The other downside of those is removal. I always feel wasteful when I'm dropping part of the anchor into the wall ... forever.
posted by dhartung at 12:04 AM on July 13, 2008

I've hung a lot of stuff from the walls, and I've found that the screw-in threaded anchors are quite convenient, but unreliable for all but the lightest loads. For example--don't put up a shelf with them. The toggle types have been better for me.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 10:53 AM on July 14, 2008

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