Anchors Aweigh!

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart SA541769000


Turning a house into a home often require you to make changes to accommodate your lifestyle. When the changes are big you may require a handyman or a contractor. Other times there are small jobs that any homeowner should be able to handle themselves.

Today my project was to install two new robe hooks in our bathrooms. The builder did a good job of putting in towel rods and towel rings, but we wanted something more. We found two matching robe hooks online that were just what the doctor ordered. It is a small job, so I grabbed my tool belt and went to work.

The first decision of course is to find the best location. We measured carefully and found the best place for our needs. Then we had to find the best way to mount them on the wall. The manufacturer supplied plastic wall anchors for use with drywall and while I am sure they were adequate. I wanted something a little stronger. So, I looked at what I had available, then decided on the best approach for my job.

If you are not familiar with hanging on drywall, you have many choices. If you are lucky enough to be lined up with a wall stud, a screw is all that is required. But what about a hollow wall cavity? For that job, you will need an anchor. I had my choice of using one of several different types. Each has its pluses and minuses. Take a look at the picture below. We will look at some of the options available.


Starting from the right. The basic plastic drywall anchor, in yellow, works well for many light-duty projects. It has the benefit of being easy to use and requires a small easily repairable hole. Simply drill a small hole insert the anchor and when you tighten the screw it will expand to hold tight against the drywall. This type of anchor is available in a variety of sizes to meet your needs.

Next, we have a stronger version of the plastic anchor. Notice this type of device is threaded. This allows you to screw the anchor into the wall creating a tight hold. The version in the picture is designed to self-tap its own hole, although I might be inclined to drill a small pilot hole just to be safe. The downside of this type of anchor is that it makes a big hole.

The third from the right is called a “molly”. It is designed to be inserted into a small hole. Then when the installer tightens the screw the metal expands making it nearly impossible to remove without damaging the drywall. Molly’s are used when extra holding power is required.

Lastly, we have something known as a “toggle bolt”. The one depicted here is one of a variety of types that all use the same concept. You make a hole in the drywall large enough to accommodate the toggle. You insert the folded spring-loaded device in the hole. Once inside it expands to create a solid anchor that will hold even the heaviest of wall hangings. Oh, and this is important. Make sure you thread the screw through the wall hanger before you insert the toggle into the wall! Once expanded it will never come back out again.

For my project today I chose to use the “molly” style drywall anchor. It was for me, the best compromise between ease of installation and strength. It only required me to drill a small hole and tighten one screw. After that, it was smooth sailing.

So, now you know all you need to know if you need to hang anything on a hollow wall. Choose the right anchor, and it will be a happy voyage home.

As for me, I now have a new robe hook in each of our bathrooms. They are solidly anchored, look great, and added some nice functionality.

The second picture (below) shows the finished product. What do you think?

 Robe hook 2



Joe Domino is a Realtor® serving the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Need more information? Or to Search for your next home, visit

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Joseph Domino

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Comments (18)

Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Good lesson Joseph!  Now I know who to call if Gary isn't home!!  Just kidding, it's good info.  Even I could do it myself if needed.  Kind of fun getting organized.

Nov 16, 2020 03:57 PM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Anna, I am sure you could have done this job. It was easy, just measure twice, cut once.

Nov 17, 2020 10:04 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

All those different anchors can be confusing, thanks for the clear and easy lesson on how they work and when to use them. Looks good.

Nov 16, 2020 04:01 PM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Thanks Nick.

Nov 17, 2020 10:04 AM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Joseph...I've seen all of those at one time or another...usually Larry is doing something with them. I love how you showed us what works best with what project. 

Nov 16, 2020 06:24 PM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

It is always good to finish up a project, no matter how small.

Nov 17, 2020 10:04 AM
Realtyna Inc
Realtyna - Newark, DE
Realtyna- MLS RETS Integration software & services

This blogger just learned how do to something other than type ;). Thanks, Joseph!

Nov 17, 2020 02:47 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Thanks, I hope it helped.

Nov 17, 2020 10:05 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I didn't know the difference between these things, not being the handy person in the home.  Thanks!

Nov 17, 2020 01:36 PM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Thanks. I hope it helps the next time you need to hang something on a wall.

Nov 22, 2020 07:09 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I had to chuckle when I read this post.  Not long ago, I "installed" a robe hook in my closet.  I used the "adhesive" anchors which were supposed to hold it in place.  It did, for about 3.5 minutes!

Nov 17, 2020 05:50 PM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Ease of use and strength are opposing forces. You need to find a middle ground.

Nov 22, 2020 07:10 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Joseph loved your post now keep in mind if it was not for our handy men I would not know what to do, as you can guess I had no idea what use each of those anchors have.... in all fairness I have seen them:))Endre

Nov 18, 2020 09:04 PM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

There are a lot of choices. I hope the post helped.

Nov 22, 2020 07:10 AM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Nov 21, 2020 07:22 PM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Kathy Streib Thanks for letting me drop anchor in your column.

Nov 22, 2020 07:15 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Excellent overview of the various options for hanging items on the wall! 

Enjoy your day!

Nov 22, 2020 05:27 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Thanks Kat. I hope it helps.

Nov 22, 2020 07:15 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Joseph Domino 480-390-6011 - for things like robe hooks I try to find and stud and put it there.

Nov 22, 2020 05:30 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Always the best choice. If you can.

Nov 22, 2020 07:13 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Joe. Many times I use more anchor than is necessary for the job. That is just me! Enjoy your day!

Nov 22, 2020 05:38 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

No one wants to hear something go "bang" in the night.

Nov 22, 2020 07:12 AM
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

Interesting post Joe! I am about as mechanically challenged as it gets! I am fortunate to have a son that is a general contractor. 

Nov 22, 2020 08:18 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Thanks Tom. Your son probably has a stash of each type of anchor.

Nov 23, 2020 10:59 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Love the title and the post. Thanks for the clarification, although admittedly, Bernie takes care of the anchors around here. :) 

Nov 22, 2020 08:48 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Thanks Debb.

Nov 23, 2020 11:00 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Joseph Domino 480-390-6011  I am impressed but when I need something like that done I call my handyman - I am all thumbs -- I would make a mess -So glad Kathy Streib  lit this up as I missed it 

Nov 22, 2020 10:56 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Thanks Hannah. By the way, I don't really have a tool belt. Just a toolbox.

Nov 23, 2020 11:03 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good afternoon Joseph Domino 480-390-6011 ,

Loved the tutorial and explanation on what is available in anchors....clever title! So glad that Kathy Streib featured your post in her "Ah-ha" moments for the week as I missed it!

Nov 22, 2020 11:16 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Thanks Dorie.

Nov 23, 2020 11:04 AM
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

I've used them all, however, the screw in type has always worked best for me.

Nov 24, 2020 01:22 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

I have used them all as well. Each has their place.

Nov 25, 2020 05:47 PM
Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Best Hawaii Realtor!

Thank you Joseph Domino 480-390-6011 for these great tips.  Have tried all of these at one time or another.

Nov 24, 2020 08:28 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

You are welcome. I hope you enjoyed the blog.

Nov 25, 2020 05:49 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Nice tutorial on how to hang a hook and to using the right anchors. Thanks for sharing Joseph Domino 480-390-6011 Enjoy the convenience of having your robe in the right place.

Nov 25, 2020 05:05 PM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011

Thanks Margaret. Will do.

Nov 25, 2020 05:50 PM