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