With recent news of furniture tip-overs on the rise, today's question and Anthony's answer about wall anchors is quite timely.
Q: What is the best anchor to use for plaster walls? We want to put up some shelving units (the metal adjustable kinds) in our back hallway to utilize the tops of the walls for storage of stuff we don't want in the attic, but we know we're going to need anchors to put them up. We don't know what kind of anchors we'll need. There are just so many on the market. Actually while you are at it, could you give us an idea of what each anchor is good for?
A: Very good question. I'd be happy to shed some light on this subject.
My personal favorite wall anchor brand is Hilti (no, they do not endorse me, LOL). They are the best in my opinion due to their strength and reliability. They are, however, a little more pricey than other anchors.
You may be able to find an inexpensive version of the anchors below, but if you're hanging something heavy in a place where safety is an issue, you don't want to cut corners:
- For hollow plaster walls, you want to use are toggle bolts. Hilti makes a great toggle bolt that is simple to use. This type of anchor should be used when you're hanging something that could potentially get heavy: shelves, appliances, stereo equipment, etc.
- For anchoring items on plaster walls that will be holding lightweight items (small pictures, signs, etc.), the best anchor to use is a self drilling, one-step metal anchor. Anthony tip: Don't bother using the plastic versions of these anchors; get the metal ones.
- For anchoring onto concrete or masonry, you need to use a sleeve anchor. This will take a few extra steps but works very well for both heavy and lightweight items.
Here are Hilti's illustrations of the different kinds of wall anchors so you know how to identify them and can learn more about their usage.
Let me know if you need further advice. I could talk all day about wall anchors.
Thanks for writing in.
+++ Ask Anthony your home repair or home improvement questions in the comments below. He'll be back in two weeks with free advice for at least one lucky reader!