How to fasten heavy objects to plasterboard
With the right knowledge and planning, you can put up heavier objects on a plasterboard. Follow the steps in this guide to be sure that they are hung safely and securely.
How much does it weigh?
First, find out the total weight of what you want to put up. For example, if you're going to put up a TV that weighs 16 kg, and have a wall bracket that weighs 1 kg, you have a total weight of 17 kg.
How thick is the wall?
Find out the thickness of the wallboard comprising your inner wall. This is important because it determines how much weight your wall can support. If you need some tips, read our simple guide on measuring wall thickness.
Know where the studs are
Also find out where the studs are in the wall that you're going to fasten something to. If you don't know this already, you can either tap on the wall, and listen to where it doesn't sound hollow, or find steel studs by dragging a magnet along the wall. Otherwise, you can use a stud detector, which is sold by most DIY stores.
Then plan your anchor points based on this information:
- One square meter of (properly installed) single plasterboard can support a weight of 15 kg.
- One square meter of double plasterboard can support 25 kg, and triple wallboard can support 35 kg.
- The studs reset the weight that the wall can cope with. For example, one square meter to the left of a stud can support 15 kg, and one square meter to the right of the stud can support another 15 kg.
Let's look at an example
Let's return to the example of the TV and wall bracket with a total weight of 17 kg. Imagine that you have a single plasterboard, which can only support 15 kg per square meter. In this case, you'll need to have fixing points both to the left and to the right of the stud, in order to be able to make full use of the weight that both square meters on either side of the stud can support.
Mark the anchor points
Once you know the thickness of the wall where the studs are located, and you have calculated the weight (such that you know that the wall can support what you're going to put up), simply mark your anchor points.
Choose the right hollow wall anchor
Based on the thickness of the plasterboard, as well as the weight and thickness of what you're going to put up, simply choose the right hollow wall anchor/molly bolt (these are the same thing, but people often use different names for it).
If you're unsure about anything, read our other guides on plastearboard fixings here.
Fasten the hollow wall anchor in the wall
Drill holes where you have made marks, and fasten the hollow wall anchor in the wall as per the instructions on the pack or in our guide here. If you have bought hollow wall anchors from Rapid, the right sized drill is also included in the pack, so that you always get holes of the right size. (Note: This does not apply to the larger Master packs.)
Installing and hanging
Now you're ready to put up what you want to on the wall.
For someone who has never put up anything heavy on a drywall, it may seem slightly difficult or daunting, but with adequate planning, you'll be able to do so both safely and securely.
What if it's too heavy?
If your calculation unfortunately shows that the wall can't support what you want to put up, you can further strengthen the wall with horizontal studs.