Can Drywall Anchors Hold a Shelf? All You Need To Know!

As most people know, there are various ways to hang a shelf. Depending on the weight of the shelf and the desired location, different types of anchors may be used. But what about Drywall anchor? Could that hold a shelf? 

Yes, Drywall anchors such as Toggle bolts can are able to hold up to 50 pounds, so they can most definitely hold a shelf. Steel hollow-wall anchors could even go up to 100 pounds. 

For example, heavy-duty shelves may need to be attached to wall studs, while lighter shelves can be hung using drywall anchors. But how do these anchors work, and can they really support the weight of a shelf?

Will Drywall Anchors Hold A Shelf?

Yes, Drywall anchors, compared to screws, can hold a shelf because they are sturdy. However, this would also depend on the weight of the shelf. If it’s too heavy, the anchor might give way, especially if there is structural movement. So, to be safe side, you should ensure the shelf and items you wish to place are not more than 20 pounds.

How To Install Shelf Using Drywall Anchor?

Installing a drywall anchor is easy with or without studs, even on wood or plywood. Here are the steps to follow.

Step 1 – Choose good drywall anchors.

The first step is to ensure that you pick the right type of drywall anchors. Because not all drywall anchors are considered “good,” some are made with lesser-quality materials. Ensure that the anchor has the same weight capacity for the item you intend to place in it. 

For this example, we’ll use the Threaded anchors. Threaded anchors are very good because they have a significant weight capacity which is enough to handle enough carry most home fixtures.

Step 2 – Insert wall anchor into drywall with sufficient pressure

When installing an anchor into drywall, be mindful of the pressure you exert when forcing the anchor in. Moderate pressure is all you need using a screwdriver. Once you position the anchor and exert pressure, it will self-drill its pressure points into the wall.

As you twist the anchor and apply pressure, the wide threads will grab hold of the drywall but keep the pressure on so the anchor does not spin and rear through the drywall.

Step 3 – Turn the drywall to flush the wall.

Keep the pressure on as you push the anchor into the drywall and sustain the pressure until it flushes (flushing is just a fancy way of saying it’s entirely in the wall). However, make sure it is not too tight, as this may cause future complications further down the line.

Step 4 – Attach the shelf.

With your anchor already fully inside the wall, now is the time to attach the shelf to the drywall. This final process also needs a screwdriver. Position the shelf and ensure it fits into the anchor, then put the screws into their spots. Once the screws are inside the bracket holes, use the screwdriver to screw them tightly while holding the shelf in place. Only remove your hand after all the screws are perfectly fitted. After doing this, twist the anchor. 

These are four simple steps to fix a drywall anchor. However, note that the steps you take to fix your may be slightly different depending on the type of anchor you want to fix. The steps outlined above are like a general overview to give you an idea of how to go about it.

Consider watching this demonstrative video to understand better how to fix a drywall anchor.

How Much Weight Can A Shelf Hold In Drywall?

A shelf can only hold 20 pounds of weight or more if properly fastened to the drywall. A finished nail can hold 20 pounds, but if you want it to hold a TV, an anchor, or a flat-mounted hook can hold up to 50 pounds. Note that drywalls have limited weight capacity, so be mindful of the fixtures you place on the shelf.


Will Drywall Anchors Hold A Floating Shelf?

Yes, drywall anchors can hold a floating shelf effectively. But you will need very good anchors like a toggle or threaded anchor. Always check the weight capacity of any anchor before you buy it and compare it to the weight of the floating shelf first.

Can Drywall Anchors Be Used In Ceiling?

Yes, drywall anchors can be used in the ceiling, but they all have different weight capacities. Some lightweight anchors can hold 10-15 pounds of weight, while others can hold up to 50 pounds or above. For your safety and the safety of everyone in the house, we recommend that you don’t hang heavy fixtures on your ceiling to forestall accidents. The safest procedure is to use a quarter of the anchor’s maximum weight.

However, if you don’t want to use Drywall anchors, you can still hang fixtures on your ceiling using two methods.

The use of ceiling joists

You can use ceiling joists to hang fixtures without the need for anchors. If you are hanging heavy items above 50 pounds, a ceiling joist or beam is not a bad idea. But for this method to work, you will need to use stud screws (if it’s a humid area like a bathroom, make sure to use rust-resistant screws) at the center of the joist, so plan for sufficient space before drilling the joist holes. Always drill an inch away from the magnetic sticks so you don’t damage the screws. Once you locate the joist, drill a pilot hole into the drywall for the screws.

Remember that pilot holes should not be bigger than the screws but smaller so they don’t slide out.

Hang fixtures directly

Another method is to hang the fixtures directly, but this method is one many people find scary because they fear it will fall off. This method will only work for lightweight items. For heavier items, you need a joist or an anchor. The drywall sheet will hold it in place as long as it is lightweight.

Can Drywall Hold 2 Pounds?

Yes, drywall can hold an item that weighs 2 pounds. In fact, it can even hold something much heavier. The thinnest drywall has at least two sheets paired to form one, so the thicker the drywall is, the more weight it can handle. The average drywall can hold up to 20 pounds of weight. Using sturdy fasteners like a bolt, toggle, or anchor, it can hold more than 20 pounds. But resist the temptation to install heavy items to avoid running the item should it fall off or cause your drywall to tear.

Generally, always compare the item’s weight to the drywall’s weight capacity. Thick drywalls can hold more weight than thin ones.

Can Drywall Screws Hold Shelves?

Yes, drywall screws can hold shelves, but there are two factors to consider. The quality of the screws and the weight of the shelves. If the shelves are too heavy for the screws, the latter will give way over time or if there is a slight structural movement. The common ½-inch thick drywall can support heavy shelves as long as they are properly installed.

To get a perfect job, we recommend alloy screws because they are rust-resistant. To extend the shelf life of the screws, consider coating them with paint or a weather-resistant solution to protect them from oxygen and moisture.

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