How to Hang Heavy Objects in Drywall

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It takes a special screw to hang a heavy mirror on drywall.
It takes a special screw to hang a heavy mirror on drywall. (Image: James Woodson/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

The best way to hang a heavy item on the wall is to find a wooden stud and insert a screw into the wood. But studs are not always where you need them. Toggle bolts are fasteners that have small, wing-type metal bars that open up once inside the wall and can hold a heavy load. The toggle bolts typically come in two parts, the toggle that gets inserted into the wall and the bolt that screws into the toggle.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Small drill bit
  • Screwdriver

Measure and mark the precise place on the wall where you want to install the toggle bolt. Toggle bolts leave a large hole in your wall once removed.

Drill a hole to make a pilot hole. Choose a drill bit that is smaller in diameter than the toggle bolt.

Screw the toggle portion into the pilot hole until it is flush with the wall. To screw, place the end of the screwdriver into the threads at the end of the screw and rotate the tool clockwise.

Thread the toggle bolt through the eye of a hook and insert the screw into the toggle. Screw it until the hook is secure. You may also hang a heavy item directly from the bolt.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't have an electric drill to make the pilot hole, gently hammer a slender nail about halfway into the drywall and remove it.
  • To remove the toggle bolt, unscrew the bolt and the toggle should drop free into the wall. If the toggle does not drop, turn it counterclockwise to unscrew and loosen it from the wall. If this fails, you must snip off the head of the toggle with cutting pliers and tap the body with a screwdriver and hammer to force it inward.

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