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romer58 02-02-2009 08:15 PM

Beginner Needs Help - Drywall Anchors

I'm not handy but decided to install a closet organizer kit in the bedroom of my Manhattan apartment by myself after a number of equally inept friends told me it was easy. The kit involves a shelf system that hangs from a long support that you're supposed to screw along the top of the closet wall.

After drilling into the drywall, I reached concrete about an inch and half in. From what I can tell, there is 1/2" of drywall, an inch of air, and then concrete. What type of drywall anchor will hold a lot of weight but will only require a screw that is an inch or an inch and a half long? I looked at 1/8" toggle bolts but the minimum length screw that I saw was 2". Help! I'm surrounded by clothes and have no place to hange them.

I was told by the retailer of the closet kit that I could drill a hole in the concrete and then use concrete screws but that would be extremely difficult. It would also require me to notify the building's board, get permission, and then obtain insurance. After agreeing with the retailer that the concrete screws were not the best option, they proceeded to sell me a different type of their brand of anchor, which also doesn't fit.

Any advice you can give me would be much appreciated.

inspectorD 02-03-2009 05:37 AM

You could return it for a shelf system with sides on it , no ancors needed.
Or you can attach plywood behind the shelving to attach the wire closet to, and attach the plywood to the wall where there is a place to catch a screw.

handyguys 02-18-2009 01:29 PM

Get yourself a stud finder. Don't use anchors at all. Mark the stud locations and screw through your long horizontal support. If that support is pre-drilled with holes for screws you might need to make new holes in the correct locations.

kok328 02-18-2009 04:55 PM

Go to your big box store and look for a drywall anchor item call "Zip-It". It's a very coarse thread aluminum wall anchor that is rated for heavy use. Easy to install and works well as long as you don't strip them out in the drywall.

hondadrv24 02-19-2009 06:57 PM

I agree with handyguys, if there is an inch and a half air gap between the concrete and the sheetrock then someone obviously put 2x2" furring strips on the wall to attach the rock to. a stud finder and regular wood screws are what you need.

lalchak 02-26-2009 07:10 PM

You need both a studfinder and drywall anchors. Personally I always try to go for studs. Unfortunately sometimes I am in a situation where studfinder wrongly thinks there is a stud and I have already made a big hole, then I'd go with drywall anchors.


nickroqs 02-27-2009 12:44 PM

Easiest way would probably to just go for the studfinder, but get some drywall anchors too just in case.

Johnboy555 03-20-2009 02:11 AM

Hey Guys,
As a Prof Handyman for 35 years I've done a lot of closet organizers, in homes and appartments. What Romer found is the "firewall"(cement block) between appartments. As strange as it seems I've seen where they will "shoot" the furring strips 1X3's to 2x4's into the block horizonally so they don't have to worry about the edges of the drywall.

Anyway.. there's a 3/4" to 1 1/2" gap behind the DW. If the strips are vertical then use a stud finder, and a tiny drill bit to make sure you're hitting wood. If where you're hanging the top piece isn't on studs then the E-Z Anchor is a good choice. I've been using them for years to hang almost anything. The regular size will hold a vertical load (pulling straight down the wall) of 50 lb. each and they have the larger size that will hold 75 lb each. When I use them I always predrill the DW with a 3/16" drill bit, do not use a punch or awl, it breaks the back side of the DW. That way the anchor is exactly where you want it and just in case there is wood behind it you know and the anchor doesn't make a big ugly hole.

Buildex® E-Z Ancor
Using Wall Anchors Including Molly and Toggle Bolts, Plastic Anchors, Expansion Anchors and More from The Natural Handyman Home Repair and Do It Yourself Website

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