Drywall anchors are a practical solution for securing items to a wall without a sturdy wood stud. These anchors go into a wall and expand on the other side for the screw to fit securely into, creating more stability when hanging things. But can you use a drywall anchor in wood?
You can use drywall anchors in wood. However, wood is sturdy and doesn’t usually require an anchor to hang items securely. If you want additional support for heavy objects, metal hollow self-drilling anchors and toggle bolts are the only drywall anchors compatible with wood.
This article will discuss what you should consider when using and installing anchors in wood, should you need them. I’ll also review a few anchors that will work best in wood. So read on if you want to learn more about using drywall anchors in wood.
Things To Consider When Using Drywall Anchors in Wood
You generally need drywall anchors when drilling holes into drywall because they aren’t very sturdy. However, wood is much more structurally sound, so if you want to use drywall anchors in wood, there are some things you must consider.
Wood Doesn’t Need Drywall Anchors To Hang Items
You don’t need drywall anchors to hang items in wood. However, if you can’t find a wood stud, you can use drywall anchors to stabilize whatever you’re hanging. Some people also use hollow anchors when hanging heavy things on their walls, though they’re not recommended if you want to hang valuable appliances like TVs.
Generally speaking, when working with wooden walls, wood screws are the way to go. They can hold up a lot of weight. I have an article discussing the tapered shape of wood screws, which should give you an idea of their strength. Spoiler alert: it’s because of its tapered shape. [Why Are Wood Screws Tapered? A Simple Answer]
Only Some Drywall Anchors Are Compatible With Wood
Not all drywall anchors are compatible with wood since they’re designed for drywall that lacks wooden studs. Avoid plastic anchors because they’ll likely break when you install them.
You also generally shouldn’t use anchors that expand on the other side since wood is solid. There will be no space for the anchor to open. However, you can still use an expansion anchor if you have power tools that can help you pre-drill a hole for it to go through the solid beam.
If you plan to use a drywall anchor in wood, make sure that the type you’re purchasing can be inserted into the wood. It could be as broad and hollow drywall anchors.
Drywall Anchors Can Sometimes Add Stability to Wood
When used appropriately, drywall anchors that are compatible with wood can add to the stability of your wall when hanging items, but make sure you find an anchor that can support the object’s weight, especially if it’s heavy.
These anchors are also great to use when you want to hang something directly on a stud behind your wall, and while a typical screw can do the job, a good anchor is a sturdier option.
What Type of Drywall Anchor Should Be Used in Wood?
There is some debate about what type of drywall anchor should be used in wood, but a hollow self-drilling anchor or toggle bolt is typically the best option. These anchors have a sturdy metal piece that is pre-drilled into the wood. Once secured, drive the screw into the base with a hook that can hang items.
Make sure you use a metal anchor because a plastic anchor will likely shred when you screw it into a solid wooden surface, rendering the piece unusable.
Drywall Anchors That Work in Wood
Since not all drywall anchors work well in wood, choosing a suitable anchor can be challenging, so I’ve listed a few options below from Amazon.com that you can use.
These wall anchors are hollow and self-drilling, which are essential factors when using an anchor in wood. They are made of zinc and have deep threads designed to lock securely into the surface they are drilled into, so they are highly durable and will do a great job of holding heavy items.
CONFAST’s wall anchors are easy to uninstall and reinstall if needed.
Suprom’s heavy-duty steel anchors are narrow, which makes them a great option if you don’t want to drill a large hold in your wood.
You can use these anchors for different projects, including drywall, wood, and plaster, and since they are incredibly sturdy, you can even drill them through concrete.
These wide anchors make for a highly secure base and are great for drilling precise holes into a surface where the screw can fasten easily. You can use them to fasten many items to your walls, such as photos, shelving, mirrors, and other decorative items.
These zinc-plated steel toggle bolts are great for projects that require highly sturdy fastenings, and they work exceptionally well on hard surfaces, such as brick, concrete, stone, and wood.
One pack comes with 24 pieces of toggle bolts in three different sizes.
How To Use Drywall Anchors in Wood
It’s not that hard to install drywall anchors in wood, but there’s a difference in the self-drilling anchors and toggle bolts’ installation process, so check that you have the right anchor type. You must also ensure that you need the added support before drilling.
Installing Self-Drilling Anchors in Wood
Aside from the item you’re hanging, you only generally need your self-drilling anchors and an electric drill or screwdriver. However, you may also need a measuring tape if you’re drilling multiple holes.
Now follow these steps to install self-drilling drywall anchors in wood:
- Choose a spot on your wall for your anchor. If you’re drilling more than one hole, take measurements to ensure they are correctly aligned because if you make a mistake, you’ll have to repair the hole when you remove the anchor.
- Drill a hole for each anchor you want to install. If the anchor is self-drilling, use a screwdriver since you will have more control over how you place the base. However, a drill can sometimes be easier to use when drilling into wood.
- Apply the fastener. Screw the fastener into the anchor in the wood, and once you’ve installed them all, you can hang your item securely.
If you install the wrong anchor, it can tear through drywall and even wood, so be sure to use one with a good grip on the surface. That way, you won’t have to worry about falling objects.
Here’s a video on how to drill a drywall anchor directly into the wood if you want to see the process:
Installing Toggle Bolts in Wood
If you’re using toggle bolts, remember that they apply slightly differently than other anchors, so you must fasten them through the item you wish to mount on the wall.
Below are the things you will need:
- Toggle bolts
- Electric drill
- Spade bit
- Stud finder
- The item you’re hanging
Here’s how to install toggle bolt anchors in wood:
- Measure and mark where you wish to drill. This can help you avoid mistakes and ensure that the holes are correctly aligned. Also, use a stud finder to check if there’s anything behind the wall because drilling into a stud would be hard, as the wing bolts need space to open on the other side.
- Drill a hole for the bolt. The bolt size will determine how large the hole needs to be, so check the toggle bolts’ packaging, and be sure to drill even holes using your electric drill.
- Fasten the item you wish to secure to the bolt. Remove the toggle bolts and slide the item into the bolt. You can easily remove the wings when you twist them from the bolt.
- Return the wings to the bolt. Screw the wings back into the bolt until they sit where they previously did, and ensure that the open part of the wings faces the top of the bolt.
- Place the toggle bolt into the pre-drilled hole. Use your electric drill and spade bit to insert the bolt, and keep drilling until you feel the wings spring open on the other side.
- Pull the bolt forward. The bolt’s wings should press firmly against the wall because the closer they are to the wall, the more secure the item you’re hanging will be.
- Tighten the bolt. Once the wings are against the wood, keep them in place as you turn the bolt tighter. Continue turning it until it can no longer move.
- Check that the item you’re hanging is secure. Give it a gentle wiggle or pull to ensure you’ve installed the toggle bolt correctly.
These toggle bolts can quickly go through the wood if you pre-drill an adequately sized hole. The hard part is usually ensuring the bolt is long enough to get through the surface and still has room to open.
You can use drywall anchors in wood, though they are unnecessary most of the time. An anchor’s primary goal is to add stability to drywall, which is pretty flimsy, but you don’t need to add any anchors if you have a nice sturdy wooden wall. However, if you need additional support when hanging items, you can use a metal hollow self-drilling anchor or toggle bolt.