I’m guessing you arrived at this guide after going to the DIY store for some plasterboard fixings, expecting to have a couple to choose from, and then getting a little dizzy from all the choice. That’s what happened to me when I started writing this guide.
I knew there would be different size fixings, and reckoned on a few different types depending on what was being fixed to the plasterboard, but 7 main types of plasterboard fixings?
Clearly, the public and I needed some help. Let me hold your hand and demystify the choices.
Pro Tip: Run a nifty little gadget called a stud detector over your walls to make sure you aren’t about to screw through a water pipe or electric cable
List of commonly used plasterboard fixings
1. Redidrive (Self-Drive)
Use For: While they look like an evil alien probe, redidrives are sturdy and easy to fit. They are great for pinning plasterboard to wood battens or light switch plates to plasterboard.
How to use: You insert the long screw into the probe bit and screw through the plasterboard into the wood. Drilling a small hole first isn’t necessary but can guard against the screw snapping. Only use on stud walls, redidrives cannot be used to affix plasterboard to masonry.
Pro Tip: To confuse things, these fixings are sometimes called ‘Ready Drive’.
2. Plastic Toggle
Use For: Plastic toggles are ideal for bearing heavy loads and should be inserted at the top of the object being fitted to the plasterboard.
How to use: The triangle part collapses so that it can be pushed through a pre-drilled hole in the plasterboard. Once through the hole, the triangle bounces back, fixing the toggle in place. Proceed to screw through the toggle and into the plasterboard; the triangle will be drawn up towards the plasterboard creating a robust fix.
3. Hollow Wall Anchor (Or Cavity Fixing)
Use For: Fixing objects to plasterboard walls when a strong brace is required.
How to use: It works nearly identically to the plastic toggle, although the anchor part is made of metal and is not triangular.
4. Butterfly Toggle
Use For: Butterfly toggles are ideal for hanging shelves.
How to use: They work the same way as plastic toggles and wall anchors but are made of metal, and the toggle is shaped differently. With butterflies, the metal toggle flattens back against the plasterboard when the screw is inserted, forming a vertical brace.
5. Rubber Anchor Nut
Use For: A rubber anchor nut is a great all-rounder, fitting into irregular holes and resistant to corrosion.
How to use: Drill through the plasterboard wall to create a hole for the anchor nut. Bash the rubber anchor nut in place with a hammer. Screw through into the cylinder where a metal thread inside the rubber guides the screw.
6. Universal RawlPlugs
Use For: Standard rawlplugs are not strong enough to hold objects to plasterboard, but special universal ones can be used for lighter objects.
How to use: Pre-drill the hole to the size of the wall plug, insert the plug and then turn the screw.
7. Grip It Fixings
Use For: For fixing large items to plasterboard, try the new Grip It fixings.
How to use: Grip Its work by being inserted into a pre-drilled hole of between 15 and 25mm. After tapping the Grip It in place using a hammer, insert a screwdriver into the coloured plastic at the front to turn the metal wings at the back, locking the Grip It in place.
Pro Tip: With their bright colours and twisty design, Grip It fixings resemble a fidget spinner, so care should be taken not to leave near children
I hope this complete guide to plasterboard fixings has helped you navigate down that aisle at the DIY store.
By now, you should feel confident in choosing a fixing based on what you’re fixing into, how sturdy you need the support to be and what size fixing you need.
Feel free to comment at the bottom of the page if you have any questions (or if you can help our readers with answers!)