How to hang a shelf on a drywall wall: execution technique, necessary materials and tools

Finishing and design of modern premises, both domestic and industrial, cannot occur without the use of a material with high quality characteristics. The most demanded and popular in recent years has become drywall. Using sheets of this material, it’s easy not only to create a flat surface of the walls, but also to make independent partitions, niches and even built-in wardrobes with shelves.

But there are also disadvantages to using gypsum plasterboard. The material is fragile, so attaching a shelf without cracks will not be easy. Before you hang a shelf on a drywall wall, you need to learn the technique for doing this work and prepare the necessary materials and tools.

The problem of attaching shelves to drywall

It is not worth enumerating all the advantages of the material, it is better to pay attention to some of its features, which significantly complicate the installation of suspended structures:

  • gypsum board has low strength to bending loads, which often leads to breakage;
  • the inner gypsum core of the material is not able to hold nails and screws;
  • the outer shell has poor adhesion to gypsum, so the adhesive mounting of strips for fastening shelves is also problematic in many cases.

But despite all the difficulties in the process of attaching shelves to a drywall wall, there are several effective ways to solve this problem.

Mounting Methods

The solution to the question of how to hang a shelf on a drywall wall depends on the weight of the structure and the load on it, which is planned to be used during operation.

Light shelves, on which you can put a small piece of interior decoration, can be attached with glue. This method is the simplest and does not require the use of an electric tool. Its main advantage is the absence of debris and dust in the process of performing work.

If fastening with glue does not fit, then not very heavy shelves can be fixed to the wall using special dowels or self-tapping screws. In this case, it will be necessary to carry out some preparatory operations and apply additional fixation of self-tapping screws with adhesive compositions.

It is better to take care of the fastening of heavy structures at the stage of installing the plasterboard wall. The lath for attaching drywall to the wall is in many cases an excellent basis for installing shelves and furniture. Also, large mass shelves can be reliably fixed using special anchor devices.

Mounting hardware

To hang the shelf on a drywall, the fasteners must be of a special design. Simple screws and screws, especially nails, will not hold in a loose gypsum structure.

Before fixing the shelf to the drywall, you need to understand the design of the mounting devices and how to use them.

Shelves of small weight (up to 3 kg) can be attached to the wall of drywall with a “snail” dowel, which is screwed into the wall, cutting into threads.

For medium shelves, you may need the following types of fasteners:

  • weight up to 30 kg withstand “driva” dowels;
  • on the expansion bolt shield "umbrella" it is possible to fix the shelf weighing no more than 6 kg;
  • the butterfly plug will be able to withstand a load of up to 10 kg;
  • universal dowels withstand shelf up to 3 kg in weight;
  • dowels "molly" or "Harmut" withstand a load of about 35 kg.

You can hang a heavy shelf on a plasterboard wall with a Harmut dowel or using special anchor fasteners.

Principle of operation of fasteners with sliding plates

Light Shelf Technology

The use of an adhesive composition is only possible to hold structures of low weight (photo frames, decorative elements). Before you hang a shelf on a drywall wall, make sure that during operation the child or pet will not be able to pull it.

The technology for attaching light structures with glue is as follows:

  1. Using the building level to control the horizontal line and a simple pencil, marking the installation site shelves.
  2. Gently, strictly along the planned line, a special adhesive is applied to the wall. Make sure that there is no excess glue, as this will ruin the quality of repair work.
  3. The same composition is applied to the shelf in the place of its contact with the wall.
  4. Then the structure is pressed against the wall and can withstand the necessary time for setting. Contact time is indicated in the adhesive instructions.

It is impossible to load the shelf with foreign objects until the glue has completely dried and hardened.

Fixing shelves with dowels

You can attach a small weight to the shelf to the plasterboard wall with dowels or universal screws. When using self-tapping screws, they must be covered with special adhesive mastic to prevent the element from falling out of the wall.

Especially for working with a drywall, dowels are created, called "snail" and "butterfly."

The “snail” dowel does not need to be driven into the wall, the thread of a special design allows it to be twisted into a soft surface, without violating the structure of the material.

Dowel-snail for fastening in drywall

The design of the “butterfly” dowel is designed so that when the screw is screwed in, a supporting platform is formed on the back of the drywall. This device allows you to mount shelves on plasterboard walls as a single-layer or two-layer type. In this case, the load on the shelf, mounted on a wall with two sheets, can be doubled. A feature of this method of attachment is that it requires free space on the back of the sheet.

Drywall dowel butterfly

Anchor attachment

The use of special anchor devices allows you to fix the shelf on a drywall wall of both medium gravity and a heavy hinged structure.

The molly anchor is very similar in appearance and design to the butterfly dowel. This type of fastener is completely made of metal, which can withstand heavy loads.

Anchor "Molly"

When tightening the anchor bolt, the shell of the device opens on the back side of the sheet and is tightly pressed. It is advisable to hold the hat when mounting such a construction with pliers or a similar tool in order to prevent turning the device, which will damage the structure of the gypsum around the attachment point.

Harmut Anchor

The Harmut anchor has a unique design, it allows you to mount large shelves. The metal plate located at the end of the device is carefully inserted into the drilled hole with the help of mounting antennae. Then the plate is aligned with the dowel, and the antennae break off. A screw screwed into such a device is able to withstand a load of up to 35 kg.

Anchor "Harmut" for fastening shelves

In the case when the gypsum plasterboard is attached to the wall without an additional crate, that is, it fits snugly against the supporting wall, long anchors are widely used to fix the shelves. Such devices are installed in the supporting wall and tightly tightened. The main advantage of this method is the ability to hold structures of almost any weight.

Special long anchor bolt

Fastening shelves to the crate

A preliminary step in leveling the walls is the installation of a special metal crate. Its design provides for vertical and horizontal racks, to which drywall sheets are attached. The presence of these elements allows you to reliably and efficiently mount a variety of equipment on the wall.

The mounting method is quite simple. The main problem can sometimes be determining the location of the metal profile, if not pre-marking. In such situations, experienced installers advise using a magnet, with which it is easy to find a metal crate.

Mortgage device for mounting attachments

If the step of the crate does not allow the installation of attachments, then before you hang the shelf on a plasterboard wall, you need to plan the mounting points and install wooden mortgages. These elements must be firmly fixed and tightly pressed to the drywall sheet to avoid its punching and destruction during fixation.

Masters Tips

To hang a shelf on a drywall wall, it is useful for beginners to listen to some tips from experienced professionals:

  1. When arranging mortgages, it is better to draw up a diagram of their location or to photograph the finished work. This will not let you forget where the attachment points exist.
  2. It is better not to overload long dowels, since any strong element can bend over time and deform the sheet.
  3. The load on the attachment points must be distributed evenly, which guarantees protection against premature loss of individual elements.
  4. Before finishing work, the location of the metal profile is easy to determine at the junction of the sheets.

Remember that the choice of mounting method depends on the planned load on the mounted elements. Placing household appliances on the surface of the walls significantly saves the usable space of small rooms.


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