7th Dec 2022 -

So, you’ve successfully plasterboarded your room and now you want to fix some wall-hanging objects in place Whether you’re looking to install a shelf, wall-mounted TV, or simply hang a painting or mirror, you’ll need to have the right plasterboard fixings to do the job properly.

Although plasterboard is pretty robust by itself, it’s effectively just a layer of compressed plaster dust in between two sheets of paper, which means that a screw (or nail) alone can cause it to crumble. Not ideal. That’s why using plasterboard fixings is essential, letting you live peacefully without worrying that your decorations could come crashing down at any moment and destroy your wall in the process, which would be even less ideal.

Here we look at what plasterboard fixings actually are and how to use them, as well as which ones are best for different situations.

What are plasterboard fixings?

Plasterboard fixings are inserted into the wall before anything else and can hold a screw in place, enabling you to then screw an object into the wall via the fixing. This has the effect of increasing the area of the plasterboard being put under stress by the object hanging from it. giving it a much better hold than using a screw alone.

man holding plasterboard

How do you use plasterboard fixings?

As we will explain, different plasterboard fixings work in different ways. Generally speaking though, you first need to drill a clearance hole in the wall, which should be large enough for the body (but not the head) of the fixing to go through. This involves using the drill bit size that’s indicated on the fixing packet. Check there aren’t any pipes or wires in the area of the plasterboard you’ve chosen, before drilling the fixing in place and screwing the object into it. And voilà, you’re good to go!

What fixings can you use on plasterboards?

There are many types of plasterboard fixings, each of which is suitable for different scenarios. A general rule of thumb is to use plastic or metal screws in fixings for lighter objects, plastic anchor or spring toggles for medium loads, and metal spring toggles for heavy ones. Here are the best plasterboard fixings and their typical uses.

Self-drive screws

OK, despite what we’ve just said about drilling, self-drive fixings don’t need to be drilled in place, unless you have chosen a spot of plasterboard where there is a timber stud. Used for lightweight objects, these metal screws feature a sharp tapered tip that can make its own hole. This allows you to install them directly into the plasterboard with a screwdriver, before inserting a small screw to provide a firm fixing for the object.


    • Conforms to BS EN14566
    • Zinc Coating finish
    Price from: £13.85 £16.62

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Wall plugs

Wall plugs are cheap and easy-to-use fixings which are also best suited to lighter objects. However, these do require drilling, and this hole should be slightly smaller than the plug to ensure it fits. A similar product is the plasterboard plug, which is generally shorter and wider.

  1. £1.94 £2.33
  2. £1.94 £2.33
  3. £1.94 £2.33

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Plastic toggles

Also known as a nylon or spring toggle, this type of plasterboard fixing is best for light to medium loads. It has a collapsible, triangular plastic toggle that is inserted through a pre-drilled hole in the plasterboard. This then bounces back up and towards the plasterboard, spreading the weight of the load and ensuring a strong fix. Then you can put a screw into the body and attach objects to the wall as required.

Wall anchors

Wall anchors are incredibly similar to plastic toggles, but are made of metal instead of plastic. As such, they can hold more weight and are better suited to heavier objects, like radiators.

Spring toggles

Ideal for hanging shelves, spring toggles work in the same way as plastic toggles and wall anchors. However, they are made of metal and have a slightly differently shaped toggle. This flattens back vertically against the plasterboard, unlike toggles that return to their standard triangle shape.

  1. £1.30 £1.56
  2. £1.96 £2.35
  3. £2.15 £2.58

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Rubber anchor nut

Sometimes less is more. An anchor nut simply consists of a rubber, cylindrical nut that can fit easily into the clearance hole you’ve drilled for it. These will take quite a lot of weight and are resistant to corrosion.

Gripit fixing

One of the newest fixing products on the market is the Grip It, which comes from a company founded by the youngest person ever to win investment on the BBC's Dragons' Den. Pretty cool stuff. The Grip It fixing works like others, in that it needs to be inserted into a pre-drilled hole in the plasterboard. The main difference is that it looks sort of like a fidget spinner, and you need to put a screwdriver into the coloured plastic at the front to turn the metal wings at the back, which will fix it in place. This fixing is particularly suited to larger objects and typically requires wall openings of over 18mm.

  1. £2.50 £3.00
  2. £2.80 £3.36
  3. £3.11 £3.73

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Plasterboard Fixing Procurement Simplified

Building Materials Nationwide has everything you need for your next project, with a great range of plasterboards and plasterboard fixings available through our website. For professional customers, our trade accounts are a must-have, getting you access to a dedicated account manager who'll get you everything you need, delivering to your site for amazing trade prices. Sign up for a trade account today or tell us what you need through the form below.

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