Although fixing things to a wall is one of the simpler DIY tasks, it is still something that can easily go wrong if you’re not 100% sure what you’re doing!
So, if you’re planning on fixing something to your wall, such as a picture or mirror, make sure you take a few moments to read our top tips below on how to get the job done quickly and simply.
1. Decide if you need nails or screws
It’s important to remember that there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to adding items to your wall. If you’re hanging smaller pictures (these should be eye level, approximately 60” from the floor) and framed mirrors for example, you’ll typically only need picture hooks to fix them, and they are simply hammered into the wall. For larger items however, you’ll have to use screw fittings, which require a bit more work as detailed below. Whether you’re using a hammer or drill, make sure you check that there are no pipes or cables behind the wall using a digital detector prior to carrying out any work.
2. Get the right fitting for your wall
The type of screw fitting you need is determined by the type of wall you have, such as brick, breezeblock or plasterboard. Simply tap on your wall to see if you get a hollow sound, as if you do, this means you probably have plasterboard walls, which are particularly common in modern house builds. If you are hoping to hang medium to heavy loads on a plasterboard wall, hollow wall anchors are a popular choice, which work by biting into a board or wall and spreading within its cavity to get a secure ‘fix’. Remember that you’ll also need to be extra careful when drilling plasterboard wall, as if you push too hard you can damage the wall as the drill goes through.
3. Make sure you use a wall plug if you’re using screws
These are essential, as a normal screw will not stay put securely without one! Wall plugs expand to grip the sides of the hole you have drilled, helping to hold the screw in place – without damaging your walls. Make sure you’re careful when you are choosing your wall plugs too, as there are many different varieties to match different screw sizes and types of wall.
Hammer-in plugs are a great alternative to wall plugs, and are good for fixing timber battens to masonry – there are also hammer-in plugs that have been designed for plasterboard too. These hammer-in plugs work by being inserted into a drilled hole with a hammer, then being driven home with screw for a secure hold.
4. Use universal plugs for lightweight block walls
Because they enlarge and dig into the soft block as you tighten your screw, universal plugs are the best pick if you have lightweight block walls, so make sure you keep this in mind when you’re buying all the tools you need for the job - not forgetting essentials such as a high-quality screwdriver!
5. Don’t be afraid to drill into tile
People are often worried about drilling into tiles in case you crack or split them, however this needn’t be the case. You’ll need a tile specific drill bit, as traditional ones will not work as well. You should put a few layers of masking tape over your drilling area, as this gives it grip and stops your drill bit moving around the tile when you start drilling. You’ll need to apply a slight bit of pressure to get through the glaze as this can take a while – but is the hardest part! You should be able to hear when the drill has broken through the glaze and is drilling underneath.