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How to Hang Things on Walls

Hanging Heavy Objects
Fasteners for hanging heavier objects from walls.
Fasteners for hanging heavier objects from walls.

When hanging heavy objects, such as shelves and mirrors, the best device is the expansion anchor, or expansion bolt. This type of fastener comes in different sizes to accommodate differences in wall thickness and in the weight of the things they are to hold.

Once you get the right fastener, here is how to install it:

Step 1: Check the package to see what size drill bit you must use, and then drill a hole in the wall.

Step 2: Lightly tap the fastener in place with a hammer.

Step 3: Turn the slotted bolt clockwise. When you can't turn it anymore, back it out. The fastener is then secure against the inside of the wall, and you are ready to hang the object.

Step 4: Put the bolt through the object or its hanger, then reinsert the bolt in the expansion anchor.

For very heavy objects, such as cabinets or a bookshelf unit, use toggle bolts. Available in several sizes, toggle bolts require you to drill holes in the wall. Here is how to install them:

Step 1: Drill the proper-size hole.

Step 2: Remove the bolt from the toggle.

Step 3: Put the bolt through the object to be hung, or through its hanger, before you insert it into the wall. (You can't remove the bolt after the device is in the wall without the toggle falling down behind the wall.) Reinsert the bolt in the toggle.

Step 4: Squeeze together the toggle with your thumb and forefinger and push it into the hole.

Step 5: Hold the object you are hanging right next to the wall as you insert the toggle. When it goes through, pull the bolt back toward you until you feel the toggle open and hit the back of the wall.

Step 6: Turn the bolt clockwise until the hanger or the item itself is flat and secure against the wall.

Now we've covered the basics of hanging objects on walls. All that's left is to pull out your tools and have at it.