I recently installed a curtain rod into drywall with the default screw anchor provided with rails (top picture). My partner thinks that the rods aren't sufficiently stable and wants me to do the work again with better looking screw anchors (second picture).

How can I convince them that the setup is stable? I already demonstrated by pulling on the rail. Any other ideas?

  • 3
    Both of those 2 different screw anchors look to me as though they're meant for brick walls. Get yourself some proper drywall anchors.
    – brhans
    Jan 29, 2017 at 4:01

2 Answers 2


Agree with the comments above. No way those will hold the rail loaded with curtains for any length of time in drywall (I repair this kind of failure ALL the time, as rarely do things ship with suitable fasteners...).

You need a fastener which opens out on the backside of the drywall but it depends on the construction of the house. Whats behind the drywall? Timber frame or masonry?

I see you're in the UK, so it's likely the drywall is stuck to blockwork using an adhesive (dot and dab). In that case the second fixings would be better as it would get into the wall itself.

Drywall doesn't have good holding power unless you can get behind it using a fastener which opens out (not possible on 'dot and dab') or through it and into the wall.

NOTE: Where you have drywall bonded to masonry, use a 7mm or brown rawlplug and drill a hole deep enough to ensure the whole of the brown plug is in the masonry.

Typically this means a 8g or preferably a 10g screw at least 65mm or 2 /12" long.

  • The drywall is on an external wall, so I'm assuming there is masonry behind it.
    – MXMLLN
    Feb 6, 2017 at 15:09
  • 1
    Then definitely get something into that masonry. Typical plasterboard 'dot and dab' will be 25mm or so thick and I'd want to get a rawlplug into the block etc. That adds up to at least a 2 1/2" or 65mm screw and a standard wall plug, 6mm probably. Always be wary though over a door or window, because there are several different types of lintel; from metal box (pain to fix to) to concrete (hard to drill) to open back metal with masonry (easy to fix to)...
    – handyman
    Feb 7, 2017 at 14:50
  • Both these answers really helped me address the issue, but the answer was never explicitly revealed. Could someone update their answer by clarifying that "it is extremely difficult to test or judge the long term stability of curtain hardware. Curtains are surprisingly heavy and additional strain is added by opening and closing the curtains, often quite quickly. Only from the experience of seeing so many plastic anchor screws failing will you know to use more secure hardware." @fancybuffet
    – MXMLLN
    Feb 17, 2017 at 11:34

If you have pulled on them and demonstrated that they are sufficiently solid, it sounds like you have a relationship issue involving physics vs. "alternative facts".

Personally, for anchoring in wallboard, I prefer "zip-its", also known as auger anchors, tornados, and even wall-drillers, based on their part number at a certain manufacturer.

By the way, the plastic sleeve anchors that your partner likes are, I believe, better suited for cinder-block and concrete. In plaster-board, it's zip-its or toggle-bolts that you really want.

  • 3
    +1. Neither of the anchors shown in the question is really appropriate for the job. I tend to prefer something like these, although I can see the attraction of those self-drilling anchors. :) Jan 28, 2017 at 18:38
  • I'm afraid the anchors in the above 'these' link are hollow wall anchors and there may not be room for the 'wings' to fold open on a drywall on a masonry wall system where the gap behind the boards can vary considerably.
    – handyman
    Feb 7, 2017 at 14:49

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