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I'm finishing my basement, and made a mistake.

The wall in some portions was only framed in up to 84". I'm matching the height of my suspended ceiling to the bottom of a steel I-beam the crosses the whole basement at a height of - you guessed it - 85".

I've already insulated, drywalled, primed and painted.

I'm looking for a way to affix the angle to the drywall. It'll be 100ish inches long on the offending wall, bearing half the weight of four-ish half-tiles, so not terribly much. I'm wondering if drywall anchors should be stout enough.

I know the proper answer is to frame up behind the drywall, but I'm not gonna. There are reasons.

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If I'm understanding correctly, the drywall extends 1" past the top of the framing, and that's where you want to attach the angle for the suspended ceiling?

enter image description here

I would normally suggest screw-in type anchors for this (much stronger than the push-in kind), but I'd be worried that installing one will cause damage the top edge of the drywall, and make the anchor useless. If you want to go that way, try it in a piece of scrap first.

Given that it's not a lot of weight, you'd probably be okay with push-in anchors (where you drill a hole then push them in). Just be careful during drilling and don't hammer them too hard. The tiles aren't heavy nor are they subject to dynamic loads. I'd put an anchor in every 16 or maybe 24".

A better bet would be a "Toggler": they push in through a hole (minimizing potential to damage the drywall) but flatten out and have much more strength than the typical push-in anchors.

enter image description here

You'll have to hold the angle up, mark the holes, then pre-drill and install the anchors before you can actually mount it, of course. Bit of a pain but not as much as taking down and then refinishing drywall.

  • Gregmac, that is exactly the situation, your illustration is perfect. I did a little research on different types of drywall fasteners after posting this and found that they make little molly bolts designed for 1/2" drywall. I think I'll get my hands on some of those and try them out. One point of clarification though: I need to install my angle about 1" higher than the framing stops, but my drywall is another 5" or 6" higher than that, so I'm not too worried about damaging fragile drywall edge. – VanGoghComplex Feb 16 '17 at 4:35
  • @JimStewart I did mention those and while I think they're great my concern is that because they compress the gypsum, installing them too close to the edge like this could result in the gypsum coming out and both visually damaging the drywall but more importantly having no holding strength. If it's the edge with paper folded over it, maybe it would work, but I'd still be skeptical. – gregmac Feb 16 '17 at 15:18
  • Stay away from the plastic zip ties with a metal backing plate, they are awful, the plastic breaks and the metal falls behind your drywall. Stick to the product gregmac has in his pic, they are far superior, i used after i broke a few of the zip tie ones. – AM_Hawk Feb 16 '17 at 16:09
  • @gregmac the OP added in a comment that the drywall goes 5" or 6" above the location of the anchors. A really superior drywall anchor is sold for use with elfa shelving systems, but these might be overkill for this application. containerstore.com/s/elfa/components/… – Jim Stewart Feb 17 '17 at 1:05
  • Thanks all for the help! It seems I have plenty of solid options. I generally have little faith in drywall for structure, so that was the driving concern behind my question. I'll probably opt for whichever solution will allow me to suck the angle flat against the drywall, so I don't have a little gap caused by the 'lip' found on most push-in types. – VanGoghComplex Feb 17 '17 at 1:46

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