I was going to hang a few floating shelves from target and they came with plastic anchors that they said to screw into the wall.

Since I don’t have a drill, so I tried that but the anchors stop going in right at the end of the pointy part (very technical, I know) and where the screw begins.

So I googled it and was told to take the outlet cover off to ensure it’s dry wall so I’ve attached that photo, as well as a picture of the anchor and how far it’s gone in.

The wall is right next to a window (wall that faces the outside world) so I’m not sure if that has any bearing. I just want to know if I’m not pressing hard enough or if there’s something in the way? There is a metal plate behind the outlet but I’m not sure if that would go all the way up.

Also, I’m renting and not too keen on making a bunch more holes if I don’t have to so the whole “move the nail to the left and try” doesn’t seem like a great method to me.

I’ve hung other things elsewhere, like picture hanging hooks without problem.

Any help would be much appreciated, and the more simple and clear the better as I’m a beginner 23 year old. Thanks!

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  • Also: apartment building is brand new, built in 2017 in New York if that changes anything! Apr 8, 2018 at 14:39
  • While they accomplish the need in most applications, that’s a horrible anchor type, they tend to do much more permanent damage to the wall than necessary.
    – Tyson
    Apr 8, 2018 at 14:56

2 Answers 2


My guess is that you are hitting concrete behind the drywall or you luckily selected a spot with plumbing, electrical or something else running behind it. It could even be wood behind it, which would be good, as you could screw directly into the wood, but you need to confirm that.

I would take the drywall anchor out and tap in the hole it made to see if it sound like a hard or wood surface.


You have hit some sort of structure behind the drywall paneling, remove the anchor, and see if its a stud, or any else. if you see wood, then you're solid to install your shelf without the anchor is this spot (just drive the screw into the stud), if you see anything else, like plumbing, you're gonna want to move your new shelf to somewhere else.

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