I was drilling 8mm diameter holes into plasterboard to put in hollow wall anchors (https://www.screwfix.com/p/easyfix-hollow-wall-anchors-8-16mm-m5-x-52mm-10-pack/12229) in order to put shelves up.

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However, I have accidentally drilled an 8mm diameter hole into a stud rather than the plasterboard so cannot use the hollow wall anchor, how can I use this hole, as it is too large for a screw?

  • It may be beneficial to describe the hollow wall anchor you plan on using. Some are multi-purpose and can function when inserted in a non-hollow opening Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 14:54
  • Your question isn't clear. While a hollow-wall anchor wasn't needed, it can still be used. Please revise to describe the problem you're facing. Also revise your title to ask a clear, specific question. See How to Ask and take the tour.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 14:55
  • 3
    Of course, the lesson is to either drill screw-sized pilot holes first, or to use a stud locator.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 14:55
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    Drilling into studs is the way to go, but using smaller bits. You found one, the others should be 16 inches on each side. Studs can hold much more weight safely than depending on drywall only.
    – crip659
    Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 15:02
  • Please see the link for the hollow wall anchor. I drilled a large hole (8mm) into the stud and now I cannot put in a normal screw what do I do?
    – james
    Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 15:24

3 Answers 3


Few things you can do:

  • Use a screw thicker than existing screw
  • Use a longer screw that would pass through the hole into more stud
  • You could repair the hole with 8mm round wood stick (does not need to be perfect) and glue, then use your existing screws without the wall-anchor

Easiest is use thicker screw, but if the "finish" of the screw in the product being hung is important, then just repair it and re-install

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    +Good common sense answer, a long screw into wood will have more holding force than plasterboard anchors although I love EZ anchors if I hit a stud I use the wood screw that would normally be in the anchor so all the screws match. Hopefully you did not drill 2” down because then a 3” screw or larger diameter would be needed.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 17:14

Absolutely! There are two ways to mount stuff on a typical (drywall or plasterboard or similar on top of wood frame):

  • Hollow Wall Anchors

It sounds like this is what you were trying to do. Drill holes that would end in the wall cavity, and then push through some sort of expanding anchor, toggle bolt, etc. which would grip the sides of the hole and/or behind the wall surface. This is actually second-best. Far better is:

  • Screws Into Studs

Depending on the size of the screw, which depends on what you are trying to hang on the wall, you can either drive screws directly through the item you are trying to hang, through the wall surface and into the stud, or you can drill a pilot hole and then drive the screw thought the item, through the wall surface and into the stud. You just drilled (accidentally) a pilot hole. All you need is a screw that is a little bit larger than the hole and of an appropriate length.

Typical screw length, if you don't know 100% for sure what is behind the wall, would be 1-1/2" + wall surface thickness - e.g., 2" for standard (US) drywall. You don't want to use a shorter screw because it won't hold as well. You don't want to use a longer screw because of the risk of hitting electrical wires or plumbing run through the middle of the studs.

  • Hi, sorry my original question was not clear. I drilled an 8mm hole into a stud rather than the plasterboatd. How can I use this hole?
    – james
    Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 15:25
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    Your question was quite clear. The hole is into the stud. That's a good thing. Put a larger than 8mm screw into it - i.e., not the screw that came with the anchor, but quite a bit bigger. It will hold a lot better than the anchor. I learned ~37 years ago (I won't bore you with the anecdote) to not trust anchors for shelves and instead make every effort to put screws into studs. Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 15:26
  • The bracket for the shelve hole is too small to use a bigger screw
    – james
    Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 17:20
  • That could be in this case. There are plenty of situations where the hole is larger enough, or that the hole can be enlarged but still be small enough to not affect the integrity of the bracket. Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 17:23
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    @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact 8mm is a fairly large lag screw, that shelf will be well secured!
    – Jasen
    Commented Jul 28, 2022 at 0:08

Here's what I would do in this situation if I were intent on using the exact same screws for each hole:

  1. Get a piece of 8mm dowel and cut it to length so that it will sit flush with the drywall.

  2. Slather it up with wood glue and tap it into the hole.

  3. Wipe the excess glue from the wall and let the glue dry for a few hours.

  4. Drill your pilot hole for your mounting screw and enjoy your new natural wood wall anchor/stud extension.

    1. Bonus holding power if you drill the pilot hole a size or so too small. The expansion will help anchor the dowel into the stud.

    2. If you are concerned about the dowel showing if anyone removes the shelf in the future, you can cut the dowel shorter and fill the rest with spackle or joint compound, then paint to match.

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