I have a loose toilet roll holder and trying to tighten it. The issue seems to be that one of the drywall anchors is loose. I don't know what type of anchor it is nor how to tighten or replace it. Any ideas?

If I need to replace it with, what do you suggest? I was thinking either a toggle bolt or a molly bolt.

It is the top one in the photo (with the arrow) and what goes into it is a very long screw (I think it is a machine screw?).

Any help is appreciated.

Top anchor: Image 1: Top anchor is one of interest

It's loose: Image 2: Showing it is loose a bit

  • 2
    Check with a stud finder (or other way of finding a stud, there are many ways). If you can find a stud within a few inches, mount the tp holder to the stud with wood screws and it will last the life of the house. Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 20:03

2 Answers 2


It's one o' these...

image source

To remove it...

Grab the flange with a needle-nose pliers and bend it outward. Flex it in and out a few times and it'll pop off. Do the same for the other half if it splits.

Now just push it into the wall.

To try and salvage it...

It's possible that it simply wasn't installed properly. That type of anchor has a collapsible accordion-style tube on the back. You have to run the screw in fairly firmly to get it to do its thing. Its thing may simply not have been done.

To do that, hold the flange with a pliers and try running a suitable screw in. Once it bottoms out, go a bit further. If things are going right you'll feel an initial release, then it'll snug up again.

To replace it...

Remove it as above, then either try another type of winged or toggling anchor, or repair the drywall and start fresh a couple inches over. Don't bother with plastic plugs. They won't hold in this situation and aren't great to begin with. You want positive latching against the back of the drywall.

  • What I always use for plasterboard now is something like this: screwfix.com/p/gripit-plasterboard-fixings-18mm-x-205mm-25-pack/… - they do require a fairly large hole, but they work very well, I find.
    – j4nd3r53n
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 8:01
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    When I remove these, I typically screw the screw as far out as possible without coming loose, hit the head of the screw a few times with a hammer to straighten out the accordion, and then pull the whole thing out. I find that you can often reuse the anchors afterwards.
    – jkej
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 8:10
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    That sounds like a good way to damage the drywall further. Even if it doesn't punch through it's disintegrating the gypsum in the area. Guaranteed.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 12:57
  • I think you are overestimating the amount of force needed to straighten out the accordion.
    – jkej
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 23:17

I would go so far as to put in a roll holder with a large wooden back surface, one that covers this area completely, AND is wide enough to go over one stud.

OP should pull the anchor out or push it through, and then use construction adhesive to glue roll-holder to the drywall, and then predrill and install two screws/nails into the stud. Then mask the screw/nail holes with wood putty, push-on buttonheads or other decorative trim.

Something like the back of this facing the wall - it hides the existing holes, and will not be torn off because of the firm screw/nail attachment.

enter image description here

  • 2
    Egads. Do not use construction adhesive on your drywall unless you intend the fixture to be there for decades. It'll make a giant mess when you remove it.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 12:59
  • @isherwood fair point, totally accurate too. As long as the bog-roll is in reach and not fallen on the floor, I imagine the holder could be there for decades without issue. There's not a lot of tech development in the area, so barring damage a 40 year old holder would work fine today. I also like it firmly attached in case someone needs a grab-handle suddenly.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 19:21
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    Over decades, while technology won't be significantly different, taste and style will definitely change.
    – Jason
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 19:31

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