I'm looking to determine the type of wall I have so I will know the best way to go about hanging heavy items on plaster veneer(?) walls with a cement base. I've spent about a week looking through posts here, etc. and talked with/showed photos to the employees at the local hardware store (most of whom are retired contractors) as well a few employees at a big box store today and they were all stumped.
It appears similar in composition to the wall in this post; however, my wall is much thicker and the plaster appears to have a 'wet sand finish' - from what I've been told.
My wall - https://imgur.com/a/I7yDY8R (no asbestos from what I've had tested and it doesn't cut like drywall, its much harder - like concrete)
Another photo of wall from behind the dishwasher, the material behind the plaster is sandy/gritty but there are threads of some material throughout.
I've always lived in places with basic/standard drywall and recently moved into a home that was built in 1940. This is my first residence with plaster, but when I've tried to determine the best way to go about hanging heavy items (curtains, paintings, etc.) all advice is geared towards lath & plaster, which is not what I have. I have a thin and roughly 1/8-1/4 coat of plaster over what is essentially a cement(?) base. This makes it difficult to determine where the studs are, much less how to hang anything.
Some of the advice I've seen:
- Use wood screws to get into the lath behind the plaster → Doesn't apply here as there is no lath of any kind
- Use toggle bolts → I will use toggle bolts for heavier items like mirrors, but we have a lot of smaller and lighter frames that have held up on normal drywall just fine with 1-2 small nails
- Use drywall/plastic anchors → These were in the wall previously and they pop right out (see photo) since they don't catch on either the plaster or the concrete, I had the unfortunate job of removing every single failed attempt and all of the ones made by the previous residents
- Double-sided tape, 3M Command Strips, etc → In addition to the fact that I just painted, I haven't had good luck with these and would prefer not to use them
- Use Masonry Nails nailed straight into the wall instead of at an angle → Would this apply when the concrete board behind the plaster is bearing the weight and I need to get through the plaster without it chipping/cracking? I would rather put a drywall screw into the wall vs. try nails, have the plaster give way/chip and have whatever I'm hanging fall/break anyway
So since I have thin plaster veneer over cement, do I treat the plaster more like drywall for light items if I use small nails?
Initially I tried to put in nails and it took chips out the plaster... so I've determined my best bet for larger items is to pre-drill the plaster veneer for the thickness of the nail/screw, etc. then switch to a masonry bit for the concrete. That's the plan moving forward so that I'm able to put up curtains/heavier items.
Do you know what a wall like this is called? Any other advice or approaches I should consider? Anything you wish you knew before you started hanging pictures on this type of wall?
This is my first post, all suggested edits for clarity are welcome and appreciated! Thank you.