I'm putting up hooks on the tile wall in my bathrooom. I have to use hollow wall anchors because the tile is over drywall or possibly cement board. But, I'm having a problem. I've used these types of anchors in drywall many, many times with no problem. But with the tile, after I drill the hole the anchor won't fit into it. If i try to pound it in with a hammer the anchor just breaks. I'm using the drill bit size called for with the anchors. With drywall the anchors are able to bite into the wall some, but they can't do that with tile, hence they don't fit. There must be an obvious solution to this, but I can't figure it out. drilling a bigger hole would be an option, but I don't know how much bigger to go and it would seem that this should be something that would be mentioned on the anchor packaging.

Is there a particular type of anchor for tile walls that I don't know about?

2 Answers 2


Drywall anchors depend on making the hole a little bigger as they are inserted. This is a good thing, because drilled sheetrock holes may have chunks missing and the gypsum is not necessarily compacted. Inserting the anchor compresses the surrounding gypsum and makes it stronger.

Tile is, of course, not flexible or malleable, so you'll have to drill a slightly larger hole through it. To get maximum holding power, use two bits. The smaller one all the way through, followed by the larger one just through the tile with minimum drywall contact. Without knowing which kind of anchor and its size, I can't tell you what size bits to use. I would experiment by trying 1/64 inch larger increments until the anchor slides through normally.

  • Thanks Wallyk. I'll try this. Seems kinda strange there isn't an anchor designed specifically for tile that provides the appropriate size bit. I figured Home Depot would have something like this.
    – Bleakley
    Jan 17, 2014 at 14:33
  • @Blake I've had success with these kind of anchors --> homedepot.com/p/… . Keep in mind that these anchors are mean to stick out a little with some surfaces (they get squished by the screw). Read the instructions.
    – Edwin
    Jan 17, 2014 at 19:27
  • @Edwin: The anchors you advertised are considered "garbage". I blindly picked those yesterday and returned them back. Read reviews.
    – Alex G
    Apr 13, 2018 at 14:14
  • I think the people in the reviews are using them incorrectly or maybe for a unsuitable purpose. Some of the reviews seem to be reviewing a different product - like the one that mentions the instructions say to screw the anchor into the wall. I've had no problems. I use them every time the job calls for a non-toggle anchor.
    – Edwin
    Jul 21, 2018 at 18:49

Obviously putting a screw into a stud would be preferable, but with bathroom fixtures that is rarely the case.

Except for the most simple lightweight mounting, I have tended to use one of the new type toggle anchors.


  • The legs of these are slid so that the metal bar is rotated until it is perpendicular to the wall.
  • The bar is then pushed into the hole in the wall.
  • Once the bar is in the wall cavity, the two nylon legs are aligned so the metal bar is now parallel to the wall.
  • The front plastic anchor plate is then slid toward the wall and the legs are pulled outward.
  • Once it is tightly set, the excess legs are snapped off.
  • The metal bar is held to the front plate by the remainder of the legs.
  • A bolt is put through your hook or fixture and is threaded into the metal bar.

There are several brands. These are basically a replacement for the old spring style toggle bolts (which can only be used once since the toggle part drops into the wall cavity if the bolt is removed).

In hollow walls, these are much stronger than almost any other anchor system aside from a direct stud connection.

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