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I'm going to install some shelving that is going to require either drilling into the stud, or using drywall anchors.

The brackets are kind of thick (half an inch), so I'm wondering if it matters if the screw is in all the way after I install the anchor. Can the screw be out of the anchor almost halfway for it to still work?

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It depends on the type of anchor and the length of the screw, but I think you may have another problem.

Most drywall anchors rely on the screw to expand the anchor and secure it into the drywall. In these cases, if the screw is not into the anchor to an adequate depth, the anchor will not have sufficient purchase in the sheetrock.

With this said, however, if you are putting up a shelf that you plan to put any sort of weight on (books, etc.), sheetrock anchors are a very poor choice. You would definitely want the majority of your anchors secured into a stud.

If you must anchor to the sheetrock, then you may want to consider butterfly anchors (toggle bolts) rather than the screw in surface anchors. They will provide better support.

  • Would it matter much if only part of the shelf was in the stud? It's not going to be very large. – Ellocomotive Jan 11 '15 at 2:17
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    +1 Also see a discussion of various anchors here – bib Jan 11 '15 at 2:18
  • Again, it comes down to how much weight is going to be on this shelf. – David Hoelzer Jan 11 '15 at 14:42
  • these are the type that the Flat Screen TV people use. !toggler I've been using them for all kinds of things in sheet rock since they have a variety of sizes that support different weights. – scooter133 Jan 12 '15 at 5:01

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