My chimney runs up the center of the house from the basement. Where it passes through the kitchen, there is an obvious bulge in the wall where the wall basically wraps around the chimney. Based on the size of the chimney and the size of the bulge, I am assuming that the cinder block chimney is roughly an inch behind the wall.

I would like to hang a spice rack on that bulge. Is this possible?

If so, is it possible to do it with the hardware provided with the spice rack? It comes with 4 plastic drywall anchors and screws, but my walls are plaster. I know drywall anchors are generally not good in plaster, but that you can sometimes get away with it for light items. A spice rack however seems like it should be pretty sturdily fastened, and with the chimney right behind this wall, I'm not sure I'd be able to get a more robust type of anchor in there.

So what are my options?

2 Answers 2


I would drill a small hole through the plaster first to test your theory about how much space you have behind the plaster. Your bit will stop when it hits the chimney, and you can use that to judge how much room you have.

If you have enough room, I would go with a toggle bolt style fastener. If not, then you might need to use a masonry bit and drill into the chimney. From there you can use a long tapcon screw to go through the plaster and into the chimney brick.

  • I'm a renter, so I always get nervous when it comes to test holes and drilling into masonry. Maybe this should be a different question, but I assume that drilling into masonry is generally something for which I should get my landlord's permission?
    – Colin K
    Jun 9, 2011 at 19:26
  • 3
    @Colin - Since it's behind the plaster, it shouldn't matter. As thick as those bricks are, it's not like you're going to drill all the way through them. The test hole shouldn't be a big deal either since you're going to be making a hole anyways for the anchor - just use the same hole. Jun 9, 2011 at 19:42


don't drill into the chimney masonry without knowing if you are drilling into a joint.

If you drill and drive a fastner into a joint you can crack the joint, causing a gap all the way to the inside of the chimney. Hot flue gasses can then escape.

Make sure you are driving the fastner into the brick/block itself.

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