I need to install some hooks on my wall, which I plan to use to perform elastic band exercises. Hence, I need to install these very well so that they will handle the stress properly.

Situation is I have found an strange wall on the rental apartment I'm living. I was convinced it was a concrete wall because it feels sturdy when I hit it. Then I drilled a hole on it with too much ease. It's almost as if it is made of sand, and at some point (after 2 inches) the wall feels hollow while drilling.

My conclusion is that the wall thickness is 2 inches. At this thickness, I don't think the wall will be able to support the 3 sleeve bolts (5/16 x 2 1/2 inches) required to install this system.

I wonder if I have any alternative here, maybe using different screws? Glue? Any other method?

NOTE: Old building, perhaps 60's to 70's construction. Brick on the outside.

This is what I want to install if that helps!

enter image description here

  • You need to find a stud and screw it into that.
    – stannius
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 2:27
  • I'm not sure if there are studs behind this "thing". Anyways, any recommendation to find a stud behind a 2 inches wall?
    – Pablo Diaz
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 2:46
  • 3
    It's all fun and games until one of those resistance bands pulls one of these off the wall under tension and it smacks you in the snout. Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 2:56
  • 1
    @Craig, that sounds discouraging!
    – Pablo Diaz
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 3:02
  • Can we have a picture of the wall?
    – stannius
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 3:04

3 Answers 3


This sounds like old school plaster on metal mesh, common for that era in apartments and condos. Hard as a rock. However, you'd have to open up the wall to find the concrete block that's most likely behind it, because the plaster is only supported by furring strips tacked into the blocks with nails. Do not be fooled if your stud-finder scores a hit. Don't be surprised if you find none, they're probably small metal c channels.

I would not employ "any other methods" then the appropriate lag screws into a wood stud or masonry fasteners into their appropriate substrate.

Long story short, installing this correctly in an apartment of your construction is unlikely. You'll shot your eye out, kid.

  • I see. I was already getting used to the idea of not installing these.
    – Pablo Diaz
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 4:28

Do you suppose your walls are covered with something similar to this?


It doesn't sound like the wall covering is structural. There must be studs in the wall. You could try a stud finder device like you can find at your local DIY store.

You could try using toggle bolts. If you do, I would do a pull-test with something other than the resistance bands before hooking those up and getting too gung-ho with them.

If there are studs, but they're metal studs, those are basically sheet metal and they don't give you a lot to secure a screw into, so if that's the case, you probably still want to use toggle bolts.

enter image description here

On the other hand, if the walls are made out of something like Durisol, there might not be any studs. Durisol blocs are made out of a "cement-bonded wood fiber material."

enter image description here

  • I forgot to mention it's an old building. Maybe 60's construction. Most likely is not that durisol block. I'm going to update my question with this info.
    – Pablo Diaz
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 3:26
  • @PabloDiaz 1960's... I wonder if it's some kind of asbestos board? In which case, I don't know that I'd do an awful lot of drilling in it. Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 3:37
  • I googled for asbestos board. Certainly, what ever freak I have here is not asbestos. It really feels like a poorly built concrete. The dust produced by the drilling is a light gray, almost white, when I hit the wall feels solid. Like concrete. But then again, I can scratch inside the hole even with a soft plastic and dust will come out.
    – Pablo Diaz
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 3:53
  • Seems unlikely toggle bolts would support the load of excercise related forces
    – Steven
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 12:37
  • The one mitigating factor being that he's talking about elastic bands, not talking about using full body weight. Still, I tend to agree. Actually, I'd probably look at something like mounting a sheet of plywood to the wall, tying it into the ceiling somehow (surely there are joists in the ceiling), and mounting the elastic band anchors to the plywood. Or just not doing it, as the OP as decided. Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 17:24

It sounds to me like the internal wall construction is made of cinder blocks. These drill easily as you describe and a hole drilled into the wall would have likely entered into the hollow cavity of the cinder block.

enter image description here

I would strongly discourage you from trying to mount these brackets to such a wall as there is no good assurance that a strong pulling force would not break the face right out of a block like this.

Another consideration is that since you live in an apartment you most likely should not freely be drilling large holes into the walls. As a minimum you should seek the approval and advice of the landlord that owns and manages the property.

  • I don't really think is cinder block. This material is way too soft. Thick (2 inches) but soft. +1 for recommending seeking approval from the landlord. Though "we" all know what the answer would be. Anyways, for my own safety I decided not to install.
    – Pablo Diaz
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 15:53
  • CMU was my first thought as well, but even then you'd prob need a hammer drill. I first encountered this at a friend's condo, what is this sand mess, brought it all back to me.
    – Mazura
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 21:45

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