Today I tried to install one of those Ikea kids storage units on my daughter's wall. It's a stud partition wall in a newly-constructed house.

Before attempting it I spoke to one of the builders who called round to check the house etc, read various guides, spoke to the guy at Wickes, and bought self tapping metal plasterboard fixings that come with metal screws.

Fixings go in fine then the 1st screw fine, then the 2nd screw...not fine: halfway in, the fixing stops gripping the plasterboard and starts turning with the screw. Started again, same thing again!! Meaning 2 fat useless holes in the plasterboard about 10mm diameter each, which I then filled and quit in rage.

What on earth did I do wrong?? Should I choose nylon instead? Please help!

  • If the anchors didn't go in I'd suspect that you hit framing. That type of anchor must be used in between studs.
    – isherwood
    Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 16:42

3 Answers 3


i don't understand why you just didn't anchor to the studs, but you must have had some reason.

sometimes the metal anchors are a little too hard for the screws, so the torque that is exerted on the screw translates into the anchor, and the anchor spins in the drywall, thus defeating the purpose of using the anchor in the first place. you can't use those anchors in those holes, however, you can get yourself some toggle bolts and put them right into those holes. they are a stronger anchor anyhow. have a look here


just use plain old toggle bolts, not the plastic ones or the newfangles ones or the usb connected ones. just plain old togglebolts.

  • Old school toggle bolts don't typically open completely, and so don't lay flat against the back side of the drywall. They worked great with lath and plaster walls, since the toggle could bite into the lath. With drywall, the pressure points could damage the backing paper, reducing the holding power. Modern toggle bolts (commonly known as "togglers"), lay flat against the drywall to spread the load more evenly. This reduces the risk of them damaging the paper backing, and allows them to support more weight. All that said, the best option is to attach directly to framing members.
    – Tester101
    Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 16:57
  • nonsense. the hilti type togglers are a pain in the ass and three times the price. a standard toggle bolt does indeed bite into the paper. this prevents spin so the toggle can open. as it cams open against the back of the paper, the corners dig in and eventually the main flat of the channel profile hits, preventing further digging. by the time the unit is flat against the back of the paper. and it has more holding power than the toggler type anchors. toggler-uk.com/snaptoggle vs. factsfacts.com/MyHomeRepair/images/ToggleBoltSpecs.gif Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 18:06
  • however - i do agree that anchoring right into a stud or header is the best way to do it. Commented Feb 5, 2016 at 18:06

"Fixings" are the self drilling wall anchors? If the anchor isn't keeping a grip in the wall when the screw is tightened than you may exerting to much force or over tightening the screw. If I recall correctly when installing self drilling anchors: make sure the anchor is at a 90 degree angle to the wall (must go in straight), the anchor should be sunk only as far as the top flange (there should be a lip that sits slightly above the wall surface) and when tightening the screw only tighten it enough to hold the object (don't over torque). If the Fixings don't seem to be working you can also secure the object to the wall studs (especially if it is heavy or will be used often). Rather than patch the 10mm holes switch to toggle bolts in these locations. Toggle bolts support heavy weights.

  • Thanks so much. Personal P.A. I didn't anchor to the stud bcz of the exact position my wife wanted it placed but makes sense. The video was really helpful too so I'll go with toggles.
    – F. Sanchez
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 9:38
  • And yes ojait I did mean self drilling metal anchors. As you say I tightened too much and the anchor couldn't hold. So question: are the screws for the self drilling anchors meant to be screwed all the way up to the flange (what I was trying to do) or just part way so they stick out?
    – F. Sanchez
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 9:47
  • BTW I already filled my mistake holes when I was furious with myself for being rubbish! ☺
    – F. Sanchez
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 9:48

The wall anchors that come with these sets suck

I always throw them away bc I’ve had the exact same experience

Old fashioned toggle bolts will fit through those holes and can work well

Next time, go to the hardware store and pay about $1 for some better quality anchors. Personally I like the ez anchor, and have had good luck with them, but use whatever you like....

  • If the spin in anchor is hitting a stud a toggle bolt won't work either a screw directly into the stud is all that is needed.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 14:53

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