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I am putting up some wall rails for my mum, she is not local so I need to go in and do the job in a day so need to get the correct fittings etc in advance.

The problem is I am not sure what material the wall is, therefore not sure which type of fitting to buy.

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The wall seems quite soft and hollow when knocked with my knuckle. My mum said it is plasterboard but I don't trust her opinion as she knows less about DIY than I do.

The other side of the wall is a staircase. There are identical wall rails already attached further along the wall out of shot, on the other side of the cooker. The house is about 100 year old, victorian.

1) Would these self-drive plasterboard fittings be a good choice? http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hafele-Plastplu-Rawlplug-Self-Drill-Plasterboard/dp/B00E1LR5JS/

2) Do you think it is safe to screw into the wall in the spots indicated? (as it is close to power socket)

The wail rails are Ikea Grundtal.

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  • If you use screw-type drywall anchors, this answer might help. – alx9r Jan 18 '16 at 16:28
  • You really need to get the screws into the framing to hold the weight. If the framing is not in all the places you need, then the hollow wall anchor is a safe bet, the one bib described below. There are others, but that type is your best hold, that is for using sheetrock/plasterboard for support. Find the framing get the screw to go in at least 30mm into the framing, That is not including the thickness of the plaster or the wood lath that still may be behind it. To give my input on the link for the anchor you asked. I would not use them at all, anywhere. – Jack Jan 19 '16 at 1:47
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Shelves like the one described can carry a significant load and things are regularly being put on and off, increasing the dynamic load. Unfortunately, from the illustration (and the appearance of the listed item on the sellers website), there are only two screw holes at each end. This puts a serious load on each attachment point.

Plasterboard or even plaster by itself is not a very good support for shelving screws unless there are many attachment points. I would try to find framing members, usually vertical studs, and align the screws on at least one end with them. You can use a stud finder to locate the stud.

stud finder

If you cannot align all the screws with studs, on either or both ends, or if the wall is made of plaster over hollow blocks, I would use toggle type anchors instead of the screw in anchors you listed.

toggler

These spread the load over larger area of the plasterboard than screw in anchors, reducing the risk of pullout.

If you cannot align the screws with framing members, a stronger solution would be to mount a board on the wall first, screwing the board to multiple studs, then mounting the shelf to the board with wood screws.

 Images and links are illustrative only, not an endorsement of goods or sources
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Do you think it is safe to screw into the wall in the spots indicated? (as it is close to power socket)

UK Regulations mandate that wires to power sockets must run vertically down to the floor or up to the ceiling or may run horizontally if close to the ceiling.

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You need an electrical wiring detector - it will tell you exactly where the wires run.

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The wall seems quite soft and hollow when knocked with my knuckle. My mum said it is plasterboard but I don't trust her opinion

Mum knows best.

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