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I have a baby gate on the top of the stair. The dry wall anchors used held up for a couple of months, but now it came out loose. What type of anchor do I need to use for this?

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  • Can't hit a stud? – Chris W. Mar 29 '16 at 21:04
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    I wouldn't even describe those as drywall anchors. Those are the sort of thing I'd use to hold a screw into something solid like brick or cement block - not drywall. – brhans Mar 29 '16 at 21:15
  • Related: diy.stackexchange.com/q/520/43874 – JPhi1618 Mar 29 '16 at 21:17
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What you are using are the most basic drywall anchors available. They're inexpensive and included in many products because of that, but they aren't good for much, and wouldn't be up to the task of holding something a toddler will be climbing on (you know they will...)

Look for products that spread out or lock into place when they enter the wall. The name of the product might have the word "toggle" or "lock" or "twist". There are several brands. Here is one random example:

enter image description here

For the strongest hold (and also a larger hole that must be drilled in the wall) Toggle bolts are hard to beat. I use them as a last resort because I've had great luck with plastic anchors and the hole these leave is large. Of course for something as important as a stair gate, it might be worth it.

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    Another downside of the metal toggle bolts is they will fall off and have to be repalced if you ever want to remove and refit the bolt (for example if you are moving a large item up the stairs and want to get the gate brackets out of the way). – Peter Green Mar 30 '16 at 3:07
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    @PeterGreen yeah, but they're dirt cheap. – Carl Witthoft Mar 30 '16 at 13:27
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Most things that get regularly manipulated should not be hung with hollow-wall anchors. Eventually they pull out or the wallboard disintegrates.

I'd install either some 1x4 wooden rails spanning between studs or a piece of finished plywood to which I'd mount the gate. Run construction or finish screws about 1" into the studs. Imagine the typical backer board for a coat hook rack for an example of what I'm describing. If a stud is very near you could use a 1x6 or 1x8 vertically, also.

Later, the holes will be much easier to fix than the large ones you'll have with your current solution.

  • Good plan, but if you add horizontal strips to pick up studs, also add a vertical strip of the same size to take up space between the wall and the first bar of the gate. Adding just horizontal strips could leave you with an unsafe gap between the gate and wall with some gate designs. – JPhi1618 Mar 29 '16 at 21:16
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    Or upgrade to a larger baby. – isherwood Mar 29 '16 at 21:19
  • Because this is at the top of the stairs, it is an obvious hazard, so with safety in mind, this is actually the best answer (not to use drywall anchors here). – Ben Welborn Mar 30 '16 at 13:16
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    The good news, @isherwood, is that this process happens naturally. – FreeMan Mar 30 '16 at 20:05
  • For a safety feature like a baby gate you want to attach to something more substantial than drywall. This is a good solution. be sure to round the exposed edges of the wooden railing. I like the GripIt solution in general (as it is new to me and looks cool) but I wouldn't use it for a safety feature. – Arluin Mar 30 '16 at 20:49
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EZ anchors are good but toggle bolts are better.

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    I love me some EZ Anchors - I usually use the metal stud solver ones. My favorite part about them is not having to pre-drill a pilot and then switch out bits. You only need a Philips head bit. – Doresoom Mar 30 '16 at 18:15
  • I love these EZ Anchor's, myself ... too simple ... :) – Ditto Mar 30 '16 at 18:19
  • Yeah, EZ Anchors work a lot better than I originally expected... so they have earned my respect. I also like snap toggles though they aren't very common around here. I never really liked Mollys or other spreading anchors because they often don't bite and I find screwing (and unscrewing) them to be challenging, and for best results you need to match them with drywall thickness. – Ben Welborn Mar 30 '16 at 18:38
  • Yep, EZ Anchors are really solid up to their rated loads (which are higher than you might expect!). They've saved my bacon in drywall set to furring strips over concrete where there wasn't enough room to run a toggle through - did the job merrily. – J... Mar 30 '16 at 20:28
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Firstly you need a fixing the extends some distance each side of the hole, GripIt is one such fixing that is easy to use.

Gripit

You then needs lots of fixings that are spaced out, therefore I would be looking to fix a bit of 3”by1” to the wall the full height of the gate using say 4 spread out fixings, then screw the gate hinges to the wood. By having both the bottom and the top hinges fixed to the same bit of wood, you will get less movement on the fixings.

Even better if you can find the studs and fixed to these, assuming that there are studs, e.g the plaster board my just be glued to the brick.

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I know you have already selected a correct answer but these toggle bolts are the correct ones to use. They are very strong and they will allow you to take the gate on and off without diminishing their effectiveness.

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