Introduction: Using Toggle Bolts to Fix Something Falling Out of a Wall

About: Professionally I have been a summer camp counselor, a Draftsman/designer, salesperson, bicycle mechanic, laminate flooring machine mechanic, teacher, and designer of the OP Loftbed. Personally I am a human tha…

It happens over time. Something that has been hanging on your wall might start to feel not as secure as it once did, or it might fall out , all of a sudden, without warning.

Not all sheetrock anchors are the same. If your sheetrock anchor is too small, it might rip out of the sheetrock. In this Instructable, I will show you how I replaced a couple of small, failing sheetrock anchors with toggle bolts.

Step 1: Tools and Supplies

I used a Leatherman Surge multitool for the Phillips screwdriver and the knife. I needed a Allen key to remove the bracket from a base plate.

I got two toggle bolts from the local hardware store, but you can get a kit that has a few from Amazon:

The main thing you want to make sure of is that the screw is long enough to allow the toggle to insert far enough into the sheetrock to open.

Step 2: What Is a Toggle Bolt

A toggle bolt, also called a butterfly anchor, is a type of anchor used in hollow walls, like sheetrock, drywall, and plaster walls. Even though it is called a toggle bolt, it has two main parts that work together. The one part is a screw. The other part is a nut, that fits the threads of the screw. The nut has two spring loaded "wings". You squeeze the two wings together, so you can pass it through a hole. Once it is passed through the hole, it springs open so it stays on the other side of the hole.

Step 3: Removing the Old Anchors

The anchors that were failing me were the small plastic type. Over time, the sheetrock had crumbled and they were coming out. I had tried repairing the top anchor with a larger one, but it needed something stronger.

My failing anchors were causing my toilet paper holder, to fall off the wall. My toilet paper holder bracket consisted of a base plate that was fastened to the wall, and a bracket that hooked onto the base plate. I had to loosen a small set screw to remove the bracket from the base plate. This exposed the bottom plate and gave me access to the original screw anchors.

If one or more of your anchors are still holding properly, you can remove the screw and use them again. If they have fallen out, or are barely holding, you may have to hold the anchor and screw the screw out.

Step 4: Make the Holes the Right Size

The holes have to be big enough for the toggle bolt end to pass through. You could drill, file, or rasp out the hole, or use a knife to ream out the hole. You want the hole only just big enough to get the toggle bolt end through. If the hole is too big, it will weaken the sheetrock.

Step 5: Assemble the Toggle Bolts to the Base Plate

The main downside with toggle bolts is that once you put them into the wall, they can not come out. Unless you damage the wall. You could remove the screw, but the nut part would fall down into the wall cavity. Keeping this in mind, attach the toggle bolts to whatever it is you are going to attach to the wall before putting it into the wall. I put the screws through the base plate and then attached the nuts.

Step 6: Anchor It to the Wall

Once I had my toggle bolts assembled to the base plate, I pushed the toggle bolts into the holes in the wall. I starred the screws by hand and then finished tightening them with the screwdriver tool of my multitool.

Step 7: Reattach the Bracket

Now that my base plate was securely anchored to the wall. I hooked the bracket to the base plate and used the Allen wrench to tighten the set screw that attached the bracket to the base plate.

Step 8: Video

As usual, I made a video.

Thank you for watching.

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