The free diy home improvement guide with answers to your questions on a wide range of do it yourself projects.


Fixing to Solid or Brick Walls

So many items of DIY require fixings to be made to walls that the possible methods and their limitations need to be considered. The basic type of wall to which a fixing is to be made can be broadly categorised into solid or hollow. In this guide we will be fixing to a solid wall

Solid walls include brick work, block work, and concrete which may also have been plastered. To provide secure fixing to this type of wall, the most common method is drilling and plugging.

The size of screw Need More Info? and plug Need More Info? is dependent on the item to be fixed and the nature of the wall, but an explanation is given here of the method involved.

Many different plug types are available and the choice depends on their suitability for the material being plugged. Generally, the plastic type are the best. The size of hole required will be detailed on the pack.

Plugging a Solid Wall

1. Always check that there are no pipes or cables hidden in the wall beneath the area to be drilled. Various pipe and cable detectors Need More Info? are available to check this.

Marking the fixing holes

2. Position the item where it is to be fixed and mark the fixing points with a pencil.

Select a suitable size masonry drill bit

3. Remove the item and put it to one side. Select a suitable size masonry drill bit Need More Info? according to the details on the pack. These details will also include the size of screw which should be used.

Measure the required drilling depth against the wall plug

4. Mount the masonry bit in your drill Need More Info?. The plug needs to be set in the wall so that it sits flush with the surface. Unless you have a depth stop on the drill, use a bit of masking tape Need More Info? wrapped round the drill bit so you know when you've reached the required depth.

5. As always, wear goggles Need More Info? to protect your eyes from flying debris when using power tools.

Drilling the wall for the plug

6. Hold the drill bit against the mark and begin drilling slowly so that the bit does not wander from the position.

7. To assist with this on a plaster wall, you may find it helpful to use a nail punch to tap a small recess into the surface at the mark first. You could use an old nail to do this.

8. As the drill begins to cut into the surface, you can speed it up, but remember speed isn't everything. If you have an electric drill with hammer action facility, this will make the work easier, but a moderate speed is actually more effective in this mode.

9. Drill the wall until you reach your depth stop or the tape on the bit.

10. Remove the drill from the hole. If it is difficult to remove, switch it on whilst drawing it back. Don't be tempted to put it in reverse - on some models this can release the bit from the chuck.

Inserting the wall plug in the hole

11. Insert the plug so that it sits flush with the surface. A light tap with a hammer Need More Info? may help with this as it should be a tight fit.

Fixing to a Solid Wall

Aligning the screw with the wall plug

12. Offer up the item to be fixed and insert the screw through it. The screw should be long enough to go through the fitting and the full depth of the plug. Obviously they don't want to be longer than this or they will bind as they reach the end of the plug. Line the screw up with the centre of the plug and begin to tighten it.

13. As the screw pulls its way in, the plug sides are forced outwards, gripping the surrounding surface. Small lugs on the side of the plug prevent it turning in the hole.

Using a cordless driver to fasten the screws

14. Continue tightening the screw until the item is held securely, but do not over tighten. With sufficient force, the screw may either shear or the plug itself may give way and the process will need to be started again.

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