Drywall Weight Limit: How Much Weight Can Drywall Hold

Wall paintings, picture frames, hanging decors, and shelves – these are just some of the common things you attach to your wall. And for sure, weight considerations wouldn’t be much of an issue if your wall is made of wood, bricks, metal, and other sturdy materials. But what about drywalls? We know most houses have this type of wall inside their living rooms or bedrooms.

So how much weight can drywall hold? And will a nail be able to support a heavy object once it’s pinned on drywall?

Learn more as we are going to talk about this topic in today’s home guide.


The Exact Weight Specifications Of Drywall Material

drywall construction

Most experts would agree that a single drywall can hold as much as one hundred pounds (100 lbs.) when vertically installed. But in reality, the exact weight it can carry depends on the location of the object (or where it was mounted) and the area where the weight is focused.

Of course, this is perfectly understandable because if you’re going to hang a very heavy object on one side of the wall and then an item with a lighter load on the other side, it will obviously create an imbalance which can affect the structural integrity of the wall. That’s why it’s always recommended to distribute the weight of the objects to be hanged as much as possible to maximize the weight capacity of the drywall.

And while we’ve already established the weight specifications of the wall itself, you also have to consider the type of hangers being used as not being able to use the right anchor can cause your item to fall off (if it’s not able to bear its weight).


Types Of Hangers Or Anchors To Be Used

While drywalls are versatile and durable, these materials won’t be able to support the weight when nails are attached the way plaster, wood, or brick walls can. And the reason for that is drywall is relatively brittle that even the slightest movement of the nail can create gaps which can cause it to be detached over time. Sure, a single nail can carry a few pounds at most like that of a small frame. But eventually, the area where the nail is attached will crumble and cause the nail to drop on the ground.

So it’s recommended to use any of these types of hangers and anchors as they’ll be able to hold weight better provided you also consider the weight of the items you are going to hang on the drywall:

  • Plastic anchors (can carry up to 20 pounds)
  • Self-drilling screws (can carry up to 30 pounds)
  • Adhesive backed (can carry up to 50 pounds)
  • Flip toggle bolt (can carry up to 50 pounds)
  • Molly bolt (can carry up to 70 pounds)

* NOTE: The recommendations stated above are based on a single anchor installation on a 1/2″ thick drywall.

Tools Needed For Anchor Installation And Attachment Instructions:

  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Hammer
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Drill (optional)

Some hangers or anchors may require pre-drilling a hole before installation. Please refer to the instructions on the package to know the size of the drill you are going to use.

  1. Plastic Anchors – These anchors require proper tools during installation and are suited for lightweight items. First, use a level, ruler or tape measure and pencil to mark the areas on the wall where the anchors are to be attached. Then, use a drill to make a hole and then a hammer to pierce the plastic anchor into the drywall. Once the anchor is in place, use the Philip screwdriver to attach the screw.
  2. Self-Drilling Screws – These anchors are ideal for wall clocks and small picture frames. To attach self-drilling screws to your wall, mark the areas using a level, tape measure, and pencil before screwing the anchor directly into the wall. Then, attach the included screw to the anchor so you can hang the object to be displayed from the wall.
  3. Adhesive Backed Hangers – These fasteners are popularly used by most homeowners because they can carry any object up to 75 pounds. The only disadvantage is that the adhesive will weaken over time and cause the fastener to be detached from the wall. To pin the hangers, use a level and tape measure to mark the location where the fasteners are to be placed. Then, clean the surface using a lint-free cloth with alcohol and let it dry for a couple of minutes. Peel off the protective covering to reveal the adhesive strip and press it firmly against the wall.
  4. Flip Toggle Bolts – These studs are the most recommended type of hangers to be attached to drywalls. And the installation is similar to that of plastic anchors, only that you have to squeeze and insert the closed wings into the drilled hole and tighten the stud until the flip toggle bolt is snugly fit against the wall.
  5. Molly Bolts – And lastly, these hangers are mostly preferred by contractors for commercial use. And like self-drilling screws, these studs are screwed directly into the wall while the expanding flange at the back expands to hold the weight of heavier items like bookshelves, flat screen TV’s, and wall mirrors. To install a molly bolt, use a level, tape measure, and pencil to mark the location of the hole and use a drill to make the hole. Then, use a hammer to puncture the anchor into the wall and then insert the screw and tighten it with a screwdriver.


Final Thoughts

All in all, the maximum weight a drywall can hold depends on where the weight is focused (the more evenly distributed it is, the better). Likewise, the type of hangers or fasteners installed and the heaviness of the object being hanged can also determine the load capacity of the wall.

So make sure to attach the correct anchors based on the item you want to place on the wall. And see to it that you won’t hang anything that is too much to carry using your hands so you can ensure that it will stay there for a long time.

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