If there is something to be fixed on Wall or Ceiling you need Anchor Fasteners. They look similar to Bolt and Nut. But the specialty of Anchor Fastener is that you use only one side of it for your purpose. The other end will be drilled in to Wall/ Ceiling providing a Strong and Reliable Anchoring. Well, most of them are Permanent. I mean, it is easy to fix them, nearly impossible to remove.
Selection of Anchor Fasteners is purely dependent on users choice. It also varies from place to place as different parts of the country use different building materials. Some use bricks, some use Rocks and some use Concrete Mix. In case of ceiling in all modern Houses and Buildings, Concrete is the only Builder material for Ceilings. Please note that this article is for DIYers to help them get started with Anchoring.
First I will list widely used Anchor Fasteners in India. If someone is reading this from other part of this world, same even applies but resources can be minimum. I mean, some fasteners may not be available at all. Here is the list. Every type of it is explained in detail below.
- Nylon Anchors
- Pin Type Anchor Bolts
- RAWL Anchor Bolts
- RAWL Eye Bolts
- Drop-In Anchors
- Wedge Anchors
- Chemical Anchors
Nylon Anchor ( Wall Plug)
Also known as Wall Plug (Gittis Plug in Indian Local Shops). If you have a basic impact drill, you can easily fix them. They are thin, sized according to screw diameter and length. They come in a variety of materials. PVC, Plastic and Nylon.
Nylon is premium and the best among all. It is very smooth. Smooth in the sense, it is made of softer material. It expands well, doesn’t break. PVC and Plastic are almost similar. Both of them are quite brittle. Nylon Plugs are available in Packets and are also available with screws which are marketed as Nylon Frame Fixing Anchors. It is users choice to select what goes in to the wall. Everyone has their own preference. Nylon Frame Fixing Anchors are Metric Graded i.e, they are available in sizes from M6 to M10 and Length varies from 40mm to 160mm.
Wall Plug will be the first choice for any Household DIYer. Like said, it is very easy to fix them. A small impact drill is just enough. The hole size required to drill depends on the plug thickness. It will be under 8mm max. Most drills required will be 5mm or 6mm. They are enough for most jobs from hanging a picture on wall to mounting a wall shelf. When such multiple Anchors are used, they provide a good load bearing capacity.
When I said wall shelf, trust me. It can be used to mount Victor Bracket Slotted Channel to the wall. In this case, #8 Screws must be used. #6 size will be thin. You need to properly select the wall plug according to the screw thickness and length. i.e, #6 or #8.
Pin Type Anchor Bolts
The Upgrade for the Wall Plugs is the Pin Type Anchor. It is also easy to install. They are available in multiple sizes ranging from 6mm to 24mm and length ranging from 2 inches to 12 inches. Purely metal. No Plastic of any kind. It has three parts. Anchor Body, Nut and Pin.
You can buy them in variations too. Either Plain or Knurled type. Knurl type provides a better grip against the wall. Technically it is the end part of the Pin Anchor which holds in to the wall. So, knurling doesn’t make much difference.
If you are fixing any kind of shelf or D Hook for Ceiling Fan, Pin Type Anchors will the best and easy choice. They work for any surface, bricks or concrete except hollow bricks. Very easy to install. Drill Size required is same as the Anchor Size.
The drawback or the negative of these Pin Type Anchors is that if the material in which you are drilling is soft, when you tighten the nut, the whole Anchor will rotate. Sometimes the Knurling provided on the body of the Anchor may come useful for better grip.
RAWL Anchor Bolts
Upgrade to Pin Anchor is RAWL Bolt. They are rated for Heavy Load Bearing Capacity. They arrive in standard sizes including their length. Their standard sizes have been listed in the below table. In India, RAWL Bolts only up to 12mm are available. Please note that I have mentioned the RAWL Body Length. You can use any length bolt. That’s up to you.
|Bolt Size (Metric)||Body Length (mm)||Drill Diameter (mm)|
RAWL type Anchor Bolts are the most preferred among professions. They are very reliable compared to Pin type Anchors. Pin type Anchor is hollow, whereas RAWL Bolt is a Full sized Bolt. It can withstand extra temper. You can also use any other threaded rods or other materials having threaded end instead of Hex Head Bolt. Because there is a nut inside the RAWL Body which is responsible for expanding the RAWL Plug during Anchoring.
RAWL Bolts are permanent but Not Always!. There is also a 50% chance that the RAWL Bolt can be removed from the wall. It requires patience and good understanding on how the mechanism works. Most of the times, the spring on the RAWL body will be in damaged while extracting the RAWL from the wall. If the condition is good, well! that RAWL can be reused.
A drawback for these RAWL Bolts is that, you require a large hammer drill to make holes for the RAWL to pass. Not because you cannot drill in smaller machines, but the hole size required is too large. Check the last column in the above table to know about their Hole Sizes.
RAWL Eye Bolts
Hey! you already know RAWL Bolts I just mentioned above. Eye Bolts also work the same. Basically it is the same RAWL Body. Like discussed above, any threaded rod can be used with RAWL Body, here a threaded Eye hook is used.
RAWL Eye Hooks are used for all surfaces, mainly for ceiling purpose. Best suited for mounting Swings and Fans. It has the best load bearing capacity among all types of Anchor Fasteners used for ceiling. Just remember to tighten it properly as during vibrations, the bolt may start to rotate. To avoid that some drops of thread locker can be used. The sizes are same as above for the RAWL Body and Drill Diameter.
Also an extra point to make. The round part of the Bolt is also available in Hook Type and Eye Type. Eye is fully closed circle. Hook is like a semi-circle where things can be handed directly.
Drop-In Anchors are widely used on ceilings for decorative works. They too have good load bearing capacity but much lower than RAWL Bolts. They are available in both Mild Steel and Stainless Steel materials. MS Drop-In Anchors are Zinc Coated for rust protection. Knurling type Drop-In Anchors are also available which will provide a better grip during fastening. They arrive in standard sizes with standard length just like RAWL Bolts. Below is the list of their sizes.
|Size (Metric)||Diameter (mm)||Total Length (mm)||Thread Length (mm)|
To install them a special Setting Tool is essential. But it is not hard to install them without. People use nails and bolts to hammer through the Drop-In Anchors. All Drop-In Anchors have Female threads. So in order to hang something, a threaded rod is required. If your job involves hanging things to wall but not heavy as a ceiling fan, you can use these as they are much cheaper than any other Metal Anchor Fasteners. Interior designers use them a lot for ceiling POP work.
Similar to Pin Anchors which is a hollow bolt, a Wedge Anchor is a solid bolt. Wedge Anchors can be used in place of Pin Anchors where extra load bearing capacity is required. They arrive in various sizes and lengths. Sizes range from M6 to M24. Length range from 2 inches to 12 inches.
Wedge Anchors just like Pin Anchors need exact drill diameter as their sizes. This is also an expansion Anchor. But here, the expansion occurs while fastening. The surface inside the hole should be very clean and finished. The sleeve at the end of the Anchor must create a wedging action on the walls. If the surface is soft, while tightening the sleeve may slip from the Anchor, so a right amount of torque needs to be applied. Best suited for RMC, and Rocks, I mean for hard surfaces only.
If you want a leak proof solution, chemical anchor will be best suited. More than to say ‘Leak Proof’, they are very strong too. Look just like a wedge anchor. They arrive in 2 parts. One being the Bolt (called as Chemical Stud) and the other being its Capsule. As the name says, chemical, Yes! The bonding of the Stud and Surface takes place chemically. They are used in areas where the surface may be brittle and there is a chance of crack while fastening other type of Anchors.
In this case too, there are variants. Some arrive with Capsules along with the right sized stud bolt. The other types are for professional purposes where the Chemical Resin is used separately or organised on the spot. The resin can be made of epoxy or other chemicals. Overall, they provide a reliable and strong bonding with the metal stud. And this was my guide for new DIYers to get started with Anchorin