The 6 best plasterboard fixings to secure shelves, radiators and large screen TVs

Two wooden shelves on plasterboard wall
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you’ve got plasterboard walls then you’ll need the best plasterboard fixings to hang or secure your wall or ceiling fittings in place. Plasterboard by the very nature of its construction isn’t as strong or secure as fixing into masonry. Plasterboard doesn’t boast the depth of standard brick work, which means there is typically less to work with.

You can stick with standard wall plugs and drill into battens on a stud wall, but it's not always that simple. Your measurements might not match up so you need to call upon specialist plasterboard fixings. Load is the critical criteria, especially if you're dealing with heavy expensive objects like a large screen TV or a filled radiator. These can easily top 30-40 kg and no one wants to see them falling off the wall.

Here we look at the popular everyday options, heavy duty solutions and cost effective fixings to help you make the right choice when plasterboarding

The best plasterboard fixings for your everyday DIY projects 

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Clear box of spring toggle plasterboard fixings

(Image credit: Amazon)

1. Glarks 24Pcs toggle bolt set

Best all round plasterboard fixing

Specifications

Material: Carbon Steel
Load: Varied
Cavity depth: Varied
Pack size: 24
Sizes: 1/8 inch, 3/16 inch, 1/4 inch

Reasons to buy

+
 Various sizes 
+
 Suitable for heavy loads 
+
Easy to install

Reasons to avoid

-
 Need to choose right screw size for narrow cavities 

Toggle bolts – also known as spring toggle fixings amongst other names – are a popular and easy to install plasterboard fixing. They consist of a screw and a set of wings which are spring loaded. They open up after being pushed through a drilled hole then you simply need to tighten.  

This set from Glarks is reasonably priced, well built and contains a selection of popular and commonly used sizes allowing you to choose the right one for the job at hand. Depending on what size you choose a toggle bolt can happily hold around 30Kg, more if you choose a larger size. But you need to take note of the screw length. These come in various sizes and you'll need one that fits a cavity to get a tight fit.    


Packet of GeeFix plasterboard fixings

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2. GeeFix plasterboard cavity wall fixings

Best large heavy duty plasterboard fixing

Specifications

Material: Plastic
Load: up to 270 kg
Cavity: 30mm+
Pack size: 4
Sizes: One size

Reasons to buy

+
 Can fit small cavities 
+
 Holds very heavy loads 
+
 Two screw system to make extra secure 
+
 Small teeth on fixing to hold in place 

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey compared with other plasterboard fixings
-
 Will need a 25mm drill bit  
-
May be more than you need 

If you’ve got something really heavy to hang on plasterboard – or hardboard, plywood, MDF – then this extra large hollow anchor fixing is a great choice. The manufacturer claims loads of up to 270 kg, but we don’t have anything that heavy to test it. But it can easily take on any heavy items such as a radiator or large TV.  

However, these are the most expensive plasterboard fixings in this guide and while not difficult to install they do take a little longer to get to grips with. It takes a bit of wiggling to get into place on small cavities and in some cases its far more than you'll need. 

To install you need to drill a 25mm hole to get started before threading a cord through two small holes in the fixing. This helps keep the fixing from disappearing down a cavity and two small teeth embed themselves into the back of the board to stop it moving. Then a large screw and 25mm plug bring everything together before adding two more small screws to hold the plug in place. Now you’re ready to go.  


Hollow wall anchors on white background

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. fiXte heavy duty metal plasterboard cavity wall fixings

Best general purpose cost effective plasterboard fixing

Specifications

Material: Metal
Load: up to 30-40 kg
Cavity depth: 45mm+
Pack size: 20
Sizes: One size

Reasons to buy

+
 Inexpensive 
+
 Easy to install 
+
 Good option for everyday fixing 

Reasons to avoid

-
 Can need an extra tool to fix  
-
 Not ideal for really heavy objects 

If you are looking for a cost effective solution that can tackle most everyday hanging jobs then these hollow wall anchors are the answer. They are produced by a myriad of manufacturers with slightly different designs and come in a range of sizes. This makes them very common, versatile and cheap. 

They are easy to install – drill a hole, push the anchor into the hole (though you might need a setting tool to make it easier), tighten and then remove the screw ready to put up the fixing.  

One thing you will need to make sure that you are getting the right size. If you are drilling into 12.5mm plasterboard you need a hollow wall anchor with a collar that matches that size. Get one too big and it won’t hold. Loads are dependent on size, but you can expect a fixing for a 12.5mm plasterboard to hold at least 30kg.  

Here we have chosen standard hollow wall anchors that fit the bill and should fit your plasterboard. But check the thickness of your board as you might need something larger if you have thicker plasterboard.  


Gripit GMIXEDKIT Mixed Plasterboard Fixing Kit

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Gripit mixed plasterboard fixing kit

Best plasterboard fixing for shallow cavities

Specifications

Material: Metal/Plastic
Load: from 20-113 kg
Cavity depth: 15mm+
Pack size: Varied
Sizes: Varied

Reasons to buy

+
Low profile for shallow cavities 
+
Reusable 
+
Easy to install
+
Different size and loads 

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the cheapest
-
Not easy to hide on small fixings

If you’ve got a heavy load that needs fixing but you only have a narrow cavity to work with then these Gripit fixings are a quick to install option that can be reused if needed. Available in a variety of sizes and colours the Gripit range claims that it can deal with loads from 20 kg up to 113 kg. 

To make selection easier each colour gives recommendation on what it is good for. But note, as a general rule the upper loads are generally tested on thicker plasterboards and use more than one fixing to spread the load.

You will need to drill a 18-25mm hole to insert the fixing, but this is nice and simple. Push the fixing into the hole and use a screwdriver to open the wings. These are flat which makes them good for narrow cavities. Don’t panic if you drill and fix in the wrong place you can simply close the wings and pull out the fixing ready to use again. But they are not always the easiest to hide on small fittings. 


Metal self drill plasterboard fixing

(Image credit: Amazon)

5. Self drill plasterboard fixing

Best plasterboard fixing for light loads and quick installation

Specifications

Material: Metal
Load: up to 20 kg
Cavity depth: 20mm+
Pack size: 10
Sizes: 32mm

Reasons to buy

+
No pre-drilling needed 
+
Quick installation 
+
Inexpensive 

Reasons to avoid

-
Only for light loads 

Need a quick fix for hanging a picture, introducing a light switch or a plug socket into plasterboard without the need for any drilling? Then you need a self drill plasterboard fixing. These are the perfect solution for quick installation of a fitting

You simply mark where you want the screw to go, get a screwdriver and screw in the fixing. Just make sure you don’t over tighten as you can compromise the integrity of the plasterboard.  As soon as that happens the fixing will need to be removed and placed elsewhere.

But these fixings are not a good choice for heavy loads, they are very much for light loads, in reality less than 10 kg. If you’ve got a nice new big screen TV, try a different plasterboard fixing.  


Bullfix Universal Starter Pack

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6. Bullfix universal starter pack

Best all inclusive plasterboard fixing kit for heavy loads

Specifications

Material: Plastic
Load: up to 116 kg
Cavity depth: 10mm+
Pack size: 10
Sizes: One size

Reasons to buy

+
Includes drill bit and screws 
+
Good for heavy loads 
+
Quick tool-free installation 

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive 

Heavy loads and small cavities? The Bullfix starter pack is what you need. Not only does it contain ten fixings, it includes a 20mm drill bit and ten 5mm x 20mm screws, so you can get started straight away. This makes it especially ideal for dot and dab plasterboard which typically has a small cavity and when you can’t drill into masonry.

Installation is quick and easy and doesn’t need much help from any tools, apart from a drill and hammer. You tap the collar into the hole with a hammer, insert the fixing tap it flat and it's ready to go. Its design means you can’t screw into the fixing until its wings are fully extended. 

It can cope with loads up to 116 kg on 12.5mm – 15mm plasterboard, less on 9.5mm board. So it can take on radiators, kitchen cupboards and flat TV mounts, but be warned Bullfix doesn’t recommend it for cantilever or extendable arms.

Steve Jenkins

Steve is Homebuilding & Renovating's DIY content editor, and has been a writer and editor for two decades. He is an avid DIYer with over 20 years of experience in transforming and renovating homes. He specialises in painting and decorating, but has strong all-round building skills, having previously worked in the industry for 10 years.