Fixing heavy items to plasterboard walls
How to wall mount TVs and other heavy items in your home
Most modern homes built in the UK today are constructed with internal plasterboard cavity walls. To fix an item on a
plasterboard wall you will need a suitable cavity wall fixing.
Fixings designed to install items onto plasterboard/Drywall cavity walls are called many things ranging from
plasterboard cavity wall fixings, hollow wall fixings, hollow wall anchors, drywall anchors, cavity wall anchors,
hollow wall fixings, spring toggles, Brolly Bolts and more! They are all designed to do the same thing – secure items
to plasterboard/drywall cavity walls. All these fixings are available in varying designs with different methods of
installation, but they all have one thing in common which is the insertion of an anchor into the cavity wall to support
the item you wish to install.
The strength of all these fixings is ultimately down to the size and the shape of the anchor you are able to insert into
the cavity. The larger the flat surface area of the anchor you can insert into the cavity, the stronger the fixing. The
smaller the surface area, the weaker the fixing. Some fixings use a metal wall channel for the wall anchor such as
Toggler/Spring toggles. These channels when tightened tend to cut into the plasterboard thus weakening the
installation over time. The strongest fixing on the market is GeeFix which is available at www.geefix.com
Considerations when choosing the right drywall anchor/cavity wall fixing?
There are so many fixings on the market at the moment, it can be difficult to decide which to use for the job you
have in mind. When selecting the cavity wall fixing you need, there are 3 important things to consider:
• The weight and size of your item
• The value of your item
• The substrate to which you will install your item
The weight and size of your item
You need to keep in mind that some fixings out there are not suitable for heavy loads such as heavy wall mounted
TVs, radiators, heated towel rails. Kitchen cupboards and shelving may appear to be light in weight but will be
carrying a heavy load.
The cost of your item
If you are hanging an expensive mirror for example, you need a fixing which will secure your item reliably. You don’t
want the installation to fail.
There are many different substrates such as plywood, lath and plaster, wattle and daub. The most common
substrate today is plasterboard, often referred to as drywall. It is consistently used in new builds in the UK
A reliable plasterboard fixing at www.geefix.com
GeeFix is a reliable heavy-duty plasterboard fixing/drywall anchor which will secure a heavy load to plasterboard. It is
the strongest fixing available due to the patented unique design of the GeeFix wall anchor that is inserted into the
The flat surface of the 125mm x 20mm anchor is far larger than any other fixing so providing unrivalled strength.
The size of the anchor moves the loading away from the installation hole in the plasterboard and so provides a more
secure installation. We liken this to walking on deep snow which is impassable without the use of snow shoes which
spread your weight across a larger area. This in effect is the same principle as the large anchor.
This is made of nylon which gives it a degree of flexibility. Its curved shape is unique and measures 125mm by 20mm
Together, these features allow the backplate to be inserted into a cavity depth as small as 3cm.
There are 3 holes in the centre of the backplate for the fixing screws. The anti-rotational spikes on the backplate will
dig into the plasterboard and keep it in place. The anti-rotational spikes will also stop the backplate from spinning
This measures 30mm in diameter and has 3 holes for the fixing screws. The holes will align with the backplate when
There are two shorter side screws and one longer centre screw
One nylon installation cord
To install the GeeFix cavity wall fixing you will need a hole saw and a flat bit/spade bit
Drill a 25mm hole at the point where you want to install the fixing.
The fixing is assembled as shown before installation.
The backplate is then inserted into the cavity and positioned centrally in the hole.
Slide the plug down the installation cord and onto the backplate/anchor through the hole in the plasterboard. This
will align all the fixing holes.
Insert the centre fixing screw and then pull firmly on the installation cord – this will cause the anti-rotational spikes
to dig into the plasterboard. Now tighten the centre fixing screw and most importantly, continue to keep firm
tension on the cord until that centre fixing screw is tightened. Do not over tighten.
Once the centre screw is tightened, the backplate/anchor will be flattened into the plasterboard and, you can pull
out the installation cord.
Insert and tighten the two side screws.
Lastly, remove the centre fixing screw and you now have a fixing point to install your item.
Step by step guides on how to install the fixing can be found at www.geefix.com
A versatile fixing
Once the GeeFix fixing has been installed, it can be adapted to suit your needs.
Using different size and type of screws on the installation
The centre fixing screw can be removed and replaced with various types of screws. These can range from 8mm
coach screws to 3mm cup hooks.
Larger diameter screws will self-tap through the insert plug and into the length of the backplate. On larger screws, a
lubricant will help installation.
Using the backplate as an extra fixing point
Where 2 fixing points are closer together, for example bathroom accessories such as on a toilet roll holder, an extra
fixing point can be drilled into the backplate so that one fixing will provide 2 fixing points.
Fixing items with more than one anchor point
GeeFix fixings can be used to repair an installation where another type of fixing or wall anchor has failed.
Step by step instructions can be found on our blog ‘Plasterboard Repair-How to fix loose drywall anchor.
A word of caution!
All cavity wall fixings/dry wall anchors have their limitations. It is important to remember this when planning your
project. This is particularly so when, for example, installing shelves and cantilever TV wall mounts to plasterboard.
The further away an item is held from the wall, the greater the stress on the fixings.
A note on substrates
Drywall and plasterboard are the same, the only difference being the names and that usually depends on where in
the world you are. They are most commonly used for interior walls and ceilings in modern builds. Plasterboard
comes in various thicknesses as well insulated plasterboard.
Lath and plaster is used to make interior walls and ceilings. Narrow strips of wood are fixed horizontally across the
wall studs and then covered in plaster. This substrate is similar to wattle and daub.
Wattle and daub has been used in construction for at least 6,000 years. It is a composite building method used for
making walls and buildings. A woven lattice of wooden strips called wattle was daubed with a sticky material made
from a combination of wet soil, clay, sand, animal dung and straw. Many historic buildings in the UK include wattle
and daub construction.
Paramount/egg box partition walls are made from 2 layers of wall board which are bonded to a cellular core of stiff
Using GeeFix fixings on different substrates
Lath and Plaster and Wattle and Daub
When installing onto lath and plaster walls and Wattle and Daub, it is best to use a 25mm hole-saw instead of a flat
Flat bits/spade bits tend to shatter the laths which will weaken the installation. Hole saws cut a neat hole leaving the
When installing the backplate inside the cavity, it is best to position the backplate vertically so that it spans either
side of the hole onto the horizontal laths. This will provide a much stronger installation.
When fixing GeeFix drywall anchors onto Paramount/eggbox partition walls, drill a 25mm hole at the position you
have marked for installation.
Using a chisel, or similar, collapse the cardboard strips inside the cavity either side of the hole to the width and
length of the backplate / anchor. This will now enable you to insert the backplate into the cavity.
Dot and dab
Dot and dab, also referred to as a drylined wall is where plasterboard has been attached to a brick or concrete wall.
Plasterboard is attached to the wall using dots and dabs of adhesive at various points across the wall surface.
GeeFix cavity wall fixings can be used on these walls provided there is a minimum cavity of 30mm to insert the
A wooden frame is constructed for the interior walls of modern-day builds. Plasterboard is then attached to it.
GeeFix wall anchors are suitable for installations on this type of wall.
Double thickness plasterboard
Doubling up sheets of plasterboard is used to provide better protection against fire, to provide sound proofing or to
simply make a stronger internal wall.
Mounting GeeFix Drywall anchors into double thickness plasterboard is not a problem. Use longer fixing screws than
those provided in the pack.
Thermal insulated plasterboard
Insulated plasterboard comes in a variety of thicknesses ranging from 25mm to 75mm.
Mounting GeeFix cavity wall fixings into insulated plasterboard can be done by using longer installation screws than
those provided in the pack.
A note on plasterboard
The condition of the plasterboard is important. If damp or in poor condition for any reason, it will weaken the