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RE: hanging items on 1925 plaster & lathe walls (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: brickeyee on 12.24.2007 at 10:20 am in Old House Forum

I would never rely on just plaster to hold any significant load.
It has a rather nasty habit of suddenly cracking and letting things fall.
Molly bolts can help spread the load out for more moderate weights.
Very heavy items should be fastened into the stud using at least 3 inch screws (since there is around 3/4 to 1 inch of plaster before you even get to the stud).

Any carbide tipped masonry bit will go through plaster like butter and last a long time.
The problem is they are often difficult to find in sizes below about 1/8 inch.
A plain old steel twist bit (even the cruddy soft Chinese drill bits) will for a while before the edge is shot.
They are so cheap it is almost not worth buying the carbide unless you have a number of holes to drill.
Having a 1/4 inch masonry bit for molly bolts and plastic anchors might be worth the trouble.

I have used plain old common nails (8d works well) in a drilled hole (drill slightly downward) for many years for typical light weight pictures (anything up to about 10-15 pounds).
Heavier pictures get a pair of molly bolts (be sure to get some long enough for plaster), while mirrors get fasteners into the studs.
Mirrors and other heavy objects may require a ledger strip (1x2) fastened to the studs and then hanging fasteners into the wood if the studs are not aligned at the correct location.
Note that if you use two anchors for a heavy item that is also using wire the anchors do NOT have to be centered correctly behind the object.


clipped on: 07.24.2011 at 11:55 am    last updated on: 07.24.2011 at 11:55 am