Determine the Weight of the Object
Before hanging an item, get a rough idea of its weight from the packaging, or by placing it on a scale. Select a hanger rated to carry the weight of your object. Check the anchor packaging for a sizing limitation. Some larger objects may be better served by using two evenly-spaced hangers to distribute the weight. Use the weight and size of the object to determine which anchor (and how many) you’ll need for your project.
Types of Wall Anchors
Picture Hangers consist of a hook and nail. The slot in the hook holds the nail at an angle to give it more strength. While you may be tempted to hang an item from just a nail, these hooks offer a little more surface area, and help prevent the nail from loosening or sagging down through the drywall. Some single hooks hold up to 30 pounds while there are double and triple nail hooks that hold 50 pounds or more.
Drywall anchors typically come with a plastic piece that either inserts or threads into the wall. These inserts serve as a secure hole for a screw to drive into. While some inserts are light duty, others can carry up to 50 pounds. Again, be sure to check the packaging for weight ratings.
Toggle bolts are the most heavy duty of the wall anchors and have the highest weight rating. To install a toggle bolt, you need to drill a hole for the toggle and bolt to slide into the wall. Once behind the wall, the toggle springs open. As you tighten the screw, it pulls the open wings against the back of the drywall or plaster to give the assembly added strength.