How to Attach a Picture Hanging System to Gyproc Walls using Wall Mates, Wall Plugs and Other Wall Fixtures

Fixing to Plasterboard Walls  – Need advice on how to screw into plasterboard? Wanting to know more about special fixings like the Artiteq Universal Plug? This article will guide you! Know how to use Metal Wall Mate, Hollow Wall Anchor and the Butterfly Fixing to put up a Picture Hanging System.

Table of Contents:

  •   Are Gyprock, Drywall and Plasterboard So Different?

  •   How Can I Install a Picture Rail to Plasterboard Walls?  – The Artiteq System Explained

  •   Which Fixing Should I Use to Install the Artiteq Wall Clips to the Walls?

  •   Wall Anchors: The Artiteq Universal Plug – 6mm

  •   Wall Mates: Metal Hollow Point (Fish Mouth) Plasterboard Anchor

  •   Wall Anchors: Plastic (Nylon) Toggles

  •   Hollow Wall Anchors

  •   Wall Anchors: Spring Toggle – Butterfly Fixing

  •   Wall Anchors and Other Wall Fixtures: What is the Best Option?

Plasterboard Walls

Are Gyprock, Drywall and Plasterboard So Different?

The short answer is: not really.

Gypsum boards very similar to those we know today have been around since ancient Egyptian tombs. For many centuries, they have been made of plaster, lime and sand with the addition of animal hair or other ingredients for strength. Even up to the 1930s, most properties in Australia were plastered over timber that was nailed across a frame to provide smooth surface for painting. The use of Gyprock was not limited to interior finishes on homes; it was also used in construction as waterproofing material where cement board replaces lath & plaster because this will create an impermeable barrier between brickwork and mortar joints.

However, a new procedure was introduced in 1894. It consisted of setting a layer of gypsum plaster between layers of felt paper: that was called Plasterboard. These sheets of board provided a smooth finish for painting, as well as insulation, and were faster and easier to assemble.

As the plaster was already dry, between the layers of paper, the term Drywall was then invented.

As more effort was put into making the product more resistant and versatile, it soon became clear that the gypsum-based plasters had a faster drying time for manufacturing the plaster boards. That is where the name Gyprock comes from.

This new product grew in popularity because it could speed up the building process.

A North American company made further improvements to this product by introducing a fire-resistant version, then called Sheetrock.

Nowadays, standard plasterboard is manufactured by inserting a gypsum plaster layer between two very thick sheets of specialized paper. However, there are variations in the processes and materials used that lead to special gyprock sheets that can be used for soundproofing or have water-resistant properties.

Plasterboard wall fixing for Hang heavy picture
Art Installer

Fixing to Plasterboard Walls – How Can I Install a Picture Rail to Plasterboard Walls?  – The Artiteq System Explained

First and foremost, installing a picture rail can either be a nightmare job or an incredibly easy task, depending on the Brand of Picture Hanging System you choose. For example, it is super easy to install an Artiteq Picture Hanging System. Thanks to the TUV-tested and patented Click and Connect technology, mounting the rail system is fast and easy with Artiteq.

The Click and Connects System consist in strong plastic clips, screwed to your wall – 3 clips per meter, equally spaced – onto which the rails are clicked in, thereby connecting/fixing them to the wall.

Therefore, the rail can be mounted flush against the wall and may also be repainted, for example in the same color as the wall or ceiling. This helps the picture hanging system ‘blend in’ with the wall or ceiling, making it nearly invisible.

Fixing to Plasterboard Walls- Which Wall Anchor Should I Use to Install the Artiteq Wall Clips to the Walls?

There are a variety of fixing available just for this but what you cannot do is use ordinary wall plugs. The standard wall plugs do expand as you screw into them, but the plasterboard is soft and the expansion simply widens the hole you have put the plug into. In no time at all it will work loose. However, special wall plugs are available for use in gyprock.

To begin with, it is always a very good idea to run over the area that you are about to drill with a stud detector to make sure that there are no pipes or wires that you are about to drill into.

Once it is ascertained that the area is clear, you can then select the best wall fixture for your project. In this article, we aim to present the most popular yet the most functional wall fixtures that can be used to install an Artiteq Picture Hanging System.

Wall Anchors: The Artiteq Universal Plug – 6mm

Much stronger than the standard plastic plugs, the Artiteq’s high performance plugs are manufactured from high density PA6 Nylon in the Netherlands using the newest advances in plug technology and materials. These universal plugs are designed for use in any material such as brickwork, solid concrete, plasterboard, aerated concrete (hebel), timber, metal and plastics.

The Universal Plugs by Artiteq have collared heads to stop them falling in the pilot hole. In addition, the high impact material gives them excellent load and knock capability, which means they will not bend and crush when hammered in the pilot hole. These exceptional universal plugs have specifically designed body wings which prevent spinning in the pilot hole when the screw is inserted in.

The Artiteq Universal Plugs have the following features:

  • Collared head to prevent push though and damage from knocking and bending.
  • Self-centering screw design.
  • High grade PA6 nylon manufacture.
  • Designed for expansion on the total surface and length with binding feature for any material where higher load capacities are required.
  • External wings to prevent twisting during tightening
  • Protects the screw along its complete length against corrosion.
  • Long expansion design for higher load capacity in concrete and solid brick.

Typical Load Capacities are :

  • in concrete – 80kg
  • in plasterboard – 20kg
universal plug
Hanging heavy picture or art on brick walls

Fixing to Plasterboard Walls – Wall Mates: Metal Hollow Point (Fish Mouth) Plasterboard Anchor

This Self – Drive Plasterboard Fixings are one of the strongest of all fixings!

It is recommended to drill a pilot hole of 2 or 3 mm into the board before screwing the bottom section of the wall mate into the hole. This is done without the screw in as the top of the wall mate has a slotted head, where the screw drive engages.

It’s not absolutely compulsory to drill a pilot hole for the Wall Mate as it has a pointed shaft that will make its own hole when pushed and screwed. However, if you choose an area where there is timber behind (such as in between studs), then this device may snap off easily and lead to undesired wall damages.

Drilling a small pilot hole will allow you to check beforehand if there is anything behind the board and therefore stop any unwanted movement of the Wall Mate when you insert it. Once the Wall Mate is fully guided by the pilot hole, you simply screw it into the wall.

Ideally, you should aim to achieve a half mm countersink so that the Click and Connect can completely adhere to the wall surface once installed.


Fixing to Plasterboard Walls – Wall Anchors: Plastic (Nylon) Toggles

The second fixing under examination  is called a plastic or Nylon toggle.

This fixture is inserted through a pre-drilled hole (usually around 8mm in diameter depending on size) after squashing it flat.

As a screw is introduced and goes through the hole in the back of the toggle, it pulls the back up to squeeze the fitting against the back of the plasterboard.

Although there are reasons to conclude that toggles are strong fixtures, it should be noticed that if used on their own, heavy items can tend to “tilt” them in their hole and while they will not fall off, can become a little loose after a while.

That said, toggles are considered ideal for all those applications where a weight force downwards is exerted (e.g. shelves brackets) which also means a force from the wall as well.

Fixing to Plasterboard Walls – Hollow Wall Anchors

Hollow Wall Anchors are fixings for use in plasterboard walls and other board materials and thin sheets. The clamping action provides a very strong anchor point spreading the fixture load by deforming to an umbrella shape behind the board and preventing pull-through when tightened. These fixtures usually include a low-profile zinc plated roundhead screw.

As a pilot hole is drilled in the plasterboard, the anchor pushed in afterwards. Then, as the screw is turned it pulls up the body of the anchor, and thus it grips the back of the plasterboard.

Typical features (May change according to brand and type):

  • Good for medium duty for typical loads up to 15kg
  • An auto-collapse pistol grip anchor tool is required for rapid repetitive fixing
  • A power or hand screwdriver can also be used to expand the anchor.

Although used individually Hollow Wall Anchors are not ideal for fixing heavy objects as with the toggle, these fixtures are pretty good at withstanding anything that creates a pulling effect from the wall. However, their installation is fairly less straightforward than the types seen above, and their price higher.

Hollow Wall Anchors

Fixing to Plasterboard Walls – Wall Anchors: Spring Toggle – Butterfly Fixing

The Spring (or gravity) toggle or Butterfly fixing works on the same principle as the fixings examined before. A pilot hole is drilled, the butterfly wings are held together while the unit is pushed into the hole.

Finally, the crew is tightened to clamp the fixture to the wall. Although these fixtures may brilliantly adapt to a number of other applications, they can not suit the Artiteq’s Click and Connect plastic clips. Additionally, the screw length is in the majority of cases too big to suit the air gap between plasterboard and bricks. However, they may still suit other cases where clips are not required and a bigger air gap is possible.

Wall Anchors and Other Wall Fixtures: What is the Best Option?

The Artiteq Click and Connect is a convenient, stylish way to easily install your picture hanging system to any wall type.

The variety of fixtures available is big, however there are options that seem to be more appropriate than others.

Exception made for the butterfly fixtures, all the remaining systems may suit the Artiteq plastic connectors. However, the ones that we feel like recommending are the Artiteq’s Universal Plug and the Metal Hollow Point Wall Mates. In our opinion, these two wall fixtures have the best quality/price ratio and allow for an easy and quick installation.

Artiteq Click and Connect is an innovative, easy-to-use product that will help you create a beautiful wall display for your home.

However, if the idea of having to drill holes in plasterboard sounds stressful or intimidating, don’t worry! These fixtures we recommend make installing this system as simple as pushing a button.