Affixing to metal studs

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Forum topic by garriv777 posted 10-26-2011 02:54 PM 2113 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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138 posts in 2559 days

10-26-2011 02:54 PM

Forgive me for what may seem like a dumb question but what are most of you guys using for putting up shelves and so on when the studs are metal? The regular drywall screws don’t seem to work well in metal studs and I know that a lot of people use toggle bolts for heavy things like hanging t.v.s and such but I just don’t really like those, you have to drill such big holes for the toggle. Any help would be appreciated. I haven’t ever lived in a place where all my walls had metal studs so I haven’t had to deal with this problem. Thanks in advance


11 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


16587 posts in 2700 days

#1 posted 10-26-2011 04:19 PM

Garriv, im the commercial world they typicall install blocking within the cavity of the metals studs so they have something to attach to such as a sink, toilet, cabinets, etc.

-- Something, something, something.

View BentheViking's profile


1770 posts in 2258 days

#2 posted 10-26-2011 04:22 PM

How heavy of things are the shelves and the contents? Generally they use self tapping screws to hold the sheetrock to the metal studs so maybe you could try that?

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

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6771 posts in 2292 days

#3 posted 10-26-2011 04:26 PM

Are you using coarse sheet rock screws, or fine?

View crank49's profile


4012 posts in 2665 days

#4 posted 10-26-2011 04:30 PM

Drywall screws come in two types of threads.
Coarse threads are for attaching drywall to wood studs.
Fine threads are for attaching drywall to metal studs.

The same concept should apply to attaching anything to a wall stud system.
It’s best to use self drilling, fine thread screws.

For mounting to sheetrock (drywall) directly, light loads, I like self drilling anchors. They have very deep threads on the outside and regular internal screw threads with a screwdriver slot for installation.

Tap in plastic wall anchors work fairly well also.

For heavy loads on sheetrock walls with metal studs it’s best to use a cleat which spans several studs.

View DS's profile


2266 posts in 2114 days

#5 posted 10-26-2011 06:20 PM

I agree with chrisstef, any kind of wall load requires wood blocking installed inside the wall.
A base cabinet resting on the floor can be attached with drywall screws or anchors.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View garriv777's profile


138 posts in 2559 days

#6 posted 10-11-2012 06:57 AM

Thanks guys, I appreciate the suggestions.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2541 posts in 2616 days

#7 posted 10-11-2012 12:26 PM

you can use long “drill tip” screws. They will go into metal very well. Instead of toggle bolts I would use the plastic, screw in, shields that you can then run a wood screw into.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 2979 days

#8 posted 10-11-2012 01:34 PM

One thing to be careful of when using screws in metal studs, is don’t try to overtighten the screws. It takes a little feel to get used to using screws in metal studs. Over tighten and they will strip out very easily. Putting up sheetrock and having one strip out now and then is probably not a big problem, but hanging something heavy can cause a real problem. Having worked along the coast a number of years, most of the condo’s used metal studs in construction, so had to get used to working with metal studs. They can be a pain in the butt, but I really never had a problem with anything coming loose.

-- John @

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 1867 days

#9 posted 10-11-2012 02:43 PM

How about using some washers?

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View waho6o9's profile


7886 posts in 2271 days

#10 posted 10-11-2012 04:07 PM

View Loren's profile


8988 posts in 3342 days

#11 posted 10-11-2012 06:23 PM

You can get chisel point screws. They are hardened and black
like drywall screws but the points will pierce steel up to about
16 ga.

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