Affixing to metal studs

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Forum topic by garriv777 posted 10-26-2011 02:54 PM 1615 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View garriv777's profile


122 posts in 1683 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


11939 posts in 1825 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.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View BentheViking's profile


1757 posts in 1382 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

View ShaneA's profile


5550 posts in 1417 days

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

Are you using coarse sheet rock screws, or fine?

View crank49's profile


3683 posts in 1789 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.

-- Michael :-{| Don't anthropomorphise your tools, they hate it when you do that.

View DS's profile


2141 posts in 1239 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


122 posts in 1683 days

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

Thanks guys, I appreciate the suggestions.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

1822 posts in 1740 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.

-- In God We Trust

View huff's profile


2816 posts in 2103 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 992 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


5602 posts in 1395 days

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

View Loren's profile


7967 posts in 2466 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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