Affixing to metal studs

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Forum topic by garriv777 posted 10-26-2011 02:54 PM 1855 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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123 posts in 1956 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


13595 posts in 2097 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


1761 posts in 1655 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


5838 posts in 1689 days

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

Are you using coarse sheet rock screws, or fine?

View crank49's profile


3900 posts in 2062 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: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View DS's profile


2141 posts in 1511 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


123 posts in 1956 days

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

Thanks guys, I appreciate the suggestions.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2013 posts in 2013 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.

-- "Just my opinion, I may be right"

View huff's profile


2826 posts in 2376 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 1264 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


6395 posts in 1668 days

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

View Loren's profile


7967 posts in 2739 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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