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Wall fixings

Take care

Many people want to put pictures or shelves up in their home, this is OK, but please remember to take care, especially with any projects that involve drilling into the walls or that affect the the fabric of your home because:

  • You could damage essential services such as electrics, heating or water and put your family at risk.
  • There might be asbestos in some homes – in Artex ceilings, floor tiles, soffits or flue pipes, for example. This is safe unless disturbed and we hold a lot of asbestos data about our homes built before 2000 (when asbestos stopped being used in housing) but it’s always best to double check before any work. Unfortunately we may not be able to prioritise supplying this information at the moment.

Type of fixing

​The type of fixing you should use to attach items to walls depends on the construction of the wall and the weight of the item. Pictures and other light items can be hung on all types of walls using steel picture hooks or masonry nails. 

Always check for buried pipes and cables first using a detector (available from DIY stores). 

​Masonry (blockwork) wall  
Heavier items can be fixed using wall plugs and screws. The wall plug and screw should penetrate through the plaster or plasterboard, well into the blockwork.  

​Timber frame walls  
For heavy items such as wall cabinets or bookshelves you should find the position of the timber frame behind the plasterboard and screw into that. The vertical timber studs are normally located at 600mm (2ft) centres and can be found using a detector. If the studs are not in a suitable position it might be necessary to spread the load by screwing a piece of wood between two studs and fixing onto that. 

Proprietary partition walls
Partition walls are not suitable for heavy items; however, they can accommodate relatively light loads, providing you use the right fixing device (available from DIY stores). Some proprietary partition walls are not suitable for any fixings – if in doubt, check with your builder.


Please remember you need to ask permission before making any major changes to your home.  

If you don't feel confident or unsure about anything, please don't try. Get in touch using Connect and we'd be happy to help.