How Much Weight Can Drywall Hold [Is It Enough For Your Home Project]?

It can be exciting and fun to move to a new home. People can't wait to redecorate it. You've got new paintings and souvenir frames you want to hang, but you just can't hammer a nail into the wall. But how much weight can drywall support?

We've gathered enough data to give you the correct answers! So, enjoy!

The weight that drywall can support is determined by the material used to hang the object and the angle at which it is attached to the wall. Without any support, thin drywall typically supports 1.2 to 1.6 lbs. per square foot.

Without additional support, thicker drywall can support 1.5 to 2.1 lbs. per square foot. The retained weight is subject to tension and shear.

Let's take a look at different techniques for hanging drywall and why they are so important.

Decorator hanging picture on white brick wall in room. Interior design - How Much Weight Can Drywall Hold [Is It Enough For Your Home Project]

Things To Consider Before Hanging An Object

Drywall comes in different thicknesses. Thick drywall supports more weight than thin drywall, but there are other considerations before hanging things on the wall.

With proper preparation and safely hanging items, drywall can withstand the weight. Anchors have a large impact on the weight a wall can support. There are several types of anchors for several reasons.

An object's ideal suspension is determined not only by its weight but also by its shape and size. Small, flat items are easier to hang than large, protruding items. This is due to shear and tension.

Shear is the downward force that an object exerts on a fastener, while tension is the amount of forwarding pull that a fastener receives from an object.

When you hang a small picture frame on the wall, think about how the picture frame lays flat against the wall. As the frame pulls the nail down, there is no forward tension but shear.

The picture frame has a small pull, so you can use nails to secure the picture frame to the wall.

What Objects To Use To Hang On The Wall

Building hardware background. Pile of self tapping black screws. Working tools close up. Selective focus

These are the following fasteners you need to hang on the wall:


Wall studs with larger diameter screws can hold up to 100 lbs. or more. You should be able to get at least 1 inch into the studs for safety. It is ideal hardware to build a shelf that can hold books.

Check out these drywall screws on Amazon.

Expansion Anchors

These are weaker than the traditional anchors and are also known as drywall anchors. They are occasionally made cheaply.

In addition, it can support weights ranging from 5 lbs. for small display cubes to 20 lbs. for large wall-mounted display cubes.

Check out these drywall anchors on Amazon.

Threaded Drywall Anchors

They are also known as Self-drilling Anchors. They are thicker and more durable than expansion anchors. They can hold 25-75 lbs. on the wall.

Check out these self-drilling drywall anchors on Amazon.

Hollow Door Anchors

It can hold 10-50 lbs., which is good for doorbells, smoke alarms, and light shelves.

Check out these hollow door anchors on Amazon.

Toggle Bolts

Great for attaching items to walls, also known as butterfly anchors. Plastic bolts can hold up to 20 lbs., while metal bolts can hold up to 100 pounds.

Also great for hanging things from the ceiling, but up to 15 lbs. It can be difficult to install, but reliable when it comes to holding power.

Check out these toggle bolts on Amazon.

Molly Bolts

They are also called socket dowels and are suitable for both walls and ceilings. It can support 25-50 lbs. on walls and 10 ounces on ceilings. However, it is difficult to remove them.

These bolts are perfect for heavy-duty shelves and towel racks. It takes a relatively short time to install a sharpened molly with a hammer.

Check out these molly bolts on Amazon.

Expanding Plastic Sleeves

Mirrors and picture frames can be hung with these sleeves and can support 10-25 lbs.

Check out these expanding plastic screw anchors on Amazon.

Hangers And Nails

This can carry up to 20 lbs. with the use of proper nails. It can also hold up to 50 lbs. with a flat-mounted hook and anchors.

Check out these hanger hooks with nails on Amazon.

Adhesive Hooks

These removable adhesive hooks can support up to 75 lbs. The initial bond between the wall and the hook is strong, but over time it deteriorates, and the object eventually falls.

They are perfect for hanging light items such as calendars, document frames, and photos.

Check out these adhesive hooks on Amazon.

Tools Used For Installation

These are the tools used for the installation:

  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • Pencil
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Wall anchors

How To Know The Drywall Thickness

Cracked plaster, drywall and wood of a home's white wall

Knowing the thickness of your drywall is helpful if you're sticking to perfection and wanting the best possible results. Here are some pointers to help you figure things out:

  • Drywall in most homes is 1/2 inch thick. We recommend getting a set of anchors with 1/2-inch-thick drywall as part of your inventory.
  • If you live in a condo, you can verify the thickness of your drywall by contacting your homeowner's organization.
  • The greater the distance between the studs, the thicker the drywall. If drywall is 5/8 inch thick and is 2 feet away from the studs, it's 16 inches, and the lug thickness is 1/2 inch to 3/8 inch.
  • Listening to the noise level in your home may help calculate the approximate thickness. This is true because if your walls are paper thin, your drywall is likely less than 1/2 inch thick. 

How Should You Improve The Weight Capacity Of Your Drywall?

Drywall is ideal for interior walls but is not a solid substance. To get the most out of your drywall and hanging options and to increase your drywall's load-bearing capacity, use wall anchors or nail directly to wall studs.

How Would You Know The Number Of Anchors Needed?

Even distribution is essential to hold a lot of weight. Weigh the object to be assembled or installed and divide the result by the maximum weight the anchors can support to get the minimum number of anchors required.

Larger items may require a stabilizing anchor on the top and one or more anchors on the bottom.

Is It Possible To Hang A Large Mirror On Drywall?

Dining room interior with wooden chairs and table and mirror on the wall. Render image.

Yes, the large mirrors can be hung on drywall. However, proper measures must be taken to prevent the mirror from falling off the wall. This requires heavy-duty drywall anchors.

Use molly and toggle screws to secure larger items to the wall. Toggles are suitable for heavy objects, so if your mirror weighs over 50 lbs, use toggles only.

What Is Considered To Be The Strongest Drywall Anchors?

There are many different types of drywall anchors, but the strongest drywall anchors available are the common metal toggle bolts. However, these screws have their problems.

They are very difficult to assemble at first as dowels three times the diameter of the bolts wide must be drilled to insert properly.

Can I Drill Holes Into The Drywall?

You can drill into drywall but be careful not to hit an electrical wire. One of the biggest dangers of drilling into drywall is accidentally damaging your home's electrical system.

In addition to the risk of damaging your home's electrical system, there is a danger of electrocution. There is also the risk of accidentally puncturing water or gas pipes.

It should be done with great care when drilling into the drywall in bathrooms and kitchens. When in doubt, consult an expert.

What Happens When Drywall Cracks?

cracked concrete wall covered with gray cement surface as background

Hanging too much weight can crack drywall and create large cracks in the wall. Not only is this ugly, but it can also lead to more serious structural problems in your home.

Any holes allow moisture to seep into the wall and lead to mildew. Drywall is spongy, and mold can grow easily if it has cavities, abscesses, and water ingress.

For this reason, you should avoid over-stressing the drywall, which will cause serious damage. If there are cracks or cracks, it is necessary to bury them firmly once to prevent mold from growing.

In Closing

Homeowners often overlook the fact that you need wall studs to support the weight of things hanging on the wall. By following the advice above, you should be able to save your precious wall hangings and embark on your decorating journey.

We hope that this post has helped you in answering your question. You may check out these other related posts for more:

Do Blinds Need Drywall Anchors? – Tips For Secure Attachment That Lasts

How To Clean Up After Drywall Installation?

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