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How Much Weight Can A Nail Hold In Drywall? Answer Below

If you want to hang something on your wall but are wondering how much weight can a nail hold in drywall, we’re here to help you figure it out.

How Much Weight Can A Nail Hold In Drywall

Before you hang anything on your drywall check out our guide, so you know you’re not going to be left with a gaping hole in your wall. At most a nail in drywall will hold a few pounds and should probably not exceed 10 pounds in weight.

Of course there are ways to increase the amount of weight a nail can hold in drywall. Alternatively it may be possible to use something other than a nail.

What Is The Maximum Weight A Nail Can Hold In Drywall?

The consistency of drywall means that it is not designed to hold much weight. It’s not as strong as plaster, brick or wooden walls, so it can be difficult to know how much weight it can hold.

Instead Of Nails

If the item that you wish to put on a drywall wall is not particularly heavy then it is preferable to use something other than a nail to hold it up.

There are plenty of products on the market that can be used to hang items that don’t require the use of a nail. For example, adhesive strips or specialty picture hooks which have been designed to hold in drywall.

These items will have maximum weights that they can hold however, so check the packaging.

How To Hang Things Safely In Drywall?

In order to increase the weight that a nail can hold in drywall you should locate the studs in the wall and use them instead.

The timber studs are capable of holding much more weight than drywall alone as the wood is much denser, has more grip and more substance.

Find The Studs

To locate the studs in your drywall wall it is best to use a stud finder. This is a tool which employs magnetic technology to find the screws that have been used in the studs.

Of course, you don’t need a stud finder and can just as easily search for the studs manually. To do this simply tap the wall around the area where you want to hang something.

Drywall alone will sound hollow when tapped while a timber stud will have a more solid sound. Another method is to find an electrical outlet and follow the wall upward until you reach the height at which you want to hang something.

This works because electrical outlets are consistently placed on studs. Once you have found one stud it is relatively easy to find others as they are typically spaced 16 inches apart on center. In some homes they may be 24 inches apart on center.

What Hardware Can You Use For Drywall Hanging?

How Much Weight Can A Nail Hold In Drywall? (1)

If you need to hang something on the drywall then there are specific pieces of hardware that you can use for this purpose. A nail is not the most useful for drywall as it typically has a lot less grip than a screw, anchor or bolt.

Expansion Anchors

Expansion anchors are also known as drywall plugs, and we recommend these for hanging weight of between 5 and 25 pounds on a drywall depending on the size of the anchor.

They work by expanding on opposing sides as you tighten the screw which grips the drywall. You’ll have to drill a pilot hole to put the expansion anchor into the drywall.

Threaded Anchors

Threaded anchors are stronger and thicker than expansion anchors. As a result they can hold more weight, typically between 25 and 75 pounds and have a lot more grip than simply using a nail in drywall.

There are many variations of threaded anchors, and you will need to choose the one that will best hold the weight of the item you want to hang.

Toggle Bolts

You can buy both plastic and metal toggle bolts for use in drywall. A plastic version is capable of holding maybe 20 pounds in weight while a metal one may support up to 100 pounds.

These are also called butterfly anchors because of the shape they take on when they are tightened up. The ‘wings’ are what hold the anchor in place and therefore take the weight of whatever you wish to hang.

Sleeve Type Anchors

A sleeve type anchor is also known as a molly bolt. It’s designed to be lodged inside a hole and then expanded once in position. It’s important to use the right sized molly bolt for the job as if it is oversized it won’t hold effectively.

Molly bolts will hold between 25 and 50 pounds. Each pack will show the thickness of drywall that the bolts are suitable for and the size of drill bit that you will need to make the pilot hole. 

What Can Be Hung On Nails In Drywall?

With the right drywall anchors in the wall you can hang anything that doesn’t exceed the recommended weight load. You can hang pictures, mirrors, plants, lights, fabrics or pieces of wall art.

As long as the nail or screw in the drywall has been securely attached then you shouldn’t have to worry about stuff falling off your wall.

Be aware though if you are hanging a coat rack or hook you’ll have to take into account the additional weight that will be put on it.

Hanging From Drywall Ceilings

Nails are not suitable for use in drywall ceilings as with little grip and gravity you’re not going to be able to suspend anything from a nail. You can of course use a toggle bolt in a drywall ceiling. Just make sure it is the correct weight for the load.

Take extra care when hanging things from a drywall ceiling and use the ceiling joists rather than just the drywall.

Final Thoughts

We hope you have found this guide to how much weight a nail can hold in drywall useful and informative.

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