Mounting on Plaster Wall versus Sheet Rock

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ubermax
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Mounting on Plaster Wall versus Sheet Rock

Post by ubermax »

DW and I just bought and sent our daughter a cordless vac that includes a wall mounted charging station - we have the same vac and mounted the charging station on a sheet rock wall using the screws and plastic anchors provided - however her house was built in the 40's and has plaster walls - from some minimal research I learned that the plastering process involves installing wood lathe first and plaster on top .

Question : Given her situation would toggle anchors be a better choice to hold the plastic base of the charging station firmly against the wall ?
kevinf
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Re: Mounting on Plaster Wall versus Sheet Rock

Post by kevinf »

I have plaster and lathe walls and I mounted my Dyson with standard drywall anchors last year... it has held up fine.
6U7a9Zfym64CRBB8gY3v
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Re: Mounting on Plaster Wall versus Sheet Rock

Post by 6U7a9Zfym64CRBB8gY3v »

I have all plaster walls. You must use an anchor of some kind. The small plastic ones work just fine.

I used to use the specific toggle anchors for plaster but I find them to be overkill.

The one tip I have is to drill the pilot hole slightly on the small side if you can use a mallet to drive in the anchor. Unlike drywall, the plaster will crumble away when you put in the anchor so its good to have a little smaller hole.
seawolf21
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Re: Mounting on Plaster Wall versus Sheet Rock

Post by seawolf21 »

For plastic, don't use anchors where the anchor itself is screwed in. That may cause the plaster to break. Regular drywall (the ones you drill a hole and tap in gently with a hammer) should be fine.

Something like this should work as well. It is a toggle anchor.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Hillman-5-8 ... /302043756
Topic Author
ubermax
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Re: Mounting on Plaster Wall versus Sheet Rock

Post by ubermax »

seawolf21 wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:29 pm For plastic, don't use anchors where the anchor itself is screwed in. That may cause the plaster to break. Regular drywall (the ones you drill a hole and tap in gently with a hammer) should be fine.

Something like this should work as well. It is a toggle anchor.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Hillman-5-8 ... /302043756
+1 Best and most logical and intuitive advice of the ones posted - thanks , I agree - and if the toggle screw is long enough , the pilot hole could be drilled through the wood lathe - my SIL found a stud and decided to anchor the charging station into it .
jj45
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Re: Mounting on Plaster Wall versus Sheet Rock

Post by jj45 »

I live in a house with lathe and plaster and the problem with most anchors is they are not long enough to get past the lathe and into the space behind. After trying several products now I only use these:https://www.homedepot.com/p/FLIPTOGGLE- ... /206347698 They come in a larger size that holds more weight. They always work.
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ubermax
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Re: Mounting on Plaster Wall versus Sheet Rock

Post by ubermax »

jj45 wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:27 pm I live in a house with lathe and plaster and the problem with most anchors is they are not long enough to get past the lathe and into the space behind. After trying several products now I only use these:https://www.homedepot.com/p/FLIPTOGGLE- ... /206347698 They come in a larger size that holds more weight. They always work.
Thanks JJ45 , good point and good to know Home Depot has that product .
GrowthSeeker
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Re: Mounting on Plaster Wall versus Sheet Rock

Post by GrowthSeeker »

Using anchors in lath and plaster is very different from anchors in drywall.
Drywall is a much softer plaster containing more gypsum or calcium sulfate with a layer of paper on each side. The plaster in lath and plaster is more like limestone. The large threaded plastic anchors that work so well in drywall won't work in lath and plaster.

The first difference is: use a masonry bit when drilling lath and plaster, then when you strike wood (whether it's a lath or a stud), switch to a regular twist drill bit suitable for wood. Oh, and put a bit of blue tape first so your masonry bit is less likely to "walk". And I wouldn't undersize the drill bit. When you hit wood, you won't know you've hit a stud until you've drilled farther than the thickness of a stud.

The second difference is thickness; you're not really sure how thick the plaster plus lath is going to be. It may vary from place to place around the house or even in different areas of the same wall. When the first layer of wet plaster is troweled onto the lath, a variable amount of plaster squeezes through the spaces between the strips of lath wood, curl downward with gravity and eventually harden into "fingers" gripping the lath below. If your drill hits the lower part of a lath, the thickness is plaster plus lath. But if you drill in the upper part of a lath, it's plaster plus lath plus another layer of plaster "fingers". And if your drill hits right between 2 laths, it's however thick the plaster is there. Some expanding anchors are expecting a specific thickness of drywall past which point they will then expand: these types won't expand as expected in lath and plaster.

Sure, for small weights and small screws, like mounting a smoke detector, you can probably just get away with the regular technique using the same anchors you'd use if it were drywall - except, I'd use a masonry bit until you get through the plaster.

For medium weights, what I've used to hang various size pictures on lath and plaster walls is Hillman DuoPower. It seems like the identical product to Fischer DuoPower; I'm guessing Hillman bought it from Fischer. But here is a video showing how it works differently whether it ends up in solid material, like a stud, or if there is a hollow area it can expand into.

For large weights, the best is the SNAPTOGGLE. It has been a while since I bought any, but I think there are different sizes and materials to choose from. Warning: this calls for quite a large hole, but the holding strength is great. Orient the device so that when deployed, the metal piece which will be behind the lath will be vertical. Problem: what if it turns out you're in a stud and this anchor won't work, but now you've already drilled a giant hole. Solution: use a stud finder first, have a suitable diameter and length screw available which you would use if you were mounting directly into a stud and drill first with the smaller size drill you would use for that screw; once you know you're not in a stud then use the appropriate size drill for the snaptoggle.
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you.
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lthenderson
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Re: Mounting on Plaster Wall versus Sheet Rock

Post by lthenderson »

ubermax wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 5:41 pm Question : Given her situation would toggle anchors be a better choice to hold the plastic base of the charging station firmly against the wall ?
What you need really depends on the condition of the plaster and that comes from experience. I find newer plaster easily accepts your typical push in(not screw in) expanding anchors for accepting a screw. Older plaster can sometimes fracture off big flakes or chunks if you aren't gentle. Fortunately as long as it is still attached to the lathe behind, it is fairly easy to patch up and touch up with paint assuming you still have some leftover. You didn't say the weight and I'm assuming it is fairly light. If it were heavy, I would definitely go the toggle bolt route and not risk pulling off a big chunk of plaster. I see that happen all the time when people try to anchor curtain rods using drywall anchors in plaster and then throw a heavy curtain on or have someone accidentally grab onto the curtain and pull.
seawolf21
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Re: Mounting on Plaster Wall versus Sheet Rock

Post by seawolf21 »

jj45 wrote: Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:27 pm I live in a house with lathe and plaster and the problem with most anchors is they are not long enough to get past the lathe and into the space behind. After trying several products now I only use these:https://www.homedepot.com/p/FLIPTOGGLE- ... /206347698 They come in a larger size that holds more weight. They always work.
GrowthSeeker wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:02 am For large weights, the best is the SNAPTOGGLE. It has been a while since I bought any, but I think there are different sizes and materials to choose from. Warning: this calls for quite a large hole, but the holding strength is great. Orient the device so that when deployed, the metal piece which will be behind the lath will be vertical. Problem: what if it turns out you're in a stud and this anchor won't work, but now you've already drilled a giant hole. Solution: use a stud finder first, have a suitable diameter and length screw available which you would use if you were mounting directly into a stud and drill first with the smaller size drill you would use for that screw; once you know you're not in a stud then use the appropriate size drill for the snaptoggle.
Unfortunately I have to ding Snaptoggle for their marketing.

I used both Cobra Fliptoggle (Home Depot) along with Snaptoggle (Lowes) this past week to put up a TV in drywall.

Both require 0.5" hole but worked quite well. Cobra Fliptoggle was a tad bit easier to install in that it is easier to slide the plastic locking ring down the rail toward the wall primarily because it has only one rail vs. Snaptoggle's two rails design which requires both rails being aligned with each other in order to get the plastic locking ring moving.

I did find Snaptoggle packaging claims a bit misleading. It (0.25" version) state on the front packaging in large font holds up to 265lbs in 0.5" drywall. You really have to read the specs on the back to realize it is ultimate tensile pull-out value with a disclaimer that "Industry standards recommend 1/4 of ultimate test load."

Fliptoggle (0.25" version) list 135lbs in 0.5" drywall. That's the shear value which I would think is more important then tensile pull out for hanging things up. Not only that, that's the ""Safe Working Load" not the ultimate test load. Either, of course, would be overkill for what OP is hanging up especially with a 0.5" hole required for installation.

An inexperienced DIY would think, based on packaging, Snaptoggle is superior when in reality, it's similar/a bit worse in capability than Fliptoggle.
Last edited by seawolf21 on Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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elcadarj
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Re: Mounting on Plaster Wall versus Sheet Rock

Post by elcadarj »

3M Command Strips, e.g.: https://www.amazon.com/Command-17004-Pl ... IBLN&psc=1

ETA: It may take some searching to find the right hook, strip combination to hang the vac charging dock.
Topic Author
ubermax
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Re: Mounting on Plaster Wall versus Sheet Rock

Post by ubermax »

Thanks everyone for your time and very thorough and detailed replies - our SIL was fortunate to find an electrical outlet within comfortable cord reach of a stud in the wall - however , DW and I mounted ours in sheetrock using the provided plastic anchors and screws and have since noticed it pulling away from the wall a bit - it's a Dyson and the heavier motor end of the machine is where it mounts to the station - we could also mount into a stud but, with the new information and insights that I've now got , I can think about trying the toggle route since the pilot holes are already in the sheetrock.

Thanks Again!!!!!
teamDE
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Re: Mounting on Plaster Wall versus Sheet Rock

Post by teamDE »

GrowthSeeker wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:02 am Using anchors in lath and plaster is very different from anchors in drywall.
Drywall is a much softer plaster containing more gypsum or calcium sulfate with a layer of paper on each side. The plaster in lath and plaster is more like limestone. The large threaded plastic anchors that work so well in drywall won't work in lath and plaster.

The first difference is: use a masonry bit when drilling lath and plaster, then when you strike wood (whether it's a lath or a stud), switch to a regular twist drill bit suitable for wood. Oh, and put a bit of blue tape first so your masonry bit is less likely to "walk". And I wouldn't undersize the drill bit. When you hit wood, you won't know you've hit a stud until you've drilled farther than the thickness of a stud.

The second difference is thickness; you're not really sure how thick the plaster plus lath is going to be. It may vary from place to place around the house or even in different areas of the same wall. When the first layer of wet plaster is troweled onto the lath, a variable amount of plaster squeezes through the spaces between the strips of lath wood, curl downward with gravity and eventually harden into "fingers" gripping the lath below. If your drill hits the lower part of a lath, the thickness is plaster plus lath. But if you drill in the upper part of a lath, it's plaster plus lath plus another layer of plaster "fingers". And if your drill hits right between 2 laths, it's however thick the plaster is there. Some expanding anchors are expecting a specific thickness of drywall past which point they will then expand: these types won't expand as expected in lath and plaster.

Sure, for small weights and small screws, like mounting a smoke detector, you can probably just get away with the regular technique using the same anchors you'd use if it were drywall - except, I'd use a masonry bit until you get through the plaster.

For medium weights, what I've used to hang various size pictures on lath and plaster walls is Hillman DuoPower. It seems like the identical product to Fischer DuoPower; I'm guessing Hillman bought it from Fischer. But here is a video showing how it works differently whether it ends up in solid material, like a stud, or if there is a hollow area it can expand into.

For large weights, the best is the SNAPTOGGLE. It has been a while since I bought any, but I think there are different sizes and materials to choose from. Warning: this calls for quite a large hole, but the holding strength is great. Orient the device so that when deployed, the metal piece which will be behind the lath will be vertical. Problem: what if it turns out you're in a stud and this anchor won't work, but now you've already drilled a giant hole. Solution: use a stud finder first, have a suitable diameter and length screw available which you would use if you were mounting directly into a stud and drill first with the smaller size drill you would use for that screw; once you know you're not in a stud then use the appropriate size drill for the snaptoggle.
Good info, I agree. We have a 120yr old house with horsehair plaster/lathe and it can be a pain.

I haven't found a stud finder that can find studs through the lathe. Do you know of one that works? I normally tap/knock around to try and find the studs but its tricky.
GrowthSeeker
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Re: Mounting on Plaster Wall versus Sheet Rock

Post by GrowthSeeker »

teamDE wrote: Wed Feb 24, 2021 1:48 pm ... We have a 120yr old house with horsehair plaster/lathe and it can be a pain.

I haven't found a stud finder that can find studs through the lathe. Do you know of one that works? I normally tap/knock around to try and find the studs but its tricky.
Well, I bought Zircon i65 Stud Sensor Center-Finding Battery Operated Stud and Metal Finder with Live Wire Detection; got it at Amazon. The part about finding the live electrical wires works pretty well. The stud finder works about 50:50 in the one 100+ year old house with lath and plaster walls I have had occasion to do a lot of work (repairing holes in lath and plaster walls, hanging pictures etc). Some studs it would find reliably and some studs it just wouldn't. In this house, I have found the tapping method to be just as good. So, this Zircon i65 is good; I just wouldn't give it a high probability of finding a stud when and where you need it to.

Supposedly, a small strong neodymium magnet will stick to the wall where there is a nail or screw which holds the lath to the stud. I got some of those and tried it, but it worked poorly for me, just occasionally finding a nail.
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you.
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