How Much Weight Can Drywall Hold? Here is Your Answer!

Written by

Rosanne Jones

Writer, Designer


Steven D. Carrico


how much weight can drywall hold

We have unlimited access to a camera, and photos are continuously taken around the world nowadays. Therefore, you might want to hang a new picture that is important to your life or simply just a shelf for items in your house, but you can’t just randomly nail or drill a hole in the drywall to hang anything.

Understanding how much weight can drywall hold might make it easier to outline your home improvement plan, including placing picture frames and other designs on the wall. Let’s investigate various drywall weight limits with different hardware that hold the weight on them.

Drywall Definition


Drywall is a building material for walls and ceilings. It is also utilized to produce numerous architectural styles like arches, eaves, and other architecture. The installation is not only fast, straightforward, and very robust but also requires minimal damage repairs. In addition, drywall is used to restrict the spread of fire and enable people to escape safely in urgent cases.

Walls that need weeks to be plastered can be finished with drywall in a couple of days. They will endure longer and require less expense as well. Damaged drywall is easier and faster to be fixed than plaster and other types of building materials. Moreover, drywall is more durable and immune to fire.

Drywall Weight Limit


How much weight can drywall support” relies on which item is going to be placed on the wall and the way of mounting it. For example, if you’re hanging a small nail in hollow drywall, your picture frames are going to fall to the floor.

Standard drywall can hold up to 1.6 pounds/square foot (0.73 kg), while thicker drywall will be able to hold about 2 pounds/square foot (0.91 kg) without additional assistance. However, your wall can withstand up to 100 pounds with the proper hardware and strategy (~45 kg).

Drywall is available in several thicknesses, from ¼ of an inch to ⅝ of an inch (0.6 to 1.5 cm). Thicker drywalls are more powerful than thinner ones. Thickness is not the only factor that affects drywall strength but other variables as well. Before you decide to hang something, have a look at the numerous hardware used to hang objects on drywall.

Four Hardware Kinds That Hold Weight On Drywall

1. Wall Studs


If we can nail or put items up on the wall wherever we want, life would be simple. As long as you hang objects properly and use appropriate preparation, your drywall will be able to withstand a lot of weight. However, it does not work in most situations when hanging something on a hollow part of drywall. Therefore, you would prefer to hang your artwork onto wall studs.

A wall stud is a vertical framing element hidden behind the wall surface. It’s an essential component in the construction of wall frames. Wall studs are generally 16-24 inches apart (40 to 60 cm) and can keep screws more firmly than other wall materials, including cravity drywall because they consist of solid and robust wood or metal. There are three ways to locate where your studs are:

  1. Stud finder: It’s easy to spot your studs with a stud finder which can be bought in most home repair shops. This machine identifies the attachments in the drywall and informs the user when the magnet moves to a metal attachment.
  2. Tap the wall: If you don’t have a stud finder, knock on the wall horizontally until you hear a strong sound instead of the regular empty sound.
  3. Find an electric outlet: Another way is to look for an electrical socket and then continue straight up the wall where you want to drill a hole because power outlets are mostly placed on studs.

Drywall with the strongest nails may hold up to 20 pounds (9kg). The duration of a nail in the hollow part is not secured, while they can hold up to 100 pounds in the vertical wall stud. A screw can support up to 80 – 100 pounds (from 36 to 45 kg) on the studs.

Doubling the weight of a screw is the fastest way to hold heavier items. In other words, add extra screws if you have enough space. Try to use the wall studs every time you can since even a basic item like a nail may hold a big object in this way.

2. Ceiling joists


A joist is a horizontal structural part that runs across an open area to transfer loads into vertical parts, generally floor and ceilings. The wall is often not load-bearing when the joists are running parallel to the wall. These joists are usually used for hanging ceiling lights or fans. You may find ceiling joists with the same approaches as a wall stud.

Due to a straight downward force of gravity, your ceiling joists can securely hold up to 15-20 pounds (6.8 to 9 kg) regardless of the type of drywall hardware used. Even though this weight restriction equals the typical weight of a light ceiling fan or a hanging plant, they have to be strengthened because of the extra pressure that their spinning produces.

It’s not impossible to hang a bit more weight, but you will have to reinforce the joists and perhaps double it for anything heavier than 30 pounds. Another technique of enhancing their load capacity is to install blocking between the ceiling joists. Blocking is the use of short dimensional wood pieces to support the ceiling and provide a safe location for hanging objects.

3. Drywall Anchors


Several anchors are sufficiently powerful to carry weight. However, before hanging an object, the type of anchor and its suitability must be clear. Drywall anchor is to support things of particular weight; thus, the bearing power of the anchor should be equal to or above the weight of the item you want to hang. For instance, you must calculate the total weight of the items on the shelf if you want to install a shelf on the walls using anchors.

So, how much weight can drywall anchors hold? When you choose the correct wall type and drive anchors into the stud, each of them can hold more than 50 pounds (about 22 kg). Let’s dive into several types of anchors to understand drywall anchors’ weight limits.

  • Expansion anchor


This kind of anchor, known as a drywall plug, is not as powerful as other anchors. It expands as soon as it is fastened. Even though expansion anchors are quite affordable, they can only hang things that are 5 – 20 pounds (between 2 to 9 kg) on drywall surfaces. Due to the limited weight capacity, they are not suitable on drywall ceilings, while wall products, like a small towel rack and a lightweight photo frame, are usually provided with this inexpensive plastic anchor.

  • Threaded drywall anchor


Threaded anchors are constructed of solid nylon or metal and can support larger things. Despite being thicker and more robust, they are not suited for drywall ceilings. They can hold the weight from 25 to 75 pounds (11 to 34 kg).

As opposed to the expansion anchors that need a pilot hole to push them through, you do not need any extra equipment to install threaded anchors since they’ve got a sharp and pointed end that can drill a hole into the wall on their own. All you need is to drive them softly through the wall using a screw or a screwdriver. That’s why they are also known as self-drilling anchors.

  • Plastic hollow anchor


Plastic plug anchors need to drill a pilot hole first. Usually, they are utilized for light-duty applications in drywalls or plasters. The plug expands and locks into position when the screw is fitted. This type of anchor can only hold 20 pounds (9kg) because it’s made of plastic. This is excellent for hanging a wall shelf.

See the attached video for further information on how these three plastic anchors can be installed.

4. Drywall Bolts

  • Molly bolt

weight can you hang on drywall

Molly bolts can be used for medium-sized installations. They usually provide permanent threads to any material they are attached to. This anchor expands once the screw is tightened and pushed into the hole. Sometimes these bolts are called hollow wall anchors.

Molly bolts can hold from 25 pounds (11.3 kg) to 50 pounds (22.6 kg) on drywalls. Therefore, these bolts are suitable for towel racks, heavy shelves, and curtain rods. Despite being sturdy and hard to remove, they can only hang small things that weigh less than 10 pounds, like smoke alarms or bulbs, on the ceilings. It’s particularly crucial to choose the proper size of molly bolt for your drywall thickness since an oversized one isn’t useful.

  • Toggle Bolt


The traditional anchor technique is toggle bolts. A toggle bolt comprises two elements: the toggle and the bolt. The bolts should be adjusted to diameter and screw length. The wings that lock behind drywall offer excellent holding strength and require a pilot hole.

This is your best chance for real holding power. Toggle bolts can hold the weight up to 100 pounds (45kg) on the wall. These are the greatest choice for ceiling usage, although they cannot stably hold over 15 pounds (68kg). A toggle bolt can appear more complex than other screws, but hanging it is not that difficult. There are only three simple steps to place it in your drywall.

  • Make a hole with a screwdriver in the drywall.
  • Fold the wings and press them into the hole.
  • Tighten up the bolt and hang anything you want.


Drywall may look weak and vulnerable, but you can hold almost anything on it as long as you hang it correctly. You should participate in your decorative journey and hold cherished memories on your walls with the information provided by this post.

Don’t forget that not understanding how much weight can drywall hold or using the proper hardware, including studs, anchors, and screws, will ultimately bring your heavy frame, picture, and painting down the wall. Did you find this post beneficial? If yes, please comment your views and share them with your family and friends.

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