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Hanging Things on Metal Studs

We often say that heavy objects that need to be hung on the wall must be attached directly into a stud. When you have steel studs, this can require special blocking before the wall is built -- or special attachment tactics if you want to go directly into the steel stud without wood blocking.

Learning Curve 30

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Barry Moore on July 04, 2020 16:29

I want to hang some garage shelves from top of ceiling to about half way down towards floor. The back wall where I'm wanting to do this has metal studs. I want to attach a 2x4 horizontally . Do I use Butterfly Molly toggle bolt ? What size diameter and length? What size drill bit to use and also are metal studs installed just like wood studs ? thank you

Hello Barry,
For garage shelves on a 2x4 you want strong Toggle Bolts -- they are stronger than the spider like Molly bolts. You drill a hole through the 2x4 the diameter of the bolt, and a hole through the drywall and steel stud much larger as stated on the box of bolts itself. Each package tells you how much weight it will hole -- in a garage, make it strong -- let's say as strong as you can find in the store. As for the length you need to have the thickness of the 2x4 (1-1/2") plus the drywall (1/2" or more) plus a tiny bit for the steel stud, plus the length of the wing when it is folded tight against the screw. It needs this extra length to be able to push through the wall and then open up. You will need to drill all your holes first in the 2x4, then hold that to the wall and drill into the drywall just enough to locate the centre of all the larger holes on the wall. Install all the bolts in the 2x4, then work on pushing them all through the wall before tightening any of them. Try to line the wings up so they will line up vertically with the stud to open without obstructions.

Watch the video carefully and you will understand all of that.
go for it -- jon

David on May 25, 2020 14:50

Very concise and helpful!

Gio on October 06, 2017 10:24

How much weight can each toggle bolt carry? I am thinking of hanging a headboard on my wall, on metal studs, but not sure it will carry.

Hi Gio,

On an existing wall and using a fastener that opens up wings or spider legs on the other side of the metal, the fastener will carry the weight described on the package when you bought it. That weight is calculated according to the diameter of the screw and the strength of the nut – the metal stud will spread out the load over a larger area of the drywall, in addition to the strength of the stud itself. So you can rely on what is rated on the package. If you have a headboard over the carrying weight of the toggle bolt -- use two bolts -- the weights add together with each bolt carrying half the weight of the headboard.

wade Nelson on April 08, 2015 15:32

Excellent video. Have NEVER seen such a short, concise "how-to" on ANY remodel subject. Thank you!

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