Drywalls are certainly a major factor to be scrutinised when it comes to the interior design and decoration of any given space. This is because they can be the difference between an empty, plain and dull space and a lively, personified and inviting room all depending on the amount of weight they can hold.

In terms of fortitude and weight, a drywall can hold as much as 50 kilograms relative to the type of tools and techniques used when mounting the artefacts in question. This essentially means that strong nails on thicker drywalls are more likely to offer greater stability when it comes to hanging your souvenirs as opposed to their weaker and thinner counterparts.

This article seeks to examine the different types of instruments and mechanisms that can be utilised when looking to successfully hang a wide variety of valuables onto a drywall. With the right techniques, you are sure to enjoy the beauty of your space without the fear of damage and loss to the mementos you cherish.

The difference between hanging weights on walls and ceilings usually boils down to the effect of gravity. Most drywall ceilings can only hold a maximum of 10 kilograms even in cases where the best apparatus has been utilised for fitting.

The pressure exerted by this weight can be further exasperated in cases where the fittings incorporate aspects of movement in their structure. This means that such fittings which include fans usually demand an extra degree of strengthening so as to save them from potentially damaging falls.

How much a drywall ceiling can hold

How much weight can a drywall hold per square foot?

A drywall can only hold as much weight as its thickness allows. This therefore means that any given drywall can be able to hold a weight of between 0.5kg to 1kg relative to its thickness. This is usually because of the strain and the stretch that the weight applies in regard to the layers of the ceiling under consideration.

The quality of the anchors used also goes a long way in determining the weight that a particular drywall can hold. Anchors differ in functionality and therefore come in a wide variety depending on the kind of artefact than needs to be hanged.

Objects also differ in size and shape thereby making them distinctive in terms of the shear and tension they are each able to apply on the drywall under scrutiny. This essentially means that it is relatively easier to hang flat and compact objects that are close to the wall when compared to irregularly shaped articles which tend to stick out beyond the structure of the wall.

Shear is the downward pull that a given object exerts on the surface to which it has been fastened. Tension, on the other hand is the forward pull that a particular object exerts on the plane to which it has been secured.

Flat objects hanging against a drywall produce little to no tension since there is essentially nothing they are pulling forward. They therefore only produce a given extent of shear since their weight is pulling the fasteners to which they have been plugged downwards.

On the other hand, objects that stick out from the wall usually tend to apply a great deal of shear and tension on their fasteners. This is generally because they are sticking out from the flat plane offered by the wall thereby adding a forward pull to their already shear-subjected fasteners. They are thus more likely to fall out of the wall.

Should I attach to studs behind drywall?

Various art pieces can be attached onto a drywall either with or without studs. This basically means that one can be able to decorate any given space with pictures and mementos without the use of studs. Studs are however recommended when looking to obtain an extra layer of reinforcement.

Effective utilisation of studs

In terms of definition, studs are sections of wood that are generally located beneath the drywall. These wooden pieces which are vertically fitted and spaced usually function as the frame of the said drywall. They give greater support by providing a stable base on which nails and screws can be attached.

Effective utilisation of studs

Finding a stud

There is a wide range of ways and techniques which can be utilized when looking to find a stud. These include:


Using Electrical Outlets
Most electrical outlets including switches and sockets are usually attached to studs during the process of fitting. Locating them can therefore function as a certain strategy of finding studs. The only thing required when using this method is to find out whether there is a vertical beam located behind the outlet in question.

This is usually done by temporarily removing the outlet from the section on the wall on which it has been attached. Finding one stud is all that is required to be able to locate the other. This is because studs are generally spaced evenly in either 16 or 24-inch intervals depending on the room under consideration.


Using stud finders
Stud finders typically function using either electronic or magnetic type sensors. Electronic stud finders are battery powered which essentially means that their sensors, audible signals and visual displays generally function on cell-produced power. They identify studs by analyzing the density changes that exist beneath the plane undergoing scanning.

Magnetic stud finders are normally cheaper than their electronic counterparts since they have a shallower sense component. They work by utilizing the rare earth magnets in their makeup to identify the metal fasteners providing support to the studs. They are however not able to accurately detect the stud edges as a result of their shallow penetration.


Knocking is usually used to locate studs when both stud finders and electrical outlets are unavailable. Its manual nature means that the people knocking need to be extremely certain of the sound they are hearing lest they attempt to plug in a nail where no stud exists.

A hollow knock is normally an indication that there is no stud underneath the surface in question. A heavy and stifle knock on the other hand is generally a sign that there is a stud beneath the said wall.

How much weight can a drywall hold without a stud?

Where the reinforcement offered by studs is absent, drywalls can only hold between 2.5 and 5 kilograms. In such scenarios, only extremely light items should be hanged on the said wall.

How much weight can a screw hold drywall?

Generally, screws can only hold up to 5 kilograms of weight when drilled into a drywall. This is because of the rather flaky nature of a drywall which can result in it breaking apart if heavier articles are attached to it. This flaky and light nature also makes it easier for drywalls to be installed over old-panelling for a fresher look in any given space.

How much weight can a screw hold drywall picture

Which hanging hardware should I use?

Hanging hardware varies from space to space. Consulting various drywall experts is therefore the recommended way of finding the best hanging hardware for your space.

HomeGardenGuides.com is a great tool that quickly matches you with the best drywall specialists in your locality. You can get three estimates from local drywall professionals in a matter of two minutes. Kindly follow the steps below to enjoy this great service:

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Hanging hardware is extremely imperative particularly in situations where one is forced to hang a given artefact between the studs. It is therefore important for people to understand how to use the various kinds of hanging hardware which include:

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Screw-in Anchors

Screw-in anchors are by far the most common fasteners as far as drywall anchoring is concerned. This is because they can be able to hold up light and medium weight mementos which are quite popular in spaces made up of drywalls. They are generally available in both metal and plastic material

Nails and Picture-Frame Hangers

These are normally available in different shapes and sizes. They are often used to hoist up souvenirs which are either medium or heavy in terms of weight. This generally consists of loads which are between 12 and 25 kilograms. Examples include angled nails and flat-mounted hooks.

Toggle Bolts

Toggle bolts are usually available in both plastic and metal versions. The metal versions are generally the go-to fasteners as far as heavy loads weighing about 25 kilograms are concerned. Plastic toggle bolts on the other hand are generally specialised to support loads of medium weight

How much weight can drywall hold: with and without anchors?

Drywalls can generally hold a maximum of 5 kilograms per time without anchors. Their flaky and brittle nature does not allow them to carry a lot of weight. This in turn means that they may require either repair or replacement if damaged by excessive weight.

Anchors therefore immensely contribute in enhancing the fortitude and stability of drywalls in cases where they are required to support more weight. Small anchors can support up to 9 kilograms while medium anchors are able to hold up a maximum of 12 kilograms. It is however important to note that each anchor is usually applied based on the thickness of the drywall in question.

How much can a 2x4 stud support?

Vertically a 2 by 4 stud can support an average weight of 500 kilograms especially in situations where the load is flat against the wall. This is however heavily dependent on the length of the wall as well as the strength of the wind blowing against it.

The benefits of using studs over drywall to hang items.

The major benefit derived from using studs instead of drywalls to hang items is certainly support. In other words, studs are sure to offer greater stability in terms of securing fasteners such as nails which are used to hold up a wide variety of items.

What are the best drywall anchors?

The suitability of drywall anchors usually depends on a variety of factors such as wall thickness and item weight, shape and size. Plastic sleeves, screw-in and tap in anchors are generally suitable for supporting light and medium loads weighing between 5 to 12 kilograms.

Heavier loads weighing up to 25 kilograms usually require flat mounted hooks, molly bolts, toggle bolts and hollow-core door anchors to effectively and securely hold them up.


There is a wide range of factors that need to be considered before deciding whether to hang any given article on a drywall. Objects should therefore only be attached to drywalls in cases where prerequisites such as quality fasteners and studs have been put into consideration.

The balance between great designs and safety of artefacts should also be adhered to when looking to come up with a space that is both secure and creative.

Timothy Munene
Author: Timothy Munene - Timothy is a freelance writer and an online entrepreneur.