How To: Drill And Fix To A Plasterboard Wall

What you will need

  • Power drill and steel drill bit or wood drill bit
  • Suitable plasterboard fixings
  • Screwdriver
  • Multi-purpose detector
  • Hammer
  • Pencil 


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  • 1 Decide where you would like to fix your object. Knock on the wall to determine whether it is a solid or plasterboard wall. If it makes a hollow sound, the wall is plasterboard. Carry out some visual checks on the wall for sockets or switches. For extra safety, use a multi-purpose detector to make sure there are no wires or cables running behind the spot. Mark with a pencil.
  • 2 When securing an item into plasterboard, there are two options. One is to directly secure the item to the timber studs of the plasterboard wall with woodscrews. The other is to use specially designed plasterboard fixings to secure the item. In this instance we are hanging a picture directly on the plasterboard. Plasterboard is quite soft so if you want to hang anything you will need some special fixings for the job. A couple of options are anchor wall fixings, a spring toggle or screw-in fixings.
  • 3 Decide on the fixing that is best suited to your job.
  • 4 Use the drill bit size as indicated on the packet to drill a hole in the wall. Tape an envelope under where you are drilling to check the dust. Top Tip: The reason we use a steel or wood drill bit and no hammer action is that plasterboard is soft material and I don’t want to disturb the backing which can sometimes happen if you are too aggressive with a masonry bit and hammer action. If the backing is disturbed it can sometimes make it difficult for your fixing to grip.
  • 5 Insert your rawl plug into the hole, making sure it is flush with the wall – use a hammer to gently tap if necessary.
  • 6 Insert your screw into the wall. Leave it protruding slightly to attach your mirror, picture etc.
  • 7 Hang your object on the screw or hook and make sure it’s level.