How Much Weight Can Drywall Hold? Exploring Drywall Strength

Did you ever wonder how much weight drywall can hold? Can you hang heavy things on drywall? Or do you have to worry about it breaking?

Drywall can hold up to 100 lbs per anchor if you’re using metal toggle bolts. If you use other types of anchors, it might only hold 20-50 lbs. Without an anchor, you will need to find a stud to drive a screw into. Driving a screw into a hollow part of drywall will ruin it.

In this article, you will learn how much drywall can hold, on average. We will talk about drywall strength and how using different anchors might affect how much it can hold. Let’s get into it!

What Is Drywall Made Of?

Before you can understand how much drywall can hold, it is important to understand what drywall is and what it is made of. Drywall is what most home walls are made of these days. Unless you have an older house constructed more than five decades ago, you probably have walls made of drywall.

People do not apply wall plaster by hand anymore. Drywall is more efficient and cost-effective, and it is also easier to install. It is usually made of gypsum, which is a mineral that contains water, calcium, and sulfur that is bound to water. Some gypsum is not natural and is instead synthetic. Drywall can be made from either natural, mined gypsum or synthetic gypsum.

Drywall has been around for over a hundred years. For the past half a century, it has been used consistently in construction. Your walls are probably made out of drywall panels, even if you do not know it.

Drywall Strength

Well, the answer to this question depends on what your definition of strong is. Is drywall versatile? Sure. It lasts for a long time, and you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged quickly. You can rest assured knowing that your drywall panels are going to last for a long time.

On the other hand, when it comes to hanging things on drywall, that is an entirely different story. A drywall is a bit brittle; a plaster wall is a lot stronger than drywall. Wood walls are very strong, too. Of course, brick walls are the strongest.

However, while you might be able to drive a nail through a wood or plaster wall and hang a painting on it without any problems, you might not be able to do the same if you have drywall. The picture might fall, as drywall is not that strong.

Alternatively, the drywall itself might get damaged. It can eventually crumble if you hang too many things on it and drive too many nails into it. That is why it is important to be careful and know how much drywall can hold.

As such, the answer to the question of how much drywall can hold is not simple. Some people will say it can’t hold anything, but that is a misunderstanding that is far from the truth. If you drive nails into your drywall, you will probably run into problems. You must also take into account what you are planning on hanging.

However, how much weight you can hang on drywall depends on the type of anchor you have. As mentioned, a nail is not a good anchor to use. On the other hand, you might be able to hang a lot more weight using other types of anchors. This article will help you understand the different types of anchors to choose the right one that will help you hang the most weight.

How Much Weight Can Drywall Hold Without Anchors?

If you do not use some type of hanging hardware or anchor, your drywall can hold pretty much nothing. Yeah, it sounds harsh, but we would not recommend drilling a screw into the wall and hanging things that way. You run the risk of ruining your drywall. Any picture that you hang with this method is likely to fall. Your wall is likely to be damaged, and it may crumble and eventually fall.

You can always use a strong type of tape to hang a paper or knitted piece of art without an anchor. However, you might leave marks on your wall, so be careful with the type of tape you use.

Holding Capacity With Anchors

The good news is that there are many types of anchors you can use. You have a lot of choices, and with some anchors, you may be able to hold up to 100 pounds or so. That is why using an anchor is so important. With an anchor, you can go from zero holding capacity to a 100-pound holding capacity, and that is a big difference.

How Much Weight Can Drywall Hold With a Nail?

As we mentioned above, drywall can hold pretty much nothing. You can use a nail to hang very light things, like paper art or knitted art. However, we would not recommend it at all. If you are hanging paper art or knitted art, there are better ways to hang them on your drywall.

If you want to go this route, make sure to use a screw instead of a nail. Screws are better for drywall than nails. Also, there are drywall screws that are built a little differently than screws made for wooden walls.

Also, we would not recommend just putting the screw anywhere on the wall. You should find a stud. Otherwise, the screw will eventually slip out. If you just drill it in anywhere and don’t look for a stud first, you are bound to run into problems. Another problem is that there might be important things behind the drywall, like electrical wiring, and you do not want to ruin them with your screws.

Finally, make sure not to hang anything heavy. A very light picture will probably be okay for a while, but we recommend sticking to very light things when using a screw. However, there are much better hanging methods for drywall, and we would not recommend using screws and nails at all, no matter how uncomplicated they might seem to you compared to the other methods.

How Much Can a Toggle Bolt Hold in Drywall?

The answer to this question is a little more tricky than the previous questions. The answer is that it depends on what kind of toggle bolt you are using.

If you use a plastic toggle bolt, we would say that you can get 20 to 30 pounds, though 30 pounds is already on the high end. We would recommend sticking to between 20 to 25 pounds if you are using plastic toggle bolts.

On the other hand, if you are using a metal toggle bolt, it will be a lot stronger. 75 to 100 pounds is a good range we would say is possible. Again, while 100 pounds might be on the higher end, it is not a stretch in this case. That means that with a metal toggle bolt that is properly installed, you can hang a small shelf or even a drawer, as long as it is light.

Will toggle bolts ruin your drywall the same way nails will? No, toggle bolts are safe to use if you install them properly. They are one of the top methods of hanging stuff on drywall.

So, what are toggle bolts anyways? Toggle bolts are sometimes called butterfly anchors. They have “wings” on the back. These wings hold on to the wall from the other side and act as a brace. Since drywall is hollow, just drilling a nail into it won’t get you anywhere. The nail will stick out on the hollow side, and there will be nothing to hold it.

Toggle bolts address this problem by using the wings, or braces, to brace against the drywall. You can hang many things on the front end of the toggle bolt. The front end is the part that sticks out from the drywall inside the house or room.

It is important to install toggle bolts in your drywall correctly. You should follow the instructions you get when you buy the toggle bolts. Since toggle bolts come in different sizes, the size of the hole you will need to drill will vary.

A good pack is this Swpeet Assorted 24 Pcs Toggle Bolt. It comes with 24 pieces and everything you need to hang things on your drywall using toggle bolts.

This video will help you understand the installation:

Can You Hang Heavy Things Like TVs and Mirrors?

That depends on how heavy it is. You can certainly hang mirrors on drywall without any problems. Just use the right type of anchor. For example, if you have a mirror that weighs around 40 pounds, you can use molly anchors or toggle bolts. On the other hand, if the mirror is on the heavier side, say 80 pounds, you will need metal toggle bolts.

You can also hang a TV on drywall. Most TVs these days are very light compared to how much TVs used to weigh. You can find TVs that weigh just a few pounds. Even a standard 32-inch TV can weigh just 30 pounds, which means you can easily hang it on drywall using toggle bolts. Just make sure you get a light TV.


So, there you have it. You can hang many things on drywall if you hang them right. Just make sure to use toggle bolts for heavier things and drive your screw into a stud if you are using a screw. Never drive a screw into hollow drywall as you will ruin your wall, and it won’t hold.

See also: Horizontal vs. Vertical Drywall: The Right Way to Hang It