Asked on Jul 26, 2015

Screwing in hooks with drywall anchors but hit a stud

Holly R
by Holly R
I am trying to install these 3 cup hook screws but they came with drywall anchors to use if there wasn't a stud. I initially drilled a tiny (7/16ths I think) hole and the drill popped thru the sheet rock so I didn't think there was a stud there. So then I broke out the bigger (as recommended) 5/16 drill bit to drill for the plastic anchor. But it only got about halfway as far as needed when I HAVE hit a stud or a corner piece or something (this is next to a ceiling corner) and the drill won't go any deeper. However now the hole is too wide for the cup hook alone (and there's not a stud at that depth anyway) but not deep enough for the plastic drywall anchor. What should I do next? Patch and repain this hole and move the hook to a different location, or keep trying to drill deeper? I am trying to install a simple stuffed animal "hammock" in the corner above my daughter's bed. I thought this was going to be quick and easy... *sigh*
The drywall anchor can only go about half as deep as it needs to go. (Please ignore our paint mistakes!) :-)
  8 answers
  • Corinna Henderson Corinna Henderson on Jul 26, 2015
    The stud should end just a couple inches over. Would the hammock still work if you moved the drywall anchor over just enough to get past the stud? Or you could use a longer screw that will reach the stud and just skip the anchor.
  • Z Z on Jul 26, 2015
    @Holly R, I've never seen a stuff animal hammock hung that close to the ceiling, but if that's where you want it, then here's what I recommend. Hubby and I are avid DIYers so I do have quite a bit of experience in things like this. First I'd repair the wall, repaint and head to HoDe for a longer screw hooks that will extend through the drywall into the plate (outlined in red in my picture), which are the boards that set on the studs at the top of the wall. No matter how much to the left of right you go, you will hit the top plate. Your first attempt with the smaller bit may have hit between the two which is why you thought there wasn't any wood behind the wall there. Most inside corners will have studs at right angles (outlined in two shades of green in my picture) from each other as shown, so even moving down you'll still hit wood once through the drywall. I circled the inside corner studs at the bottom of the wall because it was easier to see since the temporary brace was in the way at the top of the corner. Studs typically are 16 inches on center apart, but when near a corner that can change as you'll see if you look on the right side of the door in my picture where there is considerable less because of an outside corner. I hope seeing inside the wall will help you.
  • Katrina Warren Katrina Warren on Jul 27, 2015
    @Holly R I would patch & repaint the hole in the wall, & use a ceiling hook for the center corner hook of your hammock. :)
  • JannG JannG on Jul 27, 2015
    I've had it happen when hanging curtain rods. Cut the anchor off a little past the collar, leave enough anchor to reach from the surface of the wall to the stud. Then when you screw the cup hook in the anchor collar holds the hook securely and you can screw past it into the stud. I have very heavy curtains and the rod it still holding great even after several years.
    • Z Z on Jul 27, 2015
      @JannG That would keep Holly from any repair work or having to buy anything extra to finish her job.
  • Van Randall Van Randall on Jul 27, 2015
    I agree with Jann only since you said the hook isn't long enough to reach the stud, I'd find a longer hook.
  • Dianne Dianne on Jul 27, 2015
    If you've hit a stud, just use a wood screw...
  • Roberta Roberta on Jul 27, 2015
    Remove the partially embedded anchor. Fix the hole with drywall patch. Just a little lower, make another hole, but do not use the anchor. Screw directly into the 2/4. It will be easier, if you use a smaller drill bit, to give you a pilot hole. I always use my smallest drill bit to make a pilot hole to "feel" what is behind the drywall, first. If I don't hit wood, I use the anchor. If I hit wood, there is no need for the anchor.
  • Alton Alton on Jul 27, 2015
    You can drill into the stud same size as anchor and still use the anchor .