How Much Weight Can Drywall Hold? [Question Answered]

We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Drywalls are used frequently in households due to being cheap. But they’re quite weak. Because of that, it’s risky to hang something off drywall. That’s why you’ve to be really careful before you try to hang something. 

How much weight can drywall hold? 

Drywalls can hold up to 100 pounds if you use the right tools. They also have different weight capacities due to having various thicknesses. Shear and tension matter a lot when it comes to hanging things correctly. You’ll also find different kinds of fasteners to use on drywalls. All of this changes their weight holding capacity. 

Anyways, that was just a short answer to the entire discussion. We’ve discussed each of these matters in detail for better understanding. 

Read along to learn more about drywalls and their weight capacity!

Weight Capacity of the Drywall: 3 Important Factors

There are 3 important factors that matter in overall weight holding capacity. These are drywall thicknesses, correct shear/tension, and fasteners respectively.

All of them are crucial to avoid breaking the drywall. For example, it’s necessary to use good fasteners. But if the drywall is too thin, fasteners won’t be enough. 

Factor 1: Different Thicknesses of Drywalls

Different thicknesses can hold different amounts of weight. But it doesn’t matter whether you use nails or screws on drywall if it’s weak. It’s going to create a hole either way.

Let’s have a look!

¼ Inch or 6.35 mm Drywall

These are also mostly used to cover other surfaces like plaster or wood. These are the least durable and more prone to break. 

These can hold up to 1.2 pounds without any support.

⅜ Inch or 9.52 mm Drywall

These are slightly thicker than ¼ inches. These are mainly used in remodeling. They might be a bit more expensive but they’re more durable.

These drywalls can withstand up to 1.6 pounds of weight.  

½ Inch or 12.7 mm Drywall

These are the standard drywalls for houses. Walls in almost all households are known to be built with them. Because they’re actually more durable. As a result, they’ll have a longer shelf life than others. 

These drywalls hold up to 2 pounds of weight without any support.

⅝ Inch or 15.7 mm Drywall

These walls alone can withstand up to 2.5 pounds per sq. ft. These walls don’t sag and are also soundproof. 

These aren’t generally used in households because of being expensive. 

Some drywalls are also sold with unique properties such as fire and water resistance. For example, since drywalls get wet near your showers, you can use water-resistant drywall. 

Factor 2: Shear & Tension 

It’s not always about the thickness. You also have to hang the items properly. 

For example, a wall table can’t be hung like a picture. Because these two have different pull-weights. 

Shear 

Shear stress means the effect on fasteners and drywall caused by the downward force. Things like mirrors or paintings only have downward force.

The downward pull of the most lightweight objects is very low. Because of that, they can be hung with a nail or screw. This way, the wall can stay intact. 

Tension

Tension or tensile stress is a forward pull force. Heavy objects with a longer width create a forward pull. 

These objects can’t be hung on walls with small things such as nails. The drywall also has to be thick.  

Factor 3: Types of Fasteners

Fasteners can be attached to a supporter like a wall stud. Together, it can increase the weight holding capacity. 

There are a lot of fasteners available. They have different prerequisites and characteristics.  

To compare them properly, you’ve to know basic information about them. For example, you can’t compare shiplap with drywall without knowing both. 

To make it easy, we’ve made you a table- 

Fasteners Weight Holding CapacityAdvantageDisadvantage
Nails10 lbsCheap; Easy to useSuper weak
Self-drilling screws30 lbsNo drilling requiredLeaves a hole if pulled out
Plastic anchors20 lbsCheapRequires pre-drilled holes
Bolts50 to 70 lbsStrongest of allNeeds pre-drilling and a large hole
Adhesives50 lbsSmooth removalThings can fall 

These are all the options available for you. Note that these values are of a single unit on a ½ inch drywall. 

Let’s say, you want to hang something that is 100 lbs. To do that, you’ll need 4 self-drilling screws or two molly bolts. That’s 120 lbs and 140 lbs respectively.

That was only an overview. To help you further, we’ve elaborated on all of them. 

Nails & Screws 

Nails and screws are super common and mostly used out of all fasteners. They are also the easiest of all to work with. 

A common nail can only be used to hang the lightest objects. They have a 10-pound capacity on ½ inch drywalls. 

Nails are better shear strength but not enough grip strength. Because of that, they often pop out and ruin the wall. 

The screws or self-drilling screws are an alternative option to nails. These screws can carry up to 30 pounds of weight. 

But remember that, they must be drilled to a wall stud. This makes it a standard device to hang things. 

Speaking of screws, here are our top picks-

Self-drilling screw 1
Self-drilling screw/nail 

You can now choose any of them without having any worries! 

Plastic Anchors 

This option is an alternative to both nails and screws. These are sturdier than nails but weaker than screws. 

A standard plastic anchor can hold up to 20 pounds. They’re also super easy to install but require pre-drilling. This is a big disadvantage if you think about it. 

Because self-drilling screws can pull more weight, yet they don’t need predrilled holes. But it’s a great cheap option to consider. 

Bolts

There are mainly two types of bolts; molly and flip toggle. Between the two, flip toggle bolts are sturdier. Both of them require large pre-drilled holes. 

A standard flip toggle bolt can pull around 50 pounds of weight easily. But you need to drill a large hole to fit its head behind the wall. 

Molly bolts don’t need a large hole to be installed. But you still have to drill open a big enough hole to fit it. 

Both of them are great for hanging large mirrors, shelves, and TVs. But inserting these anchors into your wall can be a real challenge. 

Here are some of our best recommendations-

Flip toggle 1 
Molly 1 

Choose whichever you prefer more and it’ll get the job done! 

Adhesives

The final option is to use adhesives instead of anchors. These have been famous recently. 

Adhesives or sticky hangers are quite popular. Just put them wherever you want and it’ll become a hanger right away. These can hold up to 50 pounds too. 

But the adhesives tend to get weaker over time. There are chances that it may fall off at a later time. It’ll also create a hole in the process. 

If you’re still unsure about which to use, just hire some experts. They’ll inspect your drywall and will provide you with the best option right away. 

FAQs

Question: How much weight can drywall hold without anchors?

Answer: Without any anchors, drywall can easily crumble. The maximum amount you can hang from drywall is 5 to 10 pounds. Just stick a common nail and it’ll do the job just fine. 

Question: Is it safe to hang the TV on drywall?

Answer: Yes, it’s absolutely safe to hang the TV on drywall. But you’re going to need some sturdy anchors and wall studs. Heavy things like TV can’t be hung on drywall on their own. 

Question: Do you need a stud finder to hang pictures?

Answer: No, you don’t need them for hanging pictures. Because pictures are lightweight and drywalls can support that easily. Use a nail or screw to hang them. 

Wrapping Up

That was everything we could gather and explain how much weight drywall can hold. We hope we were able to answer your questions and satisfy your curiosity. 

Finally, best of luck and have a nice day!

Scott Kelly