How to anchor furniture to a wall (2023)

Like IKEAlast recallAs shown by 29 million Malms and other dressers and drawers, securing large pieces of furniture against tipping is a must in every household (especially one with small children). Thiscruel videoby the US Consumer Product Safety Commission demonstrates just how catastrophic the consequences of a piece of furniture tipping over can be. The Tests for the ASTM Voluntary Standards for Furniture1are based on the pull force of a 50 pound weight, accordinglyfurniture today– If you know what a curious child is capable of, it just doesn't cover all situations. It is not surprising that theCPSC Brochureon parental controls says: “No device is completely childproof; Determined youth have been known to overcome or disable them.

With this in mind, we think it's essential to add anti-tipping mechanisms for totally or potentially unstable pieces of furniture, as well as freestanding flat screen TVs, to ensure you get the best possible protection. Some furniture comes with anti-tip hardware, which is a start, but such items aren't always of the best quality. We've found several products that are well made, durable, and easy to install, often costing under $10, which is minimal cost to upgrade, especially considering what's at stake.

To be clear, we are making these recommendations in response to several tragic accidents. We hope readers will understand that we are not trying to take advantage of family losses. The following products have been used by us as parents who are also Wirecutter writers and editors, and we share our experience of using them as well as some installation tips in the hope that we can help keep more families safe.

The best mounting hardware we've found

Hangman TK-400 Anti-Kipp-Kit

A reliable furniture anchor

Strong metal hardware and a flexible, easy-to-install design make this a solid option for anchoring furniture at risk of tipping at home.

purchase options

$10* from Amazon

*Price at time of publication was $7.

ThatHangman TK-400 Anti-Kipp-Kitconsists of a length of steel cable and a clevis pin at each end. According to Hangman, the kit can support up to 400 pounds when properly installed. Cotter pins hold the assembly together. Even if a toddler gets their hands on the connection points, it is extremely unlikely that the child could take them apart. The TK-400 comes with all the necessary mounting hardware and we like that the connecting cable is metal rather than plastic like many products, yet flexible enough to make the kit easy to install. This kit is recommended by Wirecutter Senior Editor Dan Frakes, who lives in the earthquake-prone San Francisco Bay Area and has used it on a number of items around his home.

(Video) Secure It! Wall Attachment Video

Quakehold 2830 7" Steel Furniture Cord

A really robust system

The steel brackets and cable give you ample, sturdy protection, but the compact design doesn't make it easy to install in tight spaces.

purchase options

$4* from Amazon

*Price at time of publication was $6.

Quakehold is another company that makes highly regarded anti-tip products. ThatQuakehold 2830 7" Steel Furniture Cordworks by overlapping two brackets (one on the wall, one on the furniture) and attaching them with a straight through cable. They secure the cable with two screw-on end caps instead of cotter pins, but the hardware is still difficult for a kid to remove. Dan also recommends this one: Its thicker cable feels sturdier than the Hangman's — the company claims it can withstand 1,000 pounds of force — and the included screws are thicker and longer. However, that thick cable and overall design gives you less wiggle room for installation, as the two mounts need to be fairly close together for the cable to fit through both. Overall, both the Hangman and Quakehold furniture mounts meet what we consider essential for these products, namely all-metal construction, no need for regular tightening or maintenance, and the inclusion of all necessary mounting hardware.

Quakehold 4520 Universal Flat Screen Seat Belts

A strong TV mount

For freestanding flat screen TVs, this strap and glue system adapts to many different TV and furniture configurations.

purchase options

$19* from Amazon

$25 from Home Depot

*Price at time of publication was $25.

(Video) How to anchor furniture to wall

Something else you need for a freestanding flat screen TV that isn't mounted on a wall or secured stand.Quakeholds 4520 universal flat panel seat beltshave very high customer feedback on Amazon. Dan has used these straps for some TVs and large computer screens in his house. Each of the two adjustable straps has a large adhesive pad that attaches to the back of the TV or display; At the other end, attach a metal plate to your wall or furniture with screws or a similar adhesive pad.

Sanus Systems ELM701B1 anti-tipping strap for flat screen TV or furniture

For TVs with VESA mount

Three contact points for mounting to the TV, furniture and wall, with convenient contact points that anchor to your TV's existing VESA mounting holes.

purchase options

$15* from Amazon

*Price at time of publication was $10.

(Video) How to attach Ikea wardrobe to the wall

Wirecutter Audio/Visual Editor Chris Heinonen anchors his freestanding TVs to theAnti-tip belt from Sanus Systems. Three points of contact on this product mount to the TV, the furniture it sits on and the wall. Chris and Dan both appreciate a special detail that makes installation easier and safer: the part screws into the existing VESA mounting holes on your TV, so you don't have to deal with sticky glue.

Less reliable methods

You will come across a number of other methods to attach a piece of furniture. We wanted to address those here and take an honest look at all the pros and cons that we were able to find through our research and experience. CorrespondingColorado child safety, for example a simple oneL bracketwill do the trick. But these are generic pieces of hardware that don't come with properly sized screws. They are also only suitable for furniture with an open backrest.

Harry Sawyers, senior editor at Wirecutter, used a product similar to our furniture strap picks.Safety 1st furniture wall straps, which you can probably find on the shelves at Babies R Us, Buy Buy Baby and elsewhere. They're easy to install and work well enough, but the mounting plates that connect to the furniture and wall are both plastic. Compared to Hangman and Quakehold gear, Harry said this product isn't as robust. "I should upgrade," he remarked.

We also advise caution with any cable tie system. While many appear to be effective (thisprofessional child safetyused), some are little more than cheap electrician's zip ties with a small clip on each end. As Colorado Childproofers writes, "The breaking strength of the cable tie can only be about 50 pounds -- a 50-pound child with a drawer pulled out about 2 feet exerts a 100-pound force on the strap." Our staff have seen that cable ties are among the assembly parts that come with some furniture; If you're buying new furniture and find it's included, we recommend upgrading.

Colorado Childproofers also notes that restraint systems that use plastic straps may need periodic tightening or replacement: "This is most likely due to the fact that strong nylon becomes brittle over time, particularly in warm, dry, or ozone-rich areas." We believe that the restraint should start safely and stay that way without adjustment.

How to fix anchors in general

Whichever system you use, it's important to know what you're screwing, both on the furniture side and the wall side. Many prefabricated pieces of furniture have flimsy backs that are only held in place with a handful of staples that can rip out if the piece starts to tip over. As you may have noticed on the Hangman TK-400 product page, the clip attaches to the thicker top rather than the back of the furniture. Always look for a solid wood section of the furniture—either along the top, sides, or on a shelf or drawer divider—and mark that as your mounting point. And if the furniture is made of chipboard, then install the screw above the pressed layers, not in line with them.

On the wall side, it's important to countersink your screws into a stud (the vertical frame members). These are typically 16 inches apart in most homes, and you can find them with a reliable stud finder (we have more thoughts on stud findershere).

For the brackets on both the furniture side and the wall side, you need to use proper basic drilling and driving techniques to ensure a solid connection for the hardware. Drilling a pilot hole allows for much better accuracy for screw placement and makes screw installation easier. A good rule of thumb for the right drill size is to choose a drill that matches the width of the screwminus the threads(Most installation instructions specify a bit size). If you're drilling into the back of a piece of furniture and worried it will come out the other side, wrap a piece of blue tape around the drill bit at the correct depth so you know when to stop drilling. If your anti-tipper kit of choice does not come with hardware and you are purchasing your own screws, obtain screws with at least 1 inch "grip" on the stud. For a typical wall made of ½" drywall, this means at least a 1⅝" screw. In addition, a coarse thread screw has a better grip than a fine thread screw.


1.than thisconsumer reportsarticle explains, the IKEA dressers did not meet these standards.Jump back.

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    (Video) How to anchor furniture to the wall without screws
(Video) How to Tie a Bookcase to a Wall


How do you anchor furniture to wall with screws? ›

Steps to anchor furniture to the wall

Use a stud finder to find a stud behind your piece of furniture. Pre-drill holes smaller than your screws into the stud. If there's no stud, insert a heavy duty drywall anchor. Screw one end of the furniture hardware into those holes.

Do you have to anchor furniture to the wall? ›

In the meantime, anchors remain consumers' most reliable defense against furniture tip-overs. Whether you've just bought a new dresser or you're using one you've had for years, it needs to be secured to the wall.

How many anchors do I need for furniture? ›

Use two for each piece of furniture

Plan on using at least two (2) restraints per piece of furniture. Wide pieces of furniture might need additional restraints. For stacked pieces of furniture, anchor the top piece (e.g., hutch, additional bookcase, etc.) to the base and then anchor to the wall.

How do you stabilize furniture on the wall? ›

Furniture restraints, also called anchoring kits, are typically comprised of two brackets tethered by a strap or cable. One bracket screws directly into the piece of furniture; the other fastens into a stud in the wall. The connecting strap or cable is typically affixed to each bracket, then tightened in place.

What can I use if I don't have wall anchors? ›

So you've got something heavy, but you don't have any wall anchors. No problem! The best way to hang things without a wall anchor is by securing the item to a stud. This can be as simple as driving a screw straight into the drywall and then into the stud, or a piece of wood can be mounted to span multiple studs.

How much weight can you hang without an anchor? ›

Fifteen to twenty pounds is probably the maximum amount, no matter the type of hardware used. This isn't because of the hardware or the wall, but due to gravity. This weight limit is equal to a small ceiling fan, hanging a plant, or heavier ceiling fan unless blocking is used.

What percentage of Americans do not anchor their furniture? ›

Physics is what causes furniture to tip, and using physics, engineers can design instability out of furniture. Even anchoring furniture to the wall is not fail-safe. Anchors must be properly installed to be effective, and a Consumer Reports survey found only 27% of Americans anchor their furniture.

How do you stabilize furniture without drilling? ›

Velcro Strips

Some kits include Velcro strips for furniture, or you can use Velcro strips from your local hardware store. Velcro strips make an excellent no-screw option if you plan on moving furniture later on. Unlike glue or tape, Velcro can be somewhat easier to work with when moving furniture around.

How do you anchor furniture without damaging the wall? ›

Anti-tip kits can help tether furniture to the wall using adhesives, small hooks, or pins that connect to the wall or stud. Additionally, you can try your luck mounting brackets or L-hooks to secure furniture with cable, cords, or ties using a heavy-duty construction adhesive.

What is the best way to anchor into brick? ›

Self-tapping brick anchors, concrete block or concrete screws are used for fastening items to brick. Concrete screws are most commonly called Tapcon® masonry screws. The heavy-duty masonry screw has the versatility for use in brick, mortar joints, CMU, block or solid concrete.

What are the best furniture anchors? ›

The 3 Best Furniture Anchors
  1. The Overall Best Furniture Anchors. Hangman Anti-Tip Kit (Pack of 2) Amazon. $15. ...
  2. The Best Anchors For Extra-Heavy Furniture. Quakehold! Heavy Duty Steel Furniture Cable (Pack of 2) Amazon. ...
  3. The Best Anchors For Securing TVs. Safety 1st TV & Furniture Safety Straps (Pack of 2) Amazon. $9.
27 Mar 2021

Do furniture anchors need to be in studs? ›

The good news is that it's not important to locate studs to secure the furniture. The brackets can be attached to the wall by using one of a number of wall anchors.

Is a 10 lb anchor enough? ›

- 10 lb anchor - for boats up to 19' in winds up to 30 mph. It's a step up in size & weight, with a longer handle for penetrating hard bottoms. Generally boats in this size range have the smallest storage compartments in the bow, so storing it in a different compartment might be necessary.

How do you hold furniture in place? ›

Probably the cheapest option, rubber pads can be used to keep chairs, sofas, and other pieces of furniture from sliding. Simply purchase a set of rubber pads from a home improvement store, such as Lowe's or Home Depot, and place them under the legs of your furniture.

How do I stop my couch from bumping on the wall? ›

Longer stop blocks can be used for sofas; just install a long board between the rear legs that's wide enough to nestle against the wall. Stop blocks can also be made of wood strips notched at one end to accommodate the chair legs' profile and long enough to meet the baseboard.

How do I keep my furniture stable? ›

You can keep furniture from sliding on your floors by using floor protectors such as an area rug, furniture grippers, furniture pads, slip pads, wooden blocks, or felt pads.

Can I screw without anchor? ›

Drywall anchors aren't required for all wall-based fastening applications. If there's a stud directly behind the wall, for instance, you probably won't need to use them. Studs offer support for screws as well as the objects with which they are used.

How do you hang something heavy on a wall without screws? ›

How To Hang Heavy Frames Without Destroying the Walls
  1. Adhesive Strips: Adhesive strips aren't only for lightweight projects. ...
  2. Press-in Hooks: Press-in hooks are a fast and easy way to hang very heavy objects with little damage to the wall. ...
  3. Drywall Anchor Studs: These are the traditional ways of hanging heavy frames.
7 Sept 2018

How do you anchor something without a stud? ›

Use a toggle bolt or anchor to hang the piece on areas with no studs, This Old House says. The weight of the piece , and the thickness of the wall, will dictate the toggle size. The typical metal toggle bolt can hold 25 to 50 pounds on plaster, according This Old House. A plastic one can hold 10 to 25 pounds.

What's the heaviest thing you can hang on a wall? ›

If the item you're hanging is very heavy, a molly bolt is your best bet. Mollys are made of metal, and the largest ones can hold up to 50 pounds. They also allow you to remove the screw from the wall, as needed, while leaving only the small anchor exposed, but flush with your wall.

How heavy is too heavy to hang without a stud? ›

If you want to hang anything heavier than 15 pounds on your ceiling, you'll need to attach it to a ceiling joist that's been properly reinforced.

Can you hang 100 pounds on drywall? ›

Toggle bolts are the types of drywall anchors that can support up to 50 pounds, while steel hollow-wall anchors have a drywall anchors weight limit of up to 100 pounds.

When setting the anchor you should never? ›

Important. You should never anchor in, or otherwise obstruct passage through, channels or areas such as launching ramps or any other high-traffic areas.

What side should you never put an anchor? ›

This edge is the stern. You should never drop your anchor from the stern of your boat. The stern, as you may already know, is the back of the boat.

How many people are killed by furniture each year? ›

Furniture tip-overs decline but still injure thousands in the U.S. each year : NPR. Furniture tip-overs decline but still injure thousands in the U.S. each year The Consumer Product Safety Commission also found that there have been 581 tip-over fatalities in the U.S. since 2000. Four in five of the deaths were children ...

How can I be secure without drilling? ›

If you want to avoid using screws or drilling a hole in the wall to secure the furniture, you can try using glue. To apply glue, make sure that the wall's surface is clean and your mounting furniture is on the level. You can take the necessary measurements and make light marks on the wall.

Can you use Command strips to anchor furniture? ›

Suzy screwed up from the bottom of the original metal shelves through the wood, but if you don't have a drill, Command strips are perfect for keeping wood additions in place!

How do you stop furniture from tipping? ›

Prevention Tips

Purchase furniture with wide legs or solid bases. Install drawer stops on all drawers to prevent them from being pulled out more than two-thirds of the way. Place heavy items close to the floor on shelves. Strap furniture to the wall with safety straps or L-brackets.

What is the best anchor to use in a brick wall? ›

Sleeve anchors are versatile and can be used in solid brick, brick with holes or the mortar joint. Sleeve anchors provide the widest variety of head styles and they come in round slotted head, flat Phillips countersunk, acorn head or the standard hex nut.

Is it better to anchor into brick or mortar? ›

Brick often holds more weight and provides better support compared to mortar. However, if you're working with aged and fragile brick, it may not be the best option for deep holes, heavy objects or expansion-style anchors. Deeper holes and expansion anchors can weaken an already feeble brick.

Can you put screws straight into brick? ›

If you're a DIYer novice, you need to know you can't screw directly into brick. You need to drill a hole, insert a rawl plug – a type of fixing which will hold your screw in place – and then screw into this. This process is much easier in a brick wall than plasterboard, which may require more specialist fixings.

What are the 3 types of anchors? ›

Modern anchor designs that are extremely stable and able to easily grip on to surfaces are generally derived from three standard designs that have been used from the 10th century onwards. These are the – Fluked, Admiralty and Stockless anchor designs that are often still in use for small crafts and lightweight boats.

Is it better to use anchors or studs? ›

But which is better for supporting the weight, a drywall anchor or a stud? A stud is always going to be the more secure way to hang something heavy when compared to a drywall anchor. However, wall anchors are great options when needing to hang objects where studs are not available.

Do anchors go into studs or drywall? ›

Whether they be floating shelves or shelves with brackets—always, always use drywall anchors to mount them (if you're not screwing them into studs, that is).

Can you have too big an anchor? ›

If you choose to use a new generation anchor that is too big for your boat you are diminishing the ability of your anchor to dive deep enough to hold your boat the way it was designed. A bigger anchor will develop no more hold than a smaller one if not buried properly.

Is a heavier anchor better? ›

Generally, the bigger the anchor, the better, but the anchor's holding power in the bottom, rather than its weight, is what really matters. Always keep your ground tackle (the anchor and its rode, or line) ready to deploy at a moment's notice.

How do you know how heavy your anchor should be? ›

Holding power is formulated based on environmental factors, like wind speed. As a general rule, a holding power of 90 pounds is sufficient for safely anchoring a 20' boat in winds up to 20 mph. For the same wind speed a holding power of 125 pounds is adequate for a 25' boat.

Can you screw screws directly into wall? ›

You may have to drill pilot holes beforehand. Regardless, when using screws to secure an object to a wall, you'll probably drive them directly into the wall itself. There are instances, however, in which you may want to use drywall anchors. With drywall anchors, you won't insert the screws directly into the wall.

Do furniture anchors need to go into studs? ›

Wall anchors do not need studs. In fact, they are designed to be used where the wall is hollow, and will not work properly if installed in the same location as a stud. But there are a few more things you should know about how your wall anchor works before you install, so keep reading!

How do you secure a heavy object to the wall? ›

Use a wall anchor to hang your picture or mirror on a brick wall. recommends a polyethylene expansion anchor. To install, use a masonry drill bit to drill a hole into the mortar where you want a hook to go. Then insert the anchor into the hole and screw the hook into the anchor.

How heavy can you hang without a stud? ›

Fifteen to twenty pounds is probably the maximum amount, no matter the type of hardware used. This isn't because of the hardware or the wall, but due to gravity. This weight limit is equal to a small ceiling fan, hanging a plant, or heavier ceiling fan unless blocking is used.

Why won't screws go all the way into wall? ›

The most common reason a drill won't penetrate a wall at all is because the drill is spinning in the wrong direction. If the drill bit enters the wall and then hits resistance, the typical cause is a metal plate or masonry obstruction.

How deep should screws go into wall? ›

The general rule of thumb is that the screw should enter at least half the thickness of the bottom material, e.g. 3/4″ into a 2 x 4. The other factor is the screw's diameter, or gauge. Screws come in gauges 2 through 16.

What can I use instead of wall anchors? ›

The best way to hang things without a wall anchor is by securing the item to a stud. This can be as simple as driving a screw straight into the drywall and then into the stud, or a piece of wood can be mounted to span multiple studs.

How much weight can drywall anchors hold without stud? ›

TV mounts: It is possible to mount a bracket holding a 30-pound TV on drywall without drilling the bracket into a stud. Toggle bolts are the types of drywall anchors that can support up to 50 pounds, while steel hollow-wall anchors have a drywall anchors weight limit of up to 100 pounds.

Where should avoid anchors? ›

Important. You should never anchor in, or otherwise obstruct passage through, channels or areas such as launching ramps or any other high-traffic areas.


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