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Old 09-07-2012, 12:11 PM   #1
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Anchoring in drywall/plaster walls


I am trying to install window blinds in this 1955 home and is having a real hard time.

The walls are made of double layer of sheet rock. However, around the window frame, where I have to attach the metal brackets for the blinds to slide into, I can't seem to find anything "solid".

Home is concrete block stucco exterior walls. So I was expecting to find either wood furring strips to screw into behind the sheetrock, and if not, worse case scenerio I will just use Tapcon screws and hit the concrete blocks behind the sheetrock.

However, I screwed FOUR inches from the bottom side of the top edge of the window frame, and hit NOTHING. After the bit went through the sheetrock, a lot of cement dust came falling out of the hole, and the 4" bit bottomed and was just hitting air. This makes no sense.

I drilled in several other spots, the same results.

So finally I decided to just enlarge one hole and see what's going on.

What I found is the "finished wall board" is composed of about an inch of brown stuff with wire lath embedded inside around the corners, and on top of that is a layer of 1/2" sheetrock. This brown coat is uneven in terms of thickness.

What is the best way to attach a window blind bracket to this thing? I am not sure anchors work because this layer seem a bit brittle. The window blinds will be pulled down every time someone wants to raise and lower it.

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Old 09-07-2012, 03:07 PM   #2
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Anchoring in drywall/plaster walls


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Originally Posted by miamicuse View Post
I am trying to install window blinds in this 1955 home and is having a real hard time.

The walls are made of double layer of sheet rock. However, around the window frame, where I have to attach the metal brackets for the blinds to slide into, I can't seem to find anything "solid".

Home is concrete block stucco exterior walls. So I was expecting to find either wood furring strips to screw into behind the sheetrock, and if not, worse case scenerio I will just use Tapcon screws and hit the concrete blocks behind the sheetrock.

However, I screwed FOUR inches from the bottom side of the top edge of the window frame, and hit NOTHING. After the bit went through the sheetrock, a lot of cement dust came falling out of the hole, and the 4" bit bottomed and was just hitting air. This makes no sense.

I drilled in several other spots, the same results.

So finally I decided to just enlarge one hole and see what's going on.

What I found is the "finished wall board" is composed of about an inch of brown stuff with wire lath embedded inside around the corners, and on top of that is a layer of 1/2" sheetrock. This brown coat is uneven in terms of thickness.

What is the best way to attach a window blind bracket to this thing? I am not sure anchors work because this layer seem a bit brittle. The window blinds will be pulled down every time someone wants to raise and lower it.


Do you think these would work??

http://www.lowes.com/pd_169762-2191-...ductId=1042133

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Old 09-07-2012, 03:30 PM   #3
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Anchoring in drywall/plaster walls


I have used these things over and over. Everything from hanging a heavy picture frame to mounting 4 bulb ceiling lights. Check 'em out. Easy as pie to install.
Just drill a 1/2 inch opening, push the toggle through the opening and then snug up the retaining thingy and break off the stems. Ready for a 1/4 20 bolt (included).

http://www.lowes.com/pd_118084-10337...RL=&facetInfo=
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:11 PM   #4
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Anchoring in drywall/plaster walls


Can you take the blinds in and have them trimmed to fit inside the opening rather than trying to hit something outside the frame? Your situation is weird. It almost sounds like someone drywalled over plaster walls but you should be hitting framing after exploring 4" deep?

My concern with a toggle is that if that back material is so fragile it will not have anything to grab from the backside but flexible wire mesh there for whatever purpose? That almost sounds like it could be the mesh for the exterior stucco but that cannot be can it? The place has dimensional walls?

Truth is and I cringe a bit saying this because I like knowing for sure screws are anchored somehow. If you can get two nice drywall anchors in for each bracket and the screws through the bracket and into them bite tightly? Short of yanking on the blinds to open and close, you will probably break the brackets before pulling them out of the wall?

If you could trim the blinds and mount inside the opening and have the same situation? You could put screws and anchors into two sides of the bracket and the drywall. Odds of them going anywhere then would be pretty slim?

Is this a religious home? Maybe there are no headers for the window openings and just angel wings?
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:32 PM   #5
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Anchoring in drywall/plaster walls


sdseter has the right idea....

Having gone through what you are going through several times....mounting the blinds inside the window opening is the way to go.....

And personally.....I think it looks a lot better.

Additionally....it also allows you to install curtains at a later time on the outside....

So....don't beat yourself up trying to install them on the outside....install inside the window frame. Lowes or HD can cut the blinds to the right width.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:45 PM   #6
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Anchoring in drywall/plaster walls


sdsester, I am installing on the inside of the window frame.

The window opening is 74", and has a vertical sash in the middle. Therefore I have two sets of 36" wide blinds.

I am trying to mount the brackets on the bottom side of the top edge of the window frame. Theoretically I could mount the left most and right most brackets to the vertical faces but I have to mount the middle two bottom up anyways. So in order to line space them out nicely I decided to mount all four bottom up.

Normally right above the window opening should be a tie concrete beam. But I am hitting air. I guess that beam is higher then 4" away. The wire mesh is pretty standard, most of my interior walls have embedded wire mesh in the inside and outside corners. The wall is a scratch brown coat, with wire mesh at joints, then a layer of gypsum board, then a very thin 1/8" of eggshell plaster on the finish.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:46 PM   #7
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Anchoring in drywall/plaster walls


MT Stringer, unfortunately I could not use these Toggler anchor.

The bracket has two mounting screw holes, and they are spaced 1.5" apart. If I drill two 1/2" holes 1-1/2" apart, chances are I would end up making a single big hole.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:54 PM   #8
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Anchoring in drywall/plaster walls


After messing with anchors and screws I finally gave up. These brackets have to be in a specific location and once you mess up a hole you don't really have the luxury of drilling somewhere else.

I end up looking for concrete on the two sides of the window frame instead of the top side. I drilled the left face and the right face of the window frame, and found concrete about 1-1/2" deep.

So I cut two short pieces of 1X wood, and mount them to the left and right faces of the window frame. I secured them with Tapcon screws to the concrete. Now I have two pieces of wood in the two upper corners. I then cut a piece of 1x4 the entire width of the window frame, mount it to the underside of the top edge of the window frame, by connecting it to the two pieces of wood in each corner.

Now I mount the four brackets on the underside of this 1X wood using regular drywall screws.

Once the blinds are installed, I can't see this strip of wood anyways.
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:32 PM   #9
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Anchoring in drywall/plaster walls


Well, dang. i mulled over this for hours, seeking a solution and then miami says, " All done. works fine, looks great." Still wondering about the bizarre void, sounds like typical metal lath and plaster, molly's or toggles should have worked. Whats the lath fastened to? My first thought when 4" didn't reach was that concrete eating great white shark had got up in there. "We're gonna need a bigger bit!"

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