DIY Shelves & Crumbling Walls

how to screw into crumbly walls
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If you’re ever putting up shelves using wall plugs and find you have crumbling brick walls it may seem like an impossible task. You may find even if you drill a neat hole very carefully just the right size for a wall plug, when you screw into the wall plug the plug spins in the hole and removes some or more of the brick around it!

A Good Solution 

We’ve found one of the best solutions is to use an epoxy putty to refill the hole. You can even enlarge the hole, make sure it’s as clean as possible, mix up the putty and force this into the hole. The putty tends to take under an hour to go rock solid so you can re-drill the hole, sand the outside face and decorate over it if it’s visible. You can get these from most DIY stores, we’ve used Diall epoxy putty from B&Q and also Hard & Fast Epoxy Putty by Evo-Stick from RS Components.

Update 2023 Spinning Wall Plugs on Plasterboard Walls

The method above is easy to apply on poor brick walls, although If you experience the same spinning wall plugs on a plasterboard there is a solution that can work for both wall types. You will need to increase the diameter of your wall plug, drill a larger hole and use an 8mm plastic wall plug or larger. The larger diameter wall plug has a larger surface area and so has a stronger grip when it has expanded. There are many on the market or available from Screwfix, but many DIY stores will do them or a similar universal wall plug that will stop the spinning.

If you are already using the larger diameter wall plugs we supply and it spins you can fix a loose wall plug by filling the gap around it. There are a few material you can use to pack it out like matches or plastic coated copper wire, but if required we use one or more cable ties. Slide them down the sides of the hole, hammer in your wall plug and then clip off the ends of the cable ties so the are flush with the wall.

Tip - Make sure you test the method works before drilling all your holes as once you've drilled a hole it's far harder to rectify. A loose fitting wall plug is almost as bad as having no wall plug.

Tip - Check that you are using the correct length and diameter screw for your plug if they don't come together. Both are important for Universal Plugs as they have to be the correct gauge to make the plug expand enough and also longer than the plug to pull it back into a knot.

DIY Wall Shelving

If you're looking for a modular shelving system and want to fit it yourself take a look at The ON&ON system. It's made to measure and designed to be installed by any competent DIYer, builder or handyman.


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