How to Install a Wall Mount on a Lath & Plaster Wall

Written by debbie tolle
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How to Install a Wall Mount on a Lath & Plaster Wall
Working with plaster walls (plaster wall image by Charles Taylor from

Installing a wall-mounted unit of any type on plastered walls is different than installing a wall mount on drywall. If you do not use the appropriate anchors, your plaster will crack, and your unit will come loose or fall. This is particularly true if you cannot locate a stud in the area where you want to hang your item. You can purchase anchors designed to hold any item on plastered walls. One of the sturdiest anchors designed to hold items on your lath and plaster walls is the molly bolt.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Weight rated molly bolts
  • Hammer

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  1. 1

    Choose the location where you want your wall mount to hang. Measure the distance on the back of your item between anchors. You may have instructions with your wall-mounted item that will indicate how far your anchors need to be apart.

  2. 2

    Measure from your floor up to the height that you want your unit. Place a pencil mark on your wall for your first anchor.

  3. 3

    Measure across your wall from your first pencil mark to the distance that your second anchor is to be and make a second pencil mark. Check the height of your second pencil mark to ascertain that it is the same height as your first pencil mark. Place your level across both pencil marks to ensure they're even.

  4. 4

    Choose the appropriate size drill bit for the size of your molly bolt. Your package of molly bolts will indicate the size drill bit you need to use to pre-drill the holes for your bolts.

  5. 5

    Drill a hole through each pencil mark and insert a molly bolt into each hole. Lightly tap the end of your bolts with your hammer so that the bolt heads are flush with your wall.

  6. 6

    Slightly tighten the screws on your molly bolts with your drill. This will complete the anchoring process. Remove the screw from the centre of each molly bolt.

  7. 7

    Place your item in position and reinsert the screws through your wall-mounted item and the molly bolts.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are hanging a picture, leave the screw heads on your molly bolts slightly sticking out, so that your picture anchors or wires can hang on the screws.
  • You can also use toggle bolts for anchors with plaster and lath walls.

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