new DIYer - fixing a bathroom cabinet on tiles?

14 Oct 2013
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United Kingdom
Hi all,
firstly want to say it's been a real help so far reading this forum, and I hope this is an appropriate area to post this in (it did not appear to fit any of the specific topics).

I have recently brought my first property, which has given me my first chance to sort things out myself. Like many it would seem, my first real hurdle to cross is putting up an Ikea bathroom cabinet...
I've spent some hours reading up on this (it seems to be a common dilemma to new DIYers!) however still have some questions.

I have two identical cabinets I want to put up, they have a fixture for a screw in each top corner. The house is a new build in the UK which I have just recently moved in to. I'd say it's a fairly average sized cabinet and weights 12kg unloaded.

1) The downstairs cabinet is to go on a plasterboard wall which appears to have studs behind it (according to my Stanley stud/pipe finder - although the results from this seem somewhat eratic!!). Would I be correct in saying that if a stud lines up with the fixture I can drill through the plasterboard and use a regular wood screw, and if not then I could use a hollow wall anchor such as:


I am hoping I have at least got this one right!!

2) Upstairs it gets more complicated. The bathroom here is totally tiled. Depending on where I put it, the cabinet will either be on an internal wall or the wall shared with my neighbour. My Stanley detector does not work through tiles so I cannot try to locate studs here. Using it on the other side of the internal wall this does appear to be a stud wall, however I have no idea about the shared wall other than I guess it would be some sort of load bearing wall?

What sort of fixture should I be looking at to get through the tiles, especially as I cannot tell if there will be a stud behind?
Some options I have thought of:

*) The hollow wall anchors mentioned above would not work directly on the tile (due to the 'grabby' bit on the base that needs to stick in the plasterboard to stop it rotating), however I could try to remove a tile/drill a big hole so the fixture would in effect be directly to the plasterboard. If I was by chance to drill into a stud then I could just use a woodscrew. I don't like this option as I want to do as little lasting damage as possible!

*) In this thread (// 2 people suggest simply using a regular wall plug - although other pages I've read seem to suggest this is not sufficient any weight. Does the fact that it's tiled give it more support? I obviously don't want the cabinet falling down on anyone in future!
I've noted suggestions from somewhere else that when using wall plugs in tiles they should be pushed through the tile to avoid the risk of cracking the tile when inserting a screw and will keep this in mind.

If a simple wall plug will do the job then this could also apply to the downstairs cabinet.

Many thanks for any help and advice!!

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James, unless your cabinet is the same size / weight as my booze dresser :p you'll find that a conventional wall plug and screw will work perfectly well on tiles.
The secret is to drill the exact size hole....if you are heading for a 6mm then maybe start at 4mm and then go for 6.
Don't use the hammer action to break through the tile glaze, and the slower the drill speed the better.
Mark out accurately and use masking tape to help the drill get a start - it will give a slight indentation.
A correct size screw will help the plug expand to maximum effect.
John :)
Where there are tiles, buy a set of tile bits. Using normal drill bits can easily crack tiles. Tile bits are aso very very fast through most tiles.

I would then use a normal rawl plug, but push t in, insert a screw and tap until the plug is just behind the tile, but not through the plasterboard behind! If you don't do this bit, when the plug expands with the screw going into it, you may split the tile.
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You don't need any special bit, masonary bits are fine, rarely crack tiles, never cracked one yet in 30years.
Don't tap wall plug thru tile as it renders it useless it will simply fall thru and loose all intergrity, just leave flush with tile.
You don't need any special bit, masonary bits are fine, rarely crack tiles, never cracked one yet in 30years.
Don't tap wall plug thru tile as it renders it useless it will simply fall thru and loose all intergrity, just leave flush with tile.

Well we clearly completely disagree! We must have had different experiences I suppose......
cheers for the tips fellas :)

I have some glass/tile bits already so will use them to be on the safe side!

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