Wall mounting mirror cabinet in new build bathroom

6 Nov 2016
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United Kingdom
Hello everyone,

I am trying to mount the pictured cabinet (11kgs) and have no idea which fixings to use. Also pictured is the opening to the white box to the left of the cabinet in the hope that this will give someone an idea of what kind of wall it is.

The cabinet it to be fixed basically where it is (though higher obviously). The wall is solid where I want to place screws and hollow in between, but looking at the inside of the box the studs appear to be metal. I'm a DIY novice (to put it kindly) and have had problems with metal behind the walls elsewhere in the flat.

Any help much appreciated it's been sitting there for months now.

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You have what is referred to as a metal lath stud wall and normally if you want to hang any sort of load off them (such as radiators) you'd install a timber (plywood, OSB) patress (flat "plate") between the vertical laths/studs before fixing the plasterboard to it, i.e. during thhe first fix phase of the build. The problem is, as you've discovered, that builders tend to be pretty mean about adding patresses other than where they absolutely can't avoid having them (such as behind said radiators - and they don't always remember there). If you can get a couple of fixings into the metal laths at each end, then great, but they are generally pretty difficult to fix into with wood screws (you normally screw into them with fine thread drywall screws - and they aren't actually all that strong). I suppose that the "proper" way to do this would be to cut out a section of PB, install a plywood or OSB patress between two laths and at least as deep as your cupboard and held in place with drywall screws, then replace the plasterboard and make good the damage - not a nice thing to do, but something I've resorted to on kitchen installs before now, especially if I knew that the kitchen was being redecorated afterwards. But in those cases I'm normally going across 3 or four laths/studs so I know that the load will be nicely spread across the wall. Maybe in this instance it would be possible to cut out a "letterbox" in the plasterboard above or below where the cupboard hangings need to be and pass down/up a patress to be fixed through the PB and laths and thus stiffen the PB, allowing you to fix the cupboard through it. The letterbox can then be repaired and filled. By not breaching the PB in front of the pattress it should be possible to transfer some of the load through the skin of the wall as well as through the patress.
Thanks for this mate, much appreciated. Cutting out bits of PB is definitely going to be a job way above my competence.

Pretty sure this is stated pretty clearly in your reply but just want to make sure. The metal studs are what's behind the solid bits of wall I'm knocking on aren't they? Will the fine thread dry wall screws you mention not be enough to hold an 11kg cabinet? Is there any other way of getting this up that doesn't involve cutting out PB?

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Thanks. So if there's metal drill through it so the PB fixing screw you sent a link for can go through it and bite to the metal? By hand tight you mean hand tighten the PB fixing (rather than use a setting tool)?

Apologies for these tittish questions mate.
Drywall screws are self-drilling in metal lath or timber stud, so there's no need to drill anything, just drive the screws in with a drill/driver at fairly high speed. With the right type of screws (fine thread as opposed to coarse thread - they are designed for timber studwork) you should be able to get a fix.
Sorry meant to ask as well can you give me a link to any of the fine thread screws you recommend just so have an idea of what to get. I'm minded to just get someone in I do it for me but might give it a go myself.

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