A Revolution in Load-bearing Cavity Fixings

No more hassle and expense with compromised, tricky products, with moving parts.

There have been a number of attempts over the years to solve the enduring plasterboard fixing problem – some more successful than others.

Finally a next generation plasterboard fixing with all the advantages and none of the drawbacks. Drill. Grapple. Fix.

  • Next Generation LOAD-BEARING Cavity Fixings
  • M4, M5, or M6 reusable bolts - no fiddly screws
  • Grapplefix screws into the BACK of the plasterboard and is therefore Universal
  • All plasterboard types & thicknesses, including double thickness boards – it doesn't matter!
  • Integrated boss screws into the back of the board so no toggles or front retaining flanges are needed
  • Oversized 16 mm boss so won't tear through under shear loads in walls
  • Fixed Back-Plate - safe for ceilings
  • Designed for HEAVY LOADS
  • Installed in seconds
  • Design prevents spinning – no anti-spinning lugs required
  • All-in-one design. No Moving Parts. No Adjustments
  • No other Tools required and no Cutting Down required
  • No protruding front flange therefore easy to cover. Fixtures finish flush with plasterboard – no gaps!
  • Preserves Vapour Barrier. Solid circular boss helps to seal off hole
  • Reusable and Recyclable "metal replacement" polymers
  • 10 year guarantee against creep

Simpler, Faster, Stronger

The ALL-IN-ONE solution from Grapplefix represents a significant breakthrough in heavy duty plasterboard fixings. They are designed to be simpler (no moving parts to adjust), quicker to install and stronger than the current leading designs. They sit on the back of the board, not on the fragile front render and therefore don’t require a front retaining flange to prevent loss into the cavity (bolts can also be removed without losing the fixing). This is a big deal as the front flange protrudes and prevents items from being attached directly to the plasterboard – there’s usually a gap preventing structural lamination with the board that’s important for TV plates etc. Also, if the small flange sinks into the cardboard surface it may become loose over time.

The fixed back plate is safe for ceilings and the 16 mm ‘over-sized’ circular boss prevents ‘tear through’ in walls due to a large surface area within the hole. However, because the boss is integrated, there is no need for a toggle or front retaining flange and this combination is what makes Grapplefix uniquely strong in both lateral (ceilings) and shear planes (walls). The fixing simply screws (self-taps) into the rear of the plasterboard and is retained by the back plate itself.

It locks into place and is prevented from any further rotation or spinning – a common nuisance with traditional spring toggles that also wander in the hole; the hole required to pass the toggle is always greater than the diameter of the bolt.

Grapplefix is designed as if access into the wall cavity and the BACK of the plasterboard is unhindered – the challenging cavity access problem was solved separately so as not to compromise the optimal design for plasterboard!

Beats out the competition

The current leading products insert from the front. This means:

  1. They usually have a separate front boss, which sits on the unstable front render (usually 3 mm thickness) – not a good idea
  2. Their diameter is too small and they simply tear through the board under heavy load – this applies to even so-called "heavy duty" fixings where their diameter is 10 mm or less
  3. The boss requires a front retaining flange to prevent it from being pushed too deep (or lost) into the cavity – this prevents anything being fixed flush to the board, which is a major drawback
  4. They have a depth limit
  5. The surface area of the fixing sitting behind the plasterboard is often very small (depending on the type of fixing it may not be a fixed back-plate) - less than adequate for more critical ceiling applications
  1. Critical installations cannot be guaranteed because the inside of the cavity is not visible - full deployment of moving parts cannot be 100% verified, which is a limiting factor for ceiling applications.

Designed Without Compromise

  1. The all-in-one cost effective design exploits geometry to insert fully through the board and can be installed in seconds with no tools – apart from the reusable Grapple Key supplied
  2. No fiddly screws – just reusable M4, M5, or M6 bolts – easier to take down as well as put up
  3. Integrated boss – no toggles or front retaining flanges. A detachable Grapple Key (a simple tool that can be used hundreds of times) allows the Grapplefix to pass through the board and then for the central circular boss to be screwed securely into the back of the board. The back plate rotates in a clockwise direction until it “locks” against the rear face of the plasterboard. Grapplefix does not rely on a friction fit or anti-spinning lugs. Due to the clockwise thread, once it is screwed and locked into position, it is automatically prevented from spinning caused by inserting the central bolt or screw. The whole operation takes seconds
  4. The integrated boss sits in the back of the board, not on the fragile render. That's a first!
  5. Universal fixing – all plasterboard thicknesses, including double thickness boards – it doesn't matter!

Grapplefix Has Arrived – A Quick Fix

There are 3 sizes of the fixing M4, M5 and M6:

The fixing uses a 16 mm hole (we recommend using a flat or “spade” shaped drill bit or hole saw). This is an optimum size for the reasons given below:

  1. Smaller holes e.g. 10 mm still show a tendency to tear (in shear) through the board under high loads
  2. A 16 mm hole has just over two-thirds of the surface area of a 20 mm hole, so it weakens the board far less
  3. A 16 mm hole can be easily covered by smaller fixings such as curtain rail brackets – anything larger becomes problematic when fixing smaller brackets, especially when they protrude. Front flanges typically add an extra 5 mm to the diameter of the hole to be covered so a 16 mm fixing would normally require 21 mm of coverage

Coming Soon...

A larger fixing using a 20 mm hole. This is an optimum size for a larger fixing using our design:

  1. The larger surface area of the underside of the drilled hole gives rise to increased load bearing capabilities (in shear)
  2. The larger hole allows a larger back plate and the use M8 or M10 bolts

List of Applications Suitable for Each Size of Fixing

M6 Fixing

Large Pictures, Wall hangings
Shelving (large and small)
Ceiling extractor fans
Towel rails
Boilers, Water Heaters
Kitchen Cupboards
Cooker Hoods
Air Conditioners
Light Fittings
Ceiling Fans

Television Brackets (VESA)
Grab rails for the disabled
Industrial applications such as cable trays

M4 and M5 Fixings

Curtain rails (light and heavy)
Venetian and Roman Binds
Wall hangings, Pictures
Bathroom fixtures and fittings
Thermostats, Boiler Timers
Wall Lights
Kitchen utensils
Smaller brackets

A note on Captive Toggle fixings:

There is one group of fixings that also employs a back plate fed through the plasterboard hole. These have been around for a while and utilise some form of toggle (usually a nylon string or strap) to hold the back plate in place while a front facing boss, retained by the toggle or toggles (sometimes there are two, one either side of the boss) is slid into position into the front of the plasterboard. Like Grapplefix, these fixings have some advantages as the back plate has a substantial surface area.

The front facing (detached) boss requires a front retaining flange to prevent over-insertion into the plasterboard hole. This type of fixing therefore exhibits most of the drawbacks of other front facing fixings (albeit with a superior back plate), which sit on the unstable render and do not allow attached items to sit flush against the plasterboard. Grapplefix has replaced the requirement for a toggle, by using an integrated boss that can be screwed directly into the rear face of the plasterboard!

A note on Dot & Dab plasterboard walls:

We recommend that you use the supporting wall behind the plasterboard. It's the most obvious, cheapest and strongest solution. There are frame products designed just for this purpose.

A note on polymers and FEA Testing:

The Grapplefix design has been subjected to a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) study to ascertain loading capabilities (including thread stripping) in different planes (representing wall and ceiling applications) analysing the relative performance data of shortlisted structural "metal replacement" polymers.

The Glass Filled polymers we have chosen have outstanding tensile properties and importantly, protect against creep over time under static loads.

Grapplefix passed certified FEA testing at a loading of 150 Kg (this was set as the initial boundary condition) for all applications, including the ceiling application. The 150 Kg loading parameter fell within the calculated "safe" tensile modulus, which also takes into account factors such as moisture, test uncertainty and material processing e.g. fibre orientation. These factors, when taken as a whole effectively halve the "break point" tensile modulus. In other words the "safe" modulus is approximately half the value of the "break point" modulus. The fixing also passed for creep with minor permanent displacements and with permanent displacements after 11 years (100,000 hours) of continuous application of the static load well below 1mm.

It should be noted that load ratings for plasterboard fixings can be highly misleading as there are many site specific variables that determine actual performance in situ. For example, the type of bracket being used (on the front of the plasterboard) will determine overall performance as will the thickness of the plasterboard.

Supported by
Oxford University

Grapplefix Limited is supported by Oxford University Innovation Limited, which is wholly owned by Oxford University.

The University's innovation strategy states "We aim to be a world-leader in research-led innovation and enterprise creation through collaboration with external organisations"

We are here to help with any questions you may have about our products or queries regarding this website. We can be contacted by email or phone. Please note you cannot purchase products directly from us either over the phone or via this website.

Email: enquiries@grapplefix.com

Phone: 0203 409 9000 or 0333 123 0450 (Free from mobiles)

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm

Registered Address:

Harwood House
43 Harwood Road

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