Installation - Drill, Grapple, Fix

This guide is intended to give an overview of how to correctly install a Grapplefix into plasterboard of any thickness.

  1. Use a joist and metal detector to locate any pipes, cables and studs in the area to be drilled
  2. Mark out hole(s) e.g. for a bracket. The minimum distance between hole centres is 25 mm for the 16 mm fixing
  3. Carefully drill hole(s) through the plasterboard using a 16 mm spade bit or preferably a 16 mm hole saw. If you use a standard 16 mm twist drill, please use a low speed setting so as to minimise the size of the hole
  4. Insert the short tip of the metal key into the side hole of the fixing – from the inside of the fixing until flush with the outer side wall (at the widest point)
  5. Fold the metal key into the end slot of the fixing until it rests on the bottom lip of the slot
  6. Pass the fixing and the orange applicator through the board - as far as the cavity will allow. Insert the applicator even if the space is tight
  7. Hold the applicator still & pull back the metal key firmly in a single motion to fully unfold the fixing
  8. Hold the metal handle still & rotate the applicator 90° anticlockwise to lock the fixing to the metal key. This step is important because it prevents the fixing skewing during installation
  9. Pull back firmly and rotate the metal handle clockwise from just below horizontal until it locks off vertically (LESS THAN 1/4 TURN). DO NOT OVER-TIGHTEN
  10. Rotate the applicator clockwise 90° to unlock the fixing from the metal key
  11. Slide the applicator back out of the board
  12. Detach the metal key by sliding to the left, parallel to the board (if key handle finishes vertical)

    Note: Grip the key close to the board when detaching from the fixing - Do not push or pull

  13. IMPORTANT - Fix the bracket (or other item) using the bolt provided by first turning the bolt 1-2 turns by hand. This prevents any possibility of cross-threading
  14. Tighten the bolt. If using a power screwdriver, press gently as unlike a screw, the bolt only requires light pressure - this will also ensure the fixing stays in place - remember it's only plasterboard! Make sure the torque settings are positioned on a low setting to avoid either over-tightening or compressing the plasterboard


  1. Drill a 1 mm or 2 mm pilot hole in the plasterboard to see what’s inside the cavity e.g. rock wool or solid foam insulation. Pass a thin wire inside the pilot hole to establish the cavity depth. This will help decide on the fixing best suited for the application and will avoid ‘surprises’ such as lintels that cannot be drilled – the cavity depth requirements are clearly marked on the front of each packet, the smallest being 18 mm
  2. Make a small investment in a quality 16 mm smooth cut hole. Hole saws are easier and safer to use than spade bits which can easily damage the fragile plasterboard wall
  3. If you have drilled an oversized hole don’t panic. Hole sizes can vary as much as 1.0 mm just through drill bit variance. Grapplefix uses outer threads that self-tap into the plasterboard and therefore can easily accommodate these variations. 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
  4. The back plate can be installed in any orientation, but for best results the back plate should be screwed into a vertical position with the folding slot of the circular boss on top (as per the instructions, starting with the handle just below the horizontal)
  5. To avoid vertical studs please allow a minimum distance between the edge of the stud and the edge of the hole (at least 8 mm). This allows for partial rotation of the fixing during installation. If the edge of your hole is too close, carefully reduce the outer threads with a coarse file, allowing the boss to pass through the hole and pull the fixing through in a vertical position without any rotation. You can check for a good "friction fit" by inserting from the front of the board first and reduce the threads accordingly
  6. Stay away from the edges of the plasterboard, keeping a safe distance of at least 30 mm
  7. Do not attempt to "cut down" or reduce the fixing (apart from reducing the fine outer threads as per Point 5 above. The polymers used have extremely high tensile properties and attempts to cut through the material without specialist equipment may cause serious injury. ALWAYS WEAR EYE PROTECTION DURING THE INSTALLATION PROCESS


Grapplefix has been comprehensively tested, including Finite Element Analysis and we believe it is probably the strongest load-bearing cavity fixing on the market today. This is primarily due to the unique design combination of having a fixed back plate working in conjunction with an attached central boss, with a large curved underside area (when positioned vertically e.g. in a wall).

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.

Plasterboard may crack unexpectedly under load and Grapplefix should never be used where the plasterboard is damp, cracked or damaged in any way.

Do not install Grapplefix close to edges of the plasterboard. As a guide, the minimum edge distance should be at least 30 mm.

Please also refer to our CE Mark page, which explains why the CE Mark does not apply to this category of fixings.

Grapplefix Limited shall not be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential damages to property or persons arising from or in conjunction with the use of this website or its products.

Nothing in this disclaimer is intended to affect your legal rights, nor is it intended to exclude or limit our liability to you for fraud, fraudulent misrepresentation, for death or personal injury resulting from our negligence or for any other liability which cannot be limited or excluded as a matter of applicable law.

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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