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 35 mm for the 20 mm fixing or 30 mm for the 16 mm fixing
  3. Carefully drill hole(s) through the plasterboard using either a 16 mm or 20 mm spade bit or preferably a 20 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. While keeping the key at right angles to the fixing (the flange on the tip of the key has a flattened base), insert the slotted tip of the Grapple key into the 4 mm hole in the side wall of the Grapplefix as far as the flange on the tip of the key will allow and until you hear an audible click
  5. Fold the Grapple key into the end slot of the fixing until it rests on the bottom lip of the slot
  6. While folded (and with the handle of the Grapple key diagonal – tip facing northwest), pass the Grapplefix through the hole in the plasterboard while holding on to the handle. Once the Grapplefix has passed through, while keeping the handle diagonal, gently pull back the handle while catching the curved end of the back plate against the rear surface of the plasterboard, which should then slide along the plasterboard and start to open out. Open the back plate out fully until it “snaps” into position at 90 degrees, ready for “screw-back”. The back plate is prevented from opening beyond 90 degrees by the key so you can’t go too far
  8. Once the boss is evenly located in the hole and with all 4 screw threads about to engage, while pulling back gently and keeping the axis of the Grapple key centred in the hole, turn the handle clockwise approximately 1/3 turn until the back plate locks firmly into place against the back of the plasterboard. DO NOT OVER-TIGHTEN. The back plate should come to rest in a roughly vertical orientation

    Note: If the fixing starts to skew slightly while turning, keep going as it will self-correct

  9. Disengage the Grapple key by sliding to the left out of the hole
  10. 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
  11. Tighten the bolt. If using a power screwdriver, please make sure the torque settings are positioned on a low setting to avoid either over-tightening or compressing the board


  1. Make a small investment in a quality 20 mm smooth cut hole saw such as the Starrett CSC20, which drills a 20.4 mm hole, perfect for this application. Hole saws are easier and safer to use than spade bits which can easily damage the fragile plasterboard wall
  2. 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 crude 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
  3. 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 diagonal)
  4. To avoid vertical studs please allow a minimum distance between the edge of the stud and the central tip of the drill bit (at least 25 mm for the larger fixing and 20 mm for the smaller fixing). This allows for partial rotation of the fixing during installation. If the edge of your hole is too close (less than 15 mm for the large fixing or 12 mm for the small fixing), 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
  5. Stay away from the edges of the plasterboard, keeping a safe distance of at least 30 mm
  6. Do not attempt to "cut down" or reduce the fixing (apart from reducing the fine outer threads as per Point 4 above. The polymers used have extremely high tensile properties and attempts to cut through the material without specialist equipment may cause serious injury


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 full-sized back plate surface area 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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