Can't install ClosetMaid - please help!

lithiginApril 8, 2005

I finally bought all the shelves and brackets for the Super Slide ClosetMaid system for our teeny "master" closet (46"x36"). Our house was built in 1940 and we have plaster walls.

I went to install the brackets that hold the shelves and hanging rod. The instruction drawing implies one should drill 1/4" hole, push the plastic socket things in, and push the nail in after that. Well, I got about half of the plastic sockets in, and the rest wouldn't push in. I assumed that nailing the nails in place would push the rest of the plastic part in.

A million nail hits later, they are half in, and I consult, a move I probably should have done first, but how hard is it to put plastic sockets in and put screws/nails in afterwards? I've only done it dozens of times for other projects. Anyway, turns out you're not supposed to nail them in; they're supposed to push in like a pin and that in turn has a molly bolt effect on the two halves of the plastic socket.

I pulled the nails out (which pulled a chunk of wall out, as well). Through the new holes in my wall, I can see that plaster is over a concrete-looking subwall that's very porous and hard. ??? Nothing at all like the gypsum wallboard that is the subwall in my kitchen. Did they even have concrete in 1940? This is in both sides of my closet (exterior and interior walls) I'm so frustrated!

How can I install this system? Closetmaid's website says: "In concrete, you will need to use a masonry bit to drill 1/4" holes at least 1" deep. #8 x 1" screws will be used in install hardware." Does that mean screws without the plastic part? Should I cut the plastic part off? Should I just cut off the "molly bolt" part of the plastic? But that was the only part that sunk in my 1/4" holes earlier. It was the threaded, thicker base of the plastic part that wouldn't go in my wall with any amount of pushing, and you can't hammer plastic.

Please help if you can! What might this concretey material be? How can I work around it? I don't think you can use the vertical track stuff with the SuperSlides.

Thanks in advance,


Here is a link that might be useful: Picture of hole in wall

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Boy, DID they have concrete in 1940! My apartment building was built in 1923, and it has plaster over wire lathe over concrete.

Push a nail or your drill bit (off the drill--or at least unplug the drill) into the hole, and see how deep you can get it in--how does that compare with your anchors? Probably it'll be too short--HOW short?

If it's only a teeny bit short, you'll need to drill INTO that masonry. Which means you will need a masonry bit.

If it's more than 1/8 or 1/4 inch, you'll need to consider that masonry as the thing to anchor in--and masonry isn't very good at holding the sort of anchor that swells up. (and, is there enough room in the back for those two "wings" to spread out?)

If you can't drill into that concrete with a plain masonry bit, AND you need to rely on that masonry to be the anchoring wall, you may need to use a Tapcon screw (for which you need, if I remember right, a Tapcon bit and Tapcon screws, avail. at Home Depot, and probably even a hammer drill (rentable, usually at Home Depot; I recruited my Uncle Mo to bring his).

The hammer drill works exactly like a regular drill, but it makes a LOT of noise.

But... I can't really see your wall, and I only know what *I* have gone through. You might post this over at Remodeling and at Home Repair.

Good luck!

(you'd have the same problem, times 6, if you tried to use the vertical standards anyway)

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 5:51PM
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Hmm, thanks for the suggestions. The drill bit goes all the way in with no problem. I think the issue is with the expanding parts - there is no give like there is in drywall to accept the plastic wings that spread out. I'll repost at Remodeling and Home Repair.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2005 at 9:35AM
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If there's a gap behind, then give up on their plastic wings, and just get a regular old Molly bolt.

(that's one reason Ikea doesn't give people the bolts or anchors for attaching to the wall--bcs every wall is different)

You might also go talk to someone at a REAL lumberyard, and see what they suggest.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2005 at 10:02AM
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