Indoor Camera Mounting Hardware Guide

By IPVM Team, Published Jun 22, 2018, 07:39am EDT

A key part of installing security hardware is ensuring the right hardware is used to provide a long-lasting, solid mount. But there are almost endless options for mounting hardware, which may be confusing for new installers.

Inside this report, we look at these different options, where each applies, and our recommendations for use, including:

  • Different types of anchors for drywall and drop ceiling
  • Demo videos installing multiple anchors
  • When to use each anchor type
  • Price Differences Between Types
  • Manufacturer provided mounting hardware

Anchor Types

Selecting anchors for camera mounting can be confusing for the inexperienced, with countless styles, each with their own installation nuances, difficulty, and holding capacity.

The four most popular types of anchors for indoor installs, based on IPVM member feedback and our own experience are shown below:

type of anchors

The video below provides a physical overview of the anchors demonstrated in this report:

  • Triple Grip Wall Anchor
  • Self-drilling Wall Anchor
  • Spring Wing Toggle Bolt
  • Strap Toggle Bolt

 

Triple Grip Wall Anchor

***** ******* *** ** used ** ******* (** well ** ***** ********* such ** ***** *** block). * **** ** drilled *** *** ******, the ****** ** ******** into *** ****, **** the ***** ** ********* into *** ******. ** the ***** ** ********* it ***** *** ****** together *** ******* **** of *** ****** **** outward ******** ******** *** providing * ***** ***** point. 

*** **** ******** ** this anchor **** ** **** they *** ***** *** lower ****** ******** **** other ******, *** *** easily **** *** ** the **** ** ******* even ******** *** ***** as **** *** ****** to "****" **** *** wider ******** ***********.

 

Self-Drilling **** ******

**** ****** ** ****** the ******* ** *******; mark *** ********, ***** in *** ****** ***** it ** ***** **** the ******** *******, *** then ***** ** *** screw. 

*** **** ******** ** self-drilling ******* ** **** they *** ** ***** to ******* *** ** torqued *** **** ** driven *** ***. ************, in *****, **** ******* drywall, **** ****** **** *** not **** ******** ** all.

 

Spring **** ****** ****

****** ***** *** ******* for ***** ***** ****** bearing *******, ***** ********* for ***** **** ** indoor *******. ** *******, a *********** **** *** enough *** *** ********* wings ** *** ******* is *******, **** *** toggle **** ** ********. When *** ***** ****** open, **** ******* ******* power **** ******** *** interior ** *** **** e.g. **** ** *** drywall / ****** ***** / ******* ****.

**** **** ****** ***** require ***** ***** *** substantially ****** **** *** screw, ***** *** **** penetrations ********* ** ********** to **** ** ******** holes *** ***** ** the ***** ** ****** brackets ** **** ******. Additionally, ****** ***** *** known ** ************ ***** in *** **** ** overtightened.

*** *** ***** ***** the ****** ** * wall ***** * */*" spring **** ****** **** is ***** *********.  *** wings *** ********* ** ** is ****** ******* *** ********** hole, **** ****** ** bridge *** ***, *** finally **** *** **** of *** ******* **** the ***** ** *********.

Strap ****** ****

******* ** *** ****** wing ****** **** *** strap ****** **** ******** a *********** **** ** the ******** ******* *** the ****** ** ****. ***** anchors *** ********** **** common **** ******** ****** toggle ***** *** ********** "gimmicky" ** ****, *** increase ******* ***** ***** *** anchor ** ****** * metal **** *** ***** metal *** ******* ** the ****, ******* ** the ****** ****** *********.

********* ** *** ***** types *** *** ***** complexity ** ********** **** correctly *** *** ***** steps ****** ** **** the ***** *** ** the ***** ** *** hole.  ** *** ****-**** they *** ******** **** is ******* ** ** angle ** ** *** strap ******* *** *** hits ********* ****** *** wall, *** ****** *** bind *** *** ******* securely.

Fastener ******

****** *** ******** ******** prices *** ********* ****** variable, ***** ** ******** size *** **** ******** purchased. ******* ****** **** expensive *** *********** ********* and ***** ***** *** consumer ************ *** ***** wall *****.  *****-**** *** commercial ************ ***** ********* typically ***** **** *********:

Manufacturer Included ********

******** ******** ** ******** with **** *******, *** users ****** ****** **** quality ****** *************.

********** *** *********** *** ****** ******-****** stocking ******** ******** ******** and ******** ********** ** use multiple ******, ******** ***** on ***** **** ** indoor ******* **** *** used *** ********* *******.

*********, ************* ******* ****** "plug" ***** **** ******* which *** ******** **** for **** ******** **** as ***** ** ********, but *** *** ** the **** ****** *** drywall ** ***** ****** paneling *******.

******** ******** **** ***** lacks *********** **** **** requirements ******* *** ********* to ******** / *** ball *** ****, ***** may **** ** ******* reductions ** ******* *****, while **********/****** ******* ******* ******** hole ****** *** ********* * drill ***.

Comments (35)

No drywall screws?!?!?

or brass wood screws?!?!?

I've got a feeling we've all seen installs where the installer didn't know or care about the difference.

Some of us have worked for companies where the owner didn't know or care about the difference either. 

As a general note:

#1's 'No Drywall Screws!?!' funny comment arises from the fact the while drywall screws are common, inexpensive, and popular, they are totally not appropriate to bear the weight of a camera.

Drywall screws are designed to bite into wood studs behind sheets of drywall.

Rather than be installed into a reinforced bushing, they screw directly into drywall which is notoriously brittle with no pull-out strength.

These screws have really coarse but narrow threads which may dig into gypsum based drywall easily, but do little to hold anything to the wall:

Contrast the drywall screw on the left with the wide threaded bushing anchor on the right.

#2's 'Brass Wood Screws' comment is funny for the same reason. Brass wood screws are meant to fix pieces of wood together, not attach cameras to gypsum board.

Both types of hardware are unfortunately fairly common to see on installs where cost, convenience, or apathy outweigh the desire to install cameras securely.

See cameras often clinging to ACT with one of the 2 or 3 original drywall screws.

What, were molly bolts too expensive to test?

Mounting hardware is included with most cameras, but users should beware that quality varies significantly.

Yeah, varies on a scale of "Utter crap" to "completely useless".

Has anyone ever seen a manufacturer include mounting hardware that you would really trust and want to use over alternative options?

Well, my favorite of all time and missing in this test is the “double sided tape to hold while the silicone glue dries” an alarm installer used for control panels.   I’m sure he modified for camera mounting as well. 

I was saw a surface mounted electric strike mounted with double sided tape. Unreal.

I’m surprised that Toggler Alligators weren’t mentioned. We use them a lot and have worked very well in many scenarios. 

When we cover outdoor fasteners, those will make the rundown.

In my experience, those are mostly used in brick and tilt-up concrete walls.  Do you use them indoors much?

They work well in drywall as well.

Yes we use the A6 and AF6 for almost every light object install on drywall or masonry surfaces. Obviously if we are mounting heavier objects (TV, racks, etc) then we are mounting to studs (if wood studs) or using Snap Togglers in steel studs. 

I like these because it's basically one fastener for all. The only time those ever become an issue is if the initial 1/4" hole gets messed up. Indoors, the flush-mount is used when you want the camera edge to sit tight against the drywall. I have the Triple Grid anchors as well just in case, but it's a last resort. 

If you are using these in drywall though, #10 with the A6/AF6 is about as big as you can go before it runs the risk of spinning. On hard surfaces like brick and concrete, you run the risk of spinning with a #14 and a little bit on a #12. The trick is to use an impact and start full speed. Once it creates the friction with the material it likely won't spin after you get it started.

I look forward to the outdoor fasteners article.

I love using Alligator Anchors. They work well in drywall, concrete and brick.

The strap toggles in the picture are garbage. If you are lucky and the strap doesn't break while you are screwing the blue head through drywall, the head will probably break off when you finally find the hole and start screwing the bolt in. The better brand is Toggler. Well that is until they sit in the van in Texas heat for a summer. Then they are all pretty useless.

Agreed, I just install some Snaptoggle fasteners yesterday for hanging a TV on the metal studs. I've had trouble finding them locally so I've been ordering them online in a box of 100. Ever since those came out, I almost never use the classic spring toggle because I don't like the fact that you lose the wing if you need to remove down the road and replace.

The better brand is Toggler.

That's good feedback.  Toggler brand anchors are higher priced, but not so much that they wouldn't pay for themselves if it meant one less fastener lost during install:

Well that is until they sit in the van in Texas heat for a summer. Then they are all pretty useless.

I think you're saying the heat in a van or truck makes the plastic straps brittle.  Does that sound right?

In defense of everything ever created, it all often becomes useless in the brutal Texas heat. :)    (I'm in Oklahoma.)

Hilti used to make this best version.    They would never break when you snapped off the ends off.  Some of the cheaper non-Hilti versions where total crap and every other one would break no matter how gentle you were. 

 

These look like a newer version though I haven't tried them. 

Yeah even the Togglers straps get warped and more brittle after a hot summer. They definitely hold up better than the cheaper brands though. I found putting them in the cab of the truck/van somewhat helps. Or keeping them in a sealed toolbox (hard plastic with seals, i.e. Rigid, Dewalt) helps to insulate them more.

We also use these anchors for general purpose - hanging cameras, speakers, mounts, etc. Some guys hate them because you have to finesse them in by pinching the wings and tapping them in. I've watched guys stick just the tip in and then slam a hammer down on them and get frustrated when they bend over. But they are usually the bull in the china shop installers. Cobra Anchors

I really like using these in drywall. For best results use the squeeze tool.

Maybe my drywall is crap, but these just spun and bored out the gypsum instead of biting and allowing the bolt to turn and crimp at my place.

I agree it hard to install without this tool. But with it, the results are great and super quick to install. 

The tool pushes on the anchor and pulls the screw straight back. 

One downside to this type of anchor, is that there is no getting it back out once it's set. You need to cut the drywall. 

MKT FASTENING 110000 Hollow Wall Setting Tool G5116819

Two tricks on those since I am a big fan. 

1.  There are two small holes in the front.  There is a tool that holds it from spinning while it tightens.  You can use a paper clip if you bend it right. 

2.  You can use a sharp drill after removing the screw to separate the front from the back and then pop the front off.   Yes, you lose the back. 

Genius, I don't do camera install work, but this would come in handy around the house.

FYI These are a so so alternative. I just don't like them as much.

Image result for drill in toggle

I don't do camera install work, but this would come in handy around the house.

Oh, so your wife installs the cameras?

;)

I don't know about UD6, but my wife is better at destruction than installation. She runs a mean concrete grinder:

 

I recall seeing a video once where these were removed by putting the screw partway in and then tapping on it with a hammer until the grips straightened out behind the wall.  Don't try this with 3/8" drywall though.

Another vote for these hollow wall anchors. They hold heaps of weight. Apart from their holding capacity the other advantages are

No wiggle once in, unlike toggle bolts etc there is no movement of the fixing screw in the hole. This ensures gear is mounted accurately.

Whatever is mounted with them can be taken down & remounted multiple times as the tube assembly stays in the wall.

They really should be fitted with the proper tool though, it makes fitting much easier & faster.

You can also get them for different material thicknesses.

When I read the title, I was actually hoping to see some pull-out/shear testing of the mounts for comparison. Dust everywhere!

That's funny, and something we would consider in a test.  Get John S with a clawhammer and see how much lean it takes to bust them out!

these are my favorite anchors for drywall

 

POWERS FASTENERS ZIP-IT® METAL WALL ANCHORS KIT

These used to be my go to until we found the Alligator fasteners. We first used them on a project for wall brackets into brick and found they worked well for many other applications including drywall. It is basically one fastener for all applications. We have yet to have an issue. We also ran into issues using the Zip-It fasteners where you will see the large footprint past the edge of a camera where the mounting screw holes are close to the edge.

For anything heavier than cameras in solid surfaces, I move to double expansion anchors as my anchor of choice.

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