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Glossary Index




Earliest fixings were dowels or shaped wedges of wood, driven into the joints between blocks or stones.

With the introduction of a wide range of building materials has come the need for special fixings for different materials and loading requirements.

A modern fixing should incorporate the three basic requirements of being easy to install, requiring no maintenance and supporting the required load safely.

The most common problem is the selection of the wrong type of fixing and it is hoped that the following may be helpful in selecting the right type for the right job.

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In which the bolt projects from the housing and the item to be secured is held down by a nut.

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Cavity fixings are designed to provide additional support and pressure from inside the cavity. They are usually toggles or anchors. Spring Toggles are ideal for fixing into plasterboard or ceilings. These are in the form of spring loaded butterfly wings which are squeezed through the pre-drilled hole in the closed position, but spring open in the cavity.

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Same as loose bolt but with head in the form of an eye bolt.

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Same as loose bolts but with head in the form of a hook.

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Somewhat similar to a hammerfix but much more substantial, being for the fitting of window and door frames. The plug is longer and the screw, which is a traditional screw turned by a screwdriver, is longer and of heavier gauge, with the plug providing support the full length of the screw.


This is a special type of wallplug for fitting wooden battens to masonry and comes in the form of a wallplug with special screws.

Simply drill a hole of the right size through the batten and into the masonry.

Insert the plug and tap the screw which is of such design that it screws itself in under tapped hammer pressure.

It is a screw fixing driven like a nail but which can be unscrewed if required.

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Where there is no nut or projecting bolt but the item to be secured is held by the head of the bolt which is screwed into the fixing.

Rivet Anchors

For fixing into all types of wallboard. An anchor fixing is in the form of a plug. It also has barbed teeth at the end so that when the plug is inserted, the teeth are flattened as they are pushed through the hole but spring out inside the cavity and prevent the plug from being withdrawn like a form of wedge anchor.

Universal Fixings

These are general-purpose fixings similar to a wallplug but with barbed teeth of an anchor so that they may be used as an ordinary wallplug when the expansion will hold them in position or as a cavity fixing when the barbed teeth will act as an anchor.


These are heavy-duty metal fixings in which large bolts are anchored in a metal housing or shield for securing heavy items in concrete. A spring assembly makes it easy to fit the housing into a pre-drilled hole and the insertion of the bolt provides the expansion grip. They come in a number of models.


These are the most common form for putting into blockwork, house bricks and plasterboard. When they are put into pre-drilled holes, and provided those holes are of the specified size, the insertion of the screw into the wallplug will expand it and provide a rigid tight fit.

There are a number of varying qualities of plugs. Originally made from fibre, they are now mainly made from nylon and polypropylene.

Some plugs feature serrated teeth to provide better grip, locking lugs to prevent rotation and a wide throat which means that there is less pressure at the surface and therefore less likelihood of surface cracking.