Drywall is thin and cannot hold the weight of a loaded closet rod on its own. The key to proper closet rod installation is using wall studs when possible to support your brackets. This ensures that the load of the closet rod isn’t on the drywall but is instead on solid wood. To securely install a closet rod in drywall:
- Measure the size of the space where the closet rod will go.
- Buy a closet dowel rod and cut it to length.
- Choose a wall bracket that can be positioned so that you can screw it into wall studs.
- Mark the place where your first bracket will be installed.
- Drill pilot holes
- If there is no stud behind the drywall at this point, install drywall anchors.
- Drive screws into the wall stud or drywall anchor, securing the bracket in place.
- Repeat this process for additional brackets, making sure they are level with the first bracket.
- Set your closet rod in place and use it to hang your clothing.
By following these simple steps, you will have a level, secure closet rod that won’t pull out of your wall.
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Can You Hang a Closet Rod in Drywall?
You can hang a closet rod in the drywall in such a fashion that it holds your clothing without pulling out of the wall. In order to do so, it’s best to use shelf support style brackets. These brackets can be set at any point along the back wall of your closet. This means that by using a stud finder you can locate solid wood behind your drywall and secure your closet rod brackets to these wall studs. This will make your closet rod far more secure. If you simply install your closet rod in drywall, the screws are prone to tearing out.
Measure the Space
If you are installing a new closet rod, use a tape measure to find the length of the area where the closet rod will be installed. If you have an existing closet rod that you will be re-installing, skip this step.
Cut or Buy Rod
Purchase a dowel that is 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter to serve as your closet rod. In cases where the dowel is too long for the space you measured in step 1, it must be cut to fit. If your closet is too long for a single closet rod, plan to use 2 or more closet rods spanning several brackets.
Choose Your Bracket
The best brackets for closet rods are shelf support style brackets. These brackets are secured to the back wall of the closet and can be moved right or left along the wall. This allows you to secure them to wall studs, meaning they will be extremely secure and won’t pull out of the wall.
- Use shelf-style brackets for the most durable and easy-to-install closet rod support.
- Shelf style brackets can be set anywhere along the back wall of the closet, allowing you to secure them directly to wall studs.
- Securing your brackets to wall studs makes them stronger and prevents them from pulling out of the wall.
- Avoid socket-style brackets. They require extra support since they typically cannot be secured to wall studs.
If you are using socket-style brackets to support your closet rod, they must be placed in a precise location to allow your closet rod to be the optimal height from the floor and distance from the back wall of the closet. This means you will often not be able to drive the bracket screws into a wall stud. In these cases, consider securing an additional piece of wood onto the wall, then screwing the bracket to this wood. For easiest installation with the most durability, use shelf-type brackets. The following steps were created with shelf-type brackets in mind.
Find Studs in Your Closet Wall
Use this stud finder to locate wall studs behind the drywall in your closet. Mark the location of the studs along the back wall with a pencil. Whenever possible, position your brackets so that they will be secured to a wall stud.
Determine the Placement of Your First Bracket
Before you begin screwing your bracket into the wall, positioning is key. Determine the desired height of the bracket along one of the studs you found in the previous step. Typically, a closet rod hangs 60–80 inches from the floor and at least 2 inches below any shelves, but you can choose whatever height you’re comfortable with.
- Determine the height of your closet rod. Typical height is 60–80 inches.
- Once you have placed your bracket, use a pencil to mark each of the bracket screw holes.
Now that you have determined where your first bracket will be placed, use your pencil to clearly mark the wall where each of the bracket screw holes will be. Then, put the bracket aside for the next step.
Drill Pilot Holes
Use an electric drill equipped with a wood bit to drill pilot holes where you marked the bracket screw holes. If you are drilling into a portion of wall that is backed by a wall stud, use a drill bit slightly smaller than the screws you will be using. If you are drilling where there is no wall stud, use a slightly larger drill bit, large enough to allow you to lightly hammer drywall anchors into the pilot holes.
If there are no wall studs in your closet, or you chose to place a bracket where there is no stud, it’s essential to use drywall anchors to keep screws from pulling loose from your drywall. Unanchored screws will tear out of your wall once your closet rod is loaded with clothing, which can cause serious damage to your wall.
- If there is no stud behind the drywall, lightly hammer these drywall anchors into the pilot holes.
- If there is a wall stud where you intend to secure your bracket, no anchors are necessary.
Another benefit of securing your brackets directly to wall studs is that no drywall anchors are required. This eliminates the need for additional supplies and leads to a stronger closet rod support.
Screw the Bracket Into Place
With the pilot holes drilled and anchors in place (if necessary), hold your bracket back up to the wall and line up the holes in the bracket with your pilot holes. Then, drive screws into the holes. If you used drywall anchors, it’s best to use the screws that came with the set of anchors. If you are securing the bracket directly to the wall stud, use these 2.5-inch drywall screws.
Repeat with Additional Brackets
With your first bracket in place, repeat steps 4 through 7 with your remaining brackets. In order to make sure your closet rod will be straight, use a carpenter’s level to double-check to make sure all the brackets are at the same height.
- Repeat the previous steps when hanging additional brackets.
- Use a level to make sure all brackets are at the same height.
- Install one bracket close to each end of the closet rod.
- Secure additional brackets every 32–36 inches for increased support and durability.
Install brackets near the ends of the dowel. Then, install an additional bracket every 32–36 inches between the end brackets. It’s okay if the spacing isn’t exact. It’s more important to secure the brackets to wall studs when possible, rather than maintain precise spacing. Usually, your wall will have one stud every 16 inches.
Set Your Closet Rod in Place
Once all your brackets are secured to the wall, drop your closet rod into place in the brackets. Some brackets include an additional tensioning screw that helps keep the closet rod from turning or lifting upwards, but it’s okay if your brackets do not have this feature. The weight of your hanging clothes will keep the rod securely in position. With your closet rod in place, you are now ready to hang your clothes.
How Far Should a Closet Rod be From the Wall?
To allow your clothes to hang properly, make sure your closet rod is at least 10 inches from the rear wall of the closet. You can install the rod further from the back wall if desired. Just make sure that you can close the closet door after the rod is installed and your clothes are hanging from it.
How Do You Secure a Closet Rod to the Wall?
The best way to hang a closet rod is to first determine the desired length of the closet rod. Then, purchase or cut a closet rod dowel to fit. With your dowel prepared, opt for shelf-style brackets, as these can be used at multiple points along the back wall of the closet and are much more secure than using socket-style brackets at either end. Find the wall studs behind your drywall and mark them, then position your brackets and secure them to the wall studs where possible. If you must secure a bracket where there is no stud, use drywall anchors to make sure the screws will bear the weight of your loaded closet rod.