Wall material terminology


MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Feb 20, 2003
Adelaide - South Australia
G'day all,

I'm preparing an info sheet on hanging larger / heavier frames, and would like to clarify some terminology to do with wall materials.

I suspect brick walls will be called brick walls over there too, it's the types of boards I'm more interested in at the moment.

Over here we have Gyprock sheet. It's a softish firbre board (non asbestos) and very common with brick veneer homes here.
Brick veneer is the timber frame, brick outside shell, inner timber lined with Gyprock.

Gyprock can be quite secure if the right wall 'toggle' fittings are used.
I like the one you can push in a pointed end into the surface of Gyprock with a plain phillips / star screwdriver, then (using the same tool) screw it in to flush with the wall.
Then a self tapping screw of suitable length / size is used the fit the hook or whatever into the centre of the plugs' pre existing hole.

Other toggle type fitting collapse or spread out inside the cavity onto the back side of the board, and aren't too bad, perhaps just not as easy to use.

We also have harder boards, usually just for special places like bathroom wet areas.

I have seen terms in the past like sheetrock / rocksheet, plasterboard, and maybe a couple of others.

So what are the most common names for such wall lining materials (for lounge / formal 'normal' rooms) in the US ?

Thanks in advance.
I think I've heard the "drywall" used in bathrooms, etc, called "green board" because it is faced with green paper to distinguish it from regular drywall. It is a harder product that will hold up better when exposed to moisture. Regular drywall turns to mush.
"I have seen terms in the past like sheetrock / rocksheet, plasterboard, and maybe a couple of others."

Cementboard in wet areas, sheetrock in dry. There will be regional differences in word usage, of course.
Ahh, thanks all.

Definately drywall seems to be the common name for what we call Gyprock here.
Treated Gypsum, mixed with paper or fibreglass.

The 3 types including normal, fire resist, and green for wet areas is described below in the Wilkipedia link.

The term sheetrock also diverts to drywall.
Wilkipedia is a wonderful thing when you know the term to start with . . . thanks.
I have actually tested some of the screw-in style anchors and found that the pull-out resistance is very poor because the screw threads crush the sheetrock (gypboard) as they are screwed in. As I remember I only got about 10-12 lbs. pull-out resistance with a metal version of these screw in anchors. Different manufacturers may have better or worse results depending on the shape of the threads.

I have also tested several plastic anchors and found one of the strongest to be "Togglers" - an expansion anchor that is folded up, inserted into a large hole in the wall , then it expands as the screw is inserted. These anchors are wall thickness sensitive. You must have the correct anchor for the thickness of the wall.

The typical conical plastic anchors are pretty much worthless as far as pull-out resistance goes. Try to pull one out. You'll see.

The BEST anchor all-around is called a "Rosette" anchor. These look like a plastic conical anchor but as the screw bottoms out in the anchor, it twists up in a big knot on the back side of the wall. I have gotten about 125 lbs. pull-out in 1/2 inch sheetrock. These anchors will work in ANY thickness wall including lath-plaster, masonry and concrete. My scale topped out at 200 lbs. pull-out in concrete.

Before you write your instructions, it would probably be a good idea to actually do some pull-out tests as well as shear tests yourself with the anchors you are going to recommend.
Greg- thanks for the info on the various hangers. I've been curious about the screw-in type but have so far been reluctant to try them. I guess your test confirms my suspicion. Where do you find these Rosette anchors? Is that a brand name?
:cool: Rick
I buy them by the gazillions from a wholesaler in FL and include them in with our FrameSecure metal frame security hangers. I'll be glad to sell you all you can use. Give me a call if'n your'e interested 1-800-227-9934 8-4:30 ish Pacific time weekdays.
G'day Greg, likewise, thanks for the info.

Although I haven't had any problems personally with the screw in types (I tend to use the plastic one), I also haven't ever tested them.

That said, I am definitely not recommending anything past us taking care of the frame fittings, and advising one or two hooks required.

We recommend a configuration, set the frame up with suitable (well over-engineered) fittings and wire etc, as best for the piece . . . the client looks after the wall side of things !
Too many possibilities otherwise, and greater risk for failure / liability.

I am recommending that the user of the info contacts a local picture framer to see if they have a hanging service, or knows someone that does, and get a pro to do it.
Especially larger / heavier pieces.

Failing that, they should talk to their local hardware shop, and get the best anchors, screws, and hooks for the job.

Do you have anywhere on your site I can refer clients that want to get suitable wall hardware (anchors and hooks) ex Frame Tek ?
If so, (link ?) I can put this in my info sheet. That would definitely be my second choice.
Most of these clients are in the US.
Most of these clients are in the US.


G'day to you, I just had to tell you that there will be some framers on this side of the water that will be jealous of that remark!! :eek: Framing is getting tough in some parts of the country and they are struggling for every buck that they can get.

As far as I am concerned I say more power to ya, old friend!!

BTW, did the old Aussie Grumble go down completely?? I can't seem to link to it anymore. That seems like a waste of very good background information for people to go into the archives and do research if they closed it down completely. I really don't care for the new AG at all. It just seems different somehow.

G'day FG,

Oh, I'm talking 10 or so pieces a year now, maybe build short term to 20 ?
Who knows, the US is a huge marketplace . . . maybe one day we'll get to 50 - 100 a year ?
Not too much for 'folk' to be concerned about.

It's a high end, very specialised niche.
Not too many seem to be able to service this market, or want to, anyway.

Yep, Aussie G sadly went, as did all the info.
There were just weren't enough of the 'many' to counter the negative few that appeared anonymously (to cause problems, it seems).
In the end I think it was the 'owner' who decided to pull the pin, due to the inevitable fall off in traffic from the regulars.

You mean the new PPFA (Australian 'branch') forum ?
Yeah, it is different, not much traffic as yet.

I am thinking of joining the organisation (PPFA Australia), just very heavily into the state Picture Framers Guild here.

Well, I suppose we have the 'big G' to take any stragglers under their wing. : )

Ok, a bit off track here, but nice to catch up.

I'll have a look through the Frame Tek site to see if any of the wall hardware is available . . .


Try to use in your article the same definitions that are used by the manufacturers of wall fasteners.

Good sources are:

Powers Fasteners http://powers.com./plastics_hollowwall.html
That company just (few years ago) put on the market Wall-Dogs, fasteners that don't require any anchors. Wall-Dogs work great for small and medium loads.

This company patented original Toggle , plastic anchor http://www.toggler.com/about.html

Because of the product liability issues all framed mirrors sold by retailers in the US have no wire attached to the hanging hardware. Is that the same in Australia?


"Rosette" plastic anchors are made in Germany and are avaluble at your local http://www.grainger.

Boris Muchnik
Ah, thanks for the links Boris.

I've used anchors like the Powers Zip-it, and probably most of the other type collapsible toggle plugs (over the years).

The fluted plastic are what we generally use for a brick anchor.

Some of the anchors on the Toggler site look interesting, especially the Snaptoggle for heavier items.

Haven't seen any of this 'no wire' policy anywhere as yet over here.
Certainly, there are lots of options to using wire, where the 27kg (~60lbs) wire is not suitable. (This is about the heaviest rated wire available here.)

There are situations where I wouldn't use even this wire on an item, even much lighter pieces.
Especially so rectangle frames, where they are wide and not too high. Way too much stress on the wire and frame, and a devil to get them to hang close to the wall.

I aim to put wire on a piece that is about 50% higher rated than the item.
For example, I put one together a few days ago that was ~ 13kg (~30lbs). It was chunky circular frame, went for 2 entwined 20kg wires, individually tied off to the d-rings.

What I might do is refer a few types / names in the literature, and they can then ask at their hardware store about these.

Whatever way, I just want anything to do with the wall anchors / screws etc to be the clients responsibility.

I will likely just run the final document past a lawyer for advice to ensure we aren't implying anything that could lead to a client blaming us when possibly something comes adrift from their wall one day. : /
Just to beat a dead horse, in construction (in this region) "sheetrock" is what you put on the wall. After its installed and finished it's "drywall". The water resistant sheetrock that goes in bathrooms is also "drywall". When I traveled around as an electricican I learned that terms changed greatly in just a few miles. When I would go to a new city, I often found myself adjusting my terms to fit the region. Sheetrock vs. Drywall seemed to be somewhat standard.

Carry on.
ALL framed mirrors sold by the US and Canadian retail stores instead of wire attached have warning labels attached often in three languages-English, Spanish and French. The texts' meaning is the same: "Dear customer, don't even think of hanging this mirror by wire."

There have been some costly product liability lawsuits. So, framed mirrors manufacturers having no better way to solve the problem, have substituted wire with those warning labels.

It seems that Australia being underdeveloped country-clean air and green grass-is, as always, behind the US. ;) But, wait a little bit, progress could not be stopped, it will eventually come to the aborigine land. Unfortunately to that beautiful country, Australian lawyers read briefings on the US & Canada consumer product liability suits.

AccuHang technology (inexpensive, disposable AccuHangs) provides manufacturers and consumers with the simple and convenient solution to the problems with wall decor hanging. The frame is hung steady and safe by the frame hangers engaged with wall fasteners. Wire as a hanging component is completely eliminated.

I was young and naive when 23 years ago in Rome was waiting for the immigration papers from the US government after my escape from the former USSR. I refused the offer from the Australian Government recruiter to settle in your country.

Boris Muchnik

I am watching the "Sheetrock 400" from Chicago raceway, a Nextel Cup NASCAR race and I immediately thought of your quest for terminology!!

Hope you get all the terms straightened out in the end.

Jay, that makes sense from what I've read.

Rick, Gypsum board is telling it how it is !

G'day again Boris,
Thanks for the update . . .

I did go to the AccuHang site the other day and take a look.

Interesting, very similar to our keyhole plates, which you can buy slightly raised or in a flush panel, but the marker concept is novel.

You attach this then place the picture level on the wall and press to make the 2 (or more) fixing points ?

I like it, but also feel aluminium z bar is likely the best for larger heavy rectaangle mirrors.
The ali type is good because it will keep the item only 5mm to 6mm (~ 1/4") off the wall.
I would cut this to size and have predrilled every 4" - 6" depending on the item.

These pieces might be 25kg (~ 55lbs).
Maybe multiple AccuHangs can cope with such a load ?

Yes. Some (ok, 99% of) lawyers see news services etc, and also see many 'opportunities' appearing.
For the past year or two, some 'progressive' solicitors firms have been touting in the print for clients who have been injured etc. Very poor taste and what we'd call bottom feeding (the law firm that is).

Most certainly liability issues are becoming more important here.

Framerguy, yes, I feel I have enough info to see through the main terminology differences now.

NASCARs made from sheetrock ? Now that would be interesting.
They seem to have enough of a problem staying on the track as it is.

Thanks to all.

In short-the AccuHang bracket can serve as a hanger and/or as a locking plate for the "T" head screw when you do security mounting. You don't need "L" shaped wall brackets for security mounting.

You are right when saying that more than two AccuHang brackets can be used when the frame weight is more than 70 lb =32 kg.

For detaled technology discription, douwnload user's manual from the web site. You would learn that among other unique feartures AccuHangs have audible feedback.

There was a thread on TheGrumble few months ago about framing shop and other small businesses in town being sued for not having access for the handicapped customers. So, with bottom feeders always on watch, everything could happen.

Good luck with your Paper,

Boris Muchnik