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June 25, 2006


Filed under: Easy DIY — DO or DIY @ 11:15 am

If you’re not sure which fixings to use for certain jobs, this guide could come very handy to you.


There are flat head, round head and countersink screws. Cross head -Phillips or Posidrive – screws are now the most common and the easiest to work with but there are also a lot of single slotted screws about so you will need a good selection of different size and type screwdrivers. Flat & round heads are exactly what their names imply. You “countersink” for a screw if you want it to be flush with or below the surface when screwed in – to do this you can use a special countersink bit or drill a shallow hole with a large drill bit.


These are like thick pins, are smooth sided and knocked in using a hammer. They have a variety of different types of head depending on what you wish to join.

Ribbed- (or screw-) nails

These are nails with little ribs on them that grip the wood. They are difficult to pull out – ideal for a shed.

Wall plugs

These are little plastic plugs that expand to grip the inside of the hole you have drilled as well as the thread of the screws that screw into them.

Plaster Screw Plugs

These are designed for easy use with plaster-board. They are themselves pointed & threaded while the outer end has a Phillips type head. You first make a smallish hole using a bradawl or nail, then screw in the plug which is then ready to receive the fixing crew. Heavier duty ones are made of metal and more expensive, but the cheaper plastic ones are still pretty good.

Cavity plugs

These are good for ceilings and cavity walls. When they are placed inside the hole, the plugs open up like an umbrella into the space behind the plaster to provide a good grip.

Wall bolts

These are required for tough wall fixings. They also open up as you insert the screw or bolt.


Instead of nails you can use some adhesive. Ideal for long strips of wood such as dado-rails and skirting boards, but be careful as to what material you attach these. Remember that, if you want to remove them later, the plaster and plasterboard will very likely come off with them too!

Read more about basic hand tools and essential power tools for a new DIYer!

Before you start any DIY jobs, make sure you’re wearing sensible clothes and have proper home insurance!

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