Screws For IKEA Suspension Rails

Picking the right screws for Ikea suspension rails is very important.

If you do not pick the correct screws for the suspension rails while shopping for the materials needed to install your new Ikea kitchen, it can prove an unnecessary risk at best but also dangerous, or even fatal, in the worst scenario imaginable. Safety should always be your priority. Making sure that the wall cabinets are secured to the wall with not only a sufficient number of screws but also with the correct type, depending on the material of the wall, is of utmost importance.

When hanging any Ikea item on a wall, Ikea does not advise which type of screw you should use. I am sure that it is a question of liability. They cannot be held responsible by leaving the choice to you if the rail isn’t sufficiently secured to the wall and the cabinets fall down.

Having installed more than two hundred kitchens so far has given me extensive knowledge of what works and what does not work when securing suspension rails to walls of different materials.

In the following, I will show you which screws are the best choice for concrete and stud walls, either metal or wooden studs. However, before we get to that, allow me to repeat myself; picking the right screw for Ikea suspension rails is the most critical part of a solid kitchen installation.

Geometry of the head of the screw.

Whether you are hanging the suspension rails onto a stud wall or a wall made from concrete or bricks, the head of the screws should always be the same.

The suspension rail on which the cabinets are installed is not hanging directly on the screws like a picture on a nail. Instead, the rail is “pressed” against the wall by the force coming from tightening the screws hard against the rail.

By using a countersunk screw that has a conical surface on the underside, where it will be in contact with the washer, the contact area is not much more than a circular line. By using a screw with a flat surface, on the other hand, the contact area between the screw and the washer will be significantly larger and thus will provide a better grip. You can experience this yourself if you try to press a heavy book towards a wall with just one finger first and then do the same with all five fingers and the palm of your hand. The latter situation is less stressful for you, and the same can be said for the screw.

This picture shows the difference between using a countersunk screw and one with a flat head. The red areas indicate the contact area between the screw and the washer, demonstrating how much bigger the contact area between the screws and the washers becomes using the correct screw.

Pick the right screw for safetyrent results

Concrete and Brick Walls

There is no doubt that installing an Ikea kitchen with suspension rails on a wall made from bricks or concrete is an excellent solution.

Unfortunately, we do not often come across brick/concrete walls in one-family buildings. When we do, however, we need to pick the correct screws.

If you go to your local store with building supplies, you will see that they have many screws for handing stuff into brick/concrete.

The conventional method of using a plastic anchor and a screw is excellent. However, I prefer a self-tapping concrete screw like the one shown in the picture below.

The one-piece design simplifies the installation process, as there is no need to use a separate anchor. You drill a hole in the correct size, depending on the size of your screw and drive the screw into the hole. That is it. In most cases, the masonry drill bit is even included in the pack.

concrete screws for Ikea suspension rails

Drywalls with metal or wood stud framing

There is no doubt that the majority of walls in residential single-family homes in North America are made from gypsum sheets. Either on a stud frame built from metal or wood. However, which one of these is the best from a kitchen installation point of view?

Metal studs

When hanging suspension rails, getting a good grip in a metal stud is almost impossible. Most often, you can only use one screw in every stud sitting 16 or 24 inches apart.

I recommend using wood studs only if you build new stud walls before installing your kitchen. However, suppose you must use metal studs for a specific reason. In that case, I recommend that backing made from 5/8″ or 3/4″ plywood is installed onto the metal studs before drywalls come up in the area where the kitchen cabinets will be installed.

Doing so will give you a much better foundation for hanging the suspension rails, as you can use a combination of self-tapping screws for metal and screws for wood. The first will be used where there is a metal stud behind the plywood, and the latter everywhere else. In this case, you need to pick the right screw twice.

metal stud screws for Ikea suspension rails
Wood studs

The preferred and commonly used wall material in single-family homes is undoubtedly gypsum sheets on wooden studs. To me, the kitchen installer, this is good news because obtaining a solid connection between the screws and the wooden studs is relatively easy if you pick the right screws.

As a kitchen installer, I am delighted that every single kitchen I have installed in single-family homes in Canada was installed on walls where the framing was done with wood studs.

As shown in the picture below, I always use a screw when hanging suspension rails.

It is strong, has a flat surface facing the rail as described above, and will facilitate a safe connection between the suspension rail and the wall. Another benefit is that it uses the Torx drive system, which I find superior to the Phillips and Robertson drive system.

The Torx drive system may initially put you off, but I can only encourage you to try it.

The one I use specifically is shown at the bottom of this page. 

Wood screws for Ikea suspension rails

If you look carefully at the screw, you can see that the neck of the screw has a larger diameter at the very top where it meets the head. This enlarged diameter provides extra material for the inside drive system cavity.

Why is this important, you may ask. Watch this video, and you will know what I mean. 

When you fail to pick the correct screws for Ikea suspension rails, this can happen.
Play Video

Robertson – What is that?

If you are outside Canada, the Robertson system might be new to you, but trust me when I say you are not missing out. For bigger screws, like the ones we are using for hanging suspension rails, the Robertson screws are not great, in my opinion. I know that Robertson is Canada’s most used screw drive system, but that must solely be due to historical reasons. If you want to learn more about this, I highly recommend this video on YouTube.

If you have any questions regarding screws for hanging suspension rails, please email or contact me here. Alternatively, you can leave a comment below.

Thank you for reading this article. I hope that you found it helpful.

PRODUCT RECOMMENDATIONS​

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I encourage you to only invest in these tools or products if you genuinely believe they will contribute to your goal attainment.

Hold on tight to your walls

For the installation of suspension rails into wooden studs, I have been using the WoodPro Fasteners, 1/4-Inch by 2-1/2-Inch, for years now, and last time I checked, nothing has fallen down yet.

Recommended by me. Link to item.

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