Professional Builder’s Lee Jones reports on a plasterboard fixing that’s as strong as a bull.
Bullfix Universal can be used on all the most common types of plasterboard construction, cannot be installed incorrectly when following the manufacturer’s instructions, and will comfortably take substantially greater weights than other supposedly heavy-duty products.” That’s the confident claim of Matt Statham a chartered engineer and one of the founders of Bullfix.
It was in 2020 that Matt teamed up with Mark Howe, Bullfix inventor and a builder of 35 years standing. Whilst there are already multiple plasterboard fixings available there isn’t one solution that will work on every type of board and in every application and Mark had identified a gap in the market. Not only that, but there is considerable doubt over whether many of the current solutions are robust enough to handle substantial weights. Some have a tendency to move and work loose, and you can’t even be certain that they’ve deployed correctly in the cavity behind the plasterboard. Others would have issues with either dot and dab, stud wall or insulation backed boards – and none would work with all of them.
As a consequence, installers have been taking extreme measures to ensure that heavy, and often expensive items are not the victims of gravity and come crashing down, including cutting pieces of plasterboard out of a stud wall in order to fit additional wooden noggins. Of course, that will entail the time-consuming and expensive patching, plastering and redecorating of the area and is something that a busy builder would certainly be happy to avoid.
What the trades need is a plasterboard fixing that they can trust, and one that can be utilised in every eventuality – and the result is Bullfix Universal. This heavy-duty solution can be used on all types of plasterboard. It’s easy to fit, super strong, reliable, and suitable for mounting heavy items, including radiators, cupboards, shelves, TVs and kitchen cabinets.
Importantly, it can be used in the three main types of plasterboard construction. Bullfix Universal only requires a cavity depth of 7mm, for example. In dot and dab applications, which is typically used on the interior of external walls – and features an inherently smaller cavity – that makes it particularly adept. It will work on studwork in internal party walls and, in what has become a real challenge for installers, it’s also suitable for insulation-backed plasterboard. With the increased thermal efficiency requirements of modern housing, the latter jobs are becoming more and more common, and again feature thinner cavities. The answer has hitherto been to try and push the fixing right through to the blockwork behind wherever possible, but that’s simply not necessary with Bullfix Universal.
Here’s a step-by-step on hanging a radiator using Bullfix Universal fixings:
It’s the patented design of the Bullfix Universal fixing that allows it to support weights of up to 116kg. Featuring wings that displace the load, and won’t work loose over time, the fixing screw hole is only lined up properly when the wings are fully deployed, so the fixing can’t be used unless it is properly inserted. It is, in effect, impossible to screw an item to the plasterboard unless those wings have been properly deployed. Not only that but installation couldn’t be simpler. It’s just a matter of five straightforward steps to success – drill a hole, insert the collar, push the fixing in tail end first, and tap until flat. You are then ready to secure any item you like to the fixing.
Impressively, Bullfix Universal is the only product in its class that has been independently tested by FIRA (Furniture Industry Research Association) to take loads on 12.5mm – 17mm plasterboard up to the highest rating capacities needed for kitchen cabinets. Stringent European EU regulations already exist on what kitchen cabinets should be able to support in terms of weight, but none exist for fixings. Bullfix is the only solution that also conforms to those same weight demands for kitchen cabinets.
In addition, many heavy-duty fixings currently on the market are 25mm, whereas Bullfix Universal is only 20mm. In testing it performs in pull-out, and shear strength – which is the downward force on a wall – and is very useful in projecting, cantilever applications, such as shelving.
All of that means that, in the vast majority of applications, Bullfix Universal is all you need. For even more strength, however, the trades can choose Bullfix Extra, which will support weights of up to 133kg when used in a 20mm cavity. Designed for stud wall applications only, this solution can be used on boiler installations, for instance, or when you’re hanging a £1,500 plus flat screen TV and could benefit from maximum peace of mind.
Elsewhere in the range, Bullfix Hooks are proving very popular and are a replacement for the traditional panel pins and hooks that are often lightweight and work loose. By contrast, these heavy-duty hooks can be made use of to secure the likes of mirrors or paintings and can take 30kg each. A retaining clip provides added reassurance when a cord is in place, ensuring that it can’t fall out.
Bullfix Cabinet Brackets can be used instead of the brackets that are supplied with most kitchen cabinets. The latter are designed to be fixed to masonry walls, with the holes quite close together, and are not very plasterboard friendly. By contrast, Bullfix Cabinet Brackets work on the same principle as the Bullfix Universal fixing and can easily take 100kg. The holes are further apart, which displaces the load, and ensures that a cabinet can be installed in plasterboard with real confidence. Again, this is a product that has passed the FIRA tests.
For builders that have already built walls, or are looking to install the likes of radiators Bullfix will maintain a high level of quality workmanship, ensuring reliability and ultimately protecting business reputation.
For further information on the Bullfix range visit Home page – Bullfix.