We ran into Kirk Conville of Prest-on while walking around the International Builders Show. As soon as I saw their booth, where they were demoing (live) their Prest-on Insta-backs Drywall Fasteners products, I was captured. Little did Kirk know that I had a project that perfectly matched his solution. You see, I had just installed a television mount overtop a fireplace – and I had done it incorrectly. As a result, I needed to make a drywall patch – and one that I had been dreading for some time. Looking at the Prest-on project, I was feeling a lot more confident, and downright excited to get started.
Fortunately for me, I didn’t even have to go back home and order the product – once he found out who we were, Kirk handed me one right then and there. We love guys like that.
To get an overview you can check out this video of the Prest-on Drywall Installation products.
Prest-on Insta-backs Drywall Fasteners Features
There are actually several types of Prest-on products, each designed to help facilitate a different aspect of drywall fastening. While this review dealt solely with the company’s Insta-back product, we thought we’d detail the different products and their uses from the perspective of the entire product line (there are three products):
These aren’t large NFL backs, but rather a clip designed to eliminate wood or steel stud backup at corners and ceilings. If you look at the fastener you can see that it simply clips securely onto the 4-foot ed of a standard piece of drywall. You then screw the clip into the corner and the other side conceals the clip when it is fastened into the same stud from the other direction. The result is faster framing and less need for extra 2×4 studs in the corner, but it also means less drilling for electricians and easier and more efficient insulation in wall cavities.
Like the corner-back products, the goal is the same, but these clips mount directly to the top or side stud for facilitating easy ceiling drywall installation. It also has the added benefit of combatting truss lift since both the drywall and clips will flex, being directly attached.
As we outline in our review, these are primarily repair products, making for easy and secure installation of drywall patches.
Use and Testing
Our application of the Insta-backs product was simple: repair a section of drywall as part of installing power and low voltage cabling for a television that was to be mounted over a fireplace. We literally had our work cut out for us. We started by removing the products that needed to be moved, revealing several holes that we then joined into a single opening to be repaired.
Next we inserted the Insta-back clips in four strategic positions. We say “strategic”, because – unlike most newer construction – we were dealing with 1920’s plaster and lathe-backed walls, which made the clips a bit tougher to install. Still, as we thought, the flexibility of the clip, plus some finagling on our end made for a successful installation of the clips.
Once the Insta-back clips were ready, we cut a matching piece of drywall, and set it in place, screwing it down as directed by the Prest-on instructional video – about 3/4-inch from the center of the clip and dead center.
Once everything was fastened it was simply a matter of wiggling the exposed tabs back and forth until they broke off, fiberglass mesh taping everything, and then applying several thin coats of drywall mud to hide the repair. Check out the results after texturing and painting the wall:
That is one nice-looking flat panel TV installation!
I don’t know anybody who’s not going to run into a situation that calls for a solution like Prest-on’s Insta-back clips. The only difficulty seems to be in finding them. For the average user, you’ll need to either order them online, or luck out with a dealer who stocks them (we couldn’t find a dealer locator on their website). In either case, these are excellent products that will appeal to any contractor or journeyman in both new construction and remodel applications – if you can find them, that is. Plumbers and electricians should love these clips, and I can’t imagine anything more useful for turning what is typically a real painful experience into something extremely manageable and quick. You can even buy them in bulk (50 clips and 100 screws for around $17 or 200 clips for $41 with free shipping. There’s really nothing like it on the market and it completely revolutionizes drywall repair in a way we’ve never seen before. I think after using it, the only disappointment is the fact that the company has been around for so long yet doesn’t seem to have made a huge dent in the marketplace – at least not in the sense that they are available at local home improvement warehouses, Sears, or Ace Hardware stores. This is one product that should NOT be kept a secret!
About Prest-on Drywall Fasteners
Prest-on drywall fasteners make wall, corner and ceiling installations and repairs easier, faster and safer. By using these remarkably simple components, a number of time-consuming steps can be eliminated! Impressive savings on materials are also gained by reducing waste and eliminating unnecessary framing members!