What Is An Orbry Spanker?

14th December 2018

What is an Orbry Spanker?

You’ve probably heard us talk about spankers when discussing installation methods for Orbry Board, but do you know what a spanker is? Don’t worry if you don’t as it’s an affectionate term we coined for the fixing dowels used to install tile backer boards to brick, block or concrete walls. Everyone seems to have a different name for them including expansion dowels, cob plugs and insulation anchors, but we’re quite fond of spankers!

Orbry Spankers can be used to fix Orbry Boards, lining boards, damp-proof membranes or other high-performance insulation systems to brick, block, or concrete walls. The dowels provide excellent achorage, even if the base material is of poor quality. Because both the body and the pin are made of plastic there’s no risk of corrosion, and the head has been designed to to easily adhere to adhesive, render or plaster.

Follow these instructions when installing tile backer boards using Orbry Spankers, remember that the boards should be a minimum of 10mm thick.

  1. Select the appropriate Spanker (check the table below)
  2. Place board or membrane to be fitted against wall
  3. Using a 10mm drill bit, drill through the board and substrate to the required length
  4. Place Orbry Spanker in hole and hammer in to required depth
  5. Insert the pin into the lug and hammer home

When the pin is hammered (or spanked…) in, the dowel expands and anchors into the substrate. Once fixed the dowels have the following pull out performances;

  • Concrete 0.80Kn
  • Brick 0.75KN
  • Block 0.70Kn
  • Hollow block 0.45Kn

Which size spanker do I need?

We have four different thicknesses of spanker available, check the chart below to see which fits your insulation thickness.

Spanker Length Head Diameter Insulation Thickness
60mm 50mm 10mm to 20mm
90mm 50mm 10mm to 50mm
110mm 50mm 30mm to 70mm
130mm 50mm 50mm to 90mm


You can find Orbry Spankers along with our range of tile backer board fixing products in the Orbry Shop here.