Please subscribe to my YouTube channel for all the latest smart home tips, tricks and updates!

How Best To Screw In Ring Alarm Sensors (& Which Screws To Use)

Using the double-sided adhesive tape to mount your Ring alarm sensors is convenient, but it’s not the most secure option.

Screwing your Ring sensors to the wall means that they won’t be going anywhere. They will stay in the position you need them in, so you don’t have to worry about the adhesive tape falling off while you’re on vacation. Screwing the Ring alarm sensors to a wall or door frame is easier than you might expect.

The best way to mount Ring alarm sensors with screws is to first stick the case to the wall using the included adhesive tape, then drill the case to the wall while it’s stuck there. You should also make sure to use drywall or masonry anchors depending on the surface you’re mounting the sensors too. You can find the right size screws to use by taking the Ring sensor to your local hardware store and sizing the screws they have for sale.

Let’s leave that less-than-sticky tape behind and mount our Ring alarm sensors using screws!

A Quick Intro to Ring Alarm Sensors

Front view of the Ring Motion Sensor 2nd gen
Front view of the Ring Motion Sensor 2nd gen

Ring alarm sensors are a great choice for smart tech enthusiasts were looking to add a little bit more security to there home security systems. These sensors come in two varieties. You’ve got the Ring motion sensor and the Ring contact sensor:

Ring Contact Sensor 2nd gen
Ring Contact Sensor 2nd gen

The motion sensors are good for, well, detecting motion while the contact sensors are a great choice for letting you know when windows and doors have been opened. The sensors connect to a central Ring alarm base station that’s responsible for keeping you up-to-date about the security of your home.

There’s also the Ring Protect Plus and Pro plans. This adds a few additional features that home security enthusiasts might enjoy such as real-time security monitoring and an extended warranty for your devices.

How to Screw in Ring Alarm Sensors

Each of the Ring alarm sensors come with double-sided tape for mounting. This double-sided tape is the easiest way to mount these Ring sensors, but it might not be the best when it comes to home security.

Plenty of users reported that the double-sided table loses its adhesion overtime. This causes their Ring alarm sensors to fall to the floor which is less than ideal placement for an alarm sensor.

The adhesive and screw holes on the back of a Ring Contact Sensor
The adhesive and screw holes on the back of a Ring Contact Sensor

The adhesive on this tape also has trouble sticking to certain paints as well as masonry. The tape can also be knocked off easily by children, pets, or even an especially clever would-be thief. All of these reasons come together for the reason why mounting your Ring alarm sensors with screws is just a better choice for home security.

Let’s take a look at everything you would need to mount your Ring alarm sensor is using screws.

What Size Screw Do You Need for Ring Sensors?

This is one of the toughest questions that you’re going to face when looking to mount your Ring motion sensors using screws. You need to find the right screws in order to mount your devices without damaging the case.

Ring does not list the size of screws that you should use for mounting their alarm sensors. After some careful research, we’ve found that 1½“/3mm diameter screws are the best option for securely mounting these sensors. This size fits into those small mounting holes snugly without damaging the cases.

The four screw holes of the Ring Motion Sensor back plate
The four screw holes of the Ring Motion Sensor back plate

Note: The older (first gen) contact sensor case didn’t properly support countersunk screws. Countersunk screws have a little angle on their heads that allows them to sit flush in surfaces like drywall. Your mounting screws will be hidden by your Ring sensor case, which means you’ll want to find panhead screws or other types that aren’t countersunk.

However as you can see from the picture of (of a second gen Ring Motion Sensor), countersunk screws are more naturally supported here. Just be aware of this caveat if you have the older first gen Ring alarm sensors.

Note: it’s also worth noting that the magnet in some Ring alarm sensors is quite close to the screw holes, resulting in the screw hopping over to the magnet – making it almost impossible to screw in. In this case, stainless steel screws (which are non-ferrous/non-magnetic) are worth purchasing.

When in doubt, take your Ring contact or motion sensors to your local hardware store and head to the aisle with the screw bins. You’ll be able to test fit some screws and find the right diameter and length for your project.

What Type of Surface Are You Screwing Into?

Now we’re getting to the second-biggest challenge for mounting your Ring alarm sensors onto your wall or door frame.

If you’ve ever walked through the screw aisle at your local hardware store, you’ve seen dozens of varieties of different screws. Each of these screws is designed for a different job or being drilled into a different surface. You’re going to need the right one for the surface you are mounting your Ring sensor onto.

Here’s three of the most common household surfaces for mounting Ring alarm sensors.

Wood

Lots of different pieces of wood and outdoor timber mainly screwed together
Lots of different pieces of wood and outdoor timber mainly screwed together

It’s going to be no surprise that wood is one of the most common surfaces for mounting Ring alarm sensors. This is especially the case when you’re mounting contact sensors into your door frame or the door itself.

If you’re mounting your Ring sensors onto wood walls or doorframes, you should look for wood screws. These are pretty average-looking screws that can be purchased for just a few cents each at your local hardware store.

A Ring Contact Sensor installed on my front door
A Ring Contact Sensor installed on my wooden front door

Drywall

Most of today’s homes have walls that are made out of gypsum board more commonly known as drywall. Drywall emerged as an economical and effective way to put up interior walls in homes, but it also presents a lot of hazards when it comes to drilling and hanging anything on your walls.

Drywall are more than a little bit fragile and using wood screws might work, but it’s best to treat drywall with a little bit of delicacy.

This means getting drywall anchors that you can then drill your screws into. These anchors offer more support and help distribute the load of whatever you’re hanging across the drywall itself. Remember that should get drywall anchors that correspond to the length, and width, of your screw.

In the UK, GripIt fixings are often the easiest way of mounting into drywall:

A drywall anchor from the UK known as a Grip It fixing
A drywall anchor from the UK known as a Grip It fixing

But these can be a bit bulky and visible, so a more simple metal drywall anchor can work just as well.

Masonry

Masonry is going to be the hardest surface to attach your Ring alarm sensors to. The adhesive tape that comes with the sensors just isn’t designed to stick to rough surfaces like brick, and screwing into stone is impossible. You’ll therefore need to get a drill.

A combi drill with various masonry drill bits
A combi drill with various masonry drill bits

This project starts with getting masonry anchors, which you can think of as drywall anchors but for stonework, and then pre-drill your holes in the masonry. Then you can insert the masonry anchors into the holes you drilled and attach your Ring alarm sensor as if you were mounting it into drywall.

An easy way to think of drilling into masonry as this is the same general process is hanging something on drywall except you’re playing on hard mode.

Using the “Adhesive First” Method

Here’s a quick trick that you can use for screwing your Ring alarm sensors into your wall.

You use the double-sided tape that came with your Ring sensors it to temporarily mount them on your wall. This not only allows you to get a good sense of where you want to position your sensors, but holds them to the wall for you while you drill them in.

Simply tape the side of the case that has the mounting holes on to the wall and then drill straight through that double-sided tape.

The tape is quite thin, so when you screw the sensor down, it will flatten the tape enough so that the Ring sensor will basically still be flush with the wall.

This approach makes mounting and screwing your Ring alarm sensors so much easier! Otherwise it’ll seem really fiddly, and your screw holes probably won’t match up completely.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Screwing in Ring Sensors

Now let’s take a look at a step-by-step guide to that will walk you through everything you need to do to mount your Ring alarm sensors.

  1. Your first step is to measure where you want to hang your Ring alarm sensor
  2. Next use a pencil to mark dots on the wall or doorframe where your screw mounted holes are going to go
  3. You can also just use the “Adhesive First” method we mentioned earlier to skip step 2 and get perfect locations for your mourning holes every time
  4. Step 4 is only for drywall and masonry. Pre-drill holes for your drywall or masonry anchors and gently tap your anchors into place using a rubber mallet
  5. Open the cases of your Ring alarm sensors
  6. Drill the side with the mounting holes into your wall or doorframe
  7. Attach the other half of the case making sure they “click” into place

Your Ring alarm sensors should be securely mounted and able to withstand everything from kids slamming doors to the toughest weather.

About Tristan Perry

Tristan Perry is a software developer who is passionate about tech gadgets, DIY and housing. He has therefore loved seeing smart homes hit the mainstream. Tristan also has an academic background (in Math & Computer Science), and so he enjoys digging into the technical ways that smart home devices work.

Tristan owns close to a dozen Amazon Echo devices, way too many Philips Hue bulbs and lightstrips, a boat-load of Ring Cameras and Doorbells... and a bunch of other smart home devices too (from Reolink, Google Nest, GLEDOPTO and others).

2 thoughts on “How Best To Screw In Ring Alarm Sensors (& Which Screws To Use)”

  1. How do you keep the magnets from the screws when trying to put in the screws? They keep hopping over to the magnet.

    Reply
    • It can depend on the alarm accessory as to where the magnet is located (relative to the screw hole), but if it’s an ongoing issue, you can purchase stainless steel screws which are non-ferrous/non-magnetic – and therefore they don’t keep hopping over to the magnet. Good question though – I’ll add a note in the article to reflect this point. Thanks!

      Reply

Leave a Comment