How to Find a Wall Stud (and why it’s important)
Are you wanting to hang a large painting or family portrait? Maybe you just bought a new TV you want to mount on the wall? People adorn their walls with a wide assortment of items to improve their homes and provide personalized touches. It takes more than a hammer and a nail to safely hang something on the wall and depending on the weight and type of item, it may be imperative that you find a wall stud to avoid damage.
When it’s Important to Use a Wall Stud
If you hang a heavy item into regular drywall and not into a wall stud, the weight can pull the nail or hook from the drywall and send the item crashing to the floor. There is not an exact weight when you can no longer use a nail or an anchor. You must you good judgement to decide when each is appropriate. A small certificate with a lightweight plastic frame will probably be fine with just a nail if it’s only a few ounces, however, an 8×10 wood frame with a glass face would not. As a rough rule of thumb, anchors should be good for items up to 25 pounds or so, though there are anchors which can handle much more if installed properly. To protect your most beloved items and your home’s drywall, though, you’ll want to hang them from a wall stud.
Understanding Wall Studs
The typical modern house has vertical 2×4 wall studs located every 16 inches. On rare occasions, there might be horizontal wall studs. There should always be a wall stud by a corner in the room, on the sides of windows and next to any wall outlet. You can measure from locations of known studs and make marks every 16 inches to help determine where there is a wall stud, however, framing is not an exact science and this is no guarantee. The best way to find studs quickly is to invest in a cheap stud finder, available at most home improvement stores. The stud finder uses deep scanning technology to locate the studs on the wall quickly and accurately.
Some people who have a good sense of sound and feel can knock softly on the sheetrock and when the tone changes then they know that they have found a stud. This method often causes a couple of “misses” as exactly hitting the 1.5″ width of a 2×4 can be difficult when estimating.
After Finding a Stud
Once you find a wall stud then you can easily drive a nail or screw through not only the drywall but also directly into the wood of the stud to secure whatever item you are hanging. A strong word of caution, as walls carry plumbing and electrical which can be easily hit if you aren’t careful.
Forensic Engineering Specialists
Engineering Specialists Inc. has nearly 30 years of field experience in analyzing the damage to residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. We can work on any project in any state, nationwide. When you or your business needs to confirm the extent of damage or how to correct a problem, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us, toll-free, at (877) 559-4010.