How To Find Studs In Your Walls
In terms of the structure of your house, studs are vertical 2 x 4 ft beams that constitute the frame of your house. They’re virtually everywhere – windows, doors, exterior siding, interior walls. However, they’re not always that easy to find, and finding them is important if you want to hang something securely on a wall. If you hang something from a less stable part of your wall, the damage could easily occur when your fixture object falls or drywall disintegrates. In order to mount a variety of things, here are some helpful tips.
This is a great invention which helps you not only find stud but the center of a stud. They can cost anything from $10 to $50; an electric stud finder will find the center of any stud, as long as it’s not covered by more than 1.5 inches of drywall. Electric stud finders operate by being able to detect changes in the width of your wall. Magnetic stud finders are a cheaper alternative; they use a modest-sized magnet to find metal nails and screws lurking beneath. They are not quite as effective, due to various pipework can trick a magnetic stud finder. You might consider using your smartphone, which also has apps that can help detect the stud. Even with an electric stud finder, though, be sure to scrutinize the specifications of your model. If you have an edge-finding model it will locate the edge of the stud so you’ll have to repeat the process in both directions, then work out the center via pencil markings.
There are other ways that don’t involve any tech. For example, studs tend to be located beside electrical light switches or outlets. Often these are actually attached to studs. Simply unscrew the light switch panel and you might see the wooden vertical beam, which will run upwards, vertically. Using basic calculations you can work out where the others are because they tend to be either 16 or 24 inches apart. This is the norm.
This requires a bit of experience, but a time-honored tapping technique can be used if you know what to listen out for. If you tap on a place where there is a stud, you will hear a solid sound. The reverse is true if there isn’t a stud – an empty, hollow sound will reverberate. Use a tape measure and mark 12 inches, 16 inches, 24 inches from the edge of the wall. Then tap the wall at each interval and listen out for a solid sound as you tap your way along. When you find a solid sound it indicates a stud behind it, and you can then use that area to fix or mount whatever you want.
As well as the sense of sound, the sense of sight can be used, with the use of a flashlight. If the light is bright enough you should be able to make out various parts that are ever so slightly protruding or bulging out. If there are any screws fastened into the drywall this can also help to know where the studs are. You’ll need a high degree of visibility and a keen eye.
A humble wire clothes hanger can aid you if all else fails, and especially if you’ve ended up banging a hole in the wall without locating the stud. Unbend some of the clothes hangers, creating a kind of right angle. Poke one end into the hole, then slowly rotate 360 degrees. When you make contact then there’s your stud. If you don’t make contact, then simply unbend the wire a little more, to create a wider radius.