How do I find studs in plaster walls to mount TV to wall?

movinginvaSeptember 19, 2011

We have an older house with plaster walls and would like to mount the TV to the wall. When they removed part of the wall in another area of the house I remembered seeing metal mesh in some parts. We have a cheapy stud finder and that one has failed at finding studs, so we bought a more expensive one, and I am not sure that the results can be trusted. I also do not want to turn the wall into swiss cheese trying to find the studs. Is there any good way to find studs in these walls?

**Also posted in This Old House section***

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Stud sensors do go along the lines of good - better - best, but it can be still very difficult to locate the studs due to the metal and mesh used in the walls.

You best bet is to use a little better quality stud sensor, look down along the length of the wall for for slight variations where the studs might be, then tap around a little with a screwdriver handle, listening for slight differences in sound.

When all three seem to come together, mark the suspected location with a piece of masking tape.

Then use something like a 1/16th inch drill bit to drill into the area - do you feel a stud or nothing at all? Did you get a little, or a lot of wood on the bit? Home in on it by going side to side.

The small holes can easily be filled with spackling compound afterward and are hardly noticeable - a little touch-up paint - invisible.

Be careful though since older construction is not always on 16" centers and I have seen many older walls built with 2x3s.

I'd stay away from single stud mounts and just use plastic molding to run the cables down along the surface of the wall.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 10:23PM
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Thank you! We got the TV mounted and it is still hanging in there.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 3:21PM
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I saw an install where they cut out Sheetrock and notched studs about 1-2" deep to recess flat panel unit in wall. Than they moved and took tv with them.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 10:51AM
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