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Do all plaster walls have studs?

Posted by notoche (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 30, 10 at 14:15

We just moved into an apartment in San Francisco that was built right after WW2. We wanted to hang our TV, but are having trouble locating the studs. We have two different stud finders and they both act wacky when used on this wall. Sometimes they detect numerous studs sometimes none at all. Is it possible that the wall has no studs? We have drilled a bunch of test holes in the wall and it now looks like swiss cheese, and still have had no luck. We even used a longer drill to see if maybe it was deeper in the wall and ended up just drilling straight through and into the bedroom. We have done tried a bunch of tricks including following the nails on the baseboard, knocking, etc. If anyone can offer any advise it would be greatly appreciated Thank you :)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Do all plaster walls have studs?

The plaster is probably on metal lath or the walls are masonry (or both) but you haven't told us anything about the building.


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RE: Do all plaster walls have studs?

Is there an outlet on the wall?


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RE: Do all plaster walls have studs?

ended up just drilling straight through and into the bedroom.

If you didn't use a masonry drill, that would indicate it's a conventional wood partition wall. Why not just ask the super?


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RE: Do all plaster walls have studs?

If this is a large building, it could have all sorts of pipes or electrical wires in the area you are working. I personally would open up a section to see whats up.


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RE: Do all plaster walls have studs?

There are a couple of large apartment buildings in my city from the late 50s early 60s that are beam and column construction, and none of the interior partitions have studs. There are some units that have masonry walls in between, others have this strange "fireproof" construction where strips of drywall were used as "studs" and two layers of drywall were glued to each side. Some of the partitions within the units are layers of drywall or some kind of panel and are less than 2" thick.

Some walls have conventional outlets and some are in surface mounted boxes. Most people who renovate these units now tear out the partitions and start from scratch since rewiring or anything else is a nightmare.


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