Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

How to find a stud in a plaster wall

Finding a stud in your plaster wall is vital if you want to hang artwork or install a bookshelf. There are a number of ways you can find your wall studs depending on your budget and resources.

Knock on the wall

It sounds basic, but knocking on your wall is an easy way to start your stud hunt. When you knock, listen to the sound. If it sounds hollow, you?re not on a stud. If it sounds dull, you?re likely knocking on a stud. Most homes space studs 450 or 650 mm apart, so continue knocking along your wall to get an idea of your stud spacing.

Look for an electrical outlet

Electrical boxes are almost always attached to studs, giving you a clue where your stud may be. While some electrical boxes can be ?floating,? most will be fastened to one side of a wall stud. Use your knock test to find which side of the outlet your stud is located on.

Use a magnet

Studs contain metal screws and nails to join the stud to the top and bottom timber plates. This means they?ll interact with a powerful magnet, making them easier to find.

Once you have located your first stud by knocking or finding a power point, use a powerful magnet at the same point to confirm your find. Position the magnet around 1.2 metres off the floor, as that is usually where the edge of a plasterboard sheet is nailed.

Once your magnet is sticking in place, you can start to secure your bracket to the stud behind. If your budget allows though, confirm you?ve found your stud by using a stud finder.

Use an electronic stud finder

Using a stud finder adds cost to your task, but it allows you to confirm your stud is where you suspect. Plus, great quality stud finders will detect copper pipes and wiring behind your wall so you don?t mistakenly nail or screw into these structures.

To use your stud finder, place the device over the area where you placed your magnet. Most stud finder lights will turn red when they?re directly over a stud, confirming you?re in the right place. If your stud finder light is green, it?s time to start your search again as you?re not on a stud just yet.

Fasten a bracket to the stud

If you?re planning on loading up your new bookshelf with more than 10kgs, it?s important to fasten your chosen bracket to a stud. This provides a secure anchor point to counter-lever the weight on the shelf.

Finding a stud is an important part of many DIY projects, as you don?t want to damage your wall by hanging heavy items from unsupported areas. Whether you?re hanging a bookshelf or a piece of art, secure your brackets to a stud for the ultimate piece of mind.

Written by Carinya