How To Find Studs In A Wall Without A Stud Finder – It’s Easier Than You Think!

You’ve heard studs are the best place to mount hardware when you’re looking to display heavy or bulky items like mirrors, televisions, or artwork on your walls, but you just have no idea how To proceed to find these important structural elements. That’s why we asked interior design professional Elizabeth B. Lord Levitt, lead designer for Elizabeth B. Below, she shares why hidden wall items are so important when it comes to decorating, and the surprisingly simple ways how to find screws in a wall without using any special equipment.

What are buttons exactly?

Illustration of the interior of a wall lined with wooden studs


Not to be confused with handsome men or stud horses, studs are basically large vertical beams that help form buttress walls, whether structurally or dividing rooms. Studs can be wood or metal, but wood studs are generally used in residential applications to create the interior and exterior walls of a home.

They are usually spaced 16″-24″ apart and serve to provide stability for stud walls.

“Studs are an integral part of a home’s framing. Knowing where they are located within a wall can help with electrical and plumbing retools, and even HVAC work. The thickness of the stud depends on the application, if it’s an interior or exterior wall. Studs” says Lord-Levitt. The outer walls are thicker to allow for more insulation.

While most of the time we don’t have to worry about them, buttons are a very important factor when it comes to certain decor pieces. “Finding a wall stud is necessary for a number of reasons, but mainly necessary to provide stability when hanging heavy wall decor or TV stands,” she adds. “Finding a stud is essential for installing grab bars (such as those in bathrooms) to assist the disabled, as you need structural stability to support a person’s weight.” Once you find a nail. This is what you drill into to hang heavy pieces.

This video provides a simple explanation of stud walls and wall studs only:

How do I find wooden wall studs?

Whether you need to hang a TV stand, large mirror, or floating shelves, you’ll need to locate the bracket to ensure the item has the support it needs. Contractors and builders use stud finders to get the job done, but you don’t have to buy the special tool to do it. If you have an electric shaver, it will do the trick! Simply run the charged (or plugged-in) device onto the wall. When the device passes over a nail, its pitches will change, alerting you to the right places to put the right hardware to hang what you need. Note: This works best on dry walls.

Two low-tech methods for locating a stud behind drywall can work in a pinch:

  1. “The most primitive method is to knock on a wall, listening for emptiness against a heavy blow,” Lord Levitt shares. “That hard hit would be a nail.”

  2. Take a tape measure and measure the horizontal distance from the side of the door or window down the wall, every 16″ on center,” which means the distance from the center of one stud to the center of the stud of the next. Although Lord-Levitt says that’s not ideal, because you’re guessing how Someone built the structure and assumptions are made about where Nail will live.

Need to find a metal wall stud?

“In the age of technology, a stud finder app is available to easily locate a stud behind a wall,” says Lord-Levitt. The Stud Finder app for iOS uses a magnetometer to measure the magnetic field when your phone is near metal objects. Likewise, Stud Detector for Android makes it easy to find screws, nails, and framing studs in your walls.

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