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I'm using a stud finder to find studs behind dry wall and so far I've found 2 and they are 16" apart. Does that mean that there will be a stud every 16" or might the distance change between studs? Is the a standard?

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Yes, there is normally a stud every 16" and yes, the distance may change between studs. –  DA01 Jun 16 '12 at 18:31

3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Yes in most US residential construction they are 16" center to center most of your standard tape measures have every 16th inch noted in red or some other way how ever they may be exceptions where a door window or odd length wall is used so be sure to still make a knock on the wall to check

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Most recent construction has 16", but I've seen 24" apart in some walls, and in one house built in the '30s they were apparently just placed at random. –  chris Jun 16 '12 at 22:43
Agree with @chris; 16" or 24" are common for modern construction, but building codes were different or nonexistent in old buildings. My prewar apartment has no predictable pattern for stud placement. If what you've measured is 16" so far and the house is pretty new, chances are they'll continue to be 16" apart - but always use a stud finder to double check. –  Laura Jun 18 '12 at 14:28
My parents' prewar house has them every 18" –  Yitzchak Jun 18 '12 at 18:53

In Australia there are two standard widths for studs. 60cm (23.6") and 45cm (17.7").

Builders will stick to that whenever they can, but if they need to move them or add new studs for, say, structural reasons, they will. I would never ever make assumptions regarding the locations of studs.

What I would do is use the knowledge of your local stud standards to help me find the next stud.

Not sure what other nations standards are for stud distances.

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This depends on whether it is a load bearing wall and what you are using for studs. In a load bearing wall they are normally 16in on center. In a non-load bearing wall they can be 24in and if using 2x6's they can be wider apart as long as plate and/or rafter tie-ins are used and exterior or interior sheathing, not drywall, is used to stop horizontal shear and the rain/snow load is taken into account. These widths make it easy to use 4x8 plywood or drywall for covering. In the southern United States, where you do not have a snow load, you can get away with 24 inches with the sheathing for garages but for a domicile I would use 16in in all applications.

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