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I am trying to mount a TV that's about 20lbs into some studs in the wall. I used a stud finder and drilled some holes where the studs should be but never hit any wood, instead I hit a metal plate about half a centimeter thick.

First off I am puzzled why I would have this metal plate to begin with but I am more concerned by the fact that I can't find any studs. Is this "ok"? Can I safely mount my TV by drilling into this metal plate?

The room in question is in the basement and has finished drywall on the walls. I tried drilling 16in from the corner of 2 walls and tried the stud finder in several locations but everytime I only hit the metal sheet. Where a stud shouldn't be (according to the stud finder), there's no metal plate which makes me think it's a substitute for studs.

If I left out any important details please let me know. Thanks!

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Are you sure you didn't hit one of these: menards.com/main/building-materials/metal-framing/… –  Legion600 May 4 '13 at 19:28
    
@Legion600 That might be what I hit. They don't look very sturdy, do you think I can mount a TV on one? Maybe with a toggle bolt? –  connor May 4 '13 at 19:55
    
It's common practice to use steel studs in basement finishing projects these days. They come in different gauges. The thicker, the sturdier, the safer I'd feel hanging an expensive TV on it. –  DA01 May 5 '13 at 2:44
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1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted

As Legion600 suggested, you probably have steel studs as furring strips. You need to be sure you are not hitting protection plates installed on wood studs.

cable protection plate

These protect electrical or plumbing lines close to the stud face, and you must never attempt to drill through these. Usually, if you drill several inches above or below such plates, you will hit wood. If you are hitting metal along the entire stud length, it is not a protection plate, but a metal stud. Metal studs in this application should be fairly light gauge and easy to drill through. Protection plates are about 16 GA and are not easy to drill through.

You may anchor objects to metal studs. They are sturdy enough when finish sheathing is attached along their length. Do not use toggles, the hole required is too large. It's best to use a number of self-drilling screws that are barely long enough to engage the stud face material after passing through the mount and wall finish. This avoids damaging any lines routed through the center holes of the stud. You can also use self tapping screws into pre-drilled holes, but drill very carefully so as not to damage any underlying lines when the drill breaks through the face material, and again, use appropriate length screws.

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