My electrician put the metal plates pictured below wherever he drilled through a stud. My guess is that this strengthens the stud, because it was weakened by the holes he drilled.

Studs with metal plates added: studs with metal plate

  • What are these metal plates?
  • Why are they used?
  • Is this good practice?
  • What are the alternatives?
  • 2
    Yes, and they also put nail guards around any piping running through studs as well. Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 18:55
  • 12
    It might be a good idea to take a picture of the whole wall while it's open or measure where the cable is. If you want to attach something to that wall in the future, you will know where the cable is instead of having to search for it again.
    – duct tape
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 19:47
  • Must be region-dependent.... I'd expect cable to be run vertically from above or below, not horizontally through the wall like this.
    – Criggie
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 22:31
  • 2
    It also helps when you go over the wall with a wire detector. they'll see the interference cause the the metal plates, causing hem to beep that it's not safe there. Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 10:07

2 Answers 2


This is excellent practice. These plates help guard against someone accidentally drilling into the wire when mounting things on the wall.

  • 43
    +1 The general rule is these must be used when the holes are less than 1 1/4inches from the edge of the stud. NEC 300.4(A)(1). Putting them everywhere is fine. They do not provide strength, only protection.
    – bib
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 17:27
  • 28
    A drill can easily short circuit the wire inside the wall, and if you happened to have drilled through a stud, you'll be creating sparks on top of fine sawdust. If it isn't obvious by now, you can easily start fires this way, inside your wall.
    – Nelson
    Commented Oct 16, 2016 at 16:32
  • 6
    This is also a good practice for plumbing. A $0.50 plate can save you hundreds in repair costs later
    – Machavity
    Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 14:51
  • 3
    @Machavity more like thousands. And that's if the penetration is detected (and reported - not all contractors have scrupulous integrity). An undetected leak of electricity or water could cost tens or maybe even hundreds of thousands.
    – stannius
    Commented Oct 17, 2016 at 17:19
  • This answer would be better if it explained why those particular studs have plates, and few of the rest of the studs through the house that also contain wires do. Of course, the reason is that the electrician was unable to drill through the studs further back due to their close proximity to the adjacent studs.
    – isherwood
    Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 1:38

Nothing to do with strength of the stud. Everything to do with protecting the wire.

A necessary safeguard in this case because the wires come too close to the edge of the stud - vulnerable to drills, screws, and nails.

Not normally required if the wire is in the center of a regular 2x4 (should never need to drive a nail or screw that deep).

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