I was thinking about mounting some ikea besta cabinets on a shared wall in my house (1997ish construction, weird town house thing that shares a wall with the neighbour, and there is an office down stairs).

I was having extreme difficulty finding any studs – and knocking on the wall was giving me weird results – I could find areas that don't sound hollow but they didn't seem to run vertically or horizontally, just 'square'ish areas of non-hollowness every ~60cm or so.

Confused, I took off one of the power outlets to take a look to see what was going on and I don't really know what to make of it.

The power outlets themselves are attached via metal brackets that go deep into the wall.

The other side of the shared wall appears to be brick. Then theres maybe 15-cm to my side, and the majority of it seems to be filled with some kinda concrete-ish stuff? I poked it and it was hard and its grey, thats about all I can say about it. Might just be some kind of sound deadening or fire proofing?

It was hard to take a photo of but I tried:

enter image description here

Anyone have any idea of what kind of construction this is? Is it just some kinda wood or metal bracket attached to the brick wall on the far side of the shared wall? What would I do to mount something to this – just stick to the 'solid' feeling squares? What would they even be made of? Or am I just out of luck?

The rest of the internal walls are pretty normal and I can find a stud reliably every 60cm.

  • In what part of the world is the house located? – RedGrittyBrick Dec 30 '16 at 19:34
  • Melbourne, Australia – tomwilson Dec 30 '16 at 23:30
  • On further investigation it is indeed concrete. Guess I can put whatever I want up there :) – tomwilson Jan 1 '17 at 4:13

Mounting the cabinets in this situation may well be a non-trivial construction project due to the lack of studs and the wall serving as fire separation between dwellings under the control of different occupants.

There are two ways to determine the construction in this case.

  1. Locate accurate architectural plans depicting the original construction. Such plans may not be readily available.

  2. Destructive investigation entailing opening the wall up and looking to see how it is built.

Irrespective of the method used to determine construction, the mounting of cabinets in the absence of studs requires an appropriate plan suitable for the actual construction. Whether such a plan will require a detailed design so that the cabinets are self supporting depends, of course, on the nature of the existing construction.

Alternatively to cabinets, furniture might by used to meet the functional requirements of the larger project.

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