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I'd like to put upright brackets above my sewing table, but I can't seem to locate the studs. The wall is shared with my neighbor in an apartment building. My stud finder was giving me some inconclusive/uneven reads, so I used rare earth magnets to try to locate the studs. The dots indicate where there are nail/screw heads. They are anywhere from 8-12 inches apart horizontally and about 24" apart vertically.

Does this mean there are no studs? Can I drill into what appears to be horizontal studs?

  • Is the wall between you and your neighbor made of concrete or brick? The drywall may be connected to horizontal furring strips that are attached to the masonry.
    – Edwin
    May 28, 2017 at 22:40
  • @Edwin I drilled a pilot hole that went 2" in and it just seems like all drywall?? The bit just has white dust on it.
    – JCH
    May 28, 2017 at 22:53
  • There are other material possibilities as well (such as gypsum cementitious blocks) May 29, 2017 at 3:49
  • I think this Q&A is related.
    – alx9r
    May 29, 2017 at 16:11

1 Answer 1


24" apart vertically means there are horizontal metal strips called RC (resilient channels) Channels. They are used in sound walls to keep sound from "traveling" through the wall.

Anchoring into the metal strips will defeat their purpose and they are not great supports.

  • would using drywall anchors or toggles be an option then?
    – JCH
    May 28, 2017 at 23:06
  • When we need to hang cabinets, etc. we provide blocking between the gypsum board and the studs. We don't rely on the RC channels. However, if you screw into the studs without the blocking, you will crush the gypsum board and crack it. (The gap between the metal strip and studs is about 5/8", I think. ) if you don't put much on the shelves, (you said sewing room,) then the screws may hold if you don't over-tighten. I'd try mounting the brackets into studs and as close to the metal strips as possible for strength.
    – Lee Sam
    May 29, 2017 at 0:20

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