I've read so many forums and advice pages about this but have seen nothing definitive!

I have a 23kg 55" tv and a full motion mount that claims it can hold 40kg+

I think my walls are plasterboard with studs but I'm not 100% certain... If I can confirm, through drilling little test holes, that there are studs are either or both of the following options ok:

1) if studs align perfectly with tv mount then just drill into wooden studs and mount on them with 4 x corner holes of tv mount, then the 2 middle holes of tv mount use heavy duty gripit plasterboard fixings.

2) if studs don't align, or just anyway, use something like 18mm ply/mdf to span all available studs behind tv, fix that in with numerous screws into wooden studs, then screw tv mount into the ply. < If I use this option should I go all the way through wood and plasterboard with the tv mount fixings or not?

Help hugely appreciated. I just want to avoid having to cut out the whole wall and but battens or additional studs in then replastering because that is waaay outside of my experience level. Thanks

  • Most TV mounts have elongated mounting holes so you can fasten all 4 bolts into studs, making plywood unnecessary. The usual scenarios to use plywood are wider-than-standard spacing of studs or a small mount that's not wide enough to span two studs. Can you link to the mount you have?
    – mmathis
    Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 15:40
  • Hi yes it does have elongated mounting holes this is it:
    – EBAK87
    Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 21:10
  • Hi yes it does have elongated mounting holes this is it: amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01AYBLPNA/… the main issue is that there appears to just be a random pattern of hollow and solid parts behind (what I assume is) the plasterboard! So there might be a solid sounding bit which you assume is a stud - but then it doesn't run all the way up/down the wall or side to side it just ends after a little bit and then goes hollow again!
    – EBAK87
    Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 21:20

1 Answer 1


Your #2 idea to use some sheet material to span across the whole range of studs is the way to go. However do not use MDF or particle board. Both those materials have terrible screw retention problems. Instead use good quality plywood.

Also use thicker plywood if you can get it. 18mm thickness is a little on the thin side for this application. Try to get 20mm or more. The reason is that full motion TV mounts will put incredible stress on the mounting screws and you want to maximize the ability of the plywood to grip the screw threads and provide the maximal pull-out strength.

Note that when mounting the plywood to the wall always use a pilot drill of the appropriate size for the screw threads into the stud. Sized properly the installed screw will be stronger than if you try to just brute force it into the stud without the pilot hole. The same thing for the mount screws into the plywood - use pilot holes there too.

The size of the plywood sheet may want some consideration. If you can get substantial coverage over studs and still have it largely behind the TV than it will be easy to paint to same color as the wall and be hardly noticeable. On the other hand if it has to be larger than the TV then it may actually be aesthetically better looking to extend the plywood all across the width of the working surface.

  • Do you have any idea why I can't find vertical studs behind the wall through tapping? There are just random spots of solid sounding areas and then it mostly sounds hollow? I'm struggling to imagine what's behind the actual wall that I can screw even ply into now!
    – EBAK87
    Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 21:32
  • Tapping to find studs sometimes works well and other times not so we'll. There is also some amount of experience finesse involved with the technique as well.
    – Michael Karas
    Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 21:51
  • You need to try other techniques as well. Stud finder. Magnet searching for nails or screws holding up the drywall etc.
    – Michael Karas
    Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 21:53
  • Yeah I've ttied the magnet trick to no avail and the stud finder gives very random readings it's hard to understand or repeat results with it. I think I'm going to go for poking a thin screw driver through and see what I find.
    – EBAK87
    Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 22:22

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