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I'm installing a speaker wall bracket (Q Acoustics 2000WB) onto drywall. It has five mounting holes. photo of the bracket Photo from https://pricespy.co.uk/product.php?g=603554

I'm running into some wood immediately after drilling through drywall where I would expect there to be a void. The building was built in 2014. More detail below, but here are my questions:

1) Is it okay to keep drilling somewhat to see how far deep this goes and what happens? I probably already went deeper with the first anchor (see below), but I'm not positive.

2) What could this be?

3) Can I just use wood screws instead of anchors here?

Thank you for your help.

Edit: I've finished installing the bracket using one large anchor and four smaller ones. I'm still not sure what the wood is. My very rough estimate is that it's 0.2" thick. Commenters have made plausible suggestions, including that because this is a unit-to-unit wall, it could be for fire containment, security, or sound insulation.


Long-winded background and details.

I used a magnetic stud finder and chose a spot about 4" to the right of a stud because the bracket is too wide to attach entirely to a stud.

I bought these E-Z Ancor drywall anchors which say they don't need drilling, but I wasn't able to get them any further than the half way point before bringing out the drill. I drilled increasingly wider holes within the tapered hole that had already been formed by screwing the anchor in partially, each time allowing the anchor to screw in a little further until it was able to be flush with the wall.

I decided to use that anchor for the top center hole and find something smaller and hopefully simpler for the other four. These smaller anchors do require drilling. I was able to drill through the drywall pretty easily, but then I hit some resistance, seemingly right around 1/2" in. I tried drilling one of the diagonal holes which is about 4.25" up and 1.75" to the right. Same thing. I drilled a little further into this one and got some sawdust on the drill. I stopped at this point because I live in a shared rental, so I don't want to cause damage or irritate my neighbors.

So there's wood behind this area of drywall and I'm not sure why. I was thinking it could be a fire block, but that wouldn't continue for nearly 4" of height, right? Maybe it's something to do with a previous occupant patching up from a TV mount or similar, given that it's one of the two obvious places in the unit to put a TV.

I'm pretty sure the first anchor installation ran into the same wood but I didn't notice it because the difficulty screwing it in began right where the wider thread began to enter the drywall. I thought I had to drill the hole for that one because of some vague made up idea about the shape of the anchor, because there wouldn't possibly be solid wood there, would there? (no pun intended). The drill got through the resistance at a pretty minimal depth though, seemingly 1/2".

My question is similar to "How can I avoid hitting wood when cutting through drywall?" except I'm pretty sure it's not a previous owner attaching drywall to a wood-paneled wall given that this is a rental unit that is only 4 years old. and

  • If the picture is of the exact hardware you have, notice that the screws are an evolution of Phillips called Pozidriv. finehomebuilding.com/2015/09/16/… – Jim Stewart Apr 28 '18 at 7:09
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    A "magnetic" stud finder will find a stud by detecting the steel drywall nails or screws. If in framing an extra piece of wood is emplaced, then the drywall will usually not be fastened to that member and so it would be invisible to a magnetic stud finder. Is the selected location of this speaker on the ceiling or on a wall? Is this a shared partition with other units? You need to be careful you don't drill into an electrical wire or plumbing. – Jim Stewart Apr 28 '18 at 7:20
  • Thanks for the comments @JimStewart. The bracket actually did not come with wall hardware; it says this is because the necessary hardware can vary so widely. Today I learned about Pozidriv, though. It didn't occur to me that some extra wood would be used between studs and not attached to drywall, but that would fit the situation. I wouldn't expect it to be pressed up against the drywall like this or to be taller than 3.5", but it makes at least as much sense as any other explanation. I'm a noob to this stuff, so my expectations don't mean much. – Tim J Apr 28 '18 at 7:29
  • This is a wall shared with another unit. There is an electrical outlet that looks like it's attached to the right-hand-side of the next stud over to the right and I don't believe there is any water flowing anywhere near that area in either apartment, so I'm doubtful that these would be issues. But I have no proof that this is a totally safe area. – Tim J Apr 28 '18 at 7:37
  • Probably, the holes you have drilled are too large for wood screws. If you get plastic anchors you can put them in the wood and then use the screws which you had intended. Or you could shift an inch and redrill with small diameter (pilot holes for wood screws). Try not to go too deep to reduce the chance of hitting something. – Jim Stewart Apr 28 '18 at 7:56

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