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I am finishing my basement and have metal studs on the perimeter (just in case of any moisture penetration. Planning on hanging an 85", 140 lb flat panel on the wall.

The drywall is not up yet, so I can do basically anything. Can anyone advise on the best thing to do? I have read a lot of differing opinions, like inserting 2x4s into the studs and screwing them together and then proceeding the same as with wood studs. Or else taking plywood and filling the spaces between the studs and then mounting with lag bolts into the plywood. Is there some overall best practice?

Let me add that it will be on a slim mount right up against the wall, not on an articulated arm or anything.

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I have wall mounted a number of very large TVs on metal framing, some even with articulating / extending mounts. Since they were retrofit, I just ran toggles into the steel studs. Although with the articulating mounts you could see the wall flex a bit when the mount is extended, it was always secure.

Using toggles in metal studs isn't too difficult, but you do have to locate the studs precisely to drill the holes for the toggles.

Some recommend horizontal blocking between the studs to make these mounts work better, but I would not go that route. I'd sister wood studs to the metal studs where you want to fasten to the mounting bracket. You might want to double up the steel studs (make a box) as well while you're at it. If you double the metal studs up, you can put wood studs either to the left, or to the right, or on both sides of the stud.

If you were installing an articulating mount, you might want to add a stud and / or change the stud spacing to stiffen the wall and spread the load. In fact if you think you may ever change to an articulating mount, you might want to do that now.

Make sure you can reliably locate those studs after the fact, take measurements, notes, and pictures, and mark the subfloor where the wood studs are. A stud finder alone won't tell you where the WOOD studs are.

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  • thank you for the response. Can you elaborate on why you recommend against horizontal blocking?
    – sam
    Dec 17 '18 at 15:36
  • @sam - In general I prefer not to install horizontal blocking, it's usually not necessary - the studs are adequate for mounting - and blocking can complicate running cable or conduit in the wall, and / or installing a box in the blocking area. In this case in particular, I'd want to sister the studs to stiffen the wall in case you ever want an articulating mount there. With a really heavy TV and articulating mount, the blocking could twist in place and maybe even mess up the drywall (strain seams, etc.) Dec 17 '18 at 21:08
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I would go with getting wood studs in there, whether they go in the metal studs or on their own and I'd reinforce each one with another stud screwed to them for extra strength and stability.

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  • And you would get mold. Dec 15 '18 at 12:25
  • @technosaurus How so? Dec 15 '18 at 12:34
  • It is in a basement. Basements get damp. Damp wood grows mold. Dec 15 '18 at 12:44
  • I missed that it was in the basement. Drywall can also collect mold so steps need to be taken to help reduce the risk. I've been in closed in areas with little to no air movement that are damp and never gotten mold. The wood isn't in great shape (and metal rusts as well) but no mold. Dec 15 '18 at 15:36
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    thank you for the replies. i am spraying the rubble foundation walls with closed cell spray foam insulation, so there should not be any moisture/mold issues. but i still wanted to use metal studs just in case.
    – sam
    Dec 17 '18 at 15:37
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I do high end renovations in New York City and when we have a client who has their own AV contractor who comes in after we’re off the job, we will cut strips of plywood to fill between the studs as you mentioned in your post.

Screw through the web of the stud when the plywood is on the outside of the channel and through the face of the flange when it’s on the inside. If you run the plywood to the floor and also through the flange of the track, you are transferring a portion of the load to the floor as well.

That way you don’t have to hit the stud with a toggle, nor do you have to use lag bolts. Securing your tv mounting bracket with toggles and a fender washer will ensure you never have to worry about the safety of your TV.

If you’re worried about mold as one commenter posted, use pressure treated wood as the copper compounds will inhibit microbial growth.

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