My stud finder seems to have trouble when I'm in the corner of two sheets of plaster/drywall. Can I just assume there will be studs behind each wall in the corner?

And what about where the wall meets the roof, is it safe to assume there will be a top plate behind the highest part of the wall plaster/drywall?

  • 2
    Drywall clips are sometimes used in corners, then only one side of the corner will have a stud. basc.pnnl.gov/images/… – Mattman944 Nov 5 '19 at 3:31
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Those are all reasonable assumptions. But, you never know for certain whether anything was built by someone who knew what they were doing. Or whether it was inspected.

I'd guess those assumptions are accurate 90% of the time?

Safe? Well, that depends on what you are doing in those areas. I wouldn't hang anything heavy that could fall and hurt someone if the assumption were not true (without 1st verifying the assumption).


In the corner of the home? It's very likely. You should hammer in a finishing nail and find out.

If the corner is on a wall which separates one room from another then that wall could be dead-smack in the middle of an open bay.


You can generally assume at least half a stud at corners (5/8" to 3/4" will be covered by drywall), but there are quite a few exceptions. Your best bet is to put a very small bit in your drill and gently feel for backing. A 1/16" bit is much less destructive than a nail.

You can usually assume either half a plate or one and a half plates at the ceiling, depending on whether you're in a basement or on upper levels. An exception would be an old home with balloon framing, where studs pass from lower to upper floors. In those cases you may see a horizontal one-by ribbon several inches tall below the ceiling line.

  • Even a stout sewing needle pushed through the drywall (held with a pair of pliers) should allow you to probe and see if there is solid wood behind the drywall. – spuck Nov 5 '19 at 17:31

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