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My wife and I recently purchased an old farmhouse and one of the many tasks ahead of me is mounting the TV. We have a 40lbs, 55" flat screen and we've determined that the best place for it to go is int he corner of the room. One wall on that corner is brick and has a window near the corner, so that isn't the ideal place for the mounting bracket. The other wall is covered in old barnwood (vertical planks). Doing some poking around, it looks like the barnwood is around 1/2"-3/4" and is relatively soft. It is mounted via furring strips attached to 2x4 framing using nails (into the furring strips) around 4' off the ground. The top of the barnwood is tucked in behind a beam that supports the ceiling. Unfortunately, I can't really find where the studs are (I can see a few at the other end of the wall) and there were enough shortcuts taken in the construction that I don't trust them to be EXACTLY 16" on center across the length of the wall to allow me to drill with confidence.

My thought was to use a number of stout toggle bolts to hold the mounting bracket onto the barnwood. But my other concern is that since the TV will be mounted on the wall, but situated in the corner, the mounting bracket will be fully extended (meaning the maximum amount of force being put on it).

Does this seems like a reasonable approach? I really don't want to wake up to a crash in the middle of the night with my TV and half my wall in pieces on the floor.

  • You could always drill some small pilot holes to try to find the studs, as that will be the most secure option. Cosmetically, the holes will be behind the TV anyway, even if you don't find the studs where you need them. – Nuclear Wang Nov 19 at 15:00
  • My two issues with drilling pilot holes are: 1) they won't be behind the TV since the TV will be extended away from the wall at a 45 degree angle 2) since the barnwood and studs are likely similar densities, I'm not sure how to tell if I hit a stud or not, unless it's just a matter of resistance continuing after the first 1/2"-3/4" – Steven Nov 19 at 15:20
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    Use a strong magnet to find the nails into the studs. – Ecnerwal Nov 19 at 16:33
  • If you know where the barn boards are attached to the furring strips you could add some screws to beef up that connection but the worry is still that the furring strips are not very secure to the studs. Can you remove one of the barn boards to do more investigation ? – Alaska Man Nov 19 at 16:40
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No, you can not mount the TV the way you have described. Since you want the TV to articulate out from the wall, most of the force will be pull-out instead of shear. The barn boards are not attached to the wall in such a way to support your TV. It's likely you would rip the barn boards right off the wall, or break one where you drill for the toggle bolts.

You need to find the studs. There is no other way forward for you if you must mount it to the wall. Some ways to find studs include:

  • Remove the face plates from any outlets or switches on the wall. The outlet box is likely mounted to a stud, which you can see, or probe for with a screwdriver.

  • What's on the other side of the wall? If it's drywall, use a stud finder. Then measure off a common point to transfer the location to the barn board side, or use a long drill bit to drill all the way through the wall next to the stud.

  • Remove one barn board.

  • How are you going to power the TV and get any cabling to the TV? If you want to hide the cabling, you're going to have to cut a hole in the wall anyway. Use the hole to locate the studs.

  • Drill one hole, but point it severely to the left or right. Using a cut coat hanger, probe the wall to find the stud.

  • Use a magnet locate the fasteners holding the firing strips to the studs. This has a low chance of working in your situation.

Also, a good way to repair a hole in your wall is to make it look like a knot by painting the inside of the hole with black or brown paint. It helps if you carefully choose where to drill the hole to begin with so that it looks natural. Drilling the hole tilted down also helps with the realism and makes it harder to see through the hole.

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