I asked a question earlier today here because I took down an old wall-mounted light fixture in my bathroom above the vanity, and was going to replace it with a new fixture. Unfortunately there's no junction box, and the answers from my question above told me I need one.

I bought a pancake box that I can attach to a stud, but the problem I'm facing now is that the stud is 1.5" off center. So if I mount the box to the stud, my fixture is going to be off center... Picture of the situation below, the stud is about 1.5" left of the center of the hole. If it helps, the light fixture has a circular base.

Any ideas what I can do?

Here's a picture of the fixture aligned to the stud (where I would be putting in a pancake box). But as it is, for the fixture to be centered, it would need to move 1.5" to the right. enter image description here

enter image description here

  • Are you saying that the ideal location is such that you would (as of now) end up with a 1.5" gap? Because if so, just cut a small chunk of a 2x4 (which is really 1.5 x 3.5) and screw it in place and mount the junction box to that piece. Or is it the other way around, that you almost wish the stud wasn't there? Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 1:10
  • @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact basically I wish the stud was 1.5" to the right, that would solve all my problems. I don't have the tools to cut into the stud :(
    – David
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 1:11
  • Cutting into a stud is easy. But you don't want to do that unless you are really sure it is not essential, or you are prepared to compensate for it in another location. Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 1:17
  • Is there a way I can "extend" the stud 1.5" to the right somehow? Could I get another block of wood somehow and attach it to the stud, and then mount the pancake box to that piece of wood?
    – David
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 1:19
  • 1
    I am still getting confused. If the current setup is |stud|empty space|where you want the box| then yes, you can just add a chunk of wood (cut off a 2x4), screw through it into the existing stud and done. Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 1:39

1 Answer 1


Use a side-mount box and a spacer block

I'd use a side-mount or "L-shaped" type box attached to a spacer block screwed to the stud to handle this -- it'll require some drywall work, but will allow you to attach the fixture solidly to the stud while positioning it where you want it. (Image below is an Arlington FB442 -- other manufacturers make products that'll work for this as well, I'm sure.)

Arlington FB442

  • I don't understand why the answer isn't just, "old work rectangular box". It'll clear the stud and with an additional slotted bracket, you can attach the lamp. Am I missing something? Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 2:05
  • 1
    @AloysiusDefenestrate -- I suggested this because it sounded like an old work box wouldn't provide secure enough support for the fixture Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 2:35
  • Fair enough. Appreciate the clarification. Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 12:53

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