I'm facing this problem in a friends apartment in MA. His studs are 24 on center which met code requirements when it was built. I had planned to go with a piece of half inch ply, but it seems 3/4 is more favored as a choice. I was going to secure two wood 2x4's to the inside of the existing steel ones, then split the distance and use the 3rd in the middle. Then mount the plywood to the new studs. And then the Vesa mount to the ply. Would it be wise to cut a piece out of the sheetrock from floor to cieling that is just wide enough to maneuver the drill into allowing me to shoot screws the length of the wood into the steel? And should I shoot screws through the sheetrock as well? Thanks.

This TV was in a perfect spot on top of a console. A classic case of inventing a problem so you can work on a solution

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    What is the weight of the TV.? Commented Jun 19, 2021 at 22:05
  • 33 pounds plus another 18 for the bracket. Commented Jun 20, 2021 at 1:29
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    IMO 3/4" plywood held with 4 to 6 appropriate sheet metal screws in two studs is plenty. If you want you could also use several good anchors in the sheetrock. There's a question a few months ago with a really good answer on using sheet metal screws in metal studs for a TV.
    – jay613
    Commented Jun 20, 2021 at 3:10
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    @jay613 could you link to the answer you are referring to? Commented Jun 20, 2021 at 18:34
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    Here is the link to a very informative answer on mounting things to metal studs with sheet metal screws diy.stackexchange.com/a/216865/65210. The link is supposed take you directly to the answer, but it seems to be imprecise. Look at the answer by user StayOnTarget. There are also other good (and some bad) answers there about mounting TVs in the absence of wood studs.
    – jay613
    Commented Jun 21, 2021 at 2:29

2 Answers 2


If Elfa drywall and plaster anchors can hold shelving, they should be able to hold a TV. I don't think it is necessary to open the wall. Drywall supported by a pair of steel studs should be sufficient.

Use four of these anchors, or their equivalent, through the drywall and through the edges of the steel studs to clamp a suitable piece of plywood to the studs and drywall. The 5th drywall anchor (they come in pkg of 5) could be used in the top middle even though there is no stud there.

The plywood would be 26" wide by whatever height is required. The TV bracket would be screwed into the plywood.



The instructions for the Elfa anchors specify 10 mm (or 3/8") dia holes in the drywall (and steel studs), but the holes in the plywood must be 5 mm dia (or 3/16"), just large enough to allow the shaft of each screw to pass through.

The exact procedure would be to mark the centers of the two studs. Hold the piece of plywood onto the wall level and so it overlaps the centers of the two studs by an inch on each side. Drill 5 mm holes in the five locations through the plywood, through the drywall, and through the edges of the studs. Remove the plywood and drill the holes in the drywall and studs to 10 mm. Use the 10 mm drill to countersink the 5 mm holes in the plywood for the flathead machine screws of the anchors. Note that these anchors are limited to total wall thickness of 1" including the plywood so countersink accordingly. Any anchor that clamps on the back vtge drywall will have a limit.

Insert the anchors in the holes and drive them so the outer edge is flush to the drywall. Fasten the plywood to the wall with the five anchors. Use an electric driver to turn the screws because these are fine thread machine screws which take a lot of turns.

  • Hi, Thank you for the response. Those Elfas are nice for shelving where the weight is spread out over the length of the shelf. They wont hold when the weight is concentrated on a small area. The total weight with bracket and TV is a little over 60 pounds and will be pulled in and out throughout its use. Ive done these installations a few times in both wood and cement, but its my first time with steel. I sleep better knowing its bombproof. I will be using the Elfas for the shelving they want. Commented Jun 20, 2021 at 1:48
  • While the manufacturer's specs might line up, I'd never use those for a heavy install. Ply is the way to go, imho. (fwiw, I'd use 1/2" and just screw it to the metal studs and put backer at the horizontal edges -- no middle stud) Commented Jun 20, 2021 at 15:17
  • The first thing that I would think to do would be to "just screw it to the metal studs", i.e., secure a 26 inch wide piece of plywood by suitable screws (4 or 6 in number) going through the drywall into and through the metal studs. But then I wondered if the metal studs would be heavy enough gauge to sustain the stress concentrated around the penetrations, and proposed the use of the elfa drywall anchors. I have installed elfa shelving in two houses and have a level of confidence in these anchors. Can't some real experts offer an opinion on what stress steel studs can withstand? Commented Jun 20, 2021 at 18:31

Why not just place and screw a 2x4 between the top and bottom plates at 16in on center until you fill in the width of the area. Now screw as many 2x4's on edge to the studs wherever you plan on mounting the tv.

Then screw your plywood into the studs you add, then screw the sheetrock into the plywood and use lag bolts to screw the tv mounting hardware into the 2x4 backing.

and/or completely do away with the plywood.

  • The current wall has a certain fire rating. This rating would be reduced if wood studs and blocking would be inserted into into the wall. Commented Jun 20, 2021 at 18:25
  • The studs are 24"on center. You are trying to tell me that by going 16" on center over a few feet is going to make it less safe.Im not even going to go any further. Commented Jun 20, 2021 at 19:39
  • The OP wrote that the studs are steel on 24" centers. Adding more steel studs and/or steel cross members would not affect the fire rating, but adding wood studs would. This is an apartment. The occupant may be renting, but even if he is the owner he is legally obligated to adhere to the building covenant which surely lists acceptable modifications to the apartment. The OP is acting like he can decide how he wants to do this and has not mentioned consulting the building management. I personally have no experience with modifying a unit in a multi-unit building. Commented Jun 20, 2021 at 20:52

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