2

I live in a building built in the 1950s, and thanks to a kitchen renovation project (being done by professionals), I have a much clearer understanding of the interior wall construction. It's a mid-rise building in Boston, USA.

Unrelated to that renovation, I'm thinking of hanging something relatively heavy on the wall in a different part of my apartment, like a TV or floating media console.

More specifically, I'm thinking of a (relatively) small TV, no more than 55" size. Or I'm thinking of something like a Vitsoe system (where I'd put the TV on a shelf) or an Ikea Betså anchored to the wall.

The walls are constructed with thin steel bars that have wire mesh lath attached, which has then been filled in with what looks like concrete and then covered with plaster. See photo below. In other words, there are no studs as such to attach something like a TV mount.

Is this strong enough to support something wall-hung like a TV? I found one related answer, but that seemed like a much more extreme example (ceiling, very heavy load, etc.), so asking a new question.

Unfortunately, it appears that wood blocking in the photo here is only in the kitchen area. And the more modern drywall on top of the lath and plaster in the photo is from an earlier renovation if I had to guess.

The steel bars that are supporting the mesh lath are 16" apart, though strike me as insubstantial.

Support detail

Wall section

8
  • Not familiar with this kind of construction, but I suspect it will fracture easily under perpendicular loads. I've mounted a microwave oven on that drywall in front there though by spreading the load over a much larger surface with an intermediate multiplex board (that has been attached to the drywall using a fair number of drywall plugs and predrilled holes in the multiplex). It's not as perfect as a flush surface (although you can of course easily paint to match colours), but it's been there almost a decade now so it does work.
    – MiG
    Apr 30, 2022 at 19:45
  • 1
    Can you provide more and better pictures of the "thin steel bar"? If it is some common construction material it would be good to know what. And can you be more specific about what you want to hang? Some TVs could be hung on a metal lath and plaster wall, but not all TVs. A "media shelf", not sure what that is .. if the "media" is a vinyl record collection it'll be very heavy, if it's a sound system that will be touched and handled by people, you need it to be strong.
    – jay613
    Apr 30, 2022 at 21:40
  • 2
    Expanded steel lath is tough and much stronger than Sheetrock, the one difference I know of is some homes constructed in this era had 24” centers for the studs not the common 16” (my brother and I own one) but I would not worry about much on these walls, a 80” flat screen and did not hit a stud (we did use toggle bolts for all 8 fasteners) Several years later and no cracks in the stucco. I think if within a couple inches of the stud you can hang quite a load. I think the TV was under 100 lbs but the frame sits about 12” from the wall on one side.
    – Ed Beal
    May 1, 2022 at 1:00
  • Is it possible that the strange metal lath wall is just in the kitchen wet wall? (It would make sense that they would want a low profile wall to put plumbing and ducting behind.) Common sense says that your place hasn't stayed upright for 70 years on just plaster on lath, so there should be studs in there. That said, I agree with others that a tv could be attached only to that. You need to find studs for floating furniture. May 1, 2022 at 13:04
  • Added a bit of extra detail. I don't have all the walls open right now, but the demolition suggests that all the existing walls are of this kind of construction, and in particular the two walls that are candidates for the TV are constructed that way.
    – josephkibe
    May 1, 2022 at 13:38

1 Answer 1

2

Normally there is support 24” on centers on the homes I have worked on. Expanded steel lath is tough and much stronger than Sheetrock, the one difference I know of is some homes constructed in this era had 24” centers for the studs not the common 16” (my brother and I own one)

but I would not worry about much on these walls, we installed a 80” flat screen and did not hit a stud (we did use toggle bolts for all 8 fasteners) Several years later and no cracks in the stucco.

I think if within a couple inches of the stud you can hang quite a load. I think the TV was under ~100 lbs but the frame sits about 12” from the wall on one side the frame the frame was 16” centers so we missed on 1 side from 4 to 8” note a concrete bit will cut the surface when you hit the metal a good pointed punch can expand the metal if you get hung up in the metal but remember two much force will cause cracks.

One way to find the studs in this construction is a 2 person job one listening to the wall with a wooden dowel the other tapping with a hammer listening this way we can usually quickly find the studs the higher pitch sound is when close to the stud if you have good hearing you might be able to do it with 1 but the sound through the dowel works really well (dowel touching wall, other side pressing on ear).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.