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I have been reading some posts about this and I'm not confident I have all pieces of the puzzle. I intend to get a 50 pound 65" TV which I want to mount on a wall that's accented with wood planks.

The planks are more than 3/4" and am unsure how they stick to the wall (it came as is when we bought the house). Most results on Google will say that as long as it's more than 1/2" there shouldn't be any problem just hanging the tv without relying on studs, but I feel like if I can find the studs it'd probably be better. I have a stud finder, but oh god is it acting up and detecting/undetecting... things. There's no rhythm (like, every two feet, or 4 feet, or whatever). The colors on the stud finder do not flow side-to-side, they just appear on one side and then on the other, as I move very slowly, without ever landing in the middle. Suffice to say I can't rely on the stud finder.

So the question is; how can I best mount my TV on this wall?

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    You're in the US, right? Stud finders don't work well through thick/dense materials, I'm not surprised you're getting crazy readings. Two ideas: 1) can you reliably detect studs on the wall outside the wood panels? You can likely assume a 16" spacing off of those. 2) Do you have access to the wall on the other side of the boards, and if so and if that wall has no boards, you can find studs there and map to the boarded side.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 18:46
  • any nails/screws in the wood or round pieces that might cover screws? How that wood is mounted/held is the important info. Tiny clips or glue might be less holding power compared to screws/nails. 3/4 inch wood very good for holding TVs if mounted well to studs.
    – crip659
    Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 18:47
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    Another thing: it looks like there are some narrow gaps between some of the boards. You can use a very thin long drill bit (1/8" or narrower), or a long nail, to confirm whether a particular point is at a stud. If the drill bit keeps resisting past about 1/2" plus the thickness of the boards, you're probably at a stud. If it stops resisting, it's a void.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 18:48
  • @Huesmann In Canada. There's a stud not too far from the wood panels, on the drywall. Is the 16" spacing still correct for Canada you'd think? The other side of the wall is a bathroom. It might be a good idea to check from there but it'll be a bit difficult to then map to the other side. There are narrow gaps and there's even one place where's there's a screw but it's a bit on the loose side I'm not even sure what it does there. I can turn it a little bit; if it was holding something I don't think I could turn it with my fingers.
    – tomkcey
    Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 19:41
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    @Huesmann I just mapped from one side of the wall to the other by taking a measuring tape and having my wife hold it from the edge and found a stud that mapped directly to the middle of the wall with the wood planks. Then did a 16" one side and the other and it seems like there are studs there so I'm all set. We got what we wanted :) Thanks!
    – tomkcey
    Commented Feb 26, 2023 at 19:51

4 Answers 4

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You can't mount a TV on these boards if you don't know how they are mounted. You need to assume they are decorative and mounted in a way just adequate to support themselves and nothing else.

You must find studs, by probing between the boards or removing one or using your stud finder on the back side of this wall (next room). It won't work through the boards.

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Walls are framed at 16" on center , depending where the worker started his layout studs will start at 15¼ from a corner of wall . Using a magnet find a stud either on the other side of wall or in adjacent room even also that might take some math to figure out . But magnetic stud finder should find the head of a screw holding drywall giving you location of a stud without a doubt . Make sure studs are at 16" by checking right and left to your 1st stud , using that drill bit method mentioned by another guy above is necessary if you think center of stud is critical and once you're done just make sure your bolts holding tv mount are long enough . Allow for ¾plank plus ¾ of drywall . It's probably ½inch but to make sure I would use ¾ . Hope it helps . (Wrap magnet☝️☝️☝️with blue tape so you don't scratch paint job)

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  • While I think your answer is right on (and a summation of the comments that should have been an answer), the lack of formatting makes it difficult to read. Please consider an edit to your answer to improve readability, and it'll likely attract some up votes earning you some reputation points redeemable for unicorns and rainbows!
    – FreeMan
    Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 14:08
  • Your answer is U.S.-centric and may not be accurate.
    – isherwood
    Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 14:57
  • Lots of tract houses in the US are framed with 24" stud spacing in load bearing walls. 24" stud spacing is also used in higher end modern construction using 2x6" studs in exterior load bearing walls. (In this type of construction I don't know about stud spacing in interior partition walls.) My truss roof tract house has 2x4" studs in the exterior walls on 24" centers. I was complaining to a custom homebuilder with engineering expertise about the "substandard" framing in my house and he told me that US framing is in general overbuilt. Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 18:07
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    @JimStewart still, it's easy enough to determine whether the rest of the house was built 16 oc or 24 oc, and assume which spacing this particular wall was done with.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 20:27
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On the second pic, the thin boards look like they're mounted on drywall which is about 2cm away from the actual wall behind. So I guess there are ~2cm thick wood batten/spacers between the two. Maybe that's what confuses your stud finder.

That's important because the screws for the TV mount will squeeze the drywall-with-planks against the wall behind, so it would be best to put them on top of a spacer. But you don't know how these spacers are fastened to the existing wall, maybe whoever installed it just put one nail on each end, so it's not recommended to use them as support for your TV: that needs to go into the actual studs behind.

If the spacers are vertical, they'll probably be on top of the studs in the wall behind, so that's okay. But if the spacers are horizontal, then it could be a bit more of a headache.

You can insert a rod on the side between the old wall and the drywall with boards to investigate if the spacers are vertical or horizontal. You can also use a mirror and a flashlight to look from the side. Or maybe a cellphone camera, if it's close enough to the edge of the phone to see behind the drywall.

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  • Why do you think there could be space between the drywall and the studs? This would seem grossly inferior in general and problematic for drywall joints and for mounting anything to the inside walls. I cannot interpret that 2nd pic. What is the dark band behind the white band behind the planks? Empty space or dark trim? Do you think the drywall is mounted to battens that are attched to a masonry wall? If so then, there are no studs to fasten into. Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 20:54
  • If the drywall is fastened to battens on a structural masonry wall, consider using drywall anchors of the type that are used to fasten grab bars to drywall, e.g., Wingits. This type is inserted through a 3/4" diameter hole and clamp against the back of the drywall in the space behind. If the TV mounting bracket requires wood screws, maybe 4 wingits could fasten a large square of 3/4" plywood to the drywall and the bracket fastened to the plywood with wood screws. Drywall is actually very strong when a load is attached appropriately. Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 21:07
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    I dont know if the wall is masonry, but that second pic looks like there's space between the drywall, it's weird.
    – bobflux
    Commented Feb 27, 2023 at 23:15
  • I think the black in the second picture is some rubbery door seal, and the white is the plastic holding it in place. Confirmation from the OP would be helpful though. Commented Mar 3, 2023 at 9:12
  • The black is basically a thin wood frame to contain/delimit the accent wall (wood planks). It's a 2x2x*. Or 1x1x*, doesn't really matter, it's to hide the side.
    – tomkcey
    Commented Mar 4, 2023 at 13:46
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do you have access to the other side of the wall? If so, perhaps you could find the studs. You would drill a small hole poking out next to the stud on the wall where you want to mount the TV.

Second idea would be to go with a free standing TV stand. There are many options; make sure the weight of your TV is supported.

Third idea is to add a pair of wooden studs attached at the floor and the ceiling. You may need to notch then to have them flush on the floor. You should be able to get into a structural frame member at the floor and the ceiling.

By the way, the horizontal pieces of trim sure look decorative, and insubstantial, don't they?

Good luck!

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