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I tried searching for existing questions but didn't find any that answered this scenario, and in general I feel like I've been getting conflicting information so I wanted to ask here.

So basically I have a 105.6 pound TV (TCL 85QM850G) that I want to mount to my apartment living room. The building is fine with me mounting it but is concerned about the weight. There are 3 metal studs on the wall, spaced 16 inches apart, and the building told me the studs are 3mm thick steel. At first, they said I shouldn't mount anything more than 50 pounds, but when I asked if it'd be fine if I used more screws (e.g. if each screw can support 50 pounds, then using 4+ screws should be fine) they said that should be ok assuming I used the right screws. So first off, is it correct to say that using more screws will make it safe to mount? And if so, which screws should I use?

Then the next issue is that manual for the TV said that any wall mount should at minimum be rated for 5x the TV's weight, which to me sounds absurd as I can't find any consumer grade mounts rated for 530 pounds. Is this being overly cautious? I saw this mount: https://www.sanus.com/en_US/products/tv-mounts/vxt7/, which is rated for 300 pounds, would ~3x the weight be sufficient? Should I be looking into fixed mounts as opposed to tilt mounts? I definitely won't look into full-motion as this TV seems to heavy for that anyways.

Lastly, assuming that the metal studs can take the weight, and that I don't really need to have a mount rated for 5x the weight (e.g. I go with the SANUS mount above), what screws should I use to secure the mount to the wall? When I asked SANUS, they said they don't recommend the VXT7 to be mounted to metal studs as they are too weak, so they don't sell any hardware for mounting this mount to metal studs, but could I get screws elsewhere?

Or is all of this moot because the TV is just too heavy for metal studs and I should just focus on getting a strong media console to go under it?

I do see some other questions with solutions mentioning mounting wood to the studs, then mounting the TV to the wood, but I don't understand how that solves the problem, doesn't that just mean more weight is put onto the screws going into the studs? Or is the idea that using a large wood panel gives you more surface area to attach more screws to the studs?

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    How about mounting a piece of plywood (paint it to approximately match the wall color) to the studs and then you can mount the TV to the plywood. Jul 18, 2023 at 23:48
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    Correct. However, it may be easier to safely mount a nice simple flat piece of plywood to the metal studs than a TV mount. Plus if it needs to be redone (new mount for larger TV or articulating or whatever), all the work is easy screws into plywood instead of having to get things "just right" into the metal studs. This is routine for mounting telephone (old days) and networking equipment, but works well for TVs too. Jul 19, 2023 at 1:10
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    Did you consider snaptoggles toggler.com/pdfs/SNAPTOGGLE%C2%AE-Heavy-Duty-Toggle-Bolts.pdf 1/4" through 1/2" drywall and 25 gauge studs rated at 425 lbs. 4 to 6 of those through studs should work fine Jul 19, 2023 at 4:27
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    In answer to why the wood thing works: It distributes the weight over more parts of the stud (vertically), and it also ties the studs together as a brace, which minimizes the flexing and bending that causes fasteners to pull out or the studs to buckle.
    – gbronner
    Jul 19, 2023 at 15:26
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    OP reports he has been told the metal of the steels studs is 3 mm thick. Is this possible? That would be some very heavy steel. I wonder if he was really told the studs were "33 mil" = 33/1000 inch = 0.76 mm. This would be 20-gauge which is a common thickness. Jul 20, 2023 at 15:53

4 Answers 4

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The standard way to do this is to open up the wall, stick some 2x4s cut down in the metal studs, replace the sheetrock, and run lag bolts into those 2x4s. This eliminates issues with pull-through and buckling.

The other way to do it is to take a thick and rigid piece of plywood (I used 3/4"), and attach it to 3 studs using blind toggle bolts. You need to hit the center of each stud for this to work, and you'll have to use a lot of them. Now you paint the plywood to match the wall, and attach the mounting bracket to the plywood.

I don't think that that mount requires a safety factor of 5x. The arm-style mounts exert much more dynamic force on the wall; most tilting style mounts are set and then never move. I also think that they have a safety factor built in; in any event, the studs are the weakest link here.

I've mounted 55 and 70 inch TVs using these techniques; I'd go with the first one if at all possible.

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  • Marking this as the answer, but what I'll really end up doing is getting a media console. I'm just renting right now so properly fixing the studs with 2x4s to allow for wall mounting isn't the best use of money.
    – ROODAY
    Jul 21, 2023 at 4:30
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Rather than go through what screws and how many, the issue is that the metal studs are not good at holding screws that are under much force.

Since you offered it as an option, and because a TV is not pocket change that you want ruined because it fell on the floor, I would choose a nice Media console.

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  • Yeah that might end up being the solution. I would prefer the TV is wall-mounted, but above that I would prefer the TV isn't broken.
    – ROODAY
    Jul 19, 2023 at 0:04
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The TV mount that you linked in your question has a wall mounting plate that can be extended to nearly 52 inches.

If:

  • Your studs are 16" OC or less
  • Your TV's VESA spacing is compatible with this mount when its wall plate is fully extended (the TV mounting bars can't be too near the center)
  • You can locate three studs and are willing to position the TV centered over them

then you'll be able to use 6 screws, 2 each into three metal studs. This answer provides good background information on using sheet metal screws in metal studs. Use 1/4" screws, ensure they are long enough - maybe 1-1/2". Supplement them with 4 (say) more screws using high quality anchors in the drywall between the studs.

You'll be well within the specs of the studs, fasteners, and mount. You won't have 5X as requested by the TV instructions. The choice has to be yours.

Some hopefully obvious caveats: If you find some other, better, mount, do not use a mount that supports any kind of motion (tilt, swivel) or that invites any physical user interaction. Do not attach any other devices to the same mount -- no shelves, streamers, consoles, cable boxes, nothing. Nothing that would attract anyone to push, pull, or operate manually.

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I have put up a lot of elfa shelves with elfa drywall anchors. I suggest that four of these anchors through drywall and the edges of two metal studs would support the bracket. These elfa drywall anchors spread out on the backside of drywall and should do the same on the other side of metal studs. I don't think a piece of plywood is necessary. These come in a pack of five anchors. If the bracket would span three metal studs, and have a center fastener hole on top, then three anchors on top/two on bottom would make sense.

https://www.containerstore.com/s/elfa/components/elfa-easy-hang/elfa-drywall-and-plaster-anchors/123d?productId=11015959

The one additional piece of hardware that would be a good idea with the elfa drywall anchors would be a special heavy duty washer because the machine screws are flat head with conical bearing surface. Therefore heavy countersunk washers would distribute the stress on the head of the machine screw. Alternatively one could lightly countersink the metal of the bracket using say a 1/2 drill bit. But I would much prefer heavy countersunk washers.

One video (https://youtu.be/cwHTCE3mx3s) showing installation of the elfa drywall anchors to support the heavy track from which vertical standards are hung to support shelving which can bear a lot of weight. If these elfa drywall anchors were used for the TV bracket, one would locate the center of the metal studs and maybe skip drilling the 1/8" hole and just start with the 3/8" hole. The 3/8" hole in the metal stud would have to be a full 3/8" and gently worked with the drill or the anchor might be impeded from passing through.

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