Alright, I need a sanity check here. I've been tasked with mounting a 64" plasma TV with an articulating mount onto a metal stud wall in the corporate boardroom. It's the quadruple-threat with no room for error.

The TV weighs 85lbs dead load. The mount, another 26lbs, allows it to be swiveled and repositioned up to about a foot from the wall. This allows it to be angled instead of hung like a picture frame.

I've done extensive research on TV mounting the last couple of days, and purchased some 3/4" plywood to anchor across 3 studs with 12 1/4" toggle bolts (4 per stud) and #14 screws to mount the TV bracket to the plywood. I've noticed a dearth of information on spec sheets when it comes to toggle bolt ratings on metal studs -- only drywall and masonry is provided. I don't know if this suggests that metal studs are a no-no or if they're some sort of in-between, though people seem to do it with success in mounting their big TVs.

The studding is 2.5" wide and 16" on centre. It's in a tower so it's not load bearing.

The plywood backing I got is 38x24 centered on the middle stud.

My concern is that the cantilevering action will cause the stud wall to fail and I don't want to be responsible for a Career Limiting Move™. Are my concerns justified?

If my concerns are justified can you suggest an method to effectively hang this?

  • 2
    I don't have a complete answer, but... steel studs don't provide any great "meat" to screw into; sheet metal simply can't hold a screw as well as wood can. Aug 27, 2014 at 13:17
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    This must have been considered before. Contact the manufacturers of the display and/or the mounting bracket; there may be some sort of "anchor" (similar to drywall anchors) that they recommend to more firmly attach to the metal studs, or other specific hardware solutions. If all else fails, I'd consider building a semi-freestanding "fireplace mantel" which carried most of the weight down to the floor so the wall just had to help stabilize it...
    – keshlam
    Aug 27, 2014 at 14:50
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    Why not captive style toggle bolts into the steel studs?
    – bib
    Aug 27, 2014 at 14:57
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    In addition to screwing into the metal studs with an appropriate anchor, adding construction adhesive to the plywood/drywall interface should contribute a significant amount of strength.
    – Doresoom
    Aug 27, 2014 at 15:23
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    I'm planning on doing the same thing. Follow up question - do you use the articulating arm or have you installed the articulating mount and decided against actually using the articulating feature?
    – user32254
    Jan 30, 2015 at 16:19

5 Answers 5


I do this for a (part of my) living. Steel studs will not provide the support you need with a cantilevered arm. If you want to surface-mount the TV then you can use toggle bolts through a steel stud, but a cantilevered arm WILL fail.

The only appropriate solution is to open up the wall and either replace the steel studs in question with wooden studs, or slide the wooden stud in to the steel stud.

  • You being a professional ... I've posted a thread on a similar topic, but continue to be concerned. My tv is 33 pounds, and I'd like to have it on a cantilevered mount, so I can turn the tv at an angle to the wall. I'm attaching to drywall using snap toggle bolts. For layout reasons, probably not using the metal studs to mount it. Do you reckon this will hold? Or do I have to settle for a normal tv mount? Aug 10, 2016 at 5:18

Yes it can.*

*Your mileage may vary.

enter image description here

Using a 3/4" plywood backboard spanning 3 studs, I used 18 3" long 1/4" diameter self drilling screws (6 on each stud, 3 above and below the mount respectively) to mount it. 3" screws were used because of a double layering of 5/8" drywall behind the plywood. Large flat washers were used to bite the screws onto the backboard. The mount then went onto the backboard with its supplied hardware. I was doing pull ups off it before putting the TV on -- this thing ain't going anywhere. And it's been hanging for months with no problem.

enter image description here

Note, toggle bolts will not work because the hole needed for a sufficient bolt will be 5/8", large enough to create problems centering all the bolts due to gravity - They will all want to slip down until they rest on the stud. You will also beat up the studs too much with a 5/8" hole.

The extraneous holes in the backboard are just predrills for toggles, they don't go anywhere. Great for future cable runs, though. :)

  • With today's new featherweight LED TVs I totally agree. With a 100# plasma, not so much. Jan 28, 2015 at 16:38
  • The TV shown is the 100lb plasma in question.
    – BB ON
    Jan 28, 2015 at 16:49
  • Sorry, I didn't notice you were the OP. I've never seen an old plasma that thin. I guess with that board spanning 3 studs you have a point. Good job. Jan 28, 2015 at 16:57
  • Am i reading this correct? the only thing holding this to the wall are the threads of the self taping screws through thin wall of the metal stud. You extended the arm out to max and did pull-ups on it to assess its strength?
    – Alaska Man
    Mar 3, 2017 at 3:37

cut out sheet rock 5/8" across 3 or 4 studs . install 2x4's in 3 or 4 of the metal studs . put ply wood 5/8" in cut out .fasten ply wood to woods studs. Paint and hang T.V. this will help spread out the load of T.V.


Something I just tried and is working great is the Toggler High-Performance Anchors. I got them at Lowes. They come 2 or I think 10 to a pack. the 2 pack was about 7 bucks. Says in Drywall alone it can hold 265 pounds. What we did was Drill a 1/2 hole into the Drywall and the metal Stud. Installed the 2 toggles and it is supporting my TV great. This system seams to work MUCH better than any other toggle based system out there.

The only reason I used this toggle system with my TV was because it was going into a metal stud. Looks much cleaner than using a sheet of plywood or Sheetrock.

  • Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. Thanks for the post, but you should know we wage a continuing war against spam posts, and so are pretty allergic to possibly promotional answers. I doubt your post was truly spam, but I edited out the website just in case. Oct 6, 2018 at 12:55

I have metal studs on I think 21" centers. Some contractor was trying to be cheap. The dry wall seem to have metal in it. I used 4 - 50# plastic anchors into the dry wall with screws to match for the articulating mount for a 37" X 21" LED Vizio TV. I have moved the mounting all over the place holding on to the TV. I am sure that the TV is a lot lighter that 100#. I has been up for over 3 years, 1 medium earth quake and it is still solid.

  • 40" LED TV's weight nothing. I have one here that weighs 13 pounds.
    – Kaz
    Dec 26, 2019 at 19:53
  • Rather than bashing the builder, inform yourself. Studs are installed in a manner adequate to do the job, and the fewer there are the better the thermal performance of the wall. My guess is that they're on 19.2" centers.
    – isherwood
    Feb 17, 2021 at 13:52

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