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I'm thinking about wall mounting a television, so I've used a stud finder to locate several studs in my wall. Out of curiosity, I knocked on the wall in several places to see if I could hear the difference between hollow and studded areas. To my surprise, when knocking directly over the studs, there seems to be a metallic ringing sound.

Is it actually possible to hear this with a steel stud, or am I deluding myself? The wall in question is plaster, if it matters.

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I suppose it's possible although I've never noticed it myself. Although now that I think about it, every time I've worked with steel its been in an industrial setting (hospitals, etc.) which means it was covered with sound mat.

If you want to know for sure, take rare a earth magnet and run it across the area. If it doesn't stick, well non evidence is not evidence as they say. But if it does, you know it's not wood:) Go horizontal till you get a hit (if you get one) then go up and down a bit to make sure you're not just hitting a screw.

  • I've just used this to confirm that my studs are in fact not metal, so the answer to this question (at least for me) is that I'm crazy. Thanks! – Chris Hayes Dec 4 '14 at 2:42
  • For some reason something about this question has stuck in my mind, and finally (at 4 am when apparently my thinking is clearest?) it hit me: it's a duct! A duct in the wall cavity will make a pretty audible "ping" when you tap on it. I don't know if this affects your installation but there it is. Now maybe I can go back to sleep. – user23534 Dec 4 '14 at 11:28

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