I'm trying to mount my TV in the wall but it's proving to made much more complicated than expected. My house is from 1908 and has been through multiple renovations. The drywall seems old, and the studs are not laid out using modern standards (e.g. 16" on center). I've tried hollow wall anchors but they ground through the plaster. Any ideas?

  • 2
    What is a nipple renovation? It's doubtful that a 1908 house has drywall, it likely has real plaster. It'll be hard to make a studfinder work through plaster, but if it it backed with wood lath, you might be able to use a magnet to find where the lath is nailed to studs. Or if you have an outlet/switch (or other hole) in the wall you might be able to slip a coathanger behind the wall to find the next stud (turn off the power first!) – Johnny Feb 17 '16 at 5:02
  • 1
    If it's been renovated it could be drywall. Anyway, modern studfinders are pretty good (and pretty cheap). Find the framing, pilot through the plaster for the screws (to prevent cracking), and you're golden. – isherwood Feb 17 '16 at 13:26
  • A fairly common problem is that someone installs drywall over furring strips over the original plaster, making finding the studs rather tricky. – gbronner Feb 17 '16 at 15:31
  • 1
    I tried using the expanding anchors listed under the medium duty, unfortunately my drywall's quality is very weak and the tube head. with the 2 little hooks smashed the drywall and went trough the wall leaving a nice hole behind. I've thought of reinforcing the wall by adding a layer of cement board or plywood to help reinforce it but it wouldn't be a very nicely finished solution. The wall is about 32" wide and I can't seem to find any studs with the stud finder. I'm considering pocking a hole to try and see into the cavity and find the studs. – Antonio Feb 19 '16 at 21:52

If any type of drywall anchors are failing me, I immediately switch to toggle bolts. The down side being that if they also rip out they're going to pull off large sections of plaster. Finding the studs is always better.

To find a stud without a stud finder, try 3" screws every inch or so until you find one and then try measuring to help find the next, usually they're on 16" centers. If it's a small section of wall, there might just be one in the center or they might have split the difference and used two. It's also entirely possible that on a 32" wall there isn't one.

If you're willing to poke a hole, 20 little pinpricks should be no problem and if you're lucky the mount will hide them anyway.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you Mazura! that's exactly what I ended up doing. I poke nails every 2" or so and I ended up finding a 6" section that had wood behind where I was able to screw in the bolts that came with the set. I'm a bit concerned that I could find no other studs in 32" of wall but at least the TV's up. I thought of toggle bolts but I was afraid my whole wall would just collapse. If I had not found support on the wall I was just going to open it and install some 2x4 across to back up the bracket. – Antonio Feb 22 '16 at 17:54

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