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how to use a stud finder to mount a tv

How to Use a Stud Finder to Mount a TV – Easy Guide, Tips, & More

Popular Category: Tv mounts

Table of Contents

You might have come across several posts that teach you how to mount your TV on different types of walls. However, there is no clear description on how to use the equipment whilst mounting your TV. 

If you’re someone who is facing the same issue, this guide will help you out.

We have covered all concerns including, “how to use a stud finder to mount a TV?”

Quick summary

In this post, you will find information on

  • Stud Finder
  • How do Stud Finders work?
  • How to Use Stud Finder? – Step-by-step Guide
  • Types of Indicators
  • Points to Remember
  • Our Recommendation
  • Final Verdict

Now, let’s dive into our post.

Stud Finder

stud finder

Before we tell you how to use a stud finder, we should discuss what a stud finder is and how it works

Stud finders are electronic battery-powered devices. They are capable of locating wooden or metal studs inside drywall

Since you need to use a different technique to use different stud finders, you need to be vigilant in:

  • What does a stud finder do?
  • What the stud finder is telling you?
  • How to properly use a stud finder?

How does Stud Finder Works?

It is a common misconception to think that stud finders are magnetic and they locate studs by locating the metal screws inserted in them.

Stud finders indicate changes in density inside the wall and locate the wooden studs inside the hollow wall.

How to Use a Stud Finder?

Now that we have that cleared up, we can work with stud finders with a better understanding. 


While working with stud finders, remember that they are extremely sensitive to density changes, which is why they can give inaccurate readings sometimes.

Steps to Follow

Step 1

Place the stud finder on the wall and calibrate it by turning it on. If it is a digital stud finder then the screen will be blank which indicates that you can start moving it around to find studs. 


Remember that if you land directly on the wooden stud on the wall and calibrate it, you will not get a reading or you might get an inaccurate one. If this happens, move the stud finder 3 or more inches to the side and calibrate it again.

Step 2

Slowly move the stud finder horizontally towards the left or right (wherever you intend to mount your TV). 


Always remember to keep your hand in the same position as you did when calibrating it. If you move your finger or change the position of your hand when moving the stud finder, then it will throw your readings off by a few inches. 

Moreover, keep your idle handle, the one with which you are supposed to mark the points on the wall with a pencil, far away from the stud finder. The changes in density because of your hands will result in your stud finder giving inaccurate or no readings.

Step 3

When you find the edge or the center of the stud, slowly bring your hand towards the stud finder and mark the point with a pencil.

However, you can find studs on your wall without a stud finder. To find out how to mount TV on the wall without a studfinder, click here

Types of Indicators


You must be able to tell when a stud finder has located the stud. All stud finders give an infrared light when they have found the edge of the center of the stud. 

Edge Stud Finders

These stud finders will give a red light when they have found the left or right edge of the stud. Most stud finders are 1.5 inches in width, so move to find the other edge and mark the center between the two edges. 

Center Stud Finders

Center stud finders will give a red light when you hit the middle of the stud and you can mark it with a pencil. 


As we mentioned earlier, all stud finders give an infrared light when they locate the edge of the center of a stud. However, the way they give that light might be different. 

For instance, a digital stud finder which usually tells the center of the stud shows a red arrow on the wall when it finds the center of the stud. 

Moreover, some stud finders will have three red lights on them. The lowest light will be red when you are far away from the stud, the middle light will be red when you are on the stud, and the top light will be red when you find the center.


Thoroughly read the owner’s manual when you want to know how the stud finder shows that it has found the stud, 

Point to Remember

points to remember

There may be a stud inside the wall that is wider than other studs because it supports the edge of the wall. Stud finders are not designed to indicate such things, which is why the readings might be affected. 

Moreover, metal pipes or electrical wiring might also affect the way readings are shown. 

Furthermore, if there are two studs installed right next to each other in the wall, then the readings will be inaccurate. If you find the edge of one stud and cannot find the other edge, then start by finding the edge from the opposite side.

When you mark the middle of these two edges, you might figure out that there are two consecutive studs installed together. 

Our Recommendation

stud finder recommendation

We highly recommend a digital stud finder that has a screen. These screens show bars when you find the stud. The bars move to indicate when you find the center. 

These stud finders are the easiest to use because they give clear indications of when a stud is found. 

Remember to read the owner’s manual thoroughly before you use a stud finder to know exactly how to use it accurately. 


That concludes our post on “How to Use a Stud Finder to Mount a TV” including tips. 

The key point to remember is that a stud finder works by indicating changes in density. Therefore, you need to ensure that you keep the position of your hand uniform. 

Moreover, be alert to what the stud finder is telling you is inside the wall. The readings might come out incorrect because you have found metal pipes, wires, a wide stud, or two studs very close to each other. 

Let us know if you have any more questions. 


A/V and Home Theater Expert that focuses on providing clear as well as concise reviews for anything and everything Audio Visual. From TV's, TV Mounts, Soundbars, and Wiring, my focus is to provide expertise in everything Audio Visual focused.

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