It’s easy to mount a TV on a wall with studs. You don’t have to worry about drywalls and their condition. But mounting a TV without studs is quite hard. You have to consider factors like the drywall’s strength, the TV’s weight, dimensions, etc., to ensure the TV stays in its position.
Fortunately, you can mount a TV without studs by following a few techniques. Drywall anchors, mounting plates, and ceiling mounts are tried and tested methods to mount a TV on drywalls. Let’s find out how to mount a TV on the wall without studs using effective methods and things to keep in mind before you start.
What Is a Stud?
A stud is a vertical frame that creates a structure to build the walls of a house. The studs are made of solid wood or metal and are evenly spaced. The drywall is built over the studs to retain the shape and stand strong.
When hanging heavy items on drywall, you need to find where a stud is located. Then, you hook the item to the stud so that the wooden frame holds the weight instead of the drywall. For example, you mount the TV on the stud instead of the drywall.
What happens if you mount a TV on drywall?
Well, the TV’s weight will make holes in the wall, and the TV mount and the unit will fall to the floor when the wall can no longer support it. But a TV wall mount can be set up only if the studs are made of wood. Metal studs are not convenient for mounting the TV.
Here’s how you can find the studs to determine if they can be used or not.
4 Simple Ways to Find Studs on the Wall
A stud is not limited to hanging a painting or a flat-screen TV. It is also used to fix electric outlets and power boards.
Locate Studs with a Stud Finder
The simplest way to find a stud is to use a device. A stud finder is a hand-held unit you place against the walls. The device will measure the wall thickness and let out a beep when it detects a stud.
Hold the device on the wall and gently drag it across (horizontally) until you hear the beep sound.
Stud finders can be purchased from the local hardware store and the internet. TV mechanics and technicians usually have one with them.
Measure 16” From the Corner
We already mentioned that the studs are evenly spaced. So you can find them even without using a device. Count approximately 16 inches from the corner of the room.
Start knocking on the wall and listen to the sound. You will hear a muffled sound when you knock on a stud. Otherwise, the sound will be hollow. Most houses follow 16-24 inches spacing to install the studs but not always.
Check Your Trims
What if the previous method sounds exhausting? It would be easier if you looked for trims. Where is the electrical outlet in the room? Are there any nails hammered into the walls? Where are the switches located? The studs would be exactly in the same location.
Use a Powerful Magnet
If you still can’t find the studs, try locating the metal fasteners that hold the studs in shape. You need a powerful magnet for this. Hold the magnet against the wall and run it across (vertically and horizontally).
The magnet sticks to the wall where there’s a metal fastener. This method will be successful only if you use a powerful magnet.
How to Mount a TV Without Studs
Since you cannot always use the studs, you should be prepared to mount the TV on drywall. Yes, it is possible, and the TV won’t crash either. But only if you use the necessary supporting equipment to strengthen the wall mount.
Mounting a TV with Drywall Anchors
- The first method to wall-mount a TV is by using drywall anchors. Wall anchors spread the weight of the TV (the load) so that the wall can support it evenly without studs. Wall anchors are not screws. They don’t go straight into the wall and slip out due to the weight hanging at the outside end.
- The anchor holds onto the wall from the inside. The diameter of the anchor will determine how the weight is spread. Still, an anchor is of little use if the drywall is weak.
- Furthermore, you should stay away from plastic anchors. These aren’t strong enough to handle a TV’s weight. Only metal should be used for television sets, while plastic anchors are enough for a picture frame or a small painting.
Mounting a TV with Toggle Anchors or Molly Bolts
- Metal anchors come in two types- toggle bolts and molly bolts. These are exclusively designed to carry heavier weights.
- The anchors have a sleeve that expands when you tighten the bolt. This fixes the anchors against the wall and keeps it from loosening.
Toggle Anchors or Bolts
- Toggle anchors are better than standard wall mounts. These look like regular screws with a butterfly toggle.
- The toggle anchor holds onto the backside of the drywall. So unlike a nail, the anchor screws will not slip out of the hole.
- The toggle sheet distributes the weight against the entire wall. So even when there’s an outward force against the screw, the impact is taken by the wall instead of that crumbly core where the screw is drilled. The load is managed by the entire wall instead of a single screw, which is always safer.
- Molly bolts are suitable for plaster walls and have higher tensile strength than toggle anchors. Though molly bolts are hard to use, they are perfect for medium to heavy weights like your new TV.
- These are further categorized as pointed and non-pointed molly bolts. Molly bolts with pointed tips are sharp and can be hammered into the wall. The non-pointed molly bolt is installed into a plaster wall after drilling a hole.
- You have to tighten the anchor screws for the sleeves to expand into the wall and anchor the screw and the external load. Remove the screw in the molly bolt and replace it with an appropriate screw to mount the TV set.
Mounting a TV with a Mounting Plate
Anchor bolts are a fine choice but may not be enough if you have a huge TV or old/ weak walls. You need more reinforcements to keep the television unit in its fixed position without risking a sudden accident. That’s where a mounting plate comes in handy.
- Mounting plates provide additional support and distribute the TV’s weight while providing more stability. The mounting plate is fitted using anchor bolts. Since there are more anchor bolts and an extended plate to support the TV, it is a more secure and reliable method for TV mounting without studs.
- The plates can be of metal or plywood. These are easy enough to fit once you determine the TV position and height. However, many people don’t prefer to use mounting plates as they affect the aesthetics of the room.
- Now, if you opt for wall mounting a TV to make the room appear stylish and trendy, an extended mounting plate under the TV ruins the effect.
- Still, you can convert the plate into a piece of art by painting and decorating it. You can cut off the front portion so that the mounting plate is at the back and under the TV.
Mounting a TV with a Ceiling Mount
This isn’t a popular method but can be used if there’s no better option.
- The TV will be wall-mounted by fitting it on the drywall and supporting the weight from the ceiling.
- It is a complex and time-consuming method as well. If your house’s ceiling has beams, this is a little easier. The beams work the same way as the wall studs do.
- Firstly, measure the height and weight of your television. Calculate the distance between the floor and the ceiling. Determine the approximate height where the TV will be mounted. Then, locate the beams in the ceiling. Choose the right screw and clamps to fix the base of the mount.
Remember that this method is suitable when you have a huge TV and need to mount it halfway above the center of the room. A smaller TV can be set up using anchor bolts or mounting plates. A room with a high ceiling is not a good choice for ceiling mount.
Mounting a TV with No Stud Mount
A no-stud mount is an aluminum plate with a row of holes at the top.
- Tiny nails are hammered into the holes to fix the mount into the drywall. Then, you secure the other metal profile using brackets and install the TV.
- In this method, two metal brackets are interlocked into a fixed position to hold the weight of the TV and spread the load across the wall. The brackets can take a load of 80 lbs. This method will not be feasible for larger TVs.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Mounting a TV With No Studs
Despite the options available, there will be instances when it may not be safe to mount a TV without studs. Check out the below factors before you make the final decision.
Be Aware of the TV’s Weight
A standard 32-inch television can weigh around 25 to 30 pounds. The weight will increase as the TV size becomes bigger. A flat-screen TV is also heavy and can weigh down the mount. You need to fit it carefully and ensure that the anchor bolts selected are strong enough to carry the load.
Choose the Right TV Mount
A smaller TV can be mounted using anchors but a larger TV might require a mounting plate of ceiling mounts. Also, you should check the rating on the mount to ensure it can take the load of the TV. A mount meant for a 40-inch TV cannot handle the weight of a 55-inch television.
Choose between fixed and tilting mounts. Fixed mounts don’t allow any movement after you install the TV.
Tilting mounts can help you adjust the viewing angle. A mount with swivels and arms can be adjusted to change the TV screen angle to suit your viewing requirements. But remember that regularly making these adjustments will further affect the mount and put extra pressure on the wall.
Be Aware of Your Wall’s Condition
The drywall’s condition will determine if it is safe to wall-mount a telly without studs. Old and flaky drywall may not be able to take the weight of even a small TV. The strongest anchor will be of no use if the wall is weak.
If you aren’t sure, talk to an expert and get the drywall assessed. Hollow walls are never a safe choice for TV mounts. It’s not worth the risk.
Choose the Correct TV Position
The TV should ideally be located in the center of the room, but that’s not compulsory. Choose where you want to install the television. Make sure there’s an electrical outlet nearby to plug the power cord directly.
Choose an appropriate method and mount to set up the TV on drywall without using studs. You can get the necessary items and tools from your local hardware store. However, don’t hesitate to contact a TV technician and get paid services if you are not sure about the wall.
1. How do you mount a TV on the wall if the studs are too far apart?
You use anchor bolts, mounting plates, ceiling mounts, etc.
2. How much weight can drywall hold without a stud?
Drywall can take around 10-20 pounds without a stud.
3. Can You Mount a TV on Drywall Without Studs?
Yes, you can, if the weight of your TV and the wall’s condition make it conducive for wall mounting.