You found the perfect spot to mount a TV in your home. You’ve read all of our tips on using a stud finder, and are ready to go. But after 20 minutes of scanning for studs, you can’t find any, or the results are inconsistent, or they don’t line up with the holes on your wall mount. There are a number of solutions that don’t require much, if any, extra work to fix your little problem.
Take off covers: If you can’t locate the studs with a stud finder, locate an outlet on the wall (or any other fixture, like a cold air return). All outlets are attached to studs, unless they were added after the wall was up (not common). By taking off the wall plate, you can stick a thin tool into the gap between the side of the electrical box and the drywall, and then feel which side the stud is on. From there, measure over 16 inches and you should find another stud. Keep going 16 inches at a time until you are in the area where you want to mount the TV. Then use a small tool to poke a hole in the wall to see if a stud is actually there.
Make your own holes: What if you found studs, but they don’t line up with the holes on your bracket? Easy: Make extra holes on the wall bracket. The best way to do this is to use a step drill bit and a powerful drill. A good step drill bit will quickly cut through a steel wall mount.
Use a wall mounting kit: If there simply aren’t any studs where you want to mount the TV, then you need to use some sort of hollow wall anchor. These can be extremely strong, but as a general rule should not be used with full-motion, or articulating, mounts. The quarter-inch Snaptoggle is hands down the best hollow wall anchor on the market, and a few of them can comfortably hold a Samsung 55″ TV on a single sheet of drywall. Mounting a TV on drywall or plaster or even plaster and lath without attaching to a stud can be a very safe and reliable solution IF you know the limits of the wall and the toggles. As a professional home theater installer, I’ve used toggles many times and never had a TV fall off the wall. In the end, if you aren’t comfortable performing the install, consider hiring a professional.