Finding studs

Discussion in 'Help with all other issues' started by andyBeaker, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. andyBeaker

    andyBeaker Moderator Staff Member Moderator Club Sponsor

    No, not that type of stud;-0))

    Over the next few weeks I will be doing a bit of work on a new build - brick outer, timber & board inner - just hanging a few mirrors, loo roll holders and the like. Never worked on anything other than solid cavity wall construction so this is new territory for me.

    I appreciate that fittings are available for fixing to boards, but I would prefer to hit studs with fixings if I can. Or am I being unnecessarily cautious?

    I believe studs are normally 18" apart, and I have a thingy for checking for cables and pipes (not plastic ones though8rfl@) - anyone got any tips on how to locate studs?
  2. DEG5Y

    DEG5Y Been there, and had one Club Sponsor

    I think so.

    Good luck finding any studs in exactly the right place (as in where your Mrs wants things hanging).

    Some of these thingies do studs aswell.

    You can tell with some accuracy just by knocking on the wall.
  3. andyBeaker

    andyBeaker Moderator Staff Member Moderator Club Sponsor


    Prefer a solid wall myself but i suppose boards over a timber frame is what is known as 'progress'.

    Good old fashioned quality workmanship is still alive and well though.... the valve on the back of a shower outlet couldn't quite be covered by a board. So the board was forced into place and knocked a hole in the board. Then the painter painted over the whole lot......... joints between tiles and paint with paint over the tiles............. no hot water to downstairs loo...... and, best of all, none of the eight houses on the development have outside taps, despite having garages and parking for two cars per unit.
  4. slim63

    slim63 Never surrender Club Sponsor

    Depending on the age of the building & the construction method studs could be 18" or 16" apart or fairly random within 3" or so of where you would expect them to be, end studs could be anywhere but hopefully near a corner, make no assumptions

    A stud finder is usually picking up on metal Eg wiring, pipes or nails in studs but they are not always that accurate, even some brick will give a reading

    For upright studs I would hope to find one in a corner & would look for it by knocking in a small nail (minimal damage ) I would then work across the room at roughly 16 or 18" stages & hopefully be able to find them all, for horizontal studs they could be across the middle of the room or a 3rd from the ceiling & floor but its not certain by any means

    Remember even if you do hit a stud you don't know its width so could be right on the edge or bang in the middle so don't expect to get a fixing an inch away from the last one

    lastly the screw in type plastic or metal cavity fixings are really good for hanging stuff that wont be touched but for something in constant use like a toilet roll holder they can work loose
  5. jeffa

    jeffa Been there, and had one Club Sponsor

    If its plasterboard over studding you can use a magnet to find clout nail heads,use post it stickers so as not to mark the wall,draw a line between at least 4 marks and you should be near enough centre, i myself have a Makita magnetic stud finder, if you are really stuck i can loan it to you
  6. andyBeaker

    andyBeaker Moderator Staff Member Moderator Club Sponsor

    Any recommendations for vulnerable stuff like loo roll holders if I end up going into the board rather than stud?
  7. jeffa

    jeffa Been there, and had one Club Sponsor

    Why not use floor mounted loo roll holders, some nice ones on the market
  8. slim63

    slim63 Never surrender Club Sponsor

    Truthfully the board is always going to be the weakest link so the options are limited for anything only in the board, they all work lose eventually as the board slowly falls to bits, even if you go through to brick with a proper plug & screw the board will eventually move

    I had a particularly troublesome bit of board with multiple holes in it where a curtain rail had been badly fixed, the only solution I found was to carefully cut it out fix a small piece of timber in there with board adhesive & a couple of screws into the lintel, fill it over with bonding then fix into the timber

    Something like that is the only real way I can think of to get a secure lasting fixing but obviously if the place is already decorated it would be a pain in the arse :dunno:
  9. Squag1

    Squag1 Been there, and had one Club Sponsor

    See third one down with helical screw.
    Other ones very affective also.

    I usually use a long panel pin to locate stud and then use it to find edges of the studs. The will usually be at 450/600 mm c.c. slabs 1200mm wide.

    Otherwise go all the way into solid wall using "Rawlplug" type bolts. You could use lock nuts (with a washer) at the surface of the plasterboard to steady fitting.
  10. Quiney

    Quiney Been there, and had one Club Sponsor

  11. jeffa

    jeffa Been there, and had one Club Sponsor

  12. Quiney

    Quiney Been there, and had one Club Sponsor

    Unless you are going to use the loo-roll holder like a piece of gym equipment then fixing onto plasterboard is not a problem.
    I attach things (sometimes relatively heavy) onto plasterboard most times that I'm out fitting, but do have a few tips.

    1. You need a good clean cut hole. Masonry drills often round the edges and drill slightly oversize. Use an HSS drill, without hammer action and a light pressure.
    2. Use a plug with a slight shoulder so that the plug can pull back against the fitting. I don't use any supplied plugs, they are often cheap and nasty. For most jobs I would use Rawlplug Uno plugs.
    3. Also be wary of the supplied screws, again often cheap and nasty with weird screwheads. You probably have your own supply of suitable replacements, if not Screwfix/Toolstation.

    If you really feel that you need something better than a plug then the metal fittings that are 'set' into the plasterboard with a special tool are not that expensive and do a really good job (I tend to use those for really heavy jobs like large curtain poles)
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2017
  13. andyBeaker

    andyBeaker Moderator Staff Member Moderator Club Sponsor

    Thanks for all of the above comments, very useful.

    By chance I bumped in to the builder this morning and he told me that the reason they do not put toilet roll holders in as standard is that they have been pulled off the Wall in other houses they have built, many of which are tenanted so subject to less then caring usage! Freestanding as suggested above is now the plan!

    The reason that there are no outside taps in the development is much simpler-they forgot to specify them in the plumbing contract! Like me he was a little surprised that nobody pointed this out while the plumbing work was being undertaken but again like me why would he expect common sense to be applied?

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