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Video:How to Find a Wall Stud

with Konan Stephens

Have a new picture or mirror you want to hang up? Before you take out the hammer and nail, learn how to find your wall stud.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Find a Wall Stud

Hi I'm Konan Stephens, for About.com Home. Today I'm going to show you how to find a wall stud.

Where Studs Are Located

Whether you hanging a picture, mirror, or shelves, you will first need to locate the studs.

Studs are typically set 16 or 24 inches on center. When you find one, then you can measure off to locate others. Let's get started.

Supplies Needed to Find a Wall Stud

Before we begin, here are a few items you will need:
  • electronic stud finder
  • tape measure
  • a pencil (to mark on wall where studs are)

Use the Electronic Stud Finder

First, we're going to take our electronic stud finder. This tool is a fast and accurate way to locate wood studs, and can be found at your local hardware or home and garden store.

This tool works by detecting changes in density. So slowly run it over the wall until it gives you an indication with light or sound (depending on brand) when it is directly over a stud.

Other Ways to Find a Wall Stud

If you don't have the luxury of a stud finder, here are a couple of low-tech methods that will help.

First look for signs associated with stud locations:
  • Electrical outlets are usually attached to the side of stud
  • tap across the wall with your knuckles. The area between studs sounds hollow, while the area over the stud sounds dull.
  • With 16-inch spacing, the center of the first stud should be around 14-1/2 inches from the corner of the room.
These are just a couple of ways to help you get an idea of where to start.

Control the urge to just start nailing in the wall where you want to hang something. The trial and error method should be your last resort, as you will probably end up with multiple unsightly holes in your wall that you will have to fill in later.

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