How to find a stud in a wall

Continuing on our theme on doing things by yourself, we dive into one of the basics in home improvement how to find a stud in a wall.

A staple in home repair and forever to the dismay of unresourceful husbands everywhere, finding a stud in a wall is something everyone should know.

Throughout history, man has needed to hang something on his wall a mirror, a painting, a TV all with the help of a friendly contractor or handyman. While some people are smart and purchase a stud finder, some rely on good old instincts to try and find that stud.

There is a way where one could find a stud in a wall without the application by yourself!

Before we jump in on how to find a stud in a wall, we need to backtrack a bit. We need to understand how walls are built and framed in most homes.

  • In most homes, there are 2×4 or 2×6 studs as the main structure of the house.
  • There is generally 16 to 24 on centre from the middle of the stud to the next
  • You'll usually find studs next to windows and doors, but the placement will depend on floorplans
  • Electrical boxes are attached to a stud
  • Most, if not all, trim or crown moulding are nailed to a stud

Looking at the trim

If you look at the trim on the baseboards, generally you can spot where the nails went in. You will be able to spot them by the small holes that were patched over by paint or caulk. If and when you find it, try to measure by 16 increments to locate more studs.

Using the switch

By looking at the switches or outlets you will know that one side of the electrical box will have stud that's mounted by. You can test this by tapping the sides of the outlet to see which one is attached to the stud. After that you can measure away from the outlet and use that as your starting point to determine the intervals.

Another note to point is that if you are the one framing your home or a room, take a photo of where everything is framed before you put up the drywall so you can see where the studs are.

Good luck to you, you stud muffin, with your picture/TV hanging and if you every need help, you know who to call!