How To Find A Wall Stud – 6 Simple Techniques

How To Find A Wall Stud – Simple Techniques

There are a variety of methods you can choose to find a wall stud; you  can either  look for the dimples or locate the nearest power switch to find the stud.

Being an expert DIYer and carpenter, I always emphasize to homeowners the importance of locating a wall stud before lifting the hammer to hang your shelves, oak beams or even family photos and art. When you randomly install a shelf anywhere in the wall, you run the risk of not having something solid for it to latch on to, and you leave your precious piece susceptible to falling. For the best safety, you should find a stud before installing anything! Here are easy-to-follow steps to locate a stud in the wall, with and without a stud finder.

What Are Wall Studs?

We call studs two by 4-inch beams that are there to maintain the strength of your home’s frame. Studs are made up of either wood or metal and are better to hold screws than the drywall.

Why Is It Crucial To Find A Wall Stud?

If you want to hang bulky items on your wall, it is especially important to find a wall stud. There is no exact weight after which you can no longer use either a nail or an anchor, but it is best to stay on the safe side and locate a stud as it tends to carry more weight and keep the shelves straight. it would also avoid sagging and allow you to put anything you want on them.

People opt for different methods for finding a wall stud, some people with an exceptionally good sense of hearing can even gauge when the sound changes after knocking on the wall!

How To Find A Wall Stud Conveniently

Here are foolproof methods that work out in finding the studs. However, some ways may seem unorthodox, yet they are practical and will help you locate the studs in no time.

Tap The Wall Before Drilling A Hole

No matter what method you opt to locate the stud, the first and easiest way to confirm the presence of a stud before hanging your favourite items. Tap the area gently with the hammer. When you notice the sound has become a bit hollow or empty, tap left and right and see if the sound is muffled; that’s when you’ll realize that you have hit a stud.

Use A Stud Finder

Having a stud finder in your hand makes the hunting process more streamlined. To use the stud finder accurately, locate the area where you intend to hang your item,then place the device on the area where you want to hang your shelf or art work. Ensure you are holding it flat against the wall and move it horizontally to either left or right. When it finds where the stud is, it will instantly beep or alert you with light.

Try A Stud Finder App

With the unstoppable progression of technology and an app for everything, you can also find a wall stud with an app’s help. There are different apps available that use a magnetometer already present in smartphones to detect the metal objects in the wall. The app results may not always be correct as it can turn up a false positive because sometimes it detects other metal objects like nails, pipes and electrical wires. This means you can’t count on the app’s result all the time; you should always confirm by using another method to avoid costly mistakes.

Locate The Power Outlet

Typical electrical outlets are attached to the studs. Hence, another reliable way to find a stud wall is to locate an area near the power outlet. Simply  take a measuring tape and measure 16 inches on either side of the outlet. Generally, wall studs are placed 16 apart by code, but In some instances, the distance can be as much as 24 inches so again, double check before hammering or drilling.

Use Windows As Some General Guideline

Windows do have studs on each side but finding them will not be easy and the method may be less reliable than the ones discussed above. Still, if none of the  other methods have worked, measuring 16 inches from the edges of the windows will provide you with some general guidelines on where to get started.

 Locate A Stud With A Wire Hanger

If you cannot find the stud even after drilling,, there is another easy-to-follow technique you can try using a simple wire hanger.  Untwist it and  fashion it into a tool that will bend into the drilled hole and snake its way along the inside of the wall. When a hanger makes contact with any firm object like a stud, it will create .


It is commonly thought that a stud finder is a must to place techy objects, art  or even rustic floating shelves for more reinforcement. Unfortunately, not all homeowners have a stud finder, and in reality, there is no need to have one. You can employ some old-fashioned tips to locate the studs.

How To Find A Wall Stud – 6 Simple Techniques

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