Just got your new HD TV and are you ready to install it on the wall, only to find out there are no studs in the wall or the studs are too far for your TV mounting bracket?
If your wall studs are too far apart for your TV, it can be a quite frustrating and alarming situation. However, don’t worry because, in this article, we will discuss ways to mount your TV if your TV mount studs are too far apart.
The quickest option is to use a wooden board that can run across the distance between the two studs. Secure the board to both studs and attach the TV mount on top. You can also purchase a larger mount as an even easier option.
Let’s get your TV mounted step by step.
Can You Install the TV if the Studs Are Too Far?
The fact is that most TV mounts don’t support the standard stud centers. If you have discovered your studs and they are too far apart, don’t worry; you can still install your TV easily. You have a few options as below:
Firstly, note that if the large distance between the stud spacing is due to trying to mount the TV over a fireplace, then you should consider mounting the TV elsewhere. For one, mounting the TV too high can cause neck strain, and the heat may damage your TV and drastically shorten its life.
If not, continue reading.
- Install TV Using a Wooden Board Over Studs
- Use wooden or metal bars for additional support.
- Consider mounting your TV in a corner.
- Opt for a different or adjustable bracket.
- For a sturdy setup, especially for larger TVs, cut open the wall and add fixing points.
1. Installing TV Using a Wooden Board Over Studs (EASIEST FIX)
If the studs are spaced too far apart for the TV mount itself, using a wooden board as a bridging solution is an excellent idea. Here’s how you can go about it:
- Gather Necessary Supplies:
- Purchase or use a board. A 1″x 10″ x 8-foot-long board is a common choice, but ensure it fits your needs.
- Have heavy-duty anchor screws ready, at least 2.5 inches in length.
- Gather wood screws, 1.5 inches in length, for securing the bracket to the board.
- Measure and Cut the Board:
- Measure the width of your TV.
- Cut the board approximately 6 inches shorter than the TV width (or according to your preference).
- Locate the Wall Studs:
- Use a stud finder (like the Stud Finder Sensor Wall Scanner on Amazon) to identify the locations of the studs in the desired TV area.
- Mark their positions with a pencil.
- Mount the Board to the Wall:
- Position the board horizontally so it overlaps both studs, ensuring a good grip when you screw it in.
- Decide on the ideal height for your TV. When seated, the TV should be at a comfortable viewing height.
- Once the board is aligned and level, secure it to the studs using the heavy-duty anchor screws.
- Attach the TV Wall-Mount Bracket to the Board:
- Align the holes on the TV wall-mount bracket with where you want the TV to be on the board.
- Secure the bracket to the board using the 1.5-inch wood screws. Ensure they fit the mounting holes on the bracket properly.
- Install Your TV:
- Follow the bracket’s instructions to attach your TV to the mounted bracket.
- Safety Precautions:
- Always double-check that the mount and board are securely fixed to prevent any mishaps.
- If unsure about any step, consult with an expert at a home improvement store or consider hiring a professional.
2. Make a Wooden or Metal Bar Mount
Another quick and easy fix is to make a wooden or metal bar mount. In this case, you can attach a 2×4 or perforated steel bars across the two studs and mount the bracket on top of that.
Here is a detailed overview of the process:
- Paint the wooden planks or spray paint the perforated bars if necessary.
- Use a stud finder (like the Stud Finder Sensor Wall Scanner on Amazon) to find the studs in the wall.
- Hold the 2×4 firmly up to the wall, place a leveler on top, and mark the holes in the stud for drilling.
- Now drill the holes for the planks to be attached.
- Now place the second plank directly under the one already attached to the wall.
- You need to ensure that both planks are flush by putting the leveler on the side.
- Drill in the second plank.
- Attach the bracket and attach your TV.
3. Mount Your TV in the Corner Instead
Mounting your TV in a corner requires you to find the best full-motion TV mount and the right place to position the wall plate.
Placing your TV near the corner might also be an economical solution when your studs are too far apart. Here’s how you can mount your TV in the corner:
- Find the studs for attaching the mount
- Mark your TV mount’s height
- Drill holes to attach the mounting bracket
- Attach the mounting bracket on the wall and hook the TV
- Secure the TV and adjust it as desired
Of course, this may not work well for you if you want to mount your TV above your soundbar. You would have to place the soundbar on a small table because a center console won’t fit in the corner.
3. Get A New Bracket or an Adjustable Bracket
If you want to avoid all the hassle of having to put up a support structure to span the studs, then you will need to purchase a new bracket.
Better yet, you can purchase an adjustable sliding bracket that can change its dimensions to attach to studs of different distances from each other. For example, the sliding TV mount above (PERLESMITH Universal TV Mount – Amazon link) extends by 23.82 inches.
4. Cut The Wall Open And Add Fixing Points
For a more permanent and stronger solution, you will need to cut your wall open to add more fixing points to attach the bracket.
This option is the most practical course of action when mounting large TVs above 55 inches on an extending arm. It gives you a secure mount that will not twist the studs, no matter your TV’s weight.
Here’s how you can mount your TV when the studs on your wall are too far apart or need extra timber for support, especially when mounting big TVs on an extendable mount.
- Mark the rectangular plasterboard to be cut from your wall
- Start by marking vertical points located at the center of both studs. This ensures you have the timber to reinstall the plasterboard. That means you won’t need to buy a new sheet for this project.
- Measure the height of the TV you want to mount
- Measure your wall bracket’s height and the total distance between the bottom and top fixing points on the mount.
- Get enough room to add horizontal fixing covering both fixing rows and slip up behind your cutout, also acting as a line for fixing the plasterboard. Wide 8/2 or 6/2 timbers are recommended to have enough fixing surfaces.
- When done, mark the bottom and top cut outlines
- Cut the lining with a knife or a handsaw. You can use this lining later by attaching it back to the studs using screws. That’s why it’s important to achieve a nice cut without breaking corners. Even if you do a wobbly cut, the cutout piece should fit back like a puzzle, though the join will be masked using plaster and paint.
- Add a sustainable framing length at the bottom and the top side of your lining join as the horizontal fixing needed by your TV bracket, ideally using the same timber bit. That means there will be two flat blocks and not four.
- Use large coach or TEK screws on the studs at both ends to support your TV’s weight.
5. What If Your Wall Doesn’t Have Studs? Mounting Your TV with No Studs and Without Reframing
When the only available wall doesn’t have studs, and you want to avoid opening the wall, don’t lose hope. You can still mount your TV, but with several caveats.
The main caveat is that your TV should be relatively light and small, with a fixed TV mount – not an extendable one.
If you’re ok with these restrictions, you can mount the TV securely using the parts available in the mounting kit.
Some of your options for mounting your TV without wall studs or opening your wall will include:
- Check your mounting kit for plastic screws intended for plasterboard-only fixing. These screws have large threads, but they’re only suitable for small TVs, and they’re not reliable when using an extended arm TV mount. Additionally, they’re less secure if there’s an earthquake or when knocked too hard.
- Consider installing an additional lining sheet on top of your current wall using plywood or particle board. However, you’ll need to attach your mount to the new lining before you attach it to the wall because of its thickness.
- You can’t use the coach bolts in the box, but some nuts and washers will come in handy to securely fit through a 1-inch thick sheet.
Finding The Studs Inside Your Wall
Locating the studs is as easy as following the electrical outlets and switches in your room, as they’re commonly installed on studs. Here’s how you can find studs in drywalls within minutes:
- Knock on the wall and listen for solid spots (potential studs) – Use the old knocking technique where you simply move along the wall while tapping it lightly with a hammer or your knuckles. Areas that sound less hollow probably have a stud.
- Look for power outlets to get a clue where they might be located near your mounting area.
- Use tools like a stud finder for precision – Pinpoint areas where the vertical wooden frames go through by tapping on your wall and listening until you get a solid sound, or use a stud finder like the Stud Finder Sensor Wall Scanner on Amazon.
Note: TV mounts typically require two studs for the proper fixing, so you’ll need to look for another stud close to the first one. You can try checking for the standard stud spacing of 16 and 24 inches and using the same method to find the first one.
Remember, a combination of methods is usually the most effective.
How High Should I Mount The TV?
Yes, you can mount your TV too high or too low. This can cause neck and eye strain. The height at which you should mount your TV on the wall depends on several factors, including:
- The size of your TV
- Eye-level height
- The optimum viewing distance
- Viewing angle
Remember that the optimum height for a 28″ TV will differ from that of a 50″ or 65″ TV. For this reason, you’ll need to measure the distance from the center of your TV to the floor.
Considering the ideal viewing distance is also important, even if not everyone knows how to determine it. Our home theater viewing distance calculator can help with this. For a quick check, you can divide your TV’s size by 0.55 to get an idea of a good distance.
That means a 32″ TV should be about 58 inches away. However, you also need to consider the resolution of the TV. The calculator will assist you with that.
Think about whether you want to place your center speaker above or below your TV before deciding on how to mount your TV when the studs are too far apart. For instance, you might want the plywood mount to be large enough to mount the center speaker or a soundbar on it, if necessary.
How Far Apart Should The Studs Be Placed?
The general consensus on wall stud spacing is about 16 inches on center, but it can also be 24 inches.
Experts recommend that exterior wall studs be spaced at 24-inch centers, while interior walls should have studs 16 inches on center. If the studs are too close or too far apart, consider mounting the TV on a different wall.
How Do You Mount A TV If The Studs Don’t Line Up?
Using a toggle anchor or a toggle bolt is an excellent way to hang a TV without studs. These anchors look similar to regular screws but have a butterfly toggle at the end. Once placed in the wall, they attach to the backside.
Can You Mount A TV With Only 2 Screws?
There’s a simple way to determine this: take the maximum weight rating of your mount and divide that number by two. If the result is more than your TV’s weight, you’re good to go. With a swivel mount, avoid moving or tilting excessively, or you risk damaging the back of your device. If it’s a flush mount, you’ll be fine using just 2 screws.
Although many of today’s TVs are ultra-slim, large screens (50 inches and above) can be relatively heavy when mounted on the wall. Fortunately, mounting accessories are readily available, but you’ll need to drill into battens or wall studs for the screws to hold securely.
Mounting your TV on a wall without studs or where the studs are spaced too far apart might seem daunting, but it’s manageable if you follow the steps in this guide.
You can create a plywood mount, use a 2×4/metal mount, get a sliding bracket, or cut open the wall and add fixing points. If you’re using a kit, most mounting kits provide detailed instructions and diagrams to guide you.