Just got your new HD TV and ready to install it on the wall just 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 piece of ¾” plywood that can run across the distance between the two studs. Secure the ply 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.
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:
- Use the old knocking technique where you simply move along the wall while tapping it lightly with a hammer or your knuckles while listening for the more dense and less dense areas. Areas that sound less dense (less hollow) probably have a stud.
- Look for power outlets to get a clue of where the might be located near your mounting area
- 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
- TV mounts mostly require two studs for the right fixing, so you’ll need to look for another stud closer 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.
- To make things a lot easier, you can also use an electric stud finder.
Ultimately, however, you need to keep in mind that none of these methods mentioned is foolproof. This means you need a combination of more than one of these methods to correctly pinpoint the studs.
What 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 but they are too far apart, you really have a few options:
Firstly, note that if the far 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.
1. Make A Plywood Mounting Plate
The first option is to make a plywood mounting place. You will use this mounting plate to mount a suitable piece of 3/4″ plywood on the wall so that it spans to studs.
This way, the TV can be securely attached to the plywood. However, for this to work effectively, the TV needs to be lightweight. This is not a good option or large, heavy TVs.
Here is the process:
- Get a suitable piece of 3/4″ plywood than can span the studs
- Cut the plate down so that it will be concealed once your TV is attached. If this is not possible because the studs are too far apart, don’t worry about it, cut the plate to span the studs.
- For aesthetics, paint the plywood with primer and then a color to match the wall
- Run the ply across the distance between the studs before securing it to both studs. It should be wide enough to cover at least 2 studs. The more studs the ply can cover, the better.
- Secure the plywood to the studs using strong enough wood screws. While face screwing into the plywood is a popular option, it can cause problems. Face screwing will prevent the ply from naturally expanding and contracting which can cause the screws or nails to loosen over time. A better way is to use hidden fasteners. This will provide a sturdy mount point and lessen the likelihood of loosening. A simple, quick, and durable option is to use lag bolts that are stronger than screws. Whether you are using screws or lag bolts, ensure that you fasten them with a power drill or even an impact drill.
- Screw the mount onto the plywood. You should get screws all the way through the play and into the all if possible to get a firmer grip. You can even use 3″ all purpose screws for this.
2. Make A Wooden or Metal Bar Mount
Here is a detailed overview of the process:
- Paint the wooden plans 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 and 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. 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
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 between 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 rectangular plasterboard to be cut from your wall
- Start by marking vertical points located at the center of both studs. That ensures you have the timber to reinstall the plasterboard. That means you’ll not 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 surface.
- 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 braking 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 is needed by your TV bracket, ideally the same timber bit. That means there will be two flat blocks and not four.
- Use a 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 as you can still mount your TV, but with several caveats.
The main caveat being that your TV should be relatively light and small, with a fixed mount – not an extendable one.
If you’re ok with this 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 huge threads, but they’re only suitable for small TVs, and they’re not reliable when using an extending 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 partial board. However, you’ll have to attach your mount on 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.
How High Should I Mount The TV?
How high to 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″ TVs. 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, though not everyone knows how. Our home theater viewing distance calculator can help you out with this. For a quick rough check, you can take your TV’s size divided by 0.55 to get an idea of a good distance.
That means a 32″ TV should be about 58 inches away. However, you need to take the resolution of the TV into account as well. The calculator will help you with that.
You should also think about if you are going to place your center speaker above or below your TV before you decide on how to mount your TV when the suds are too far apart. For example, you may want to make the ply mount large enough so that you can mount the center speaker or a soundbar on it as well if necesary.
Although most TVs today are ultra-slim, large screens (50-inches and above) can be quite heavy when mounting them on the wall. Fortunately, the mounting accessories are easily available, but you’ll have to drill into battens or your wall studs for the screws to grip into.
While mounting your TV on a stud-less wall or when the studs are too far might seem like a daunting task, it’s quite manageable if you follow the steps in this guide.
You can us make a plywood mount, 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 offer detailed instructions and diagrams to help you know which part of the kit goes where.