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As TVs have gotten thinner in size but drastically better in image quality, wall mounting has become increasingly popular. Mounting a TV on the wall can help to save space by doing away with large, clunky entertainment consoles, while providing a cleaner, neater, more organized look with no wires, cables or cords in sight. Learn more here on how to hide TV wires.
Most TV mounts are designed for drywall, which makes for easy DIY products, but naturally requires the presence of studs. Wall studs are vertical pieces of wood that make up the frame that supports your walls. Drywall itself is a relatively brittle, so trying to support your mount and TV on drywall alone could mean a hole in the wall and a TV on the floor. The studs provide a sturdy anchor point, ensuring that your mount and TV stay in place.
Unfortunately, depending on your living space and the construction of your home, the wall that you choose for your TV may not have studs. The good news is that you can still mount your TV despite the hollow walls with Mount-It’s No Stud TV Wall Mount that hangs on your wall like a picture frame. Or, you can read on to learn other ways to mount a TV on the wall without studs.
Anchors are some of the easiest ways to hang anything in the walls without a stud. These work in different ways to keep screws from slipping out of their holes or otherwise damaging the drywall.
Toggle anchors or toggle bolts look like normal screws but with a butterfly toggle at the end. When placed into the wall, toggle anchors work by anchoring to the back of the drywall. Pulling at the screw or otherwise placing any sort of outward force has no effect as the toggle forces the entire sheet of drywall to resist instead of just the crumbly core. In other words, it’s the difference between pulling at the whole wall and pulling at a single screw.
These are a little harder to use than other drywall anchors, but they are extremely sturdy and well-suited for medium and heavy loads. These come in two variations, pointed and non-pointed. Pointed molly bolts have a sharp tip and can be installed with some gentle but forceful taps with a hammer. Non-pointed molly bolts, which are better for plaster walls, require cutting out an installation hole first.
These bolts stay thin when left untightened, but once tightened in your walls, the sleeve expands, creating an anchor to the back of your drywall. This is a similar mechanism as toggle anchors. Once the molly bolt is securely anchored, you can remove the screw and replace it with the screws for your TV wall mount.
Along with these drywall anchors, consider using a mounting plate or cleat made from metal or plywood. Mounting plates are placed behind the TV and screwed into the wall using any of the anchor screws above. The base of your TV wall mount can then be screwed into the mounting plate. The idea with a mounting plate is that it adds several more anchor points while creating a larger surface area to carry the weight of the mount and your TV.
If you are worried about aesthetics, cut your mounting plate smaller than the size of your TV so that the monitor hides the plywood or metal. If that’s not possible, you can always paint or stain the mounting plate to camouflage it or add an extra level of sophistication.
While not as common as standard wall mounts, mounting your TV from the ceiling is another option if your walls don’t have studs. This may be a bit more intensive process and not always feasible, but nearly all ceilings have beams or joists, which have the same function as studs. Depending on the design of your home, you may need longer screws to reach joists, and these joists may be more spread out than you think, but they should be there.
Anchors and mounting plates are an effective and a generally easy way to keep TV wall mounts in place when your walls don’t have studs. While the process is generally straightforward, here are some things you should keep in mind:
Make sure that the anchor screws that you choose are rated to carry your TV’s weight. Weights can vary from model to model, but the average 32-inch television usually weighs about 25 to 30 lbs. That means that a larger screen will weigh more. Always check the load capacity for the anchors that you choose.
The strongest wall anchors will not make much of a difference if you’re mounting a TV onto drywall or plaster that is old and crumbling. Walls that appear flimsy may actually bow and bend under the weight of your TV, potentially breaking at some point.
The VESA pattern creates a standard pattern for wall mounts to ensure that they will fit any TV. However, mounts are rated to fit specific TV sizes and weights. For example, a wall mount for a 32-inch TV would not properly support the weight and dimensions of a 40-inch TV. Choosing the wrong mount could potentially lead to your monitor crashing to the floor and a damaged wall. Visit our blog on how to choose a TV wall mount so you can avoid this problem.
Most of the anchor options for a studless wall work best with fixed and tilting mounts. Fixed mounts are static and set at a singular position, while tilting mounts allow you to change the vertical angle of the mounted TV. As a general rule, toggle bolts and other wall anchors should not be used with full-motion mounts. These mounts, which have arms and swivels that allow for complete angle adjustments, naturally add more weight. The constant movement that comes with adjusting your mounted TV can cause increased stress on your anchor points and the wall itself.
If your wall has no studs, don’t worry. You still have plenty of options for mounting your TV. If you are hesitant or not sure about these alternatives, it never hurts to call a professional who knows how to mount a TV on the wall without studs. It’s better to spend a little more money and ask for help than to end up with a broken TV and damaged drywall.