Studs are supporting structures found behind walls, mostly made of wood. By default, studs have a distance ranging from 16 to 24 inches between them. The presence of studs on walls allows for hanging heavy objects on walls without worrying about those objects falling off.
Some wall structures hold up plenty of heavy materials like kitchen cabinets, and they must be firm to prevent the structures from falling off and getting damaged. Hence, it is crucial to find the positions of studs behind the walls and mount these structures to add more grip and support.
Homeowners sought a way to make stud finding easier and more accurate, and the stud finder was eventually introduced to aid the finding of studs. Before the introduction of stud finders, traditional methods were used to find studs.
Still, they were not as effective or accurate as the modern stud finder because they required hitting the walls, using sound to spot studs, and a better understanding of the architecture behind the house so one does not confuse pipes or wires for studs.
Stud finders were introduced in the early 1970s and had been in use to date. This article highlights how to use stud finders, the concept behind stud finders, and the tools and materials required when using stud finders.
How To Use A Stud Finder
Like the name implies, a stud finder is a tool that uses an electronic sensor or magnet to find studs behind walls or any surface. It uses the change in density of a surface and nails to locate studs. Stud finders are of two types. They are:
- Magnetic Stud Finders: This is the older of the two versions. It uses magnets to read the density of the wall and uses nails to locate studs.
- Electromagnetic Stud Finders: This is a more recent version. It works by emitting electromagnetic waves that scan the walls, tracking the slightest change in density and the presence of nails to spot a stud. It uses enhanced means to give a better description of the location of the studs.
Certain tools are required when stud finding, which makes the task easier and faster. They include:
- Stud Finder
- Pencil / Marker
- Measuring tape
- Mounting materials
Here’s a quick guide on how to use stud finders to find studs.
1. Pick a Hanging location
The first step to hanging objects is finding the perfect location on the wall.
While finding a hanging position, consider the size of the object to be hung, the visibility of the position, and the design of the wall surface.
2. Check the Stud Finder
Batteries power some Stud Finders, so it is ideal to ensure the batteries to be used are fully charged and are in good working conditions to avoid false readings.
Also, check the flat surface for cracks, scratches, or dust because this can also affect its accuracy.
3. Search for Stud
The toughest part in finding a stud is always finding the first. If the first stud has been found, searching for the others becomes a lot easier. Always remember that studs have a gap that ranges from 16-24 inches, which is approximately 2 ft. So when looking for the first stud on your wall, mark out a workspace of 2ft and search within that space.
4. Moving the stud finder
After locating the first stud, mark it with a pencil/Marker, then measure 2fts left or right from that point and search for studs. Repeat until you have achieved the desired number of studs needed.
To avoid any errors or damages, repeat the search for all your findings. And if the result stays the same, then it is safe to proceed to the drilling and installation process.
The results you get when searching for studs may vary, and here’s why. Some Stud finders give detailed information of the studs down to the center point, while some give the location. Finding the size or center point requires you to employ the use of the hit and listen technique.
This is as a result of the different designs and models of stud finders. Most Stud finders are only designed for drywalls, while others can work on any wall. Hence, it is important to know the type of stud finder you choose to use to avoid the cost of repairing damages due to false readings. Visit the Ram Research homepage for moe expert information.