Finding wall studs

The Old House Web

Stud sensorsWall studs in modern homes are spaced 16 inches on center -- that is thedistance from the center of one wall stud to the center of the next is 16inches. In older homes, studs may be 24 inches apart, or spaced irregularly. Youcan purchase an electronic or magnetic stud finding device, like those picturedat right, or try these tips on locatingwall studs.

  • Studs are located next to a window or door edge.
  • Electric boxes are nailed to the sides of studs.
  • The center of the first stud from a major corner in a modern house is 14-1/2."
  • The center of the next should be 16" away.
  • Wallboard or sheetrock is nailed to studs. Look for seams.
  • Baseboard is also nailed to studs. Look for nail holes around the baseboard.
  • Move a magnetic compass of magnet on a string over a wall until the compass needle or magnet is attracted by the metal of the nails in the stud.
  • Drill a tiny angled hole in an inconspicuous spot, and thread a piece of coat hanger wire into the hole until it hits a stud. 

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