What kind of walls do I have and how do I hang stuff?
January 18, 2014 2:06 PM Subscribe
I’m having a hard time figuring out how to find studs in my walls. Stud finder and magnet-on-a-string aren't helping me find solid wood to drill into.
posted by powpow to Home & Garden (18 answers total)
I’m having a hard time figuring out how to install shelving in my condo. I’ve had no problem using EZ Anchors to hold what I’ve needed up to this point, but now I want to hold a lot more weight and would like to find studs.
The problem: I’ve not been able to find studs with much success. The cheapo stud finder provided a few ideas but I never managed to drill into any wood. Dangling a magnet on string helped me find a few metal things in the walls (aligned vertically, and I believe at 16 inch intervals, so I want to assume that’d be a stud location) but I’m still confused.
Whenever I drill in, I go through about ½ inch (give or take ¼ inch) of drywall-like material (possibly actually drywall but I’m not very knowledgeable about these things). Then it’s hollow for a bit. Then it sounds like I’m drilling into rough bricks (which is what the exterior of my building is) after about 2 inches from the interior living space. In other words, I can’t go more than 1.5 inches past the end of the drywall.
I’m pretty sure I’m not drilling into the exterior brick based on the distance.
I took off an outlet cover and peeked around behind the electrical box, and it looks like there have been tiny rockslides back there, which might explain what the drill is hitting. There was a wood piece on one side of the electrical box. But lower down on the wall there’s another outlet pretty much right where that piece of wood would continue through.
So, what can I do to find studs or hang heavy stuff? I can’t find anywhere where the drywall (or plaster, if that’s what it is) is attached to a stud. This is an apartment building built around 1960 if that’s any help.
Thanks for any ideas.