Most apartment buildings, condos and commercial buildings do not use wooden studs behind the drywall. This is great for builders and to ensure the building is up to fire code but not ideal for a homeowner trying to install a TV.
Metal studs require a different mounting process than the traditional wooden stud. You cannot use a lag bolt to screw into the metal stud, this will not provide adequate support for the TV to be held. If you use a traditional mounting method in metal studs there is a high change your TV will fall off of the wall.
Metal studs must first be located before you can install a TV or other item. We recommend using a stud finder to find these studs, metal studs are more hollow than wooden studs so knocking on the wall is an ineffective method to locate the studs. You can use a magnetic stud finder or an electronic stud finder. Once you have a stud finder, locate the studs by passing it back and forth on the wall until you are exactly sure where they are located. The studs should be either 16 inches or 24 inches apart from each other. If the studs you find have inconsistent spacing there is a chance some of the “studs” are other things behind the wall such as ductwork.
Once the studs are located make sure to mark the left and right side of each stud, this will allow you to drill into the center of the stud providing the most support for the TV possible. If you drill into the side of a stud you will not get the support needed from it to properly hold a TV. Drilling into the center allows the metal stud to stay intact and provide the optimal support. If you drill into the side of the stud we recommend moving to a different spot since this hole will not work for the installation. If you drill into the wall and notice there is no metal stud then go back to step 1 and try to locate where the studs are.
Once the stud is located, mark where you will be drilling into the stud. After marking the locations use a ¼” drill bit to drill a pilot hole into the metal stud. We recommend using a pilot hole first to ensure a clean installation. If you do not use a pilot hole it can be harder to make a clean hole. Skipping the pilot hole can potentially make step 4 more difficult.
After the ¼” holes are created, move up to a ½” drill bit to widen out the pilot holes. The ½” hole is big enough to fit a toggle bolt through it. The toggle bolts will be providing the support against the metal stud.
After the holes are created it is time to install the toggle bolts into the wall. The toggle bolts give a secure mounting point off of the metal studs. It is best to test the toggle bolts first by running the screw part way in and making sure it does not fall behind the wall. Sometimes the toggle bolt fails by falling behind the wall. If this happens push out any excess from the failed toggle bolt and install a new one.
It is now time to install the TV bracket onto the wall! Screw the TV bracket into the toggle bolts. Before all of the screws are tightened down, use a level to ensure the bracket is level, make adjustments as necessary and then tighten the screws for a snug hold.
With the TV bracket on the wall we can now install the TV onto the bracket. With 2 people, lift the TV on to the bracket making sure the arms lock on the wall bracket. Once the TV is on the bracket make sure to lock the screws at the bottom or else it could fall off.
You have now completed the installation process of your TV installation! The toggle bolts in the metal studs will provide great support for the TV.
Some locations to find toggle bolts are:
If you do not feel comfortable installing your TV into metal studs do not worry, we have experts who are well versed completing installations into metal studs! We come equipped with all the tools necessary to complete the installation safely. Contact us today to help with your next TV installation! We have completed hundreds of metal stud TV installations and would be happy to help with your next metal stud TV installation.