Not to worry, as we have all had our failed stud-exploration experiences that we so badly wish to forget. Fortunately, that it is all in the past now. There are easier ways to find dry wall studs, rather than using an ineffective tool or stud finder to do it.
Locating Wall Studs
Before looking in the right place for wall studs, you must first know a few important facts about walls. For instance, the purpose of a stud is to hold up interior drywall and exterior sheathing. So you can always safely assume that studs are located at the top, bottom, or corners of walls. You can also assume that studs are 16 inches apart from center in newer homes, and mostly likely 24 inches from center in older homes. You can count on finding a stud behind an electrical box as they are generally held up by one. Another fact about walls you should know before going on a stud-hunt is that most molding and trim are nailed to studs. Also important to know, studs are typically located on either side of a window. This is good knowledge for curtain and valance hanging.
Instructions for Finding Drywall Studs:
If present, start at the trim or crown molding. Even though these areas are painted and caulked, you can sometimes see the nail cavity, or the point in which it was nailed into the wall. These features are only nailed into studs, so if you find where trim is nailed to the wall, simply measure 16 inches up and you should find a stud.
For properties without trim, you can start with the outlets and light switches. These are another indication of nearby wall studs. There is an electrical box on either side of an outlet, you simply have to figure out which one with a quick knock or tap. When you finally determine the right side, simply measure 3/4th of an inch outward, and then measure in 16 inch increments until you hit the stud you need.
Since we mentioned studs are at tops, bottoms, and corners of walls, you can also start at a corner wall and measure 16 inches inward to the center. Since all rooms are not always divisible by 16, use intuition and the knock-test to find a wall stud if measuring from a corner to center. Keep in mind that a stud could be just before, or just after, 16 inches from a corner wall, depending on the room’s dimensions.
Always remember to mark each stud as you find them, and patch up and fix any practice or mistake holes with caulk and paint. In the case that you have put too many holes in your wall, or you simply need to replace drywall for another reason, your best option is to call an Indianapolis general contractor for professional service.