How to find wall studs the right way

One common household task that many of us have dealt with is identifying a sturdy point in our walls to either hang a painting or frame a shelf. There are studs (2”x4”) behind the dry wall, but how do we find them?

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  • Hardware stores sell stud finders. You can pick up one of these battery powered devices for around $20.
  • Ascultation. Most interior walls are not insulated. This means that there is air space in between the dry walls. Use your ascultatory skills and identify where the hollow points are, and what the dense points are. You can even use your stethoscope!
  • Understand fundamental housebuilding codes. Typical walls in the U.S. are framed with 2”x4” posts at 16” apart on-center. Once you find one, you can measure out and find another one.
  • Use a magnet. You can tie a neodymium magnet to a piece of floss. Dangle it on the dry wall, and it will stick to head of the nail.

how to find wall studs


I typically use a magnet in combination with auscultation. Once you find the nail head, you can typically find the strong points behind the wall to mount your TV, shelves, or wall art.

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