Can it be done? How to find studs in the wall with a magnet!
Before starting a DIY home improvement project recently, I realized that the task I was trying to complete would include locating studs in the wall. Since I didn’t have a specialized tool on hand, I wanted to find out if there was something else I had around the house that would work for this purpose.
Can you find studs in the wall with a magnet, and how?
It is possible to find studs in the wall using just a magnet. In order to do this, you will just need to slide the magnet across the surface of the wall and wait for it to stick.
When you have your hands full with a home renovation project in which you might have bit off more than you could chew, the added stress of obtaining professional tools like stud finders can be daunting.
Don’t worry if you feel like you are in over your head just like I did before I found a simple answer, this easy guide will help you find studs in the wall with the use of an everyday magnet.
How to find studs in a wall with magnets
When you are trying to hang or mount something up onto the wall in your home, it is always important to be able to locate the interior metal studs beforehand. This is due to the fact that the studs will give the object the additional support that it will need to hold itself up for a long period of time.
Especially for very heavy objects like televisions or floating shelving units, you will be required to find the precise locations of each stud and drill directly into these areas for the best results. Unless, of course, you would like your creation to fall down and completely destroy your drywall along the way.
Most people would be surprised to hear that the average, everyday household magnet can actually be used for renovation projects as handy detectors for studs in the wall. Take a look at the quick guide below to find out how you can use this method if you ever find yourself in a pinch.
4 simple steps:
- Obtain a magnet and bring it to the workspace in question
- Find a starting position on the wall and slowly drag the magnet horizontally
- Wait for the magnet to stick in one place
- Leave the magnet on the wall to mark the spot
First and foremost, you will need to obtain the magnet that you will be using and bring it to the wall in which you would like to locate the studs in question. The general process of finding the studs with the magnet will be the easiest part.
The object of this entire test will be to observe where the magnet sticks on the wall, with the stopping points being directly on top of the magnetic studs.
Find a starting position on the wall to begin and slowly drag the magnet horizontally across the entire surface. There should be no space between the wall and the magnet, and you might have to adjust the height of the magnet, making several passes across the entire area until you find what you are looking for.
During the trial and error that you will go through with the magnet, you will be waiting for the magnet to stop you in your tracks. When the magnet is attracted to an area in the wall, you will be able to mark the area to indicate that a stud is inside.
For an easier process that doesn’t even require a pencil, you can leave the magnet exactly where it stands on the wall to mark the spot, and come back to it when you are ready to take action.
In case you will be needing to locate multiple studs at once across the same wall, there is an additional method that you can use, in connection with this one, in order to quickly find all of them without exactly having to drag the magnet across the wall.
Keep reading to the next section to find out how you can get your project moving even faster than you thought you would after discovering the simple magnet method.
These magnets are perfect for finding studs (the thicker wall, the stronger magnet you need for the job):
All products Can it be done? How to find studs in the wall with a magnet!
How to easily locate multiple studs using a magnet
Now that you have learned all about the process of using a magnet for locating studs in your wall and found your first one, you might have realized that you will need to repeat the same steps again to find the rest of them.
Not to worry! There are a few tips and tricks to follow when it comes to easily locating multiple studs using a magnet.
In this section, we will be going over how you can quickly find the rest of the studs in the same wall without having to continue with the magnet method.
Tips and tricks for locating multiple studs:
- Use the magnet method to locate your first stud
- Determine the measurements between each stud in the wall
- Use your tape measure to locate these approximate areas
- Use your magnet again to test for studs quickly
After you have initially used the magnet method to locate the first stud in the wall, you are halfway through the process of finding the rest of them. Once the hard part is done, you will be able to continue through this shortcut to finish the job in no time.
When it comes to studs in the wall of a house, they usually follow very standard spacing between them, no matter where they are or when they were built. These measurements are most commonly 16 inches or 24 inches.
So, once you have found the first stud with your magnet, you can simply measure 16 inches away from it horizontally and test this area with your magnet once more. If you do not get a hit on the first try, you can measure 8 more inches out to make an even 24 and see if you have any luck with this position.
Although this shortcut still requires the use of the magnet method, you will be able to significantly speed up the process instead of trying to locate all of the studs with the magnet alone.
Are all wall studs magnetic/detectable by the magnet method?
While every single wall stud that you will come across might not be magnetic itself, studs must be secured into the wall using a screw, which is almost always magnetic. With that being said, you will be able to locate the studs this way most of the time.
What is the average width of a wall stud?
The size of the stud will depend on when the house was built. For example, modern day homes that were built within the last 50 years will have studs that are 1.5 innches wide. Older homes that were built before this time period can have studs that stretch a full 2 inches in width.
What are some other ways to find studs without a magnet or tool?
Some other ways to find studs in the wall without a magnet or a stud finding tool are to tap on the walls or find corresponding nails in the baseboards. While neither of these methods are guaranteed to lead you right to the correct stud locations, they will be able to give you a pretty good idea of where to start looking.