How to Mount a TV on the Wall Without Studs
It wasn’t that long ago that a TV would take up almost an entire section or corner of your room. However, in the last decade, TVs have not only become slimmer and more lightweight, but the image quality has increased significantly and the price point has decreased, making larger TVs more prevalent in almost every household. You don’t need a giant living room to store your TV in anymore! Every modern TV can be placed flat against a wall and the majority of people are mounting their TVs to save space.
Mounting your TV doesn’t only save space, it also gives you and your spectators a more comfortable viewing experience, allowing you to set the TV at a convenient eye level; mounts allow your TV to tilt or rotate in almost all directions; it saves you money by not having to purchase a TV stand (which can get really pricey); and it makes your living space a lot more cleaner and sleeker.
Face it – TV mounts are awesome. But, installing a TV mount properly turns some TV owners away from this option due to the installation process and risk of potentially having your drywall ripped out if the TV falls. Although these might be the first risks you think of when mounting a TV (and they have happened before), they aren’t really warranted. If done correctly, a TV mount will never fall apart or damage your wall.
Almost every TV mount is designed to be installed in drywall. Most outdoor TV mounts can be placed on concrete, brick or other surfaces because they’re built for outdoors. But because an indoor TV mount is built for drywall, the installation is generally very simple. However, every mount will tell you it require to be installed on the studs in your wall.
Wall studs are frames of your wall – they are vertical wood pieces built within your drywall and although you can’t see them, they are extremely important to the structure of your home. Drywall itself doesn’t offer much support for hanging or holding heavy items. Although you can usually hang picture frames or posters on drywall, anything heavier than 20 lbs cannot be hung on drywall with a simple nail. Drywall can support items up to 50 lbs but requires a flat-mounted hook and anchor, which helps provide support for the weight.
A stud however can hold much heavier items, such as mounts, because they’re made up of thick, dense wood. Some homeowners even choose to hang light weight items, such as picture frames or posters directly on their studs just to be safe.
So, to install a TV mount (which is definitely heavier than your average picture frame), you’ll need to find the studs in your house (and no, I’m not talking about the man in your house) and install directly on them. However, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. While finding studs is easy – all you need is a standard stud finder, which you can find at your local hardware store or here – finding studs in the spot you want your TV mounted may not be a viable option.
Depending on how your living space is built (and what year the house was built), the wall you want your TV mounted on may not have studs available in the spots that are convenient for you. But don’t worry! The good news is you can still mount your TV despite the lack of studs in your wall. There are a couple options to choose from.
Option 1: Get a “No Stud” TV Wall Mount
This is definitely the easier option when it comes to installation. No stud TV mounts are very easy to install and require no studs, so you’re not limited to where you place your TV. However, they aren’t the most popular option when it comes to TV mounts and can be difficult to find. Here are a few reliable options that we found:
- AmazonBasics No-Stud Heavy-Duty Tilting TV Wall Mount
- No Stud TV Wall Mount by Mount-It
- Studless TV Wall Mount, Heavy Duty Drywall TV Bracket Hanger
Option 2: Install a Standard TV Mount With No Studs
If the “no stud” TV mount options didn’t suit your needs or if you’ve already purchased a TV mount but don’t have studs to mount it on, don’t worry! There are multiple ways on how to mount a tv on the wall without studs. Read on to find out!
Use Anchors to Mount Your TV
No, I’m not talking about the anchor you use on a boat. Wall anchors come in a variety of forms depending on what you’re looking to hang or mount. Anchors are installed into your drywall similar to a screw or nail, but act as an additional support which allows you to add weight to material you’re hanging. There are a number of anchors to choose from, so you’ll need to know which ones are best for your TV mount.
Toggle anchors, also referred to as toggle bolts, are a traditional method to anchoring your TV mount. This type of anchor has two main components to it – the toggle and the machine bolt. You can identify them by their “T” shape. They vary in sizes by their screw length and diameter. The larger the bolt, the longer the screw and the more weight it can hold.
Toggle anchors are a preferred option amongst homeowners for heavy items and are generally very easy to find and install. When installed, the “T” shape opens up into the wall and anchors itself into the drywall for support. This structure allows any weight placed on it to be spread out throughout the entire sheet of drywall rather than just the screw itself, which is why it works so well.
Hollow Wall Anchors
These anchors are used for medium-duty materials, but can definitely be used for TV mounts. These types of anchors expand into the drywall as the screw is tightened and driven deeper into the wall. You can use a hammer or drill to install one depending on the thickness of the wall, so installation is simple. One thing to remember is you will most likely need to install a hole into your wall first before placing the hollow wall anchor into it.
Use a Mounting Plate for Additional Support
A mounting plate is the part of a hinge, handle or latch that mounts the material, such as a cabinet or frame. Generally these are used on doors, cabinetry or furniture but can easily be installed for the use of TV mounts.
You can place a mounting plate behind the TV and screw it directly into the wall in addition to a toggle or hollow wall anchor. The mounting plate will add a lot more support if you’re worried about the weight of your TV. Simply screw the base of your TV mount into the mountain plates. This will add multiple anchor points and distribute the weight more evenly.
Use Ceiling Mounts for Additional Support
Ceiling mounts aren’t a popular option for wall mounts, but they can work just as well as a mounting plate if studs are not an option. This option does require additional installation efforts but offers a lot of support for heavy materials in drywall. Ceiling mounts have beams that are installed with longer screws, which spreads out the weight and supports heavier objects.
Risks and Warnings
Check the conditions of your wall before installing anything
Before you install anything in your wall (whether it’s a TV mount or a simple picture frame) you should always inspect the conditions of your drywall and the room it’s being installed in. Even the strongest wall anchors will not hold up if you mount your TV onto poor or old drywall. If the wall appears flimsy or has any damage, such as water damage, do not hang or install anything on it without first having a professional look at it.
How much does your TV weigh?
Depending on what option you choose, you should know the weight of your TV. Depending on how large your TV is, the weight can vary by 10 to 20 lbs. The heavier the TV, the more anchors you’ll require.
Consider which TV mount you are using
All TV mounts are used for the same purpose: mounting your TV on your wall. However, each mount varies in its capabilities and installation methods, so it’s important to understand which TV mount you’re using and its requirements. Most anchor options for a studless wall work best for fixed and tilting TV mounts – which are standard.
As a general rule of thumb, the toggle bolts and other standard wall anchors should not be used for full-motion mounts, as they won’t provide enough support when moving the TV around on the mount. Full-motion mounts add more stress on the wall and can damage your wall.
Don’t be afraid to call a pro
If you’re still hesitant about installing your TV mount without studs, calling a professional to come take a look and help you with the install is always a good idea. Spending some money now to have the job done right is much better than the cost of repairing a damaged wall or worst, a broken TV.