How do i find a wood stud behind a wall that has a stone facade?

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I'm trying to mount a 50lbs cedar mantle over my fire place. Can't seem to find a wood stud behind the wall because my fire place has a stone facade. Any recommendations will be greatly appreciate it.
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'Oscar[_3_ Wrote:

Oscar:
Since this is a fireplace, I'm presuming it's an exterior wall and finding the stud locations from the other side will be equally difficult.
In a case like this, about the only thing you can do is determine where they should be from a known stud location. If there is an electrical outlet or switch on that fireplace wall, take the cover plate off and see which side of the electrical box the stud is on. You know the studs will be on 16 inch centers, so you can measure off multiples of 16 inches to find the locations of the studs where the mantle is.
Now, obviously, studs aren't always straight, and you may not hit one using this method, so drill your holes if possible into the mortar joints between the stones on the facade. That way, if you don't hit a stud, you can enlarge those holes an put hollow wall anchors into them to hold the mantle. And, when the time comes to remove the mantle you can remove the hollow wall anchors and fill those holes with brick mortar to make for a relatively invisible repair.
http://www.ucanfast.com/admin/fasteners/p119_full.jpg
I can't help but question your use of cedar for a mantle. Cedar is one of the softest woods there is to make anything out of, and a working surface like a mantle has to be hard to stand up well so that it's not scratched by hard materials like picture frames and such that are placed on it. I think you should use a hard finish on that cedar, like an oil based polyurethane for hardwood floors to protect the cedar from being scratched.
--
nestork

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How do you know his studs are on 16" OC?
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On Sun, 29 Sep 2013 02:43:38 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03

99.999% of north american construction in the last 80 years or so is 16"oc for wall studs
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Cite? ;-)
How do you know his house is less than 80 years old?
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I don't know much about construction pracrtices now, but wasn't it not too long ago ( say 1970s) that many homes were constructed of 2x6 outside walls and 24 inches on center ?
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Ralph Mowery;3127669 Wrote: > snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote in message

> too

> walls

Ralph: Lots of homes have their exterior walls built with 2X6's and stud spacing in both interior and exterior walls of 24 inches isn't uncommon either. I don't know if 24 inch spacing is more common with metal studs or not, but I've been hearing of 24 inch spacing for wall studs for at least the past 10 years so I presume someone somewhere is doing it.
However, 16 inch spacing is still the most common to see, and in this case it's a Hail Mary Pass to find the studs in the wall. About all the OP can do in this case is measure from a known stud location, and if I had to do that I'd be betting that my walls used 16 inch stud spacing just like most of the construction out there has, still does, and probably will continue to use for the foreseeable future.
But, since there's a good chance he's not going to hit a stud where he drills, I recommended that he drill through the mortar joints of his faux stone wall and use hollow wall anchors as a fall back plan.
That way, he can always fill in the holes he drills with brick mortar to make the repair as invisible as possible. He couldn't do that if he drills into the stone, which he might do if he was inexperienced in this kind of work.
Cedar is a very soft wood; easily the softest commonly available at lumber yards. Cedar is fairly easy to identify by it's colour variation and indistinct grain, but an easy check is to dig your thumbnail into it. Your thumbnail will penetrate easily into the wood, and much deeper for the same effort than it would dig into spruce.
--
nestork


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The point here is that you said "You *know* (my emphasis) the studs will be on 16 inch centers..."
No, you and I, and I assume the OP, don't *know* that.
Since the OP came here looking for stud finding advice, I feel that it's improper to use the words "you know" when there is nothing in his question to indicate that he (or we) know anything about the actual stud spacing.
12" OC, 16" OC, 24" OC, non-evenly spaced studs because of the chimney or even non-evenly spaced studs because of shoddy workmanship are all possible. We don't *know* and apparently neither does the OP.
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On Sat, 28 Sep 2013 23:09:02 -0400, "Ralph Mowery"

2X6 on 16 is pretty well standard now around here.
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On Sun, 29 Sep 2013 00:12:31 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

"Now" and "around here" don't make up 99.999% of North American houses. 2x6 on 24 was standard in the NE just a few years back. It may still be, dunno. The standard here in the SE seems to be 2x6 on 16 but we don't have Winter. ;-)
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On Sat, 28 Sep 2013 22:47:58 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

That's certainly not true. Many homes are 2x6 24" O.C. on exterior walls.
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On Sat, 28 Sep 2013 21:44:02 +0000, Oscar

The floor above isn't an unfinished attic, is it? Or maybe partially finished.
You can see the tops of the studs if it is. Or at least you can tell by nail heads where the upper plate is nailed to the studs. It's probably the second.
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micky;3127680 Wrote:

Micky: No, that won't work either. There will be two "top plates on exterior walls. They overlap the two top plates to keep the corner's square. So, you'd have to remove one top plate in order to find out where the nails in the lower top plate are located to find the stud locations. Wish I knew the terminology better, but looking at the upper top plate on an exterior wall won't tell you where the studs are located because you won't see the nail heads.
Derby Dad: I'm just trying to do my best to help this guy out. If you were to do the same, you'd spend less time arguing with me and more time helping.
--
nestork

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...snip...

I am helping. By pointing out that the OP doesn't actually know that the studs are 16" OC I am preventing him from going on a wild goose chase.
Your suggestion to find a stud in the open field and measure from there was a good one, other than the use of the word "know". Since we do not know his level of expertise, he may firmly believe what you said and spent more time than necessary looking for that elusive 16" OC stud behind the stone.
Bottom line, we do not *know* that his studs are 16" OC in the area around the fireplace.
Depending on how the stone was installed, your suggestion to go in through a mortar joint was a good one. Perhaps - but we don't know - they did it right and used cement board. Using the type of wall anchor you suggested would hold really well if there is cement board behind the stone.
With all of the sound advice you've given in this group, I'm actually surprised you used the word "know", but since you did, I wanted to make sure the OP was aware that nothing is 100% certain when it comes to wall construction. As others have pointed out, there are different ways to build a wall.
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On Sun, 29 Sep 2013 20:52:43 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03

If you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras. BY FAR the most common stud spacing in North American construction is, has been for a long time, and will continue to be for a long time, 16 inches on center. SO - in order to find the studs the OP is looking for, assuming 16 inch centers MAKES SENSE. It is the most common layout - so what he should try first. Find a stud not covered by stone, and measure 16, 32, or 48 inches from the center of that stud, drill a hole through the mortar joint, and see if you found a stud. If you did not, drill at a 45 degree angle to the left or the right fron the same entry point and see if you find a stud. If not, start drilling more small holes every 2 or so inches until you find one - and patch the holes with mortar.
My bet is they WILL be on 16 inch centers. Assuming they will not be on the standard 16 inch centers gives you no possible way to sensibly determine where they will be - other than looking for the stud at the 48" mark from a known stud - which WILL find the (one) stud if on 12, 16, or 24 inch centers.
Now, is this stone veneer over a sheathed wall? Drywall, ten-test, plywood, etc? If so, the sheathing needs to be fastened to the studs with something - a nail or screw being the most common method (yes, some idiot could have used twine, tie-raps, or glue - but let's not go there, ok?). Perhaps a metal detector could find the fastener. A compass will sometimes deflect towards the nail, but you still need to know pretty well where to expect the nail - and "A" nail is a whole lot harder to find than a full hight stud.

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On Sun, 29 Sep 2013 18:17:06 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Tat is just NOT true. For decades 2x6s on 24"OC was the code. It still may be in places. Depending on the age and location I would *expect* this construction standard. I would certainly do some measurements to verify (distance between outlets, for instance).

I wouldn't drill test holes in any masonry. It's impossible to match the color of a patch. It's easier to drill into sheetrock just above the stone (unless it goes to the ceiling, obviously) to discover studs. Sheetrock is trivial to patch.

The problem is the ones between those. Again, it may be possible to determine the stud center distance by measuring outlet distances.

It may be difficult to find the fasteners through the stone.
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Thank you for making my point for me. I appreciate the support.
Figure it out...
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On Saturday, September 28, 2013 5:44:02 PM UTC-4, Oscar wrote:

If the fireplace has a metal insert, try removing that to see if the studs are visible behind it.
Paul
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drill a small hole from above and use a harbor freight camera that fits in the hole.
in cld weather how about one of those infrared cameras.
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bob haller wrote:

Hi, Stud finder won't find it? Fore it works preety well.
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