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Old 01-11-2010, 10:24 PM   #1
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Hang shelves/closet house with metal studs


I bought a 99% finished foreclosure. Today I tried to hang the linen closet shelves and discovered that the house has metal framing - at least that's what it seemed like when I tried to drill or screw into the studs.

There are many shelves I can hang using anchors or toggle bolts, but clothes are heavy and the closets are wide - 12', so eventually I MUST attach some shelves to a stud. I don't know if there is any wood in the wall, but I cannot get in the wall to add wood if there is not.

HOW? Specific instructions would be appreciated.

Here's a pic of the type of shelving I am using.
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Last edited by Italgrl; 01-12-2010 at 12:01 AM.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:24 PM   #2
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Hang shelves/closet house with metal studs


Typical height for closet shelving is around 5' 4".
Use a stud funder to see if there is backing in the wall at that height. use the stud finder to find a stud and then place a screw at that height to see if it 'bites' any better at that height.
a double pole set-up is at 80" and 40". check those heights as well.

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Old 01-11-2010, 11:45 PM   #3
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Hang shelves/closet house with metal studs


The more I think about it, the more I wonder if I have a metal framed house (you are given no info in this kind of sale) or if I just ran into a weird situation.

I used my stud finder to find the studs. When I attempted to screw into what I thought was wood, I hit metal - here's the weird part - which was flexible. The act of screwing in the screw MOVED the metal. It wasn't what one would expect from a metal stud.

I moved on to the next "target" found by the stud finder in the center of the linen closet and the same thing happened. I could push and move the metal with the screw. It felt like sheet aluminum, not pipe and not a hard metal stud.

Those were the only two places the stud finder signaled a stud. The linen closet is 40 7/8" wide.

Do you have any idea what I have run in to?
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Old 01-12-2010, 12:34 AM   #4
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Hang shelves/closet house with metal studs


yes, those would be metal studs. they are shaped like a 'c' with one open side. when you hit it, the stud flexes (moves).
are you using self-drilling or self tapping screws? regular wood screws won't drill through the steel.
what height did you check the screws at?
use the stud finder to check the closet sidewalls. The blocking might only be at the sides.

You might need to use molly bolts (or other suitable fastener) to mount a piece of plywood onto the wall and mount the hangers onto the plywood. or add some vertical wood strapping to mount them to.
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Old 01-24-2010, 05:15 PM   #5
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Hang shelves/closet house with metal studs


There's no problem with metal studs. They certainly insure a straight wall. You need to get a box of self tapping sheetrock screws desined for metal studs. They are usually 1 1/4" long. Use these to set the shelf brackets and you won't have any problem. Easiest to set a pencil with a level first. If you can't find the screws then predrill with a small bit. Regular sheetrock screws will work if you predrill, but----- you should use the tight thread type as opposed to the fast spiral sheetyrock screws. Once through the metal with the predrilled hole sheetrock screws hold very well.

Last edited by retiree; 01-24-2010 at 05:19 PM.
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Old 01-24-2010, 05:21 PM   #6
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Hang shelves/closet house with metal studs


There's no problem with metal studs. They certainly insure a straight wall. You need to get a box of self tapping sheetrock screws desined for metal studs. They are usually 1 1/4" long. Use these to set the shelf brackets and you won't have any problem. Easiest to set a pencil with a level first. If you can't find the self tappers then predrill with a small bit. Sheetrock screws will work well, especially the tight thread type.

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