Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Remodeling

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-13-2014, 04:53 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 36
Share |
Default

Old house - can't find studs


I just moved into an old rental house, and can't find studs in any of the walls, interior nor exterior. From googling the subject, I understand that plaster often prevents stud finders from working.
On one particular wall, I want to hang a 50" TV. This is an interior wall, 6 feet long, between an exterior wall and an interior doorway. I cut a hole for an outlet box and reached my hand inside as far as I could reach in both directions, and don't feel anything. The wall is some kind of wood paneling, 5/8" thick. If I press my weight on the wall, I see the whole thing flexing, like there are no studs. Is it possible that the wood paneling is used instead of studs to support the roof?

In another room, I have a similar problem. It's an exterior wall, with drywall interior. Also about 6 feet long. Here, I found one stud using a strong magnet (my usual method), and the rest of the wall flexes when I lean on it. I'm not at all familiar with building practices from this time period, so I'm hoping to get some insight.

Property records show the house was built in 1928, but I'm in a back house on the property (there's a 1/2 in the street address), so it may have been built later, I'm not sure.

ebalsley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2014, 05:38 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Hartfield VA
Posts: 25,733
Default

Old house - can't find studs


#1, If this is a rental you should not be cutting holes in a wall without the owners written permission. More then enough for an eviction.
#2, Paneling in never 5/8 thick, more likely something like T-111 siding.
If it was 5/8" it could have been mounted directly to the wall but you would have been liable for the damage to the wall when you move out.

__________________
When posting in forums, letting us know your location will help others give better feedback/advice/solutions to your questions
joecaption is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2014, 05:46 PM   #3
Member
 
Gymschu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Eastern Ohio (heart of Appalachia)
Posts: 2,660
Default

Old house - can't find studs


I sure hope to God no one was stupid enough to support the weight of a roof with PANELING.

I'm sure the studs are in there. You just need to fine ONE and then measure 16" on center to get the general idea of where the next one is and so forth. At least that's a place to start. If you have a hole opened up, just stick a fish tape or even a wire from a coat hanger into the cavity until you hit something. You could even stick your tape measure in there to see if you hit a stud.

Houses built in the 20's were usually built very solid. They actually used 2 X 4's that were actually a full 2inches by 4inches.
Gymschu is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2014, 05:53 PM   #4
Tileguy
 
Bud Cline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 9,649
Default

Old house - can't find studs


Structures of that vintage are/were erected with plaster interior walls. A wood strip (lath) was nailed between two upright wood members and then cement with horse hair was applied and any number of other topical applications to complete the plastering process. There was no drywall in those days.

Wall interior studs weren't necessarily placed in any particular regular fashion in those days, so studs may not exist in any given short wall span. A stud spacing of 16" certainly was not norm back then. If anything it was 18" in the day. I also wouldn't be fishing blindly inside of a wall using a steel measuring tape or a metal coat hanger knowing that those walls could easily still contain "live" knob and tube electrical wiring.

If that is a rental then you should be getting the blessing of the owner before you go cutting holes in walls and hanging televisions from walls. Anything you do in the form of penetrating a wall could be violating the integrity of that part of the structure. A large pad of plaster could detach and drop to the floor at any time just from driving a nail or cutting a hole.

If you have already cut a hole large enough to get your arm into then you have damaged a small area of the structure. You may be sticking your neck out if you don't have something in writing from the owner allowing you to make those alterations.

Last edited by Bud Cline; 06-13-2014 at 05:57 PM.
Bud Cline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2014, 09:11 PM   #5
Contractor
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Tobyhanna PA
Posts: 79
Default

Old house - can't find studs


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gymschu View Post
If you have a hole opened up, just stick a fish tape or even a wire from a coat hanger into the cavity until you hit something. You could even stick your tape measure in there to see if you hit a stud.
Bad Idea with a house that old. Hit a hot knob and tube insulator once and I promise you will never make that mistake again. If you can find a stud measure 18" over to find the next, if its not at 18 go to 24". It wont be farther apart than that. Also be careful playing with old plaster walls. Break too much and watch more of it fall off.
steveinNEPA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2014, 09:48 PM   #6
Don't WANNA do it myself
 
mnp13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Rochester, NY Area
Posts: 500
Default

Old house - can't find studs


If you're this new to old houses, put that tv on a stand. You have to be very very nice to plaster or it will do horrible things like crack off the lathe and fall to the floor in a giant dusty crash. Leaning on a wall and making it flex is abuse of 90 year old plaster and could get very ugly very quickly.

Use a plastic fish tape, as previously mentioned. Stop leaning on or pushing on plaster walls. The joists will be anywhere from 16 to 24 inches apart from each other.
__________________
Michelle

Fixing the re-muddling one room at a time...
mnp13 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2014, 09:49 PM   #7
Bill Kearney
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Bethesda, MD USA
Posts: 1,874
Default

Old house - can't find studs


As has been suggested, and you don't want to hear it, your landlord is very unlikely to think very kindly of anyone cutting holes in the walls. That or punching through sufficient fasteners to hold up a TV.

Want a TV fixed to the wall? Buy a house. Otherwise, use the stand that came with it.

As for the walls, with a rental... all bets are off on whatever someone else might have done to the walls in the past. Without seeing them in person it's sort of pointless to guess from online postings. Besides, maybe some past renter thought it'd be clever to do X, Y or Z... like you with punching outlet holes...

STOP. Ask the landlord for help & permission.
wkearney99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2014, 11:13 PM   #8
Retired from the grind
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Midwest - Central Illinois
Posts: 13,828
Default

Old house - can't find studs


In my house. They framed 16" O/C from the Doorway and Hallway openings. That means as you stand in the opening. You go 16" from the Light switch location at the doorway and measure 16" over. Guaranteed to find a stud.

Of course not every place will be like this. Especially older places that they have retrofitted over the years. Some places are 24" or even 18" O/C.

Since you live in an addition. It was most likely originally a old porch, or part of the house. Most likely built without permits, by cousins Joe Bob & Billy Bob.

Just find a decent entertainment center, that you can have a square tube for the stand come up to support the tv. Or even better. Just place the tv on the stand. The stand we have is about the size of a four foot coffee table, and about 22" high. You could easily fit a 50" on the top shelf with no issues.
__________________
Ren: Now listen, Cadet. I've got a job for you. See this button? Ren: Don't touch it! It's the History Eraser button, you fool! Stimpy: So what'll happen? Ren: That's just it. We don't know. Maybe something bad, maybe something good. I guess we'll never know, 'cause you're going to guard it. You won't touch it, will you?

Last edited by gregzoll; 06-13-2014 at 11:16 PM.
gregzoll is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2014, 09:21 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 349
Default

Old house - can't find studs


Could be opening with a header and filled in without a thought to a proper wall.
Apologize to the owner, patch the hole, and cover with decorative cover such as brass register cover. Make it look good. The owner is entitled to take any repair cost out of your deposit without your permission, so you are just losing money. If you want to hang anything light, one of those tape hangers.
carpdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2014, 02:27 AM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 36
Default

Old house - can't find studs


Thanks for the comments. I'm not doing damage I can't patch. The outlet I installed was a coax, near the floor, it looks good and will be permanent.
I ended up cutting a larger hole to get a good look, and I found there are no studs for a full five feet of wall - just the paneling. I think it's much stronger than drywall, but to be safe, I slid a three foot 2x4 inside the wall and fastened the TV mount to that.
ebalsley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2014, 06:06 AM   #11
Don't WANNA do it myself
 
mnp13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Rochester, NY Area
Posts: 500
Default

Old house - can't find studs


And what did you fasten that stud to???
__________________
Michelle

Fixing the re-muddling one room at a time...
mnp13 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2014, 06:10 AM   #12
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 36
Default

Old house - can't find studs


Nothing. The paneling will be holding the weight, the 2x4 is just there to distribute the load so I'm not relying on screw holes in the 5/8" paneling.
ebalsley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2014, 09:00 AM   #13
Don't WANNA do it myself
 
mnp13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Rochester, NY Area
Posts: 500
Default

Old house - can't find studs


Your TV is going to end up on the floor. Paneling is not designed to be load bearing, with a 2x4 behind it or not.
__________________
Michelle

Fixing the re-muddling one room at a time...
mnp13 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2014, 10:43 AM   #14
Bill Kearney
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Bethesda, MD USA
Posts: 1,874
Default

Old house - can't find studs


You CUT HOLES IN THE PANELING? Yet another reason to despise tenants...

If there's no studs in the whole section, just the paneling, then how do you think the weight's going to be distributed? All along whatever tiny little finishing nails that were used to secure the paneling to whatever meager edge they found for it. Those will not hold.

But hey, fortune seems to favor stupidity at times. Maybe you'll get lucky. Or maybe it'll come crashing to the floor. Had it just been drywall that would've been it. Now it'll pull the paneling down with it. So instead of just wrecking the TV it'll probably injure someone unlucky enough to be nearby.
wkearney99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2014, 09:46 PM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 395
Default

Old house - can't find studs


I agree with the above and hope you don't run into trouble if the landlord finds out...I know I wouldn't be happy if one of my tenants went behind my back with something like this...

5/8" seems really thick for paneling...usually it's only 1/8" or so thick...? Any pics?

__________________
Central New Jersey Area
adgjqetuo is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Expanding Garage INTO house (goodbye Den) texaopian Building & Construction 16 11-07-2011 10:32 PM
Wood or Steel wall studs? dredogol Building & Construction 2 07-10-2011 07:31 AM
installing whole house filter on outside of house MikeInFL Plumbing 3 06-12-2010 04:47 PM
Attic Fan AND Whole House Fan PapaGnome HVAC 6 02-15-2009 02:28 PM
Unfused connectors MELTED House wires WHAT TO DO??? jamiedolan Electrical 63 02-12-2009 06:01 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.