Stud Finder Not Picking Up Ceiling Studs - General DIY Discussions - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > DIY Forum > General DIY Discussions


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-25-2010, 09:05 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 35
Rewards Points: 25

Stud finder not picking up ceiling studs

I'm having real issues trying to find ceiling studs. I have the standard ceiling with that white popcorn material and my stud finder isn't able to find the studs. Is there a trick to it?



Delta223 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2010, 09:26 PM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 19
Rewards Points: 10

what type of ceiling? garage, basement, main floor? Make sure you calibrate the stud finder by placing flat against the ceiling while holding the scan button until it indicates its ready. Also check that the studs aren't running the opposite direction that you are searching in. most joists or studs are 16" centers in newer homes.


teamcanada1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2010, 09:31 PM   #3
" Euro " electrician
frenchelectrican's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: WI & France { in France for now }
Posts: 5,369
Rewards Points: 2,000

Most wall are useally on 16 on centre however the ceiling trusses or chords it will be one of few numbers it will go anywhere from 12 on center to 16 on center some on 19.2 inch on centre and 24 inches on centre but 16 and 19.2 and 24 is most common number to expect to find it in ceiling useage.

frenchelectrican is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2010, 09:45 PM   #4
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 1,900
Rewards Points: 292

The popcorn ceiling can make it difficult. You might try havine someone hold a rigid piece of cardboard or thin wood panel in place while you slide the finder across that instead of directly on the popcorn.
Jim F is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2010, 10:00 PM   #5
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 11,730
Rewards Points: 526

Unless it's a deep scan unit...... Try pulling the ceiling light fixture to see direction/location of ceiling joists with a bent "L" shaped wire probe.

Be safe, Gary
If any ads are present below my answer or words underlined/colored, I do not condone/support/use the product or services listed/linked to, they are there without my consent.
17,000 dryer fires a year, when did you last clean the inside of the dryer near motor or the exhaust ducting?
Gary in WA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2010, 10:46 PM   #6
Always learning...
fetzer85's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Northern WV
Posts: 462
Rewards Points: 262

Do you have attic access above the ceiling you're trying to find the joists in? If so, you could go up there with a drill & small bit, put your bit at an angle at the side of the stud where it meets your celing, and drill through. I'm also assuming you're trying to locate them so you can screw/attach something fairly heavy to it? If so, and you're really having trouble finding them, that could work.
fetzer85 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2010, 09:16 AM   #7
jlhaslip's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Posts: 3,220
Rewards Points: 2,864

change batteries?
Short of cutting off a body part, the worst that can happen in woodworking is manufacturing really nice looking kindling. --- Quoted from lenaitch
jlhaslip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2010, 09:26 AM   #8
Household Handyman
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Albany, Ga.
Posts: 2,478
Rewards Points: 1,408

What type stud finder? I found out the hard way that all stud finders are not equal. I have one which could not find a stud if the drywall was removed. I bit the dust and paid for a really good one when I had to located some studs behind plaster and metal lath. I keep the bad one in my toolbox next to the good one to remind me to use the good one. I also believe the popcorn ceiling is part of the problem, the thin cardboard/thin wood may help. David
Thurman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2010, 09:30 AM   #9
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Somerset, England
Posts: 721
Rewards Points: 582

I have found that running a magnet over the area usually picks up on the nails into the studs.
stuart45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2010, 07:52 PM   #10
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Canada (s/w ON.)
Posts: 2,294
Rewards Points: 1,000

Stud finders won't work in my house either!
I have plaster walls that use gyproc lath panels under the plaster.
On all the outside surfaces the lath panels have an aluminum foil on the back side!

I have had limited success using an electrical device that vibrates (like a razor) and moving it along, in contact with the surface.
The sound will change as you move over a stud!


Wildie is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
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
moving a load bearing stud Tonglebeak Building & Construction 34 07-07-2010 12:32 PM
what's a good stud finder? handbanana Tools 16 12-07-2007 03:01 PM
Finding AC wires with Ryobi stud finder darsunt Tools 4 03-21-2007 07:43 PM
Stud Finder problem... kalaniwavo Carpentry 4 02-26-2006 07:24 PM
Stud mounting on Aluminum studs DK75 General DIY Discussions 2 02-17-2006 08:24 AM

Top of Page | View New Posts


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1