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Old 03-25-2010, 09:05 PM   #1
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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?



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Old 03-25-2010, 09:26 PM   #2
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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.


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Old 03-25-2010, 09:31 PM   #3
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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.

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Old 03-25-2010, 09:45 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:00 PM   #5
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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.

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Old 03-25-2010, 10:46 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 03-26-2010, 09:16 AM   #7
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Old 03-26-2010, 09:26 AM   #8
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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
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Old 03-26-2010, 09:30 AM   #9
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I have found that running a magnet over the area usually picks up on the nails into the studs.
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:52 PM   #10
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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!


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