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FutureStarrFinding a stud
To securely hang anything heavy — substantial pictures, wall-mounted shelves, a mirror, or tech equipment, for example — you'll need to locate a wall stud, a vertical piece of framing within your walls, says Rachel Rothman, chief technologist and director of engineering at the Good Housekeeping Institute. Otherwise, whatever it is you're hanging won’t have something sturdy to latch on to, leaving your piece susceptible to falling, which can damage your wall in the process.
The most reliable method, find a light switch or a power outlet, says Rothman. Electrical boxes are typically attached to studs, so start by locating the one nearest to the area where you want to place something that needs a little extra reinforcement. Then, measure 16 inches from there, since wall studs are typically spaced 16 inches apart by code, she explains. (Some are placed 24 inches apart, so you may have to measure twice.Though less reliable than the above method, dimples are a telltale sign of where drywall is fastened to the edge of a stud, particularly in plaster walls, says Rothman. You can sometimes spot these with the naked eye, but a flashlight can be helpful for illuminating any slight dimples in the wall. To try this trick, hold the flashlights upright, parallel to the wall.
Today, there's an app for just about everything — and that includes finding studs. Most stud finder apps are magnetic, which means they rely on your smartphone's built-in magnetometer to pinpoint metal objects inside the wall. While this can help you find a wall stud, it can also turn up a false positive, since the app may detect things other than studs, like nails or electrical wires, says Rothman.The easiest way to find a stud: With a stud finder, a handheld gadget, like this one, that does the hunting for you. To use a stud finder, decide where you want to hang your item, then place the stud finder in the approximate spot the mounting hardware would sit. Hold the tool flat against the wall, slowly sliding it horizontally to the left or right. Depending on your model, it will flash or beep to alert you to a stud. (Source: www.goodhousekeeping.com)