When you want to fix something on the wall or hang something like heavy mirrors, wall-mounting a new LCD, bracing big and heavy wooden furniture, or erecting shelves on the wall you might only consider the aesthetics of the wall or the room. But when you do that there is a fair chance that it might fall down because of the heavy weight. You can’t expect the plaster or wallboard to support a heavy weight for a long time. For this, you must fix it directly on a stud inside the wall.
A stud finder or stud sensor or stud detector is a small device which helps us to spot framing studs located behind the outer surface of any walls, usually dry walls. Even though there are a variety of best stud finders available nowadays, most of them can be generally categorized as two:
- Electric stud finders.
- Magnetic stud detectors.
Some basic instructions while using a stud finder.
- Check the batteries before hand
To get a good and accurate reading on display, make sure that the batteries are not weak. Many times people struggle with inaccuracies in finding a stud because the batteries aren’t good.
- Clear the walls of any obstructions
Before you use a stud finder, make time to remove any pictures, mirrors, shelves or furniture if any, from the wall. They can all create errors or inaccuracies in the readings of the stud finder.
- Hold it Flat Against the Wall
A stud finder will not give a good reading if the full portion of it is not in contact with the surface of the wall. It should be held in such a way that the top and bottom is pressed against the wall.
- Begin to the Left
Place the stud finder to the left side of the area you want to locate the stud on the wall
- Calibrate the Stud Finder
There is a calibrating button on all stud finders. Press it until the beep sound stops. The beep sound stop indicates that the stud finder has been calibrated and is ready to spot the studs on the wall.
- Mark the spots on the wall
As you keep moving the stud finder along the wall, it makes a beep sound when locating each stud inside the wall. Mark them on the wall so that you know the exact position of the studs.
How to use a stud finder?
The stud finder tools are of two different types. Firstly, there is a small magnetic stud finder which is used to sense the location of screw heads or metal nails used to hold the drywall to the studs. These are little difficult to use and only will tell us the location of the stud specifically at a screw or nail locations.
A better way is to use an electronic stud finder, which works by sensing the difference in the densities on the wall.
- The stud finder should be placed about 5 to 9 inches to the left side of the common location of the stud. Then press the button on it and slowly move the stud finder along in the right direction.
- The stud finder indicates that it has located the stud with a beep sound or a blinking red light. When it does so, stop moving the stud finder and marks its location with a marker or pencil. This is the left side of the stud.
- Now the same process must be repeated from the right side of the location of the stud by moving it to the left side. Now mark the spot where the finder lights up or beeps. Now you have spotted the right edge of the stud.