How to mount a tv on the wall without studs?

How to mount a tv on the wall without studs?

Johann a TV mounting Technician and Editor
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7 min read for expertise
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Last Updated on June 6, 2022 by Johann Holsinger

Why mounting on a wall without studs can be a challenge?

Mounting a TV on a wall with no studs is not the simplest thing to do. Many things can go wrong and make this a challenging undertaking.

Luckily for you, you’ve found this article and you’re going to be set on the right path. 

One of the main things you need to worry about is the strength of the lining on your wall. Is your home relatively newly built within the last few decades, or is your home from the 70s or earlier? If your home is older the material used in the construction of your walls may be stronger than newer thinner wall linings. And more able to accommodate and support a large weight like a TV.

What to consider before wall mounting a TV with no studs

There are also a few more details to consider when you want to wall mount a TV without studs.

The first is the TV’s weight.

Larger TVs are naturally going to weigh a lot more than smaller models. If you’re going to mount a TV on the wall with no studs you need to take this weight into account.

We suggest staying on the smaller side of TVs as opposed to trying to hang something 42”+ on the wall.

Also, consider the mounting type.

Depending on what hardware you will use to wall mount a TV without studs the load-bearing ability and risk of something going wrong will be different. 

What about the location of your TV.

Are you mounting in a bedroom or in the living room? Will your mounting height be high up or relatively lower? These factors are going to be crucial when the time comes to mounting your TV without direct fixing.

A ceiling mount will be impossible without direct fixing or a mounting plate, but on a wall with a small lightweight direct fix TV, mounting is possible without direct stud fixing.

Your wall

As we’ve already touched on earlier, your wall is going to be the ultimate determining factor in where, how, and how big of a TV you can mount.

Thicker plasterboard or plywood walls will hold more weight than thinner linings. 

An empty wall with no signs of stud placing

How to mount a TV on the wall without studs?

By this point, you’re probably wondering what to use to wall mount a TV without studs right? Thankfully, engineers have already considered this problem and there are a few different solutions you can use.

1. Use drywall anchors.

What anchors should you use to mount a TV to a wall without studs?

Drywall anchors are strong and can provide enough holding force to keep a small to medium-sized TV mounted to the wall without any problems.

With these you drill into the wall, insert the back anchor into the drywall, then screw your TV mount into the anchors. 

Here’s an in-depth guide to your drywall’s capacity.

A plug stuck on a drywall

Pros 

  • These anchors are simple and versatile.
  • They work well for small to medium-sized televisions.

Cons

  • You need a power drill to install them.
  • Aren’t recommended for heavier and larger TVs.

2. Use toggle bolts.

If you spend any time researching how to install a full-motion TV wall mount when there are no studs you will probably come across people swearing by toggle bolts.

Toggle bolts have a wing on the back of them that spreads out to make contact with the inner surface of your wall.

These little guys redistribute the weight of an item due to the increased surface area covered allowing them to support larger amounts of weight without studs or nogs present in the area of mounting.

Inserting a toggle bolt on a studless wall

Pros

  • Can support a lot more weight.
  • Are relatively affordable.
  • Are available to find at a large number of locations both on and offline.

Cons

  • Takes some skill to install properly. If you’ve never done home improvement work before you might want to consider flirting with a local handyman.

3. Use Molly bolts.

Wondering what other anchors you could use to mount a TV to a wall without studs?

A molly bolt is an anchor that uses an expandable sleeve. This sleeve slides into a pre-drilled hole in your wall.

There is a lip on the sleeve that stops it from dropping behind the wall or rotating when the sleeve is compressed. You then screw it into the sleeve. This causes the anchor to distort and expand to grip the inside part of the drywall.

Distributing weight and providing a stable fixing point to mount your TV.

Molly bolts for fixing on hand

Pros

  • For their size, comes incredible strength.
  • Molly bolts can provide stable mounting points for your TV mount without a stud.

Cons

  • Heavier TVs need several molly bolts to hold the bracket up securely.

4. Use a mounting plate.

If you’ve got a heavier TV and you’re still wondering how to wall mount a TV without studs, you could make a mounting plate to go over your wall linings to cover wall studs, or top and bottom plates.

It can be made from either steel, aluminum, painted plywood, or MDF and they can help your mounting hardware bear a larger load.

You would make or have the plate made, and secure it to your wall using one of the mounting fasteners we’ve already discussed or by reaching framing.

This might seem like an extra step, but installing a mounting plate can give you a lot more security, stability, and peace of mind for holding power.

A plain white mounting plate over a concrete

Pros 

  • This is an easy way to add additional holding force to your wall before the installation of a TV mount.
  • This makes life easy and can be made yourself from affordable and widely available materials.

Cons

  • May end up being bigger than your TV which might not be aesthetically pleasing and will need to be painted to blend into your wall.

Alternatives to wall mounting when there is no stud

Can you wall mount a TV if there are no studs in the wall any other way? Sure you can, but there are a couple of options you should consider first.

First, you have the option of mounting from the ceiling.

Ceiling mounts are usually more difficult to install but you won’t have to drill into your walls.

While we don’t recommend you to mount your primary TV from the ceiling, most secondary smaller background medium-sized screens are installed from a ceiling in a home bar or pub for background entertainment in a social setting.

A ceiling mount should usually allow for a great degree of rotation making it possible to have optimal viewing angles while being out of the way in a busy room focused on something else.

An example of when you would mount a TV in front of the ceiling is in a room like a bar that’s playing sports in the background.

Are you still wondering…“Can I wall mount a TV without studs?”

Well, the second option, if you didn’t want to do this, would be floor mounting.

Floor mounting can provide enough strength and stability to handle even large televisions.

Depending on the floor mount you get their might be rotation and height adjustment features as well.

They can also be relatively small and not take up too much room if you’re space conscious.

Using Loctec ceiling TV mount inside a bedroom

TAVR TV floor stand with a media shelf

Best way to mount a TV if there are no studs in the position you want

So what’s the best anchor if no studs are available for TV wall mounting? We’d recommend you use a mounting plate in combination with either drywall anchors or toggle bolts.

This setup is going to give you the most holding force possible while not having to find one of those hidden studs to mount to.

Make sure you have all the proper tools available BEFORE starting your job. Do the proper measurements, and if you get in over your head don’t be afraid to reach out for professional help.

A stud finder or multi scanner can really help.

Mounting a TV through mounting wall board

So what happens if you mount your TV onto a wall without studs?

Absolutely nothing happens if you do it right. However, if you mess anything up, it’s going to result in a broken TV and a sizable wall repair bill. 

Studs can be difficult to find or maybe you don’t have one where you want. This made you take to the internet and search for “how to hang a tv wall mount without studs.”

Look, we get it, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t warn you that doing anything mentioned here might not work for your specific situation.

That’s why in the best case we’d recommend you get a TV mount with a wide base plate.

A wide base plate will reach at least 2 studs and provide a solid mount for your TV.

With this, you won’t need to worry about how to wall mount a TV without studs.

However, if studs are a “no-go” then follow the tips presented here and you can still get your TV mounted securely and safely depending on the above contributing factors.

Thanks for checking out our guide! Good luck and happy mounting!

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Johann Holsinger portrait

Hi, my name is Johann Holsinger, here at mountyourbox.com I share all of the tips and tricks I have professionally learned to help you set up your ultimate home entertainment system.