Aug 20 , 2016
When you have metal studs, mounting a TV or hanging a heavy picture on the wall becomes slightly more challenging.
Unlike wood studs where you can simply drive lag bolts or screws straight into the 2×4 studs, metal studs are hallow and have thin walls. There simply isn’t enough material for the threads to grab securely.
So, the key to mounting anything heavy to metal studs is to get the right fasteners. Which leads us to step number 1…
Step #1 – Get The Right Fasteners
Here are three different fasteners that will work:
#1 – Drill Toggle
#2 – Toggle Bolt
#3 – Snap Toggle (Best Option)
I recommend the snap toggle, because I’ve tried all three and it seems to be the most robust option. You can find these at most hardware stores including Home Depot and Lowe’s, or you can click the links above (affiliate links) and get them online right now.
Step #2 – Locate the Metal Studs
It’s important that you find the EXACT CENTER of the stud. Metal studs aren’t very wide (typically about 1.25″).
Since you will be drilling a 1/2″ hole in the stud, that only leaves about 3/8″ of metal on either side of the whole. And if you’ve ever tried to drill into the edge of metal, you know that it’s impossible without a drill press.
Bottom line, find the exact center.
You can do that by first determining the approximate location with a stud finder. Then, take a small drill bit – the smaller the better – and use that to probe for for the edges of the metal stud. Mark each edge with a pencil. I demonstrate this in the video above.
I guess I should mention that before you start drilling a bunch of wholes in the wall, make sure you know where you will be attaching the wall mount bracket to the wall. That way you can strategically drill behind where the bracket will be, saving you from having to patch a bunch of holes in the wall.
Step #3 – Drill Some Holes!
For most of the fasteners I recommend, you’ll need a 1/2″ hole in the wall. So, you’ll need a 1/2″ metal drill bit to drill those holes. Click here to see a metal drill bit.
Make sure you’ve taken care to plan the position of your wall mount. Also be careful and don’t let the dill bit “walk” around while you’re trying to drill through the metal. It’s often better to pre-drill the holes with a smaller drill bit first which will create a hole that will guide the larger drill bit and keep it from walking.
Step #4 – Insert the Snap Toggle Vertically
Since the metal studs are installed vertically, you’ll want to position your toggle bolt vertically as well. Otherwise the toggle bolt will run into the side of the metal stud and the connection will be all funky and not as robust.
It takes a little patience to get the snap toggle in place, especially when there is insulation in the walls. Take your time here and if you have to, remove some insulation to make it easier.
Step #5 – Attach the bracket to the Wall!
You’re almost done. Now simply attach the bracket to the wall. You’ll also need some metal washers (which usually come with your TV wall mount). Also, split washers are a good idea so your bolts don’t come loose over time.
And that’s it. You’ve successfully wall mounted a TV to metal studs. As you can see, it’s not that hard. You just need the right fasteners and a careful approach.