Can You Hang a TV Wall Mount Without a Stud?

Like it or not, the television has become a central part of many of our lives and many times the centerpiece of any living room. There are so many ways to watch along with so many different sizes and shapes of televisions out there. Most of us want to hang our tv’s up on the wall so as not to take up room on other pieces of furniture or to put it at a comfortable height to look at. So the question you may be asking is, can you hang a TV mount without a stud?

Can you hang a TV mount without a stud? While the traditional way to hang a TV mount would be by searching for, and drilling into the wall studs behind your drywall, there is a chance that the spot you want to hang your tv mount simply doesn’t come equipped with studs. With some care and the right tools, you can still hang your tv mount without using a stud.

If you want to find the best TV wall mounts, click here.

What Exactly is a Stud?

A stud is a vertical 2×4 beam that makes up the frame of your house, under the drywall. They are in every structural feature of your home, including doors to interiors, windows, and exterior siding. To find a stud behind your drywall you can use a stud finder. If you don’t have a stud finder, refer to this article on how to find a stud without a stud finder.

Types of TV Mount

There are a few different types of TV mounts on the market today. Let’s look at the different types and talk about which would be the best for hanging up without a stud.

Fixed TV Wall Mount

These are also known as low-profile mounts and are the simplest TV mounts you can find. While these mounts are quite sturdy and strong, they offer zero movement of the television. These are also the easiest to install and the most inexpensive option. These mounts do not move up, down, or side to side and if you need to remove cables, you must remove the tv from the wall to do so. 

Tilting TV Wall Mount

Unlike the fixed wall mount, the tilting wall mount allows anywhere between 5 and 15 degrees of vertical movement so you can adjust the vertical viewing angle. These mounts do not allow for any horizontal movement of the tv. 

Full Motion TV Wall Mount

Also known as Extending Arm, Articulating, and Swivel wall mounts. These are anchored to the wall on one side with a swiveling arm that extends toward the room. The arm can be pushed flat against the wall or adjust the tv both vertically and horizontally for the perfect viewing angle. These are more costly and more involved in installation than the other options, but they also have the benefits of viewing options and convenience of easy access to the back of your television. 


In order to hang any of the TV wall mounts on your wall without a stud, you will need to use some sort of toggle, or anchor. These anchors ensure that a wall can support whatever it is that you intend to hang on it. There are several different types and sizes of these available at the hardware store. The type you choose will depend on the weight of what you are hanging, the wall material, and how it can be installed and removed. 

Hollow Wall Anchors

These are installed using a hammer or drill and can be used in various wall thicknesses. They will usually add permanent screw threads to anything they are attached to. They expand as the screw is tightened and driven into the cavity. Also known as Molly Bolts, their maximum holding load is about 50 pounds. 

Plastic Hollow Wall Plug

The plastic hollow wall plug requires you to first drill a pilot hole. These are usually used for light applications in drywall or plaster. When the screw is installed, the plug will expand and lock into place. 

Threaded Drywall Anchors

Threaded drywall anchors are used for medium duty applications and are very easily installed. You can find these in plastic, nylon, or zinc-coated. These are reusable as well. The threads cut deep into the material and provide a secure hold and pull-out resistant grip. 

Toggle Bolt

The toggle bolt has two parts: the toggle and the machine bolt. These are sized by the diameter of the screw and its length. The larger the bolt, the larger the toggle, and the thicker the wall it can be used on. As the bolt becomes larger, the toggle will also increase in size, and as it gets longer, the more it can accommodate a thicker wall. Toggles can be used for heavy items and can be found in both square and slot-drive. They need a pilot hole, and the wings that lock into place behind drywall provide strong holding power.

Winged Plastic Anchor

Winged plastic anchors require a pilot hole and are used for medium duty jobs. A special tool is used to expand the wings out so that they provide twice as much strength as regular plastic extension anchors. The tool is supplied with the anchors and the anchor will not function properly if the wings have not been properly spread against the wall. When used on drywall these anchors can support 25-30 pounds.

Spring Anchors

Spring anchors have expansion springs in them to help support the weight they are bearing. They secure both ends of the springs which allows for easy adjustment of the extension. They use a standard threaded hole and are available in four types: swivel hole, mixed hole, multiple groove, and single groove. These anchors are inexpensive and convenient due to their ease of use. 

When you are preparing to hang your tv wall mount without a stud, you will need to consider what kind of mount you will use and what kind of anchor you will use. In order to do this, you will need to consider the weight of your tv. The average 32 inch television weighs between 25 and 30 pounds, so obviously a larger tv will weigh more. You will also want to examine the condition of the wall you will be hanging your tv mount on. Neither the mount or the anchor you use will make any difference if the drywall is old and crumbling. 

Hanging Your TV Wall Mount

Once you have determined the weight, mount, and anchors you need, you are ready to start getting that mount on the wall. 

You will want to begin by measuring and marking the spot on the wall. Hold your mount up to the wall and, after making sure it is level, mark with a pencil the spots you will need to drill. Drill a hole where the anchor will go, this is the pilot hole which will help ensure the anchor will hit the right location. Drill more anchors to hold a thick piece of plywood. 

Cut a piece of plywood wide enough to hold up the tv and use toggle bolts to hold the plywood into place. Attach the tv bracket well onto the plywood. Tighten the screws on both the plywood and the bracket and line it up with the drilled holes. Now you can place your tv onto the mount. 

For more information on how to hanf your tv check out this helpful video.

Final Thoughts

Although hanging your tv wall mount on a stud is recommended, hanging your tv wall mount without a stud isn’t difficult. You just have to be sure to select the proper mount and get the correct anchors to support the weight of your tv.

Related Questions

Is it possible for a wall to not have any studs? Yes, however it is rare. Studs are typically 16-24 inches apart.

How much weight can drywall hold without anchors? The rule of thumb is 5 to 10 pounds. Drywall is very brittle and will not hold the weight for a long period of time.

Are studs always 16 apart? When a house is framed the wall studs are made to be 16 or 24 inches apart depending on the home.

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