Studs are the vertical bones of your house, wood or metal framing hidden behind finished walls. Fortunately, you don't need to have X-ray vision to find studs. As the animation shows, there are lots of ways, from high-tech to no-tech, to track them down. No single approach is fool-proof, but if you combine some of the following techniques, you'll find studs without making your walls look like Swiss cheese.
4. Shine a light at a flat angle along the wall and look for dimples. These depressions often show where nails or screws fasten drywall to studs. You may also be able to see long vertical seams where the edges of drywall panels meet on a stud.
5. Use your knuckles or a hammer wrapped in a towel to rap across the wall. You may hear a slightly higher sound over studs and a hollow, echoey sound elsewhere. This popular but unscientific method is less reliable on thick walls. (Strange but true: One fellow we know swears by running his electric razor over the wall to find studs.)
6. If you drill a hole and miss a stud, all is not lost. Insert a stiff, bent wire through the hole and spin it to the right and left until it hits a stud. A coat hanger is perfect for this.
Once you've found a stud, you can locate others fairly easily&, they're usually 16 or 24 inches apart when measured from center to center. (This may vary if there's a window or door in the wall, or if another wall butts into it.) With just a little detective work, you can hang your shelves, gilt-framed mirror or wall-mounted TV with confidence.
CornerHardware.com recommended tools & supplies: