Mounting tasks are a major source of income for our Taskers and an incredibly popular category for our Clients–and their TVs. But there’s one piece of fine print with Mounting tasks that isn’t always addressed in a task description, and it’s a simple question we encourage all Taskers to pay close attention to: What type of wall—and wall studs—will I be mounting this item to?
Walls are often built by hanging drywall or other surface material onto studs—vertically placed supports that are spaced roughly 16 – 24 inches (40 – 60 cm) apart. These can be either wood studs or metal studs. When it comes to Mounting tasks, the difference matters!
Wood studs are fairly easy to deal with–they are usually 2 inches (5 cm) wide, which leaves a bit of leeway when it comes to finding the center point to drill into.
Metal studs are narrower than wood studs, and they also may require a bit more pressure when you’re driving a self-tapping screw. Be extra careful to find the precise center of a metal stud before screwing in the bracket, as you won’t have much extra space on either side of the drill hole.
To locate studs under different wall surfaces, use a stud finder. Remember: You might have to use different types of stud finders depending on the wall types.
Walls With Studs
There are multiple wall types that are constructed around studs. Some of the more popular ones include:
- Wood panel
- Steel panel
- Ceramic tile (over drywall)
- Lath and plaster
When Mounting, you’ll need to use your stud finder to find the studs to screw your mounting brackets into. Basic drywall and other panels hung into studs are easy to find with basic stud finders. Older walls made of lath and plaster can present a challenge because they are made from narrow strips of wood nailed horizontally or diagonally into a network of wall studs before being covered in plaster. This means wood underneath the plaster covers the entire wall, which makes basic stud finders think there’s a stud across the entire wall span.
To find the studs beneath lath and plaster walls, you’ll have to get a stud finder with metal-detecting capabilities. These will indicate where the nails are connecting the wooden laths to the studs–and show you where to screw in your mounting brackets.
Walls Without Studs
There are two common types of walls that aren’t formed around studs: brick and concrete. As you might have guessed, these walls are very hard and require that you be prepared with special tools, including:
- Metal screw anchors and metal screws.
- A hammer drill.
- Masonry bits with the right diameter to fit the metal screw anchors.
- Eye and ear protection.
To screw your mounting brackets to these types of walls, you’ll need to protect your eyes, then drill a hole with your hammer drill and masonry bit. This may require that you exert more pressure than usual to get through the hard material
Once you drill the hole, hammer in the metal screw anchor and once it’s solidly in place, use matching metal screws to attach your item’s mounting bracket.
Breakable Wall Types
Regardless of whether a wall has studs, there are certain types of walls that are made of a breakable material, including:
- Ceramic tile
- Wood panels
Make sure to use the proper drill bits for the material you’re drilling into so that it won’t shatter or splinter. As always, scope out your Mounting tasks thoroughly with your Clients beforehand. If they don’t know what types of walls they have, it’s best to come prepared with all the tools you might need! If you don’t feel comfortable Mounting in a particular wall type, make sure to include that information in your Quick Pitch– that way you won’t have to forfeit a task later on and risk impacting your Acceptance Rate.