How to Install a Flat Screen without Studs

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To protect your flat-screen television, mount it into wall studs. You may find, though, that the wall you want to mount your flat screen on either doesn’t have studs that you can attach to or the studs are not located where you want to mount your TV. If your flat screen is small and does not weigh much, you may be able to mount it using wall anchors instead of studs.

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  1. 1

    Decide between molly bolts and toggles for mounting installation (see “Tips"). For molly bolts, continue to Step 2. For toggles, skip to Step 3.

  2. 2

    Install the molly bolt wall anchors. Drill a small pilot hole for the molly bolt. Using your TV mount, mark on your wall where you need your holes to install the mount. Drill holes that are the same size in diameter as the molly bolt. Insert the molly bolts into the holes, lightly tapping them flush with a hammer. Remove the screw in the molly bolt, which will expand the sleeve inside the wall.

  3. 3

    Install the toggle wall anchors. Drill a hole that is big enough for the toggle to fit through when it is folded. Mark the spots on your wall that you need holes using your flat screen TV mount as a guide. Remove the toggles from the machine screws, insert the screws through the holes on the TV mount and reattach the toggles. Insert the toggles through the holes. Have someone hold the TV mount while you tighten the screws into the wall.

  4. 4

    Install the mount to the wall. If you choose toggles, install the mount in Step 3. If you choose molly bolts, attach your screws through the mount into the screw holes provided by the molly bolts. Apply some pressure on your mount before you place your flat screen on it to ensure the mount will hold.

  5. 5

    Mount the flat screen. Use the hardware provided with your TV mount to attach the flat screen to the mount. Gently place the flat screen onto the mount, ensuring the mount will be able to support the flat screen.

Tips and warnings

  • Avoid the smaller plastic wall anchors, as they will not give you enough strength to hold up even a small flat screen TV. Molly bolts consist of a sleeve with a screw through the middle. When the molly bolt is installed, the screw is removed and the sleeve expands bracing itself against the wall. Toggles are machine screws with a wing-shaped toggle that secures inside of the wall. Toggles are capable of holding more weight than molly bolts, but are more difficult to install.
  • Don’t mount a flat screen that is too heavy for your wall. Ultimately, your wall anchors are only as strong as your wall, so thinner drywall will give you less strength. You should not mount heavier flat screens without using studs.

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