How to Install Electric Boxes to Metal Studs

Written by danny donahue
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How to Install Electric Boxes to Metal Studs
(electrical box image by jimcox40 from

Metal studs are used in industrial construction to obtain a superior weight capacity from a lightweight material lasting far longer than a wall framed with wood. Installing metal framing will increase the safety of a structure and extend its lifespan. Attaching mechanical materials for plumbing and electrical takes a different approach than you would take in a timber-framed building. Installing an electric box to a metal stud is an uncomplicated procedure that just takes a bit of know-how and the right tools.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Drill with Phillips bit
  • 2 self-tapping screws (3/4-inch length by 1/4-inch diameter)
  • Electrical socket box
  • Metal stud

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  1. 1

    Slide the tip of the Philips bit on your drill into the head of a screw. Hold the drill so that the bit faces up and the screw remains seated.

  2. 2

    Hold the electrical box up to the metal stud on the flat side of the stud where you wish to place your outlet or switch. Place the flat front tabs over the edge of the stud.

  3. 3

    Press the tip of the screw against the stud through the top tab on the electrical box. Pull the trigger of the drill and apply pressure on the drill to drive the screw into the stud and hold the plastic box in place. Place the screw through the bottom tab on the box and into the stud to complete the installation.

Tips and warnings

  • There are electric boxes specially designed for this type of installation. Shop around when purchasing materials so you can choose the ones best suited to your project.

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