The Right Way to Use a Stud Finder


If you are interested in avoiding false positives when it comes to using stud finders, then you will have to know the tricks of the trade. You will move the stud finder from side to side and vertically for the length of the wall, marking the studs, and confirming that they are studs with measurements and shape of the objects found beneath the wall’s surface.

The Right Way To Use A Stud Finder

Many people use stud finders for personal and professional uses. A stud finder is a device that is utilized to locate and identify where the studs or beams are behind the surface of the wall. The studs or beams are used to support the structure of the home or building. Often times, people need to locate the studs or beams when they are renovating or redecorating an area of a home or structure.

How To Avoid False Positives

Sometimes it is a possibility to have what is called a false positive for finding a stud or beam beneath a walls surface. There are ways to avoid this from happening that you want to take advantage of because this could be disastrous for your project depending on what you wanted to fashion to the wall. Sometimes the objects that you find behind the wall surface can include piping and conduit; so how to you start avoiding false positives?

How can you be sure what you find behind the wall is actually a stud and ensure that you are avoiding false positives? Studs should be approximately a distance of 16 to 24 inches apart from one another. This is measuring center to center. Furthermore, the stud will run all the way from the ceiling to the floor. Anything else, like piping, will not run the entire height of the wall.

Another great tip on identifying studs beneath the wall’s surface and avoiding false positives is by the width of the stud. A stud that is up to code will be approximately 1.5 to 2 inches wide, where the width of other objects, like wire, piping, and conduit, will vary. Furthermore, the material of a pipe, wire, or conduit will most likely contain a consistent amount of metal. Therefore, if your stud finder has the function to “find metal,” and you turn it on and find consistent metal readings, then you have most likely not found a stud.

How To Operate Stud Finders

Stud finders are all relatively easy to operate and similar in operations from brand to brand. You will start by turning on the stud finder and picking it up with one hand. You will hold a marking utensil in the other hand. You will proceed to move the stud finder horizontally from side to side in order to mark where the stud finder detects something below the surface.

Once you have marked the wall horizontally, you will begin to move the stud finders vertically in order to confirm that you have found a stud and not piping, wire, or conduit.