Tackle Your Next Interior Design Project with a DIY Magnet Stud Finder
Whether you are ready to craft that custom photo wall you have been dreaming about or turn your kitchen into a culinary paradise straight out of a magazine, opt for a magnet over purchasing expensive equipment. Once you have a design in mind for your space, it’s time to bring your inspiration to life.
Locate the Studs
Most residential homes are built using wood studs secured in place with either drywall screws or lath nails, depending on the age of the home. Armed with a magnet, you can easily locate studs by lightly tapping on your walls until your fist makes a dense thud sound. Once you locate the general area of the stud, use your magnet to determine the exact location. Allow the magnet's attraction to the screw or nail to guide you to the strongest point on the wall.
Mark the Location
To avoid any miscalculations, mark the location with a pencil and repeat this process until you are satisfied with your layout. If you decide to change your layout in the middle of your project, the pencil marks may easily be removed with a simple eraser or a dab of toothpaste. You can complete this project in minutes as conventional construction beam spacing is 16”, so once you locate your first stud, your measuring tape will do the rest!
Best Type of Magnet to Use
When it comes to the best type of magnet to utilize as your DIY stud finder, cylinder magnets are a popular choice due to their length and magnetic strength. Many contractors use either 3/4" x 3/4" or 1" x 1" cylinder magnets with great success, citing advantages such as ease of grip and removal from the wall. Ultimately, the magnet you select depends on the type of building materials used to construct your home.
Widely utilized in the US and Canada until the 1950s, lath and plaster walls require a more powerful magnet than drywall given the makeup and density of the materials. Newer homes built after 1950 were typically crafted with drywall, requiring less magnetic intensity to locate screws or nails.
If you are unsure if your home was constructed using lath and plaster or drywall, take a pushpin and lightly poke your wall. If the pushpin easily pokes into the wall, your home was constructed with drywall. If, however, the pushpin meets significant resistance, your home was most likely constructed using lath and plaster. Depending on the material used, select a cylinder magnet with enough pull force to “penetrate” that material. We recommend choosing a magnet with a pull force of 55 pounds or greater to ensure success.
Bring Your Inspiration to Life with Apex Magnets
For all of the DIY discoverers, crafty creators, and newfound weekend warriors, explore more ideas for home design, storage solutions, or decluttering when you visit our blog or share your own magnetic projects with us on our Facebook page!