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  • finding studs behind paneling wall

    I want to hang a bunch of kitchen wall cabinets in my basement. My basement walls are 3/8" plywood with 1/2" cedar t&g paneling over it.
    1) Can I hang the cabinets directly on the walls? The plywood is quite thin but together with the t&g the wall feels solid as a rock... not sure if it will still be if I hang a cabinet filled with paint/stain cans directly on it
    2) If not, how can I find the studs behind the plywood? My stud finder gets confused because there is wood everywhere on the walls. The house is from the 70s. I have NO idea whether the studs are spaced regularly.
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  • #2

    Re: finding studs behind paneling wall

    Since you are going to cover the wall with cabinets, why not drill a series of small holes to locate the studs? You should be able to locate the probable location based on the location of outlets or just start 16" from a corner. That said, 4 or 6 screws into 1/2" paneling plus 3/8" of plywood should hold up a lot of weight. A magnet or metal detector might also find the nails or screws attaching the plywood to the studs.

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    • #3

      Re: finding studs behind paneling wall

      You have a full 7/8 inch of solid wood and that would be more than enough to hold cabinets to the wall. I am assuming the plywood and cedar are firmly attached to the wall. If you have any electrical plugs on the wall these are normally attached to a stud. The stud would be on either side of this receptacle. Studs are normally 16 inch on center and sometimes 24 inch on center. If you are unlucky they may be random.

      Brian
      Egon likes this.
      If your dreams don't scare you, you are not dreaming big enough

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      • #4

        Re: finding studs behind paneling wall

        Originally posted by Brian @ Muir View Post
        You have a full 7/8 inch of solid wood and that would be more than enough to hold cabinets to the wall. I am assuming the plywood and cedar are firmly attached to the wall. If you have any electrical plugs on the wall these are normally attached to a stud. The stud would be on either side of this receptacle. Studs are normally 16 inch on center and sometimes 24 inch on center. If you are unlucky they may be random.

        Brian
        This is good advice and to go a little further why not use a french cleat attached to the wall and hang your cabs on that. Very easy to do and easy to move cabs around later.

        Comment


        • #5

          Re: finding studs behind paneling wall

          A few years ago, I needed a good stud finder and I had read so many stories about how poor most of them actually perform. But I really really needed one for a big job that I would be using it repeatedly outdoors running over half inch exterior ply covered in Tyvek house wrap to place screws into studs thru the sheathing for fasteneing Hardie fiber cement plank siding. That stuff is heavy, and the warranty more or stipulates you need to drive the screws into studs for best results.

          So what I did was I went and bought about 7-8 of them at both Lowes and HD and brought them home and tested them out not only for my immediate aforementioned application, but also for other uses.

          The winner, with another Zircon model in a not too distant second place, was the Zircon L550 scanner.

          https://www.zircon.com/tools/multiscanner-l550-onestep/

          Takes a 9V battery, so you don't have to worry about battery leakage issues. (Has anybody ever had a 9V leak....I haven't), and it works very well imo even in dark conditions. I've used it many times since and it is not always perfect, but darn good imo.

          IIRC, the other candidates were by Bosch - think that one was the worst and normally I love all things Bosch; one from Costco that I actually recall years ago everyone raving about, but was a middle of the pack insofar as how the tests fared, rectangular horizontal body with a bar type of handle/holder; some other Zircon models and some other brand(s) that I can't recall now.

          All the others were repackaged and returned in resellable condition. I was quite careful not to just spoil the packaging so as to not abuse such an endeavor of this type which is something very out of the ordinary for me to do to find what I really wanted. It seemed to me that I just couldn't trust the online sources and reviews on this type of tool, so I went and did my own tool review of sorts without spoiling what is otherwise good saleable product in returning the models I didn't want.

          FWIW.
          Last edited by Lost in the Woods; 03-13-2020, 03:25 AM.
          Kevin

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: finding studs behind paneling wall

            Originally posted by Doug G View Post
            Since you are going to cover the wall with cabinets, why not drill a series of small holes to locate the studs? You should be able to locate the probable location based on the location of outlets or just start 16" from a corner. That said, 4 or 6 screws into 1/2" paneling plus 3/8" of plywood should hold up a lot of weight. A magnet or metal detector might also find the nails or screws attaching the plywood to the studs.
            Originally posted by Brian @ Muir View Post
            You have a full 7/8 inch of solid wood and that would be more than enough to hold cabinets to the wall. I am assuming the plywood and cedar are firmly attached to the wall. If you have any electrical plugs on the wall these are normally attached to a stud. The stud would be on either side of this receptacle. Studs are normally 16 inch on center and sometimes 24 inch on center. If you are unlucky they may be random.
            Originally posted by Wally in Calgary View Post

            This is good advice and to go a little further why not use a french cleat attached to the wall and hang your cabs on that. Very easy to do and easy to move cabs around later.

            Thanks guys, I will try to make some educated guesses to figure out where the studs are by drilling holes. And I'll probably add french cleats as well to be really sure about things. Should be good to go then.

            I couldn't figure out how the paneling was attached to the plywood, is this normally done with caulking or something? It did not budge when I tried to pull the paneling from the side of a window.

            Originally posted by Lost in the Woods View Post
            A few years ago, I needed a good stud finder and I had read so many stories about how poor most of them actually perform. But I really really needed one for a big job that I would be using it repeatedly outdoors running over half inch exterior ply covered in Tyvek house wrap to place screws into studs thru the sheathing for fasteneing Hardie fiber cement plank siding. That stuff is heavy, and the warranty more or stipulates you need to drive the screws into studs for best results.

            So what I did was I went and bought about 7-8 of them at both Lowes and HD and brought them home and tested them out not only for my immediate aforementioned application, but also for other uses.

            The winner, with another Zircon model in a not too distant second place, was the Zircon L550 scanner.

            https://www.zircon.com/tools/multiscanner-l550-onestep/

            Takes a 9V battery, so you don't have to worry about battery leakage issues. (Has anybody ever had a 9V leak....I haven't), and it works very well imo even in dark conditions. I've used it many times since and it is not always perfect, but darn good imo.

            IIRC, the other candidates were by Bosch - think that one was the worst and normally I love all things Bosch; one from Costco that I actually recall years ago everyone raving about, but was a middle of the pack insofar as how the tests fared, rectangular horizontal body with a bar type of handle/holder; some other Zircon models and some other brand(s) that I can't recall now.

            All the others were repackaged and returned in resellable condition. I was quite careful not to just spoil the packaging so as to not abuse such an endeavor of this type which is something very out of the ordinary for me to do to find what I really wanted. It seemed to me that I just couldn't trust the online sources and reviews on this type of tool, so I went and did my own tool review of sorts without spoiling what is otherwise good saleable product in returning the models I didn't want.

            FWIW.
            Thanks for the advice! I might upgrade my cheapo stud finder at some point. To be honest, it actually works quite well for drywall (which is used in the rest of the house).

            Comment

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            • #7

              Re: finding studs behind paneling wall

              Originally posted by Lost in the Woods View Post
              A few years ago, I needed a good stud finder and I had read so many stories about how poor most of them actually perform. But I really really needed one for a big job that I would be using it repeatedly outdoors running over half inch exterior ply covered in Tyvek house wrap to place screws into studs thru the sheathing for fasteneing Hardie fiber cement plank siding. That stuff is heavy, and the warranty more or stipulates you need to drive the screws into studs for best results.

              So what I did was I went and bought about 7-8 of them at both Lowes and HD and brought them home and tested them out not only for my immediate aforementioned application, but also for other uses.

              The winner, with another Zircon model in a not too distant second place, was the Zircon L550 scanner.

              https://www.zircon.com/tools/multiscanner-l550-onestep/

              Takes a 9V battery, so you don't have to worry about battery leakage issues. (Has anybody ever had a 9V leak....I haven't), and it works very well imo even in dark conditions. I've used it many times since and it is not always perfect, but darn good imo.

              IIRC, the other candidates were by Bosch - think that one was the worst and normally I love all things Bosch; one from Costco that I actually recall years ago everyone raving about, but was a middle of the pack insofar as how the tests fared, rectangular horizontal body with a bar type of handle/holder; some other Zircon models and some other brand(s) that I can't recall now.

              All the others were repackaged and returned in resellable condition. I was quite careful not to just spoil the packaging so as to not abuse such an endeavor of this type which is something very out of the ordinary for me to do to find what I really wanted. It seemed to me that I just couldn't trust the online sources and reviews on this type of tool, so I went and did my own tool review of sorts without spoiling what is otherwise good saleable product in returning the models I didn't want.

              FWIW.
              Thanks for that Kevin. It just so happens I had been planning in investing in a good stud finder for the coming install season, so your post was timely. Based on your recommendation, I went with a zircon 900c. A number of other online reviews of it mentioned that it wasn't holding up well getting beaten up in their tool box, so I stopped in at dollarama and found a little padded case in their electronics section - I think it's intended for like an 8" tablet - that fits perfectly. I've only played with it a bit now, but so far I'm really impressed. Thanks!
              IMG_20200314_1836431.jpg
              IMG_20200314_1836431.jpg

              Comment


              • #8

                Re: finding studs behind paneling wall

                Brian is right,of coarse.
                aside from his advice,when I want to find a stud,I go straight for a receptical,they are attached to a stud,pretty easty to determine what side( hint,most electricians are right handed). From there,it's prob 16" ,maybe 24" centers.
                choose a receptical away from a window

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: finding studs behind paneling wall

                  One thing to keep in mind when using a stud finder a plumbing drain (ABS ) behind a wall will show up as a stud, in one of my kitchen installs it did. luckily the plumber working in the basement noticed the drip before the counter tops were installed. I have a variety of stud finders and those that Costco sell seem to work as good if not better than most.

                  Brian
                  If your dreams don't scare you, you are not dreaming big enough

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: finding studs behind paneling wall

                    Can you remove the baseboard and do some poking there to look for studs?

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: finding studs behind paneling wall

                      Thanks everyone. I did some poking around yesterday and after some tests I decided to go with 1 3/4" GK cabinet screws to hang the cabinets directly to the wall. Feels very sturdy, I don't think they are going anywhere soon. I used some plastic shelves as a cabinet jack... this worked much better than expected.

                      Comment

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