Elephant Anchor

What If Studs Are Too Far Apart for a TV Mount?

Mounting a TV can be a straightforward task when the studs in your wall align perfectly with the mounting bracket. But what if the studs are too far apart? This common issue can turn a seemingly simple job into a daunting challenge. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore various solutions to this problem, offering practical advice and innovative techniques to help you mount your TV securely and aesthetically, even when the studs don’t align with your mounting needs.

Understanding the Problem

Studs are the vertical wooden beams behind your drywall that provide structural support for your home. When you mount a TV, you typically want to anchor it into these studs to ensure it can support the weight. Standard stud spacing is 16 inches apart, but in some homes, especially older ones, the spacing can be 24 inches or even more. When your mounting bracket doesn’t line up with the studs, you need alternative solutions to distribute the TV’s weight safely.

Solution 1: Use a Mounting Plate

A mounting plate is an effective way to address stud alignment issues. This method involves attaching a larger plate to the wall, which spans the distance between the studs. The TV mount then attaches to this plate, providing a stable and secure mounting surface.

Steps to Install a Mounting Plate:
  1. Measure and Mark: Find the studs using a stud finder and mark their locations. Measure the distance between them to ensure your mounting plate will span the gap.
  2. Select the Plate: Choose a mounting plate designed for TV mounts, ensuring it’s large enough to reach both studs and strong enough to support the TV’s weight.
  3. Attach the Plate: Secure the mounting plate to the studs using heavy-duty screws or bolts. Ensure it is level and tightly secured.
  4. Mount the TV: Attach your TV mount to the plate, then mount your TV according to the bracket instructions.

Using a mounting plate distributes the weight of the TV across a larger area, reducing the risk of the mount pulling out of the wall.

Solution 2: Toggle Bolts for Drywall

If a mounting plate is not an option, toggle bolts can be a great alternative. Toggle bolts are a type of anchor designed for hollow walls, providing strong support by spreading the load over a wider area.

Steps to Use Toggle Bolts:

  1. Locate the Mounting Points: Determine where you want to mount the TV and mark the points on the wall.
  2. Drill Holes: Drill holes for the toggle bolts at the marked points. The hole needs to be large enough for the toggle wings to fit through.
  3. Insert the Toggle Bolts: Insert the toggle bolts through the mounting holes on the TV bracket. Push the bolts into the wall so the toggle wings can open behind the drywall.
  4. Tighten the Bolts: Tighten the bolts until the bracket is secure against the wall.
Toggle bolts provide strong support for lighter TVs and are particularly useful when studs are too far apart to use directly.

Solution 3: Use Elephant Anchors

Elephant Anchors are an innovative solution specifically designed for heavy-duty mounting on walls where studs may not be ideally placed. These anchors can hold significant weight, making them perfect for mounting large TVs.

Steps to Install Elephant Anchors:

  1. Mark the Locations: Determine where you want to mount the TV and mark the locations on the wall.
  2. Drill Holes: Use a drill to create holes for the Elephant Anchors. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for hole size and depth.
  3. Insert the Anchors: Insert the Elephant Anchors into the holes. The innovative design ensures a secure hold even on hollow walls.
  4. Attach the Mount: Secure the TV mount to the anchors using the provided screws or bolts.

Elephant Anchors are ideal for situations where you need a robust and reliable solution for mounting heavy items on walls with suboptimal stud placement.

Solution 4: Install a Plywood Backer Board

A plywood backer board can provide a solid surface for mounting your TV, distributing the weight across multiple studs and offering flexibility in bracket placement.

Steps to Install a Plywood Backer Board:

  1. Measure and Cut: Measure the area where you want to mount the TV and cut a piece of plywood to fit that space. Ensure the plywood spans at least two studs.
  2. Locate the Studs: Use a stud finder to locate the studs and mark their positions on the wall.
  3. Secure the Plywood: Attach the plywood to the studs using heavy-duty screws. Ensure it is level and tightly secured.
  4. Mount the TV: Attach the TV mount to the plywood board, then mount your TV according to the bracket instructions.

This method provides a solid, stable surface for mounting your TV and allows you to place the mount exactly where you need it.

Solution 5: Extend the TV Mount

Some TV mounts come with extendable arms or brackets designed to reach studs that are further apart. These mounts offer flexibility and can be adjusted to fit a wider range of stud placements.

Steps to Use an Extendable TV Mount:

  1. Select the Mount: Choose a TV mount with extendable arms or brackets that can span the distance between your studs.
  2. Measure and Mark: Locate the studs and measure the distance between them. Mark the positions on the wall.
  3. Install the Bracket: Attach the extendable mount to the wall, ensuring the arms reach the studs. Secure the mount using heavy-duty screws or bolts.
  4. Mount the TV: Attach the TV to the mount according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Extendable TV mounts are convenient and adaptable, making them a good choice for challenging stud placements.

Additional Tips for Successful TV Mounting

Use a Level

No matter which solution you choose, always use a level to ensure your TV mount is straight. An uneven mount can be an eyesore and may also compromise the stability of your installation.

Check Weight Limits

Ensure that any mounting solution you use can support the weight of your TV. Overloading a mount or anchors can result in damage to your wall or even the TV falling.

Hide the Cables

Consider using cable management solutions to keep the area around your TV neat and tidy. Wall-mounted TV setups can look cluttered if cables are left hanging.

Get Help if Needed

Mounting a TV can be a two-person job, especially for larger screens. Having an extra pair of hands can make the process easier and safer.

Consider Professional Installation

If you’re unsure about your ability to securely mount your TV, consider hiring a professional. They have the tools and expertise to ensure a safe and aesthetically pleasing installation.


Mounting a TV when studs are too far apart can be a challenge, but with the right approach and tools, you can achieve a secure and stylish installation. Whether you choose a mounting plate, toggle bolts, Elephant Anchors, a plywood backer board, or an extendable TV mount, each solution offers a practical way to overcome the limitations of non-ideal stud placements. By following the steps outlined in this guide and considering additional tips for success, you can enjoy your mounted TV with confidence, knowing it’s securely attached and positioned just where you want it.

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