How to Install a TV on a Hollow Wall with No Studs

I’m installing a TV on a hollow wall. There are no studs in an appropriate location on the hollow wall. It’s a cantilever TV bracket. The wall is full of pipes and cables.

You can watch the full video here:

Installing a Cantilever Arm TV Bracket on a Hollow Wall with NO STUDS

Installing a TV on a Hollow Wall

When it comes to installing a TV on a hollow drywall / plasterboard wall you’ve got a few options really:

  1. Just use plasterboard fixings and hope for the best.
  2. Fix to the studs.
  3. Put additional support inside the wall
  4. Attach the bracket to the wall via a plinth

Option 1:  Plasterboard fixings are fine for lightweight TVs using flat-to-wall brackets since you’re mostly dealing with shear loads then. The plasterboard fixings I tend to use can comfortably support around 15kg each. This TV weighs around 5kg. HOWEVER in this scenario we’re using a cantilever bracket.

Cantilever Brackets… very briefly

Cantilever TV brackets allow the TV to be pulled away from the wall and adjusted to whatever angle you like. They’re very useful BUT put a LOT of extra stresses on the wall. Firstly they switch most of the loadings on the wall from shear loadings (down the wall) to axial loadings (away from the wall). This multiplies the forces on the bracket so a 5kg TV could easily put 15kg+ of strain on the wall plugs. Also, you need to cater for someone tugging at the bracket as the move the TV around. This puts additional strain on the plasterboard. You might get away with heavy duty plasterboard fixing such as spring toggles or snap fixings… but I really wouldn’t advise it. It’s not the fixing that will fail. It’s the plasterboard that will simply come away from the wall.

Back to the point…

Option 2: Fixing to studs wasn’t an option here since there were no studs in the area where the customer wanted the TV.

Option 3: Taking the plasterboard off the wall to fit timber supports inside the wall… well, this would have cost more than the TV itself.

Option 4: Making a plinth was the only sensible option here. The plinth spreads the load on the wall and gives a nice secure mount for the TV bracket.

Making a TV Mounting Plinth

This is relatively easy. It’s just a flat piece of 18mm MDF big enough for the bracket to sit on. You can make it look pretty if you like. I attached this to the wall using expanding plasterboard fixings and grab adhesive. The bracket was then attached to the plinth using coach bolts. The coach bolts are probably excessive to be honest… but it’s what was supplied with the bracket. Enjoy!

Last updated: 28 Sept 2016
Originally published: 28 Sept 2016


Andy Mac
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