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Can I mount a TV stand on drywall on only one stud?

by Shassi Kumaran 28 May 2024
Can I mount a TV stand on drywall on only one stud?

Mounting a TV stand on drywall can be a bit intimidating, especially when you discover that there’s only one stud available in the desired location. The question often arises: can you safely mount a TV stand on drywall with only one stud? The answer is nuanced, depending on several factors including the weight of your TV, the type of mount, and the condition of your drywall and stud. This comprehensive guide will explore these factors in detail, providing you with all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Understanding Drywall and Studs

What is Drywall?

Drywall, also known as plasterboard, is a common material used to create walls and ceilings in homes. It is composed of gypsum plaster sandwiched between two thick sheets of paper. While drywall is a versatile and convenient building material, it is not particularly strong on its own, which is why it relies on the underlying framework of studs for support.

What are Studs?

Studs are the vertical wooden or metal beams that form the structural framework behind drywall. They provide the necessary support for attaching heavy objects to the wall. In typical residential construction, wooden studs are spaced 16 or 24 inches apart.

The Importance of Studs for Mounting

Why Studs Matter

Studs are crucial for mounting heavy items like TV stands because they offer the necessary strength and stability that drywall alone cannot provide. Attaching a TV mount directly to drywall without securing it to a stud can result in the mount pulling out of the wall, potentially causing damage and injury.

Single Stud vs. Multiple Studs

Ideally, a TV mount should be secured to multiple studs to distribute the weight evenly and provide maximum stability. However, if only one stud is available, it is still possible to mount a TV stand safely, but it requires careful consideration and the right techniques.

Factors to Consider When Mounting on One Stud

Weight of the TV and Mount

The combined weight of the TV and the mount is a critical factor. Most single-stud mounts are rated to hold TVs up to a certain weight limit, typically around 50-75 pounds. Check the specifications of both your TV and the mount to ensure they are within the acceptable weight range for a single-stud installation.

Type of Mount

The type of TV mount you choose also plays a significant role. There are several types of TV mounts, including fixed, tilting, and full-motion mounts. Fixed mounts are the most stable and are recommended for single-stud installations because they hold the TV close to the wall, reducing leverage and stress on the mounting points. Full-motion mounts, which allow the TV to swivel and extend away from the wall, place more strain on the mounting points and are generally not recommended for single-stud installations.

Quality of the Stud and Drywall

The condition of the stud and the drywall is another important consideration. Ensure the stud is in good condition and free of cracks or rot. Similarly, the drywall should be intact without any signs of damage. If the drywall is compromised, it may not provide sufficient support even if the mount is attached to a stud.

Step-by-Step Guide to Mounting a TV Stand on One Stud

Step 1: Gather Your Tools and Materials

Before you begin, gather the necessary tools and materials:

  • TV mount rated for single-stud installation
  • Stud finder
  • Level
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Screws and anchors (as recommended by the mount manufacturer)

Step 2: Locate the Stud

Use a stud finder to locate the center of the stud where you plan to mount the TV stand. Mark the center of the stud with a pencil.

Step 3: Measure and Mark

Hold the TV mount against the wall, aligning it with the stud mark. Use a level to ensure the mount is straight. Mark the locations of the mounting holes on the wall.

Step 4: Drill Pilot Holes

Drill pilot holes at the marked locations. Pilot holes help prevent the wood from splitting and make it easier to drive the screws into the stud.

Step 5: Attach the Mount to the Wall

Secure the mount to the wall using the screws provided with the mount. Make sure the screws go directly into the center of the stud for maximum holding power.

Step 6: Attach the TV to the Mount

With the help of another person, lift the TV and attach it to the mount according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Ensure that the TV is securely attached and that all connections are tight.

Step 7: Double-Check Stability

After mounting the TV, double-check that the mount is secure and the TV is stable. Gently tug on the TV to make sure it does not move or feel loose.

Additional Tips for a Successful Installation

Use High-Quality Mounting Hardware

Always use the mounting hardware provided by the mount manufacturer or high-quality screws and anchors rated for the weight of your TV. Avoid using generic or low-quality hardware, as it may not provide sufficient support.

Consider Reinforcement Options

If you have concerns about the stability of a single-stud installation, consider reinforcing the mount with additional anchors or toggle bolts in the drywall. These can help distribute the weight and provide extra support.

Professional Installation

If you are unsure about your ability to safely mount the TV on one stud, consider hiring a professional installer. They have the experience and tools necessary to ensure a secure and stable installation.

Alternatives to Single-Stud Mounting

Mounting Plates

Mounting plates are a great alternative if you only have one stud available. A mounting plate is a metal plate that spans multiple studs and provides additional mounting points. By attaching the plate to multiple studs, you create a more secure foundation for your TV mount.

Wall Mounting Brackets with Extended Arms

Some TV mounts come with extended arms that can reach additional studs. These mounts allow you to attach the mount to more than one stud, even if they are not directly behind the TV. This provides extra stability and support.

Drywall Anchors and Toggle Bolts

For lighter TVs, you can use drywall anchors or toggle bolts to provide additional support when only one stud is available. These anchors expand behind the drywall, creating a strong hold. However, this method is not recommended for heavy TVs.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Overloading the Mount

One of the most common mistakes is overloading the mount. Always check the weight rating of the mount and ensure that the combined weight of the TV and the mount does not exceed this limit.

Using Incorrect Hardware

Using incorrect or low-quality hardware can compromise the stability of the mount. Always use the hardware provided by the manufacturer or recommended high-quality alternatives.

Ignoring Manufacturer’s Instructions

Each TV mount comes with specific instructions from the manufacturer. Ignoring these instructions can lead to improper installation and potential damage. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines closely.


Mounting a TV stand on drywall with only one stud is possible, but it requires careful planning and consideration. By understanding the factors involved, such as the weight of your TV, the type of mount, and the condition of your stud and drywall, you can make an informed decision and ensure a safe and secure installation. Always use high-quality mounting hardware, consider reinforcement options if needed, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you’re unsure about the process. With the right approach, you can enjoy a beautifully mounted TV that enhances your viewing experience without compromising safety.

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