Is Toggle bolting a LCD TV and mount OK? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 52 Old 02-11-2011, 09:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I would like to mount my Sony 40" LCD TV with a Sanus tilting mount on a section of wall without studs in the right places. The TV is 48 lbs. Has anyone ever mounted a TV with only toggle bolts? I think my dry wall is 1/2" thick.

If someone has done this:
- what size toggle bolts did you use?
- how many toggle bolts did you use?

Thanks for any help and suggestions!
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post #2 of 52 Old 02-11-2011, 11:09 PM
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What kind of wall are you dealing with? If it has sheetrock it must have studs.
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post #3 of 52 Old 02-11-2011, 11:40 PM
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Gizmologist, I believe he's saying there are no studs in the exact area he wants to mount the tv.

Escheng, I had the same situation at the girlfriends house and used 4 of those ziptie type toggle bolts made by Toggler or Hilti to bolt the mount to the wall in her bedroom so I could hang a 32" LCD tv. It's been hanging there for 2 years now with no issues. Each 3/16 toggle is rated to hold 50lbs, so 4 should be sufficient for a small LCD tv.

"I'm suffering from the dreaded upgrade bug"
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post #4 of 52 Old 02-11-2011, 11:50 PM
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The safest way to hang a panel where the mount is not centered between studs is a span type mount where the LCD support arm can be moved side to side along the mount to compensate for stud locations. Another and less expensive way is to use a piece of 3/4" ply to accomplish the same task, then screw the mount to the plywood using a minimum lag bolt size of 1/4" x 1 1/2"
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post #5 of 52 Old 02-12-2011, 07:37 AM
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A toggle bolt is a very bad idea.. Moen makes a product, the secure mount that will work. I have used them in a situations where I could find a stud for one side of the mount but not the other.
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post #6 of 52 Old 02-12-2011, 11:28 AM
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I don't trust drywall-only mounts. Through the years I've noticed these mounts seem to hold when they are new, but as time goes by, the hole get enlarged, worn, then the bolts eventually become loose. In my new place I even took the trouble of placing a stud behind a towel bar mount. I just wanted solid, no maintenance EVER.

Unrelated rant: Why towel bars are made to be 18" and 24" when studs are 16" apart? Why can't they get it together? GGGGRRRRRRrrrrrrrr.

Solution: FREE. Explanation: I will have to charge$ you.

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post #7 of 52 Old 02-12-2011, 02:51 PM
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Don't take the lazy way out. If the mount does not reach two studs and allow side to side movement then open the wall and bridge the gaps so that you have wood to bolt to. Sheetrock is cheap. Sheetrock alone can not support the weight. While the wall is open, run the power and signal wires inside up to the back

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post #8 of 52 Old 02-12-2011, 03:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBobb View Post

Unrelated rant: Why towel bars are made to be 18" and 24" when studs are 16" apart?

Because they are only mean to support towels. They are not assist bars.
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post #9 of 52 Old 02-12-2011, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey all,

Thanks so much for all the input! I emailed Sanus and (to my surprise) got a rather quick response on a Saturday morning! They did clarify that mounting to only dry wall voids any warranty on the mount and the TV.

That being said, they also stated the only toggle bolt they tested was called Snaptoggle by Toggler. According to Toggler's website, each of these bolts will hold 265 lbs in 1/2" dry wall!! The system looks better than traditional toggle bolts. Toggler fills the drilled hole with the plastic snaps, which would seem to me that the overall bolt is anchored better.

BTW- they also state they are the only toggle bolt to meet national criteria for installing grab bars (tested at Cornell Medical College).

I will have to think about this. I may use this as an excuse to buy a lighter LED LCD (Samsung's 40" weighs about 34 lbs) and use several Toggler toggle bolts. I have considered opening the wall and putting in some studs, but the wall has a specialized texture that I don't know how to replicate.

An aside: If anyone is in the market for a Sanus mount, I got the VMPL50A (Visionmount, tilting, 32"-60") for $54.49 at Amazon. It retails $149.99 at Best Buy.

I'll keep you all posted on what happens. Thanks again, everyone!!
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post #10 of 52 Old 02-13-2011, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm View Post
Because they are only mean to support towels. They are not assist bars.
Then the designed intend is not sufficient for real life use. People DO slip on wet bathrooms and the towel bar is often the thing they hold on to.

Either that or they remember your reply, and go, oh no, they did not intend for me to use it as grab bar, I should let myself fall and crack my skull instead.

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post #11 of 52 Old 02-13-2011, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by escheng View Post

hold 265 lbs in 1/2" dry wall!!

These numbers are for static weight, and assuming the drywall never cracks. The TV would probly never fall, but just look at your bathroom towel bars that been there for a while, that's how a drywall-only mount will feel after awhile.

Homedepot has some spray cans for textured drywall (no buying expensive equipment required). I have seen they have one for orange-peel texture. I don't like texture wall myself, to me this would be an opportunity to make that wall into a smooth wall. Textured wall = one notices the wall, Smooth wall = tend to fades into background. Following photography 101: U want the TV to be the main subject, the item u most notice. Having a noticeable textured wall so close to the TV distracts it from being the main subject. [/amateur design opera off]

Solution: FREE. Explanation: I will have to charge$ you.

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post #12 of 52 Old 02-13-2011, 09:36 AM
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I used 4 of these in 5/8 dry wall (exterior)...

http://www.toggler.com/products/snaptoggle/overview.php

To hang a 50 inch LG plasma (pk550). After installing the mount, I had my wife and 6 year old son hang from it and it didn't budge.
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post #13 of 52 Old 02-13-2011, 01:05 PM
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No one in the pro world would EVER trust that kind of weight to sheet rock alone or to some plastic anchors. There have been several cases where the sheetrock gave way and kids have been killed. There will be zero warranty on the set as well when it falls.

You spent so much on a set, why on earth would you be so cheap in properly mounting it?
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post #14 of 52 Old 02-14-2011, 05:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmologist View Post

No one in the pro world would EVER trust that kind of weight to sheet rock alone or to some plastic anchors. There have been several cases where the sheetrock gave way and kids have been killed. There will be zero warranty on the set as well when it falls.

You spent so much on a set, why on earth would you be so cheap in properly mounting it?

I'm not sure if that was directed at me, but my TV weighs 63 pounds. I had more than double that hanging from the mount and there was zero flex in my drywall. I think I will be fine.
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post #15 of 52 Old 02-14-2011, 06:50 AM
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+1 for 'Togglers'. We mount grab bars with them when needed.


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post #16 of 52 Old 02-14-2011, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratm View Post

I'm not sure if that was directed at me, but my TV weighs 63 pounds. I had more than double that hanging from the mount and there was zero flex in my drywall. I think I will be fine.

Why on earth take that chance by not doing the installation with the proper techniques and simply hoping that the sheet rock holds?

Have you ever seen how few screws or nails are frequently used to secure sheetrock to a stud?
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post #17 of 52 Old 02-14-2011, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Couple of thoughts:

- the Samsung 40" LED LCD weights only 27 lbs (I misspoke in an earlier post). There are mirrors, artwork etc that weigh more than that, and I don't think people think twice about using the plastic sheetrock anchors and a screw to hold them up if there are no studs available. And they probably don't even think about toggle bolts for these things.

- the mounted TV is static. There will be no pulling on the TV little by little over time, like with a towel rack.

- again, the Toggler toggle bolts are medically certified for grab bars. An elderly person grabbing onto a bar to catch themselves from falling would put far more weight on it than 27 lbs. And we're talking about a person falling (more important than a TV).

- the Samsung Ultra Slim Mount (WMN1000B) comes with Toggler Snaptoggle bolts in the box.

Just some thoughts. I have an email into Samsung, but am waiting for a reply. I am going to try to talk to some installers in my area for their opinions.

Ratm: how long has your TV been hanging up now?

Thanks again for everyone's input!
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post #18 of 52 Old 02-15-2011, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by escheng View Post

Couple of thoughts:

- the Samsung 40" LED LCD weights only 27 lbs (I misspoke in an earlier post). There are mirrors, artwork etc that weigh more than that, and I don't think people think twice about using the plastic sheetrock anchors and a screw to hold them up if there are no studs available. And they probably don't even think about toggle bolts for these things.

There are two forces at work. Shear and tensile normal to the wall.

Thin objects such as mirrors and pictures produce mainly shear.
Anchors which can hold 25 or 50 lbs in pure shear will pull out with tension.

A tv will produce both.

The anchor rating is based on new, totally dry sheetrock. It can only get worse with age and humidity...forget about leaks or moisture...

Gizmologist is entirely correct.- I concur with all his recommendations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by escheng View Post

- again, the Toggler toggle bolts are medically certified for grab bars. An elderly person grabbing onto a bar to catch themselves from falling would put far more weight on it than 27 lbs. And we're talking about a person falling (more important than a TV).

Medically certified? I'm not even sure what that means..

It may be capable of withstanding some transient force event sufficient to help a falling individual, but that is not a sustained force.

Quote:
Originally Posted by escheng View Post

- I am going to try to talk to some installers in my area for their opinions.

Excellent.

If they agree with Giz, use em. If they do not, seek another opinion.

Cheers, John

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post #19 of 52 Old 02-15-2011, 12:36 PM
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There are two forces at work. Shear and tensile normal to the wall.

More accurately compressive strength I think. You can stand on a stack of dry wall and not damage it. That is an indication of its compressive strength. Now pull up on one edge of the top sheet. It will break. That is an indication of shear strength.

IOW it is not the component of the weight of the TV in the vertical plane that will be the problem with proper anchors. The problem is the component of the weight in the horizontal plane. Probably not a problem if the TV is just hanging there and the front of it is close enough to the wall. But if someone or something puts sufficient force on it bad things will happen. I definitely wouldn't mount an expensive TV to dry wall only on the West Coast where significant earth quakes are a possibility. Of course, if the quake is big enough, your TV will be the least of your worries.
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post #20 of 52 Old 02-15-2011, 12:52 PM
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Remember with a TV on a mount, the center of gravity of the TV will be a 2-4 inches further away from the wall surface, especially if the TV is pivoted out.

Even if the mount is a close-in static system, the CoG will add some degree of shear force applied to the mounts, especially the top ones. The lower ones will act as a fulcrum if the top mounts are strained.
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post #21 of 52 Old 02-16-2011, 05:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm View Post
More accurately compressive strength I think. You can stand on a stack of dry wall and not damage it. That is an indication of its compressive strength. Now pull up on one edge of the top sheet. It will break. That is an indication of shear strength.

IOW it is not the component of the weight of the TV in the vertical plane that will be the problem with proper anchors. The problem is the component of the weight in the horizontal plane. Probably not a problem if the TV is just hanging there and the front of it is close enough to the wall. But if someone or something puts sufficient force on it bad things will happen. I definitely wouldn't mount an expensive TV to dry wall only on the West Coast where significant earth quakes are a possibility. Of course, if the quake is big enough, your TV will be the least of your worries.
I guess it's time to invoke the dreaded "Maxwell Cremona" diagram, eh??

If one could tighten all the screws with no load on the wall, the ideal condition of equal vertical force on the anchors would be realized. In reality, it would be close..

All the anchors would be supporting the dead weight of the unit. This appears as a shear force on each anchor. Within the structure of the drywall, there will indeed be compressive forces on the lower 180 degrees of the hole. Moly's will spread this to more of the drywall, but in essentially point contact locations. If the moly is overtightened, it will puncture the paper and render the rock susceptible to long term failure, the core of drywall is not very good at high stress. (this is why you don't want drywall screws to pop the paper as it's being tightened.)

Because the center of gravity of the unit is away from the wall, the upper anchors will be required to withstand a tensile force normal to the wall (translation, it's pulling away from the wall). This will add to the compression on the backside of the rock. If the anchors have bitten through the paper, again, not good long term.

NONE of this will occur with a 2 inch #10 wood screw in a stud.

I stand by gizmologist's recommendations.

Cheers, John

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post #22 of 52 Old 02-16-2011, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jneutron View Post

Because the center of gravity of the unit is away from the wall, the upper anchors will be required to withstand a tensile force normal to the wall (translation, it's pulling away from the wall). This will add to the compression on the backside of the rock. If the anchors have bitten through the paper, again, not good long term.

The way the inserts are installed is certainly a variable.
The configuration of the mount is a variable- for instance how far apart are the anchors vertically in the wall vs. how far the center of gravity of the TV is from the face of the wall.
Another variable is how the sheet rock is attached to the studs, or not attached depending on who was doing the nailing or operating the screw gun at the time.
The last factor- are you in an area with earthquakes, slamming doors, anything that would vibrate the tv on the wall?

http://www.naturalhandyman.com/iip/i...infanchor.html

There are multiple types of anchors that can be used in drywall. Traditionally the lightest duty anchors are little plastic sleeves that you put into a small hole and then you insert a screw into them to spread them out. These are OK for a towel bar or framed artwork, but not so good for something heavy. These can pull out pretty easily.
Next up are the moly bolts. These come in a variety of sizes, you put them into a hole then tighten the bolt and the back of the anchor expands. They will not come back out of the wall without pulling out a big piece of wall with them.
Higher up the list are the spring loaded toggle bolts. They also will not come out of the wall without tearing out a big piece, but they aren't as good for bearing on the bottom of the hole because it is just the small diameter of the bolt bearing, not the larger body of the moly bolt.

All that said, traditional molly bolts can be very strong. I have seen bookshelves hung with them carrying an incredible weight of books. I have also seen bookshelves tear out of the wall and fall to the floor.

The installer is the person that has to take the risk and determine what is good enough. I am a professional engineer so when I do things like this for myself I am pretty conservative. I don't know if I would hang a 40# flat screen from sheet rock or not, although I dare say that most of the time you could do it. Again for me it would depend on the configuration of the mount and how much tension it was putting in the top anchors. I would probably go with the wood studs because it would bug me everytime I looked at the TV. For hanging bookshelves that aren't worth big bucks, I would think about them differently.

If a person really wanted to do it, they could buy the heavier duty moly bolts, install the mount, then hang a weight from the mount equal to 2 or 3 times the weight of their TV. If that works for a day or so then they would have some peace of mind that they had a good safety factor.
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post #23 of 52 Old 02-16-2011, 05:46 PM
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An 18" x 8" piece of 3/4 plywood spanning 2 studs, painted to match the wall, the proper mounting kit and correctly sized screws and no worries.
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post #24 of 52 Old 02-16-2011, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmologist View Post

An 18" x 8" piece of 3/4 plywood spanning 2 studs, painted to match the wall, the proper mounting kit and correctly sized screws and no worries.

Now that's a good concept, in fact I used a similar concept recently to attach a canopy to the outside of a school. Depending on the exact configuration for the OP, he might need to use a piece of plywood that would be long enough to attach to 3 studs (probably 34" long). Also I would suggest something taller than 8".
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post #25 of 52 Old 02-16-2011, 08:43 PM
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The 18 x 8 was based on the OPs TV size. very small. the larger the size -and heavier- the larger the backing panel of plywood.
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post #26 of 52 Old 02-16-2011, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey all,

Thanks for the discussion. I am enjoying the revisit to college physics!

Bjex- I have seen this Natural Handyman website page before. The page does not discuss the Toggler/Hilti style toggle bolts. Would you (and others) mind taking a look at the Toggler snaptoggle page and let me know what you think about these specifically? If I do go into dry wall only, these are the only bolts I will use.

http://www.toggler.com/products/snaptoggle/overview.php

The design is definitely different compared to the traditional dry wall anchors.

----------
Now-- brace yourselves-- and please don't yell at me or belittle these stores...

I spoke with two local well respected Not-Big-Box HT stores/installers in my area, and a general contractor.

- One installer supported using the Hilti bolts, but cautioned about tilting the tv too much. He would use 6 of them for the 40" TV.

- The other store's installer wasn't there, but the person I spoke with thought that they did use some version of a toggle bolt if needed. I haven't heard back from the installer yet.

- The general contractor who had no reservations using these particular bolts for hanging the TV. He suggested 6-8 bolts.

- Samsung service wouldn't commit either way, even though they include the Toggler/Hilti bolts in their Ultra Slim Mount package.

-------
Some specifics on my project, since you guys have been suggesting ideas for me...

I am mounting this tv in my exercise room. It is going on a section of wall that is 9 ft tall and 40" wide. The wall was framed originally with two cubbies for the old tube tv's (one facing the exercise room and one facing into the bathroom). I had a contractor wall up the exercise room side and open the bathroom side to make a vanity area. That's why this section of wall has no studs in the middle. I didn't have the foresight to have studs installed to hang a tv cuz, at the time, we decided to ceiling mount a TV in the opposite corner.

Now, there are horizontal studs in that wall at not quite the right places. It appears that there is a horizontal stud at about 8-8.5' up. So, I purchased a Sanus mount that screws in at the top of the mount. Hopefully, this will allow the TV to hang down more and the tv won't be too high up. I can tilt the tv up to 10 deg. I'm going to get a Samsung LED that's 27lbs to keep the weight down. I'm going to get rid of my current Sony LCD that weighs 48lbs (anyone interested in that and/or an Omnimount ceiling mount?).

I'm also installing a 26" Samsung LED underneath the 40". This TV only weighs 12lbs and I'm not tilting it. I have no problems using the 2-4 Snaptoggles to mount this into dry wall only. I currently have a framed print that weighs 11 lbs hanging on this wall on only a screw and it hasn't budged in 3 years.

An aside-- anyone have experiences with HDMI splitters?

I appreciate Giz's suggestion of mounting a board as the support (my dad did that in my house growing up for our towel bars in the bathrooms). Aesthetically, it won't fly with the wife.

I can cut the wall open and install some studs, but patching and re-texturing will be difficult. The texture is such that it can only be done by hand- not by spray bottle- and I don't know how to do it.

Thanks again to everyone for your suggestions. This install will (hopefully) occur this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes. Sorry for the huge post.

Oh, I live in a very dry climate with no earthquakes.
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post #27 of 52 Old 02-17-2011, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
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Oh, I live in a very dry climate with no earthquakes.

Where's the fun in that??

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post #28 of 52 Old 02-17-2011, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Bjex- I have seen this Natural Handyman website page before. The page does not discuss the Toggler/Hilti style toggle bolts. Would you (and others) mind taking a look at the Toggler snaptoggle page and let me know what you think about these specifically? If I do go into dry wall only, these are the only bolts I will use.

http://www.toggler.com/products/snaptoggle/overview.php
The website that you reference provides shear and tension values for the togglers. I have not used them before but if you buy versions that are made by a reputable company then they should work as advertised. Note that the load capacities given are ultimate. This means that this is the load that the anchor is anticipated to fail at. For normal use you would want to apply a safety factor to these loads, and due to variables and uncertainty involved, they recommend a safety factor of 4 to 1. So the smallest size toggler lists a value of 247# shear capacity at ultimate, that means the recommended safe working load would be 62#.

The Hilti catalog for their similar product lists allowable load of 30# tension and 70# shear.

Quote:
I appreciate Giz's suggestion of mounting a board as the support (my dad did that in my house growing up for our towel bars in the bathrooms). Aesthetically, it won't fly with the wife.
I think the point was that if you put the mount where you want to put it, and if its holes land in between studs, you use the piece of plywood to reach to the 2 studs on either side of this location. You mentioned horizontal studs so in that case you would orient the piece of plywood to reach between the 2 horizontal studs. Also the original suggestion was to paint the plywood to match the wall, and since it is behind the TV screen anyway, it shouldn't be very visible.
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post #29 of 52 Old 02-17-2011, 01:14 PM
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The toggle hardware is NOT the concern, the sheetrock is. If the spacing and qty of studs supporting the sheetrock is not the accepted 16" on center, then all the load bearing calculations as to the support strength of sheetrock are totally meaningless.

Now we hear there are to be 2 TVs in the same vertical plane on poorly supported sheetrock. I am sorry, but that is simply not wise AT ALL.

If you opt to take the cheapest way out, be prepared for an "occurrence". I will not use the word "accident" because you have been advised by several folks against doing this improperly.

BTW asking a store employee about mounting physics is not the best move. They are most likely in the same situation as you. You came here asking for advice and it was given several times.

I am asking you-for your own safety and that of your family- let alone the TVs, to take the high road and do the job correctly.

You don't want to have to say to yourself "If only I had done it right."
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post #30 of 52 Old 02-17-2011, 01:45 PM
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The Sanus mount you mentioned is 30" wide. Even at 24" OC you should still be able to hit two studs.

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Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?
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