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FP Mount to plywood

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Similar threads have popped up on here, but I searched and could not find anything matching my scenario.

I have a cut-out in my fireplace with drywall set into it about 6 inches (from the front of the stone veneer). I am looking to mount my TV on this section. This section of wall appears to have plywood across it with drywall mounted to the plywood. Unfortunately, I have not been able to locate any studs behind the drywall (my stud finder doesn't seem to be terribly useful through 3/4" of plywood). I suppose it is possible that the plywood is secured somewhere around the edge (which isn't very useful for a wall mount).

For reference, here is a picture of the wall:


That section is about 46" wide by 32" tall.

The previous owner had his TV mounted here. But I am completely certain he only mounted it with six drywall (you read that correctly) screws. He also had, at best, a 46" LCD which is considerably lighter than the 55" plasma I am intending to put there. I have no confidence that 3/4" plywood will support the weight of my TV with only 4 lag screws (the only option provided by the mount manufacturer).

I have drilled numerous small holes into the drywall/plywood working from the center out (it's easier for me to spackle the holes and touch up paint than to pull it all down). All of them have poked through the back of the drywall and have not found a stud. I have also drilled near where the previous mount was secured and that is how I can be certain there is no stud back there either.

Is my only option tearing down that whole section of wall to locate or add bracing back there? My only other thought was to use a butterfly anchors, but again not knowing where the plywood is secured gives me pause. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance and sorry if this has been discussed previously and I missed it.
post #2 of 8
Can't you just poke a stick into the hole the outlet is mounted to? How do you know that panel isn't just held in with Liquid Nails? If you're sure the panel is attached then use Snap Toggles: http://www.toggler.com/products/snaptoggle/overview.php.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

Can't you just poke a stick into the hole the outlet is mounted to?

There is actually a conduit box back there, so no.

And I've tried pushing the PVC (to the left of the electrical feeding wires down into a cabinet) in to get a view back there, but it doesn't move that far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post

How do you know that panel isn't just held in with Liquid Nails?

I don't really, and that is my concern. I guess I'll have to drill some holes around the edges to see if there are studs there...

Edit: the house is only about 2 years old, and seems reasonably well-built everywhere else I've checked. So I doubt the original owner (the one who built the house) used liquid nails as the sole means of supporting his TV. Though I suppose stranger things have happened.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
I was able to get a look behind that PVC run for the cables. There is definitely nothing structural at all behind the plywood in the main section of where I want the mount to go. It appears as though the plywood is only framed around the edge.

I think I know the answer (and it's not what I wanted), but I'm assuming I need to pull that chunk of wall down and find a way to brace it better. Is that my best option?
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by applebonker View Post

I have a cut-out in my fireplace with drywall set into it about 6 inches (from the front of the stone veneer). I am looking to mount my TV on this section. This section of wall appears to have plywood across it with drywall mounted to the plywood. Unfortunately, I have not been able to locate any studs behind the drywall (my stud finder doesn't seem to be terribly useful through 3/4" of plywood). I suppose it is possible that the plywood is secured somewhere around the edge (which isn't very useful for a wall mount).

That section is about 46" wide by 32" tall. The previous owner had his TV mounted here. But I am completely certain he only mounted it with six drywall (you read that correctly) screws. He also had, at best, a 46" LCD which is considerably lighter than the 55" plasma I am intending to put there. I have no confidence that 3/4" plywood will support the weight of my TV with only 4 lag screws (the only option provided by the mount manufacturer).

I have drilled numerous small holes into the drywall/plywood working from the center out (it's easier for me to spackle the holes and touch up paint than to pull it all down). All of them have poked through the back of the drywall and have not found a stud. I have also drilled near where the previous mount was secured and that is how I can be certain there is no stud back there either. Is my only option tearing down that whole section of wall to locate or add bracing back there? My only other thought was to use a butterfly anchors, but again not knowing where the plywood is secured gives me pause. Any thoughts?.

I'm wondering how you're going to set a 55" Plasma back into that 46" x 32" inset opening? Unless of course your mount is an articulated arm mount and will be pushing the TV up against that stone facia, in which case i wouldn't trust that the plywood panel is strong enough or secured well enough to take the cantilever effect of an arm-mounted TV without giving out.

I would take a holesaw and drill a large access hole dead center in that plywood so you can stick a mirror back there and look around at what's behind the plywood and see how it's secured. If as i suspect it isn't strong enough to mount a TV on i'd just pull it all out and start fresh so you won't be sitting there during your movie wondering if the TV is going to fall onto the floor.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyWalters View Post

I'm wondering how you're going to set a 55" Plasma back into that 46" x 32" inset opening? Unless of course your mount is an articulated arm mount in which case i wouldn't trust that the plywood panel is strong enough or secured well enough to take the cantilever effect of an arm-mounted TV without giving out.
I would take a holesaw and drill a large access hole dead center in that plywood so you can stick a mirror back there and look around at what's behind the plywood and see how it's secured. If as i suspect it isn't strong enough to mount a TV on i'd just pull it all out and start fresh so you won't be sitting there during your movie wondering if the TV is going to fall onto the floor.

Sorry I didn't mention that. Yes, the mount is an articulated arm mount that extends about 10 or so inches. While mounting it recessed would've been nice, the room is large enough (and TV is viewable from the kitchen) that a 46" TV was a bit small for my liking. Couple that with the difficulty of finding a set with better PQ in that size and I had to go larger.

Also, I can't open a hole dead center as it appears the stack for the fireplace runs behind the center of the panel (an inch or two back). I'm going to try to get a better view in there tonight to see if I can see how the plywood is actually supported.
post #7 of 8
Whenever we do installs we do not mount a pull out mount without hitting some studs. Definitely would not trust a toggle bolt thru sheet rock for support. If you can cutout and install some 2x4 studs anchoring them securely into the structure. You can sheet rock back over as needed to give it a fresh look and a piece of mind that you have the proper anchoring points in place to last a long time.
post #8 of 8
Do not underestimate the strength of that 3/4 plywood. If that sheet is properly attached to framing along its perimeter, you can hang an elephant off it. By properly attached I mean either screws or ring-shank nails going at least two inches into the framing.

Get a pair of these
http://www.homedepot.com/Tools-Hardware/h_d1/N-25ecodZ5yc1vZc1xy/R-202183410/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=steel+hook&storeId=10051

Put the hooks through the holes you drilled near where you would be attaching the mounting plate, and add a fender washer between the nuts so you can easier hold onto the hook. Pull at the hooks with all you got. Brace your feet against the lower portion of the plywood, apply your entire weight to the hooks, and give them a few tugs. If the plywood is properly attached, it'll stand up to the test without even trying.
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