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Will my drywall shelf collapse if I put a speaker on it?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

The apartment I'm renting has a shelf near the ceiling with some upward-facing lights. I want to use this shelf to put my center speaker, but I'm not certain it will hold the weight. The speaker is a B&W CC6, weighing in at 14lbs.

I know this isn't something you can say for certain just based on a picture, but perhaps someone out there has more DIY experience to at least make some informed comment/guess, or suggest how I can find out. The shelf feels hollow when I tap on it, so it doesn't seem super-solid, but it's rigid and the speaker isn't THAT heavy. (just heavy enough to make me wonder though)

Any suggestions? Thanks a lot!

Greg

post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by 441211 View Post

Hi all,

The apartment I'm renting has a shelf near the ceiling with some upward-facing lights. I want to use this shelf to put my center speaker, but I'm not certain it will hold the weight. The speaker is a B&W CC6, weighing in at 14lbs.

I know this isn't something you can say for certain just based on a picture, but perhaps someone out there has more DIY experience to at least make some informed comment/guess, or suggest how I can find out. The shelf feels hollow when I tap on it, so it doesn't seem super-solid, but it's rigid and the speaker isn't THAT heavy. (just heavy enough to make me wonder though)

Any suggestions? Thanks a lot!

Greg



Any drywall wall built to US building code has a 2x4 or larger vertical stud every 16 inches or less. Finding the stud in a built-up and painted wall is usually accomplished by finding the attaching points, either visually if the wall was built sloppily, but usually by means of a < $20 purpose built metal detector called "A stud finder"

Once you find the studs, you attach the shelf or speaker to the studs. My speakers are on a long shelf about a foot below the ceiling along with various objet d'art. This shelf is supported via these brackets which are both WAF and structurally tested:

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90136136/



post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I'm not in the US, so the building code doesn't apply...
I might give it a go with a stud finder, but I'm not sure what that will tell me. Say I find there is a stud every 16 inches, how will that help me know how much weight I can put on it? I won't know what weight the studs are rated for will I? I'm not planning to build anything new, just placing my speaker on top of the existing shelf if I can believe it will hold the weight. Might just give it a go...
post #4 of 6
Actually 16" centers are the norm, but 2' centers are to code if the walls are non bearing.
The shelf is called a bulkhead, not a wall.
Something to keep in mind is that drywall...1/2" and larger is considered self furring up to 24"......hence the 2' centers.
Bulkheads could be supported by studs as far apart as 48" if cantilevered from the studs on the wall ..... a bulkhead is considered a ceiling
if supported on one side.
Your bulkhead.....or cove if you like...may or may not take the weight.
Code has little to do with architectural features if theyre not structural.
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by 441211 View Post

Thanks. I'm not in the US, so the building code doesn't apply...
I might give it a go with a stud finder, but I'm not sure what that will tell me. Say I find there is a stud every 16 inches, how will that help me know how much weight I can put on it?

I doubt that you are going to put enough weight on a wall to bring it down unless it is really flimsy. However, the chance of having the load rip itself off of the wall because you didn't anchor it well enough is pretty good. This would be the voice of experience talking, sadly. :-)

What are you trying to hang - 300 pound speakers or 15 pound speakers?
Quote:
I won't know what weight the studs are rated for will I?

It shouldn't matter unless you are trying to hang your couch on the wall. ;-)

Generally the class of studs in a house or apartment are exposed a little some place. Got an attic? Go looking for them! How thick is the wall? The studs generally span the distance of the thickness. They probably aren't less than an inch thick. The nastiest thing about thin studs is actually getting your fastener driven into them, not its lack of strength to do a reasonable job.
Quote:
I'm not planning to build anything new, just placing my speaker on top of the existing shelf if I can believe it will hold the weight. Might just give it a go...

What does the speaker weigh?

The last time I did this my first attempt wasn't too pretty. I redid it using the approach and hangers that I mentioned in my first post. That and running the speaker cables inside the wall made all the difference. My speakers were probably in the 20 pound range and they did require a little attention to detail.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Well, the speaker is now up there and the shelf seems to be holding. I didn't notice any flex, wobble, or anything nasty when placing it there, so I hope it will be OK. Thanks to everyone who offered their experience. arnyk, as I said in my original post, the speaker is a 14lb center speaker, so not too heavy, but heavy enough to make me ask myself the question.

My tiny 360sq.ft. home is now equipped with a projector and home cinema, surely that has to be some kind of accomplishment! smile.gif
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