What can paneling support?

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by PTN, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. PTN

    PTN New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Norwalk, CT
    i recently bought a house that has circa 1970's faux wood paneling on some walls. i want to hang some speakers (10 lbs each) and a very heavy mirror on some of the paneled walls.

    i know i can catch studs in some areas but what if some of the screws don't line up with the studs?

    the paneling is attached with finish nails and it's not like sheetrock where you can simply use expandable anchors. the paneling is not that thick and since it only uses finish nails, you could easily pull off the paneling with too much weight.

    Any suggestions would be apreciated. Thanks.
  2. statjunk

    statjunk DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    542
    I would use those bolts that open up when they are pushed through a hole. I want to say they are called toggle bolts but not sure.

    As for the mirror depends on the weight.

    Tom
  3. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,395
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    It's the "nuts" on the toggle bolts that open up like wings when pushed into the wall cavity. These will work well for you as long as the weight isn't too great. For really heavy weights, I consider carefully removing the panel and putting in an extra stud. If the paneling is stuck on with adhesive, you'd better be able to find studs or rethink hanging the heavy load. Time was paneling was 100% wood and would hold more weight, but now days it's all chipboard with vinyl covering. Looks about the same, but I be afraid of the toggle bolts breaking through.
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,313
    Location:
    New England
    www.wingits.com . A little pricey, but work well. 1/4" wallboard isn't particularly strong...you really want at least one screw in each mount into a stud.
  5. Rehabber

    Rehabber New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Left Coast (Mexifornia)
    If the mirror is really heavy, use a 'J hook' available at most glass shops
  6. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    If you fasten the panel to every stud adjacent to the point of hanging things, you could use the anchors that go through a fairly small hole and then buckle out on the sides when you install the small bolt or screw. They require a smaller hole than the toggle devices and you can remove the fastener without losing the anchor. The anchor is permanent in the panel.

    If the mirror is large you can attach an 8" x 18" x 1/8" piece of steel across two adjacent studs and mount the hanger at the appropriate position in the plate. Attach the plate to the wall so the top of the plate is just below or at the top of the mirror, and attach the mirror point as low as possible in the plate.

    I have a 3' x 6' mirror on drywall that has been in place for 40 years using anchors in the drywall.

    Sometimes large mirrors have a heavy Masonite backing that can be removed to allow relocation of the hangers to where they will fall over the studs.
  7. PTN

    PTN New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Norwalk, CT
    i should have mentioned that the mirror has a fairly large frame around it so the only way to attach it is to use the eyelets on either end to either directly attach to the wall (as i am doing now with "ooks" hooks in sheetrock) or use a wire between the eyelets and fasten a hook to the wall.

    i think i'll be ok with the small speaker weight using toggle bolts because the weight will be spread out over 4 fastners. two of which will be in a stud. What do you think?


    the mirror is quite another issue. i actually have two mirrors to hang. one is about 50 lbs and the other is closer to 150.

    Using a method like Bob NH mentioned - catching two (or more) studs and mounting a steel bar accross seems to be the safest way to go for heavy items.
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,247
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    mirror

    Is the paneling the only thing on the studs? Usually thin paneling is installed over sheetrock or some other base material. Hooks into the studs with a wire across the back of the mirror will hold it properly.
  9. AZ Contractor

    AZ Contractor In the Trades

    Messages:
    90
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I've never seen paneling that wasn't installed over some other base material. Otherwise the paneling will bow across the studs.

    Maybe its a regional thing?
  10. statjunk

    statjunk DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    542
    I just bought a 2800 sq ft ranch in Michigan. 1/3 of the house was done in wood paneling with no drywall behind it. It had been that way since 1985. I know this because the guy that lives down the street grew up in that house and showed up one day while I was doing demo work on the place and gave me the complete history. I was really surprised the didn't at least throw up some sheet rock without seaming it. Seems awfully energy un-efficient.

    Tom
  11. statjunk

    statjunk DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    542
    A 150lb mirror has got to be larger than the stud spacing. You could hang either metal like Bob said or you could do it in wood but you have to have it screwed into a set of studs.

    Tom
  12. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,313
    Location:
    New England
    As long as you can get at least one decent screw into a stud (prefereably the center) on each side of something like that, any others will help keep the bracket from rotating, but are not going to provide much support.
  13. AZ Contractor

    AZ Contractor In the Trades

    Messages:
    90
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    How thick is the wood paneling?

    Was it T-111?
  14. PTN

    PTN New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Norwalk, CT
    thanks for all the help. the paneling in my upsatairs area is installed over sheetrock so i can use toggles but downstairs there is no backing.

    as it has been stated, since the mirrors are large enough, i can catch at least two studs with a brace and hang them from that.

    where ther is no backing for the paneling i just have to make sure i catch a stud.

    thanks again.
  15. statjunk

    statjunk DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    542
    Nope! Just standard paneling.

    Tom
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