a fully assembled fame wall with exposed wall studs

Wall Stud

Originally contributed by Jeff Butler • last updated 1/11/2021

If you’ve ever tried hanging a picture on a wall, you may already be familiar with the term wall stud. If so, then you might also know how difficult it can be to properly locate a wall stud when you need one.


A wall stud is typically a slender board used as a vertical framing member in the construction of a wall. Wall studs are typically made from wood and come in two sizes, “two-by-fours” or “two-by-sixes.” However, in some newer constructions, wall studs can also be made from steel. Wall studs are typically spaced evenly at 16 inches apart (sometimes 12 or 24 inches). Wall studs serve several purposes, including providing structural support, holding windows and doors in place, and as backing support for fixtures such as lights, TV mounts, and electrical outlets.

How To Find A Stud In The Wall

There are a few different ways to find a stud in the wall. This can be particularly important if you need to hang something from a wall that requires a firm backing:

  • The easiest way to find a wall stud is to use a tool called a stud finder. These devices can sense a stud’s position behind a wall, and use lights and beeps to alert the user to its location.
  • If you do not have access to a stud finder, you can also try locating the nail marks on your baseboards or the outlets and light switches on a wall, as they will be attached to studs.