Home Improvement

How to Mount a TV on a Plaster Wall Without Studs

As tellies have changed over the years, from bulky and small, to large and slim, so have the installation methods. Back in the old days, there was nothing to it, you just placed your new TV on the table and you were done. Nowadays, TV mounting on walls is all the rage, and for good reason. No longer are you required to own a large entertainment console just to place your new telly in the centre. Tangled cables on the floor are also a thing of the past.

However, with this new solution, ironically, there also came a new problem. Because of their design, TV mounts require studs. Studs are vertical pieces of wood which make the frame your wall is attached to. However, not all walls need studs. Plaster walls, for example, don’t. So, you may be wondering how to mount a TV on a plaster wall without studs.

If you:

  • Have checked the wall with a stud detector and have found nothing;
  • Are doing the installation in an older home where all the walls are plaster and no studs were used in the construction;
  • Have metal studs behind your wall and obviously can’t use them for TV mounting;

Then read along!

Table of Contents:

The best way to mount a TV on a plaster wall with no studs is with anchors. They are really easy to use and will keep screws from slipping out of their holes. Let’s go over what your mounting options are.


  • Toggle bolts, also known as butterfly anchors or toggle anchors, look like regular screws, except they have wings at the end. The wings open once inside a hollow wall and brace against it. That way they become really hard to pull out. The downside to these is, you have to attach the item on the bolt head before drilling. Because once you drill these in, there’s no going back. Toggle bolts would work great for any kind of wall hooks, but not so much for TV mounts where you need to put more than one at a time.
  • Strap toggles, also known as zip toggles, depending on the brand, are plastic straps with a metal wing at one end and a locking mechanism at the other. Strap toggles are easy to use for both professionals and non-professionals and don’t require large drill holes.

How to mount a tv on a plaster wall without studs using toggles

  1. Place your TV mount on the wall. You will be using this as a template for where to mark.
  2. Use a level to make sure the mount is levelled properly.
  3. With a pencil or marker, draw marks on the wall.
  4. Put aside the TV mount.
  5. Use a drill bit as large as the toggle when folded.
  6. Drill the holes.
  7. Place the folded strap toggle into the hole.
  8. Unfold the toggle.
  9. Slide the small plate up against the wall.
  10. Pull back on the legs and press down on the plate. This will keep it from rotating.
  11. Bend down the legs to break them off. You should hear a snapping sound.
  12. Hang the TV mount on the wall, so the holes line up with the installed toggle straps.
  13. Fasten the mount to the wall by screwing in the bolts. You may need to use some washers beforehand.
  14. Install the back brackets on the TV.
  15. With the help of a friend, pick up the TV and hang it on the mount.

* If you go with toggle bolts, you have to place all of them on the TV mount beforehand.

Learn what other domestic jobs we can do for you, by visiting our handymen page.

Molly Bolts

Molly bolts are another good way to mount your tv on a wall with no studs. They consist of two parts, a thread and a screw inside of it.

These bolts come in two variations: pointed and non-pointed.

  • Pointed ones have a sharp tip which doesn’t require an initial hole in the wall. All you need to do is tap them in with a hammer.
  • Non-pointed ones require a drilled hole in the wall because they lack a pointed tip. For plaster walls, these are the preferred option, as hammering them in may break the wall.

How to install molly bolts

  1. Place your TV mount on the wall.
  2. Mark the spots where you will drill holes.
  3. Drill the holes with a drill bit the size of the molly bolt.
  4. Push the molly bolts into the holes. You will notice small “teeth” on the bolt at the head end, these are designed to stop the bolt from spinning.
  5. Tighten the screw. You will hear a slight clicking sound as the sleeve behind the wall starts to expand.
  6. When the screw is fully tightened, untighten it. You will see how it comes off the wall, while the other part stays secured into it.
  7. Do this several more times on the other marks.
  8. Align your TV mount with the holes and screw it in.
  9. Install the back brackets on the TV.
  10. With the help of a friend, pick up the TV and hang it on the mount.

Important things to keep in mind

Before you start any kind of mounting work on your wall, take a second to look over the things mentioned next. It might turn out that you need to do some initial work before even drilling the first hole.

Condition of the wall

For any type of anchors to work, your plaster wall must be in prime condition. Old and crumbling walls of this sort are unreliable, as they might break during the drilling stage. Even if the wall stays in one piece when drilled, it’s still possible it will break while you’re mounting the TV. if it bends slightly after the new telly is fully installed, you can be sure it will give you trouble later on.

Weight of the television set

Check the box of your TV to find out how much it weighs. With this information, you can go to your local hardware store and purchase anchors with the right kind of load capacity. This goes for the bolts as well.

TV mount

Knowing the weight and size of your telly will also come in handy before purchasing a proper wall mount. You have two types of mounts, fixed and tilting ones. Each variant comes with its own set of screws; however, you may need larger ones if the default ones are made for wall studs.

If you purchase a tilting wall mount, be advised that it’s not recommended you use it at full-motion. This will put extra strain on your wall and the anchor points. Frankly, if your wall is studless, it’s best to get a fixed TV mount.

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Call in the professionals

If you are confused as to what mount or anchors to buy, why not just call a professional? Fantastic Services works with qualified and well-equipped experts who can easily mount your telly in the plaster wall. You don’t need to supply us with any drills or anything, the pros have all the tools they need. All we need from you is the size of the TV and we will take care of the rest. 


  • Make sure the plaster wall is in good condition, so it won’t break when drilled.
  • Know the size and weight of your TV.
  • Buy anchors which are best suited for that weight.

Image Source: Shutterstock / Monkey Business Images

Have you mounted your flat screen TV on your studless plaster wall? Did you run into any trouble? How did you resolve the issue? Let us know by commenting!

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