Jon Eakes
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Electrical boxes where there are no studs

Electrical Boxes with no Studs

Most electrical boxes are attached to a stud before the drywall is even installed.  When you add a new box to an old wall, we always try to put it in right next to a stud for solid attachment.  Specialized hardware does exist to allow putting an electrical outlet or switch absolutely anywhere without reference to a stud.

Looking at most of them on the store shelves you can be at a loss trying to understand how to make them work.  Here you see the details, on both sides of the wall.

When putting thick wall coverings over existing walls, like another layer of drywall or foam insulation, extender sleeves keep the wires properly protected without moving the existing box.

For still photos of all of this click here.


Learning Curve 62

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JSA on January 02, 2014 15:24

Excellent - much thanks for taking the time to do a nice explanatory video!

Jon on December 13, 2013 13:27

I believe that the only way to install a double gang box without a stud is with the fold back tabs you see in the photo above.

Average Jeaux on November 25, 2013 14:31

Thanks for this.

Hector on September 16, 2013 15:12

Great video! Question - do they make these types of boxes to accommodate 2 switches? I could find anything on some of the retailers sites.

Jon on March 22, 2013 12:57

Hello Bansi,

An ordinary light fixture that is not too heavy can be installed with these types of attachments. 

If it is a heavier ceiling light fixture then you need to go to the larger octogonal boxes and if it has a heavy glass covering you will need more support.  In this case, you can go between the studs using the same king of structural bracket that is made for holding ceiling fans.  This could also be used on a wall to hole a heavier fixture.   Follow this link for all the details.


bansi on February 03, 2013 20:31

Thank you it wiil be very usefull for me,but can you let me know for washroom wall,my house is three year old and there is no stud in centre to put new light fixture.Thanks

Rick on April 30, 2012 17:51

All these types work and the best tip was the 3rd demonstration. It will only work if you make slots in the drywall for the for screws, becuse it is such a tight fit. Also the spring loaded box, it not work very good to other wall thickness that is less than half inch drywall like panel board that is a quarter inch.

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