DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Walls and Ceilings > Need to find load bearing ceiling joist/stud!

Help Support House Repair Talk by donating using the link above.
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-28-2012, 09:29 AM  
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 1
Default Need to find load bearing ceiling joist/stud!

I have one of these hanging chairs I want to put in my living room so it's crucial that I install it where it's going to support a lot of weight.

I live on the top floor of a brownstone built in 1901 so the ceilings are wood lath and plaster. My stud finding has been useless in helping me out at all so I decided to drill small holes in a large square section (about a 2 feet) of the ceiling to find a joist. I drilled about 24 holes in two axises (one every two inches) and every single one resisted at first and then popped through.

I'm not going to cut a big hole in my ceiling to peek up there and I'd rather not make my ceiling look like a cheese grater by drilling many more holes (or banging in 3" finishing nails). How haven't I hit a joist? Is it possible that I don't have any as the only thing above me is the attick (which I don't have access to)? HELP

BrooklynGuy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2012, 10:03 AM  
oldognewtrick's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 10,752
Liked 1420 Times on 1128 Posts
Likes Given: 407


If you drilled every 2 inches, chances are you may have missed the ceiling joist. Go back and drill in between the holes and see if you can hit solid structure. Heck, whats a few more holes at this point. Joists may be on any dimension from 12-24" centers depending on the thickness of the wood and the placement by the carpenter, they don't even have to be placed uniformly on structures that old. Good luck with your drilling.

And to House Repair Talk!

oldognewtrick is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2012, 08:50 PM  
Senior Member
BridgeMan's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Cottage Grove, Oregon
Posts: 744
Liked 79 Times on 69 Posts


I'd be tempted to rent (or buy, if you have other uses for it in the future) a pachometer. Even a cheapo model can detect magnetic metal of any kind under most inert surfaces, such as plaster, concrete, wood, etc. I suspect the lath in your ceiling was fastened to the joists with conventional nails, which should be magnetic in nature.
BridgeMan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-28-2012, 09:13 PM  
inspectorD's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Litchfield, CT
Posts: 4,490
Liked 265 Times on 209 Posts
Likes Given: 772

Default or

Go get a borescope camera, they are about 120 bucks at the box store or online, and you only need a half inch hole...they even have a light at the end.
And I'm sure you will use it again for another problem inside a wall.
Just My
Made in the
inspectorD is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter DIY Home Repair Forum Replies Last Post
load bearing wall ak48 Walls and Ceilings 2 10-15-2016 08:20 PM
Load Bearing Wall Removal Advice (point load?) stringer9 Framing and Foundation 8 10-25-2010 02:48 PM
Rim Joist rot and Jack stud sank near sliding glass door With Pics mjzraz Framing and Foundation 8 06-25-2010 04:02 PM
Load Bearing Closet? jdhandy Framing and Foundation 5 01-13-2009 08:10 AM
Load Bearing Column SPISurfer Framing and Foundation 0 01-03-2009 09:32 AM

Newest Threads