Concern for weakening 2x4 wall support


Old 11-10-16, 07:09 PM
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Concern for weakening 2x4 wall support

I am working on a project that attaches shelving to the 2x4 studs in a wall. currently the plan is to drill 4x 3/8" holes 2.5" deep into 3 sequential studs (so 12 holes in 3 studs) its a short wall with the rest taken up by a fire place. I don't think its load bearing but it is a downstairs wall on a two story house.

my question is if there is any concern with drilling out 12x 3/8" holes in 3 studs? are there any codes, rules of thumbs, or experience on this? Thanks!
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Old 11-10-16, 08:05 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

It sounds like you are installing floating shelves. The holes you are drilling should not cause any weakening of the wall.

Do make sure you drill the right size hole for the fastener or lag bolts you use.
Installing four fasteners too close to each other in one stud could split it.
Old 11-10-16, 08:17 PM
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yes your right floating shelves, they are planned to be spaced out 17" i would not expect splitting at that distance. Thanks
Old 11-11-16, 06:01 AM
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One thing you need to be aware of are wires buried in the wall. If the wires are near the surface modern homes will have a still plate protecting the wire so you don't nail or drill into it. Wires in the center of the stud often do not have a protective steel plate. By drilling 2 1/2" deep you do have the possibility of hitting wires.

So, if you hit resistance like a metal plate right after you break through the sheetrock STOP. You will need to move your shelf up or down to miss the wire. If you have wires in the center of the stud about all you can do is hope for the best. Just be aware that if a circuit quits working or a breaker trips, or if you smell smoke... you've hit a wire. There is no standardized elevation where wires run horizontally in walls. Some electricians run them all at knee high or below while others will run them waist or shoulder high. On the good side the odds are that you will not hit a wire.

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