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How much shear weight can a metal studded wall hold?

How much shear weight can a metal studded wall hold?

Old 10-25-17, 12:55 PM
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How much shear weight can a metal studded wall hold?

I am hoping to install a free floating (doesn't touch the ground) cabinet on a wall that has metal studs. I believe they are 16" OC. The cabinet weight about 300 pounds, when full of dishes. I plan to mount it to two metal stubs. Can the metal studs support the weight?
Old 10-25-17, 01:04 PM
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The shear load is high. The problem is the screws into the thin metal stud. Normally when that's done a board or several wood blocks are installed between and inside the metal studs.

My opinion is that your cabinet cannot be installed on just two metal studs.
Old 10-25-17, 01:18 PM
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I would use Hi-Lo screws into the metal studs. Here's just an example, there are other types and sources:
Hi-Lo Screws-Product Options | Rockler Woodworking and Hardware

I would also use heavy duty anchors in between the studs. It sounds like you only need two or four anchors.
Here's a link to very strong anchors, be sure to buy the special 3/4" bit also so you can drill a very clean hole:

Edit: you can also use toggler (snap toggler) anchors through the metal studs instead of the hi-lo screws, here's a link:

Last edited by Handyone; 10-25-17 at 01:38 PM.
Old 10-25-17, 02:11 PM
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Given that the cabinet will cover the hole, I would consider cutting a hole into the wall to put wood studs inside the metal ones to increase their strength.
Old 10-26-17, 05:47 AM
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I agree with PJmax. It is foolish to base placing a wall bearing load on “I believe”. The center of gravity of the load is at least a foot from the wall and not at the bottom. Therefore some of the load weight wants to pull the top of the wall away from its anchor. You don’t know the quality of the metal stud anchoring at the top of the wall. You can build a temporary shelf on the wall in question and place a 300 pound weight a foot from the wall. Secure the shelf the same way you intend to secure the cabinet. If the wall doesn’t buckle you are good to go. You could also check with a structural engineer, but the construction of the wall will still need to be verified.
Old 10-26-17, 06:30 AM
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Personally, I dont think the metal studs alone will hold the cabinet.

Now, without derailing the question the thread poses, I have a question & a suggestion.
What is your reason for not letting the cabinet touch the floor? Is is a decor/appearance issue? Is it because the bottom of the door(s) on the cabinet is flush with the bottom of the cabinet & will or may drag the floor etc?

If its something along these lines, could you put 4 (or more) blocks (thickness variable) say 2" back from the edges of the cabinet to give the appearance it is floating. This would take the weight off the wall. The cabinet would be sitting on the blocks supporting the weight. Then you could just screw it to the wall to secure it from being moved or slid.

Just a thought....
Old 10-26-17, 11:58 AM
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As a layman, I can't give you structural calculations on metal studs. As far as I know they are stronger than wood and I can't imagine them buckling.
The drywall also provides shear value and holds everything together. To me the only issue is screw pull out, not weight.

If you want to use blocking instead of anchors, here's a video. The video is for a particular product that I have not used, but if nothing else it will show you how to install the blocking for maximum strength:

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