How to Install Your Wall Safe Between Studs

How to Install Your Wall Safe Between Studs

Wall safes can be an excellent way to hide your valuables from a potential thief.  They are also a great when used as a gun safe to secure your handguns out of the reach of children or untrained adults.  These safes can be purchased on-line or at many specialty safe dealers.  They range in cost from $100-300 with the more expensive models being biometric safes.  Keep in mind that most have interiors that are less than 12″ wide and 12″-18″ high.  These safes are meant for storing small items and they are typically only 4″ or less deep.  Lastly, when purchasing a wall safe, play close attention to the lock on the door.  Some are nothing more than a cam lock that can easily be defeated.

Are you thinking about buying a wall safe, but are unsure how to do the installation?  Actually it is pretty easy.  These safes are meant for the average homeowner with limited tools and limited experience.  I would compare installing one of these home security safes the same as installing shelving in a closet.  While you should read the installation instructions completely with the unit that you purchase, these are some general instructions that can give you a different perspective on how to mount your wall safe between studs:

Tools needed:

  • A stud finder is a fantastic, $25 tool, that will make this project much easier.  If you don’t own one and don’t want to purchase one, see if you can borrow one from your handy friend.  You can do the installation without it, but it will make installation between the studs go smoother.
  • You need a screw gun or electric drill with a screw bit on the end.  You can install the screws by hand, but this will speed up the process and save your wrists when screwing into the wall studs.
  • Pencil to mark the installation point.
  • Sheetrock saw.  This is a small hand saw that will allow you to saw out the opening.  While a razor blade knife will work, a $6 Sheetrock saw will make quick work of this major part of the project.

Installing your Wall Safe Between the Studs:

  1. First we need to find a place for this safe.  Because these safes rely on stealth and being hidden, a closet or behind paintings are excellent places to mount wall safes.  This may seem obvious, but this can only be installed in an interior wall that is hollow (concrete or brick walls do not work here).  Plus, be sure you have permission to do this (in the case you do not own the house).
  2. Some wall safes have a wide frame around the outside of the front face of the safe and you cut a much smaller hole and then screw the front face plate into the walls studs making it flush with the wall.  Others have a removable frame that is simply for cosmetic reasons.  Review your instructions.
  3. Once you have identified the location for your wall safe, you will need to find the wall studs.  Use your stud finder to identify and mark the location of the studs.  They should typically be 16″ in center.  If you do not have a stud finder, you may need to use trial and error.  Take a small nail and make  a hole.  If you do not hit the stud, move over 1/2″ and try again.  Continue this until you find the stud.  Then measure over 16″ from there and again use the nail to identify the location of the other wall stud.  No worries about the holes, you should plan to cut out the materials between the studs, removing the holes.
  4. After identifying the wall studs, mark out the cut out location for your wall safe between the studs per the safe instructions with the pencil.
  5. Use a large drill bit to drill a hole to insert your Sheetrock saw.  Cut out your hole.  While you are cutting, if you feel any unusual resistance, use caution as you may be in contact with a plumbing pipe or electrical conduit/wire.
  6. If you encounter any electrical wires or plumbing pipes, you may need to find a new location for your wall safe if they can not be pushed out of the way.
  7. Once the hole is open, mount the wall safe using the screws provided and electric drill with screw bit.

It is just that easy to install.  Enjoy your new wall safe.

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