How to Install a Wall Safe
We are not responsible for any injury to yourself or others, any damage to your wall, you tools, or your wall safe. These directions are only to assist with installation.
Choose the location for your wall safe carefully. Some wall safes are large enough to extend through the back side of the wall. All the fire rated wall safes are this way because they are especially large to accommodate insulation. An example is the AMSEC Model WFS1310 Wall Safe.
While choosing the location of your wall safe, check that the area of wall does not contain electrical, plumbing, or heating duct work.
Some older houses might create problems where the studs might not be 16 inch on centers (O/C). Should this be your situation, you will need to either add to the studs to narrow the opening, and or you may need to install headers top and bottom to support the safe.
Tools that you will need to install a wall safe:
Your local hardware will have spade bits, which are inexpensive, and a way to make large holes).
A carpenters level, Torpedo Level,
A Measuring tape: (to measure height from floor).
Painters Tape (to outline the area where the safe opening will be cut. Apply tape so that your opening will be centered on a 2 inch tape. This will also assist in the non-marring
of the wall surrounding the opening, should you use a jig saw to cut the opening.
A Phillips, Flat tipped screw driver, possibly wrench ( to fit the mounting hardware that you are using).
Drop cloth: (To contain your debris from cutting the opening).
2 in X 4 in and or shims to space your safe between the studs.
Photo Hanger hooks (used to hang a picture to conceal the safe after installation).
To locate the studs in the wall where you desire to install your wall safe, your local hardware most likely will have what they call a stud locator. These are small electronic devices that will locate nail heads that are covered with the sheet-rock putty. Once you have one stud located you then search to the right and or left of that stud to locate the other stud. Remember that studs are normally located on what is known in the industry as 16 inch-on-centers (C/L). This meaning that if you could see the stud, from one surface (A) to the other surface (B) is the width of a stud (1 � in). Then you measure from the center of each stud, to determine the location (16in C/L).
I�-----------------14 � in. ----------------I
I---------STUD----- ---I I-------STUD--------I
( A->I------ 1 1/2 in. -------I<-B) ( A->I---- 1 1/2 in. -------I<-B)
I<---------------------------------- 16 in C/L--------------------------------->I
If the safe size requirements are such that you have chosen a safe that will protrude through the back side of the wall, remember to choose a location say in a bed room, where the safe could protrude through into an adjoining closet wall (to allow concealment) of the protruding portion. Some choose a wall that might protrude over a utility room. Should you choose this as an option, make sure that if there are top loading laundry equipment below the protruding portion, that there will be sufficient clearance so as to not hinder the use of the equipment. Some choose a wall that might be adjoining to an attached garage, where the protruding portion might not affect anything. Some have a house constructed such that the protruding portion might be allowed to enter an un-used attic area. Some are designed such that the safe can be installed so that the protruding portion might protrude below a stairway (to the upstairs).
1.) Remove furniture, any decorations from the area, lay down the Drop cloth to contain
any debris created from your installation. If your area has carpeting below your
installation area you might consider using the painters tape to tape the Drop cloth
along the wall area below your work area, (to prevent dust from cutting the wall board
from filtering into the Drop Cloth Wall Juncture area).
2.) If you are installing a safe like the V-line Wall Safe Model 41214 with
exterior Dimensions: 14"H x 12"W x 3 1/2"D, your installation only requires you to cut
through the wall in the room that you are installing in. Should you be installing a safe
like the WFS1310 Wall Safe, with exterior dimensions of H 17" x W 13" x D 14 5/8".
You will be required to cut through both sides of the wall where you are
3.) Most Wall safes are shipped with instructions from the Manufacturer on installation,
should this be the case refer to these instructions to continue.
4.) Your next step should be to locate the studs on both sides of where you are installing
the safe, marking each.
5.) Make a template of the back of your safe, (the portion that will be protruding through the wall). Place your template at the height which makes entry comfortable for you. Using your carpenters level, (torpedo level), level your template, and trace around its perimeter. Again confirm that there are no electrical wires, plumbing, heating ducts located at your installation area.
6.) Double Check that your template is level and square. Should you not be positive that there is no electrical circuitry in your opening location turn off any circuits that might be affected.
7.) Using the drill, and a spade bit, whichever size your saw would require, make holes in the four corners of the marks you made with your template.
8.) If you will be using a Jig Saw to cut the opening, it helps if you apply the painters tape around the cut area to prevent marking the wall. Remove this tape once the opening has been made. Confirm that your saw blade will not be protruding through the back side of the wallboard nailed to the studs (In the other room) if your installation does not require a protrusion.
9.) If your installation requires protrusion through the back side of the wall, confirm that you are holding the saw square, and perpendicular to the cut area. Cut along all four sides of the area you marked, removing the portion of wall that you cut, and discard.
10.) Remember that the safe has a face flange, and thus no finishing of the cut edges will be required.
11.) Using the shim material, cut pieces to shim the studs to the dimensions required. Pre-Drill holes in the ends to prevent cracking when you fasten to the studs.
12.) Place the safe in the opening, (pre drill holes for mounting), and fasten the safe to the studs.
13.) Remove any debris remaining in the area, all tools, Wipe down the wall area below your installation, (using a mild soap water), and replace any decoration moved to allow for your installation. Locate sufficient supporting and install a hanging device to cover the safe face with a print, photo of interest to you.
A.) If you live in a log home, where the inner walls are of Logs, a floor, or free standing Fireproof, waterproof safe might better fit your needs.
B.) If you live in an igloo, you might want to consider a free standing Fireproof, waterproof safe, to better fit your needs.
C.) If your dwelling is constructed of concrete, a floor, or free standing Fireproof, waterproof safe might better fit your needs.