Wondering how to mount a TV on the wall? This article is for you. You look down at the mountain of rubble that ripped out of the wall, drywall dust still floating in the air. That beautiful, gorgeous QLED 4K slate of unmitigated beauty with stunning definition and outrageous color contrast, lies bleeding the last electronic spurt of its young life. Resuscitation is futile, all is lost. A flick of the thumb begins the search for the last rites of a television, may Tesla have mercy on your console, Edison sure won’t.
How to mount a TV on the wall part 1: Figuring out what you need
Why are you installing your flatscreen TV on the wall? Asking this guides you to the type of mount you need of the three basic types available.
- A fixed mount only allows the television to be fixed to a wall, this is the cheapest and least versatile model of the three.
- A tilt mount allows for vertical angle adjustment, this is necessary when placing the TV at a higher than recommended to reduce neck strain.
- A full-motion adjustable mount lets you adjust all angles, up to 45 degrees to left and right, distance from the wall, etc. This model will also give plenty of room for cable attachment and replacement at any time.
To find the proper size mount for your TV, look on the back, or in your user manual, for a VESA number. You can also measure the distance between the mounting holes on your set in millimeters or convert inches. Knowing this will ensure you have a TV mount that handles the size and weight of your set.
X marks the Spot
You told that teacher, “I won’t ever use Algebra in the real world!” Well, now you have regrets. The eyes focus on the center third of the set, so divide the height of your digital friend into thirds, measure up from the bottom of your TV and yada, yada, yada…
Work smarter not harder. You will require two capable helpers for this event. They each need a side of the TV and two pieces of masking tape. Your job here is to sit, relax, and say when. You want the set at a comfortable height that feels natural and comfortable. Guide your friends to that sweet spot, when you have it, they place the tape at the bottom corners to outline the spot.
General placement avoids fireplaces. Both the height and the heat are bad for you and your TV. Take glare and cross-traffic patterns into account when deciding which wall will win the lottery.
Other design aesthetics can be accounted for as well. You could make a cozier feel with a shelving surround, remove distraction and place your TV in a dark-colored area, or go for stark minimalism. Other ideas can be seen at Studio McGee.
How to mount a TV on the wall part 2: Tools of the trade
While a calculator and protractor are not required, you will need masking tape, a drill, a measuring tape, a screwdriver, a stud finder and a level at the bare minimum. You may also need a drywall saw, and a fish tape if you go all-in on the DIY route.
Basic installation is easy. Attach the brackets on the back of the TV, and measure in from the edge of the set to the bracket. Transfer this measurement to the wall and find the nearest stud. Most kits have a few inches of leeway if the stud isn’t right where your bracket is. You drill into the studs using your mount as a template, screw the mount to the wall and attach the TV. For more detailed instructions try this article on Family Handyman. See, figuring out how to install a TV wall mount isn’t that difficult.
Getting rid of those ugly wires and cords
Where do you put those cables? There are two options, inside or outside the wall. You could just put cables through the wall with an outlet box on either end, this will get the job done, but it’s not code compliant. A better, safer solution is to use a product like PowerBridge. This kit lets you route your data and power cables through an existing wall and still remain code compliant.
Another option is to route your cables outside the wall but to camouflage them in a raceway that matches or is painted to match the wall. This solution is easier and can be used in various ways to accent your personal design.
Don’t forget about your soundbar. This piece of equipment has changed TV into a moviegoer’s experience. Several companies offer mounting brackets that attach to your wall mount and allow above or below TV placement.
So you want me to do what?
Not everyone is into do-it-yourself home maintenance, you might not have any of these tools. That is not a problem. Just find a mount you like, figure out your placement, and call someone to install. This can all be done on Amazon with a few clicks, including the install. A professional installation will only cost you about $99 per TV. Another option is Angie’s List or your local yellow pages.
If you enjoy working with your hands, this is an easy and rewarding project to take on. It’s really hard to mess it up if you use all the right tools, and it will cost you about the price of a single installation to purchase all the tools needed if you don’t have them laying around.
It all adds up to…
Americans spend 2.8 hours each day watching TV. That’s over half of a person’s leisure time. If you’re going to spend that amount of time on something, why settle for sort of comfortable? Get in there, and develop your personal shrine of the airwaves. When you sit for that next episode of CSI, or a Sunday when the Packers destroy the Bears, again, know with every electron you own that what is TV may never die. (But can be replaced with next years’ model.)