Wall-mounting a flat screen plasma, LCD or LED television is a smart and aesthetic way to update a room and make TV viewing more comfortable. Hanging a monitor on a wall is also a way to reclaim valuable floor space and surface area. When young children are roaming about, installing a TV wall mount provides a sense of safety as heavy and expensive electronics are up and out of the way.
What type wall mount should I buy?
There are three basic types of TV wall mounts: low profile, tilting and full motion.
- A low-profile mount is the most streamlined, but the least versatile because once mounted, the monitor is in a fixed position.
- A tilt mount also has a tailored look and rests relatively close to the wall but allows some degree of adjustment.
- A full-motion television wall mount usually extends out from the wall on an articulated arm and can also swivel, tilt, expand and retract as desired.
All flat-panel wall mounting kits come with installation hardware and manufacturer’s instructions specific to that model. Familiarize yourself with the task and what tools are required a day before you are ready to embark, just in case you need to run to the store for something or call the manufacturer with questions. If you’re handy and feel confident, the actual installation should take about an hour or so. All you need is some patience and a friend (for an extra set of hands and eyes).
Wall mount kit
Cordless drill with appropriate screwdriver and socket bits (per manual)
Cord cover (some kits come with these)
1. Get your materials ready.
Open the TV wall mount kit. Make sure all said parts are included. Read the manual and set up your supplies.
2. Prepare the TV to be mounted.
Affix the monitor mount to the TV by lining up the holes. Secure with bolts.
3. Determine the general viewing area.
If you plan on running the wiring inside the wall, we recommend you use an interior wall since exterior walls are usually packed with insulation that can be an obstacle for easy rewiring. Also consider the interior architecture (mantel, bookshelves, windows) and furniture arrangement, as well as the glare from windows and artificial light sources.
4. Find a stud.
A television wall mount must bolt or screw into the center of a wood stud. Larger plasma sets require securing into multiple studs. Use a stud finder and mark the stud(s) with a pencil.
5. Establish the viewing height
Use a friend to hold up the monitor, and eyeball the placement from the viewing areas. Then measure, taking into account the overall size of the monitor and where the bracket is placed along the back. It’s better to err on the high side. The goal is to watch in comfort and avoid neck and eye strain.
6. Fasten the wall plate.
Use a level to align the holes on a stud and mark them with a pencil. Drill preliminary holes with a small bit. Then, hold the plate to the wall and drill in the long screws/bolts with washers included with the kit.
7. Mount the TV.
Plug in all necessary cables. Lift the monitor up and into place on the wall mount. Tuck the wires into the cord cover and fix to the wall with double-stick tape. Plug in your TV, then sit back and enjoy!
Jane Dagmi is a lifestyle journalist and stylist who has worked on the editorial staff of Country Living and contributed decorating stories to Victoria, Real Simple, and Southern Living magazines. She produced a series called “Real People, Real Kitchens” for ShelterPop.com and can be found hanging out in the kitchen at most dinner parties. Jane’s articles have previously appeared in Home Sweet Solutions.