How to Wall Mount a TV: Get Your TV Mount Perfect
By Laura Parker
December 14, 2018
Mounting your flat-panel TV on the wall can help you not only make the most of your living space, but it can also give you a better viewing angle. What's more, the Consumer Product Safety Commission noted wall-mounted TV screens are safer than TVs that sit idly on top of entertainment centers.
All in all, there are many reasons this project is a worthwhile one to take on — but it's important to have the right tools and guidance. Otherwise, wall-mounting a TV by yourself can be a daunting process.
Mounting a TV isn't as simple as bolting a bracket into the wall and then hanging your TV on it. This task takes some precision and patience. Having said all that, if you're determined to learn how to mount a TV on your wall, follow these step-by-step instructions.
Tools you'll need to wall mount a TV:
- Masking tape
- Tape measure
- Stud finder
- Drill and drill bits
How to hang your TV on the wall
- Make sure your TV can be wall mounted. Most flat-screen TVs are designed to be mounted on the wall. Still, double-check that yours is before buying a mount. Look out for the Video Electronics Standards Association on the manual or TV. If it includes a number such as "VESA 75," make sure you buy a wall mount with this number.
- Attach the mount to the TV. Screw the mount into the mounting holes on the back of the TV.
- Locate the wall studs. Use a stud finder to locate two wall studs, and mark their specific locations with masking tape. Like hanging pictures and installing shelves, you'll want to be 100% accurate here.
- Find the right height. Many people recommend hanging your TV at eye level when you're sitting on the couch to prevent you from straining your neck looking up at the screen. SANUS HeightFinder is a useful tool that can help you figure this out.
- Grab a level. When you've decided where to hang your TV, use a level to mark the top and bottom edge (where the TV would sit) with a square of masking tape.
- Use a template. If your wall mount came with a paper template, use that as your tool to figure out where to drill the holes. If not, you'll need to measure manually. Before you pull out the drill, you might want to test these places with smaller tools to make sure your stud finder was accurate.
- Drill into the wall. Once you've tested these spots, drill the two holes. Use the screws that came with your template to mount the wall plate. Make sure you check your work with a level to make sure the wall plate isn't crooked.
- With the help of another person, mount the TV. You might not be able to do this task alone. Not only is your TV heavy, it takes precision to make sure TV ends up on the wall plate rather than on the ground.
Wall-mounting your TV can provide a much better viewing experience.
Bonus tips for wall-mounting a TV
Here are some additional tips to help keep your wall, TV, and sanity in check.
1. Mind your stud finder
Electronic stud finders can be one of the most useful pieces in your toolbox. They can also be a nightmare when used improperly. Be careful and precise when using stud finders, or you might end up with extra holes in your wall.
Go slow with your stud finder too, as it probably needs a few seconds to calibrate when you begin using the device. Then, move it slowly across the surface of the wall and repeat this a few times, working from a different starting point. Stud finders can alert you to false positives, so you might want to double-check before you're certain.
When you find a stud, mark it with a piece of painter's tape, which is easy to pull off when you're done. Don't forget to run your stud finder vertically up and down the wall to make sure there are no fire blocks where you want to put the bolts.
2. Hide the cords in the wall
A wall mounted TV can look sleek in your living space. Exposed wires, however, can ruin this cool aesthetic. When you hand your TV, make sure you hide any cables inside the wall. You can achieve this by using an in-wall power extension. You can't use a traditional power or extension cord inside the wall, as it is deemed unsafe by the National Electric Code. It's also illegal to put traditional HDMI cables in the wall unless they're designed for in-wall use.
If you can't hide the cords in the wall, you can disguise them by installing a wire channel, which you can paint to match your wall. These stick directly to the wall and hold all the cables inside, making them an excellent alternative for individuals who cannot use in-wall power extensions.
3. Buy long cables
You should always use cables that are longer than the size you think you'll need. If cords are too short, they might fall out, break or hurt your TV. Even if a cord is too long, you can easily wrap up or hide this extra wire. We’ve found 8- or 12-foot cables work well and give you some leeway.
4. Low-profile, tilting or full-motion mounts
When mounting your TV on the wall, you have plenty of choices of TV models. You even have a variety of options on how you'd like to adjust the position of the screen. Having the ability to adjust your TV's position can eliminate any glares and improve your picture quality based on where you're located in the room.
Here are a few specific types of TV mounts you can use:
- Low-profile mounts: These are the most cost-effective and basic style of mounting. It allows the TV to hang directly against the wall. This makes it easier for guests to avoid bumping into the mount and potentially damaging your TV.
- Tilting mounts: You can mount your TV above or below eye level with this style. In addition, it's more flexible if you want to watch TV on the couch one day and on the floor another.
- Full-motion mounts: This style is typically the priciest and most versatile. You can tilt, extend and pan the TV from side to side with a full-motion mount. No matter where you sit in the room, you'll have an excellent view of the screen.
With the right equipment, instruction and patience, you can mount your own TV. However, if you don't feel comfortable performing this sometimes difficult task yourself, don't hesitate to hire professional installers to get the job done.
Handy offers a top-tier, TV-mounting service that allows you to schedule the exact date and time of your appointment. Hire a Handy professional today to help with your wall-mounting needs so you can sit back, relax and let the binge-watching commence.