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A guide to wall mounting your TV

 

Today’s slim, high-definition televisions have much better picture quality and take up far less space than the old cathode ray tube sets. Flat panel televisions can also be mounted on the wall, freeing up floor space in your room. Mounting a television requires using 4 bolts to attach a bracket into the wall that you then hang your TV on. Sounds simple, right? Read on for tips and advice on how to get it done right.

 

Why should you wall mount your new TV?

  1. For Safety: Wall mounts will protect your family from bumping into the television as well as keep it free from smudges and fingerprints.
  2. For Performance: Many wall mounts allow you to extend, tilt, and swivel your television, allowing you to find the best viewing angle no matter where you are sitting or what the light situation is in your room.
  3. For Extra Space and Style: Mounting your television frees up floor space and gives your room a modernized look.

 

Types of TV Wall Mounts

  • The most basic type of mount is a flat or low-profile mount. It keeps the TV almost flush with the wall but does not allow the TV to be angled for optimum viewing. This is a good option if your seating is directly across from the mounted TV.
  • A tilt or tilt and swivel mount positions the television 2-4 inches from the wall and allows for multiple viewing angles.
  • For the best of both worlds, an articulating mount sits close to the wall when not in use, but can be extended away from the wall allowing for side to side adjustment and tilting during viewing.

 

How much does it cost?

A TV mount can cost from $25-$50 for a simple flush mount or as much as $100-$500 for an adjustable mount, depending on the size and weight of your television.

An HDMI cable costs between $30 and $90, depending on length.

Professional installation typically runs between $150 and $400 (not including hardware).

 

Before you get started

  • Choose a mounting bracket that is compatible with your TV's size and weight.
  • Decide where to position the bracket. Ideally, the middle of your TV screen should be at eye level while you're seated. If you want to hang it higher, consider a tilting mount so that you can angle it down for comfortable viewing.
  • Don't forget the wires. Similarly to mounting speakers, this can be the most difficult part of the job. Decide whether you want to run the cables inside the wall (not recommended for DIY novices) or, for a simpler option, you can use paintable cable raceways to hid your cords.
  • Always buy longer cables than you think you need. It’s better to have too much than to end up with too little to complete the job. Extra wire can always be hidden.

 

Mounting your TV

you will need:

  • drill
  • spirit level
  • tape measure
  • pencil
  • screwdriver
  • stud finder
  • an extra pair of hands

 

1) Attach the TV to the mount.

The mounting bracket should have two pieces-one that attaches to the wall and one that attaches to the TV.  Lay the TV down on a soft blanket to protect the screen. The mounting holes on the back of your TV will probably be covered by a plastic cap. You can use a screwdriver to pry these off. Screw the mount onto the TV, make sure the connection is tight.

2) Attach the bracket to the wall.

Use a tape measure to determine where the bracket should go. Next use the stud finder to locate the nearest stud. Attaching the mount to a wall stud will make sure it is secure and not likely to fall. Using the bracket (with the level) as a guide, mark the drill holes with a pencil. Do NOT skip this step. You don’t want to have to drill extra holes later when your TV is not even or level.

Drill the holes, position rawl plugs inside holes. Screw the bracket to the wall, using the level to ensure it stays straight.

3) Deal with the wires.

If you choose to run the wires inside the wall, the simplest way to do this is to use an IWPE (in-wall power extension) kit. This is the most professional looking installation and is recommended if you've recently upgraded your electrical. Otherwise, run the wire along the baseboard and cover with paintable wire channels.

4) Hang the TV on the wall.

Connect the power, AV, and HDMI cables to your TV. (if you have an articulating mount, this can be done once the TV is hung.) Enlist a second pair of hands to help you lift, position, and attach the two parts of the bracket.

 

Bottom Line

If you are a competent DIYer, have the right tools and a few free hours, mounting your TV on the wall can be a moderately easy task. If not, then consider hiring a professional to do it for you. There are companies that specialize in audio visual equipment installation, or your local handyman may even be able to do it for you.