How To Mount A Flat Screen TV On The Wall

The following is a detailed guide that provides step by step instructions on how to mount your flat-panel TV to your wall.

Modern Workspace recommends using cable management raceways as an easy way to hide the cables going between the TV and A/V components.  We don't offer them here (yet)... The best price we found was Home Depot although Best Buy was pretty close.

Before you begin there are several safety issues to consider:

- Make sure you are aware of and understand the local building and fire codes if you are planning in-wall installation of   your cables.  There are special models that are rated appropriate for this task.

- Never route the TV’s power cord through the wall; it is not safe for in-wall installation.  If this is something you deem necessary, you should hire an electrician to install a recessed AC outlet in the wall that you can plug the TV directly into.

- Before cutting into the wall, make sure it is clear of wiring or other obstacles.

- When drilling through a fire block, make sure to patch it with comparable materials and if holes need to be drilled between floors be sure to seal them with fire-resistant caulk in compliance with the National Electric Code standards.

- Always be sure to cut power to the areas in which you will be cutting or drilling to avoid being shocked.

- When connecting A/V cables, make sure to unplug both the TV and source components.

How to choose the proper mounting bracket

The easiest way to determine which mount is right for your TV is to check with the owner’s manual.  The majority of the time it will give you the Video Electronics Standards Association or VESA specifications for that particular TV model.  This usually is displayed as the word VESA followed by a number.  The number represents the number of millimeters between the holes for the screws on the bracket.  For example if your TV is VESA 100 then there are four screw holes in a square formation each 100 mm apart. If, however, there are two numbers following the VESA, for example VESA 75/100, that indicates the screws are in a rectangular formation with two sides 75 mm apart and two sides 100 mm apart.  This should make it easy for you to measure on your own if for some reason the owner’s manual does not indicate a VESA dimension. Most of the time one bracket will accommodate several VESA standards which makes it easier to find a compatible mount.

AVTEQ Universal Adjustable Wall Mount

Be cautious to pick a mount that will hold the size TV you are hanging as well as verify that the weight of the TV is also within the proper range for the mounting capacity.

Another thing to consider is what features you want the mount to have.  For example, do you want it to swivel to the right and left, move up and down, tilt forward or remain stationary?  There are mounts to accommodate all of those needs.

Choosing Where to Mount Your TV

The most ideal place to mount your TV is so that it is positioned at eye-level and head-on while seated comfortably.  This is where swivel and tilting mounts come into play to accommodate furniture positioning in the room.  A TV placed in this manner will help reduce neck strain and provide the best-looking picture creating a more rewarding viewing experience.

 

Another thing to consider when mounting your TV is the amount of glare from both sunlight and artificial lighting sources that will be reflecting off of the TV.  This can be a huge detriment to the picture quality.  If there is significant light where you would like to place the TV decide whether there is an easy solution to reduce the light, such as curtains or alternate lamp placement, before you begin. Once again swivel and tilt mounts can often help to reduce glare that may be a problem at certain times of the day.

 

Once you have decided where to mount the TV, the next step is to decide how you would like to hide the wires.  Paintable cable management raceways are an easy and convenient way to hide your AV and TV cables.  However, if this is not an acceptable solution for your situation, there are other options.  For example, if the cables need to travel a longer distance to reach your AV components you could also consider hiding them behind the baseboards or crown molding with minimal effort.  If you are looking for a very clean look and you are confident in your abilities, you can run the cables inside the walls.  There are, however, some very important points to address when choosing this method:

- Try to find an interior wall to accommodate the TV.  Mounting on an exterior wall becomes tricky with all of the extra support braces and the insulation.

- Make sure you have the proper cables for the job.  There are specific AV cables available that are the proper UL rating necessary for in-wall wiring (usually labeled CL2 or CL3).

No matter what method of running the wires you choose, always make sure you have enough wire to complete the job. You will be running cable from the receiver to the wall, inside the wall to the TV location and from the wall to the TV with some slack.  It is much better to have slightly more cable than not enough.

Attaching the bracket to the TV

Usually mounts come in two parts, the one you affix to the TV and the one you mount to the wall.  They are then attached to each other to create a stable unit.  You first need to lay the TV face down, preferably on a soft blanket to provide protection for the screen.  Typically the screw holes are covered by small plastic caps that can be popped off carefully with a screwdriver.  The TV part of the mount comes in two pieces so you must be careful to line up the screw holes on both sides so the mount is level when you’re finished.  Keep in mind that if you have chosen a swivel or tilt mount that the screws don’t interfere with the movement of the TV.  However, if this is a problem, most mounts come with several sets of screw holes to choose from to avoid this issue.  You can just move to another set that will eliminate the interference. 

Measure before mounting

You must first determine how high to mount the wall portion of the bracket.  Often the owner’s manual will have tips to assist you in this process.

Begin this step by attaching the wall portion of the bracket to the TV portion already positioned on the TV.  Now measure the distance from the bottom of the panel to the bottom of the wall portion of the bracket.  It might be necessary to use a level for this seeing as the bottom of the TV is not on the same plane as the wall bracket.  Next, measure the height of the panel and mark this measurement on the wall.  You can use a pencil or masking tape to avoid damaging the wall surface.  Be sure the middle of the screen is approximately eye-level when seated and that the screen will cover any outlet installed for the purpose of the mounting.  Be patient this could take a couple of tries to get the positioning right.  Once you are happy with the position, mark the bottom of the TV.  Then using the previous measurement, figure out where the bottom of the wall bracket will be and mark that spot. 

Attaching the wall bracket

Ensure that the TV is mounted safely and securely by drilling the bracket into wooden studs.  Once you have determined the perfect location for your TV, use a stud finder in that area to locate nearby studs and mark these with masking tape or a pencil.  Make sure that the mounting holes in the bracket line up with the middle of the wooden studs.  Use a level to ensure the mount is level before tightening it in place.  Follow the owner’s manual instructions.  A second person can be helpful to hold the bracket in place while securing the screws to make sure it remains level.  When this process is complete, use the level a final time to be certain it is still level and did not move during installation.  It is much easier to make adjustments now before attaching the TV.  If you are mounting the TV to a concrete or brick wall make sure you have a compatible mount and the appropriate hardware to successfully secure the mount.  Follow the mounting manuals instructions in these situations. 

Routing your cables

If you chose to route your cables on the outside of the wall cable management raceways are a quick and easy solution.  When doing this you will want to keep the A/V cables separate from the power cord to avoid interference.  You can purchase raceways with two channels for this purpose. 

If you chose to run your cables inside your walls, start by shutting off the power to the area in which you will be working.  Holes will need to be cut at both the entrance and exit points of the A/V cables.   You need to be sure that the area is clear behind the wall where you are going to be cutting.  You can do this by creating pilot holes in the middle of the area to explore behind the wall before cutting.  Be careful not to drill into electrical wiring or plumbing.  Crawl spaces and electrical and plumbing plans can be used to avoid this.  Never cut unless you are absolutely sure the space behind the wall is clear.  Use a hand-held drywall saw to do your cutting, never and electric one.  Cut slowly and at an inward slant and remove the drywall in one piece.  Save the piece of drywall for patching in the future.  Typically, the wall bracket will have pre-drilled holes for A/V cables.  Determine which of these are closest to the A/V connections to determine where your entrance hole will be.  Use pilot holes to explore this area before cutting. 

Hanging the TV on the wall

You will need a second person to assist you for this step.  This person will be necessary in lifting the TV and securing it in the bracket.  Make sure any adjustments are made for a swivel or tilt mount and finally connect the A/V and power cables to the TV.  You and your assistant can now lift the TV, line up the brackets and secure according to the owner’s manual instructions.  Make any positioning adjustments with a level if you are using an adjustable bracket to ensure the screen is level. 

And, of course, Modern Workspace offers several Universal Wall Mounts at the best price around.  Whether your flat panel display is 32″, 80″ or anything in between, the Adjustable Universal Wall Mount gives you the flexibility you need for successful installation. Thanks to its low-profile design, you can securely mount single or dual panels just 2″ from the wall.