James grew up working on a cattle ranch in Northern Utah, which taught him how to do many ad hoc repairs and to make use of limited materials. Two years of missionary and humanitarian work in the Philippines with Operation Smile instilled a great appreciation for the opportunity to work, to avoid wasting resources, and to help others. Now back in the U.S., James has worked as a programmer/data engineer for several Fortune 100 companies.
There’s just something about hanging a flat screen on a wall that feels upscale and refined. Maybe it evokes a sense of nostalgia for being at the cinema and watching my favorite movies on the big screen. Perhaps it merely just looks fantastic and saves space in the process. Whatever it is, TV wall mounts are a game-changer to movie fans, TV buffs, gamers, and interior design enthusiasts alike.
With a plethora of wall mounts out there for TVs, there is surely something that will meet your specific needs. From flat TV wall mounts to ones that move, tilt, and seem to do everything but bring you snacks, there are a lot of options.
We’ll show you how to correctly mount and hang a flat screen TV on a wall that will provide you with both an optimal viewing experience and a sense of relief, knowing that it’s not going to fall. All that’s up to you is to decide what you’re going to watch first!
Warning: Make sure you select a TV wall mount that is rated to hold your specific TV weight.
Info: A question that often gets asked when it comes to TV wall mount installation is, “Can you hang a TV on drywall?” Flat screen TVs can be hung on drywall, but only if the wall mount is attached to the stud behind. Don’t merely rely on drywall plugs to hold up the TV. While TVs may be getting lighter and lighter, think about it like this: you spent a good deal of money on your flat screen TV, so you probably want to prevent the TV from crashing down to the floor. Attach the TV wall mount to a stud, and rest easy knowing that your flat screen TV is secure, and inadvertently, your ability to continue watching Netflix will remain unencumbered.
There are a few things to take into consideration when deciding the placement of your flat screen TV and how to mount the TV on a wall best.
First thing that comes to mind, of course, is the location of the TV as it pertains to where it will be watched. What height does it need to sit at for optimal binge-watching?
Estimate where you want the TV, and use a pencil to make a rough mark where the center of the flat screen TV will be. Keep in mind that this is subject to change, as the placement may need to be adjusted horizontally so that the TV wall mount is connected to the center of a stud.
Remember, the TV wall mount has to be in a location that’s near an electrical outlet and with a stud behind that wall.
Tip: TV wall mounts should generally be installed vertically above electrical outlets. Not only does this keep the cords, cables, and wires together, but electrical outlets are connected to wall studs, so you’ll know one is near.
We want to reiterate the frequently asked question from earlier, “can you hang a TV on drywall?” Wall mounts for TVs can be installed on drywall, but only if the mount is securely connected to the wall stud behind the drywall. Do not merely attach wall mounts for TVs to the drywall alone!
This is undoubtedly the most crucial step, and it is imperative that you use a stud finder to locate the wall stud.
Using the rough TV placement marking made earlier, slide a stud finder horizontally across the wall until it lights up or beeps, letting you know you’ve detected a stud.
A good practice is to take several measurements to know exactly where the stud is and how it’s orientated behind the wall. Make several markings both vertically and horizontally until certain of the stud’s whereabouts, especially noting where the center is located and where the TV wall mount will need to be attached.
There is a wide variety of wall mounts for flat screen TVs, but they all generally include a mounting template in their installation kit. The holes in the mounting template exhibit where to drill the holes in the drywall that will connect the TV wall mount to the stud.
Align the template with the center of the previously located stud at the desired TV height. Use a pencil to mark the location of the top hole on the template on the wall.
Now, use a level to make sure the template is straight (nobody wants to watch a crooked TV!) and once level, use a pencil to mark the lowest hole on the template.
There may be more than two holes on the template for different wall mounts, but by marking the top and bottom holes while using a level ensures the template, and therefore the wall mount and TV will be straight.
With a drill bit that is smaller in diameter than the mounting screws provided in the mount installation kit, drill holes into the drywall and the stud behind as per the indication of the template.
Drilling holes before attaching wall mounts for TVs not only make the screws go in easier but will ensure the TV is level and that the stud and drywall won’t crack, better securing the TV to the wall.
Attach the TV wall mount to the wall by first lining up the holes on the mount with the holes drilled into the wall.
Use the grabber screws provided in the TV wall mount installation kit to fasten the mount to the wall. Some kits use screws that will require a drill or screwdriver to tighten; others call for a socket wrench to tighten the screws.
Ensure that screws are firmly in place, but avoid over-tightening them as this can crack the drywall behind the mount.
Once the mount is on the wall, double-check again with a level to make sure everything is nice and straight, and test the durability of the mount connection to the wall by gently trying to move it. If it doesn’t move and feels secure, then it’s time to move onto the next step
Most wall mount installation kits provide a variety of screws for various TVs. Find the screws in the kit that fit your TV's make and model.
The brackets often have several holes to accommodate for an array of TV brands and sizes, so determine which holes align with your specific TV.
With a screwdriver, connect the TV mounting brackets as per the manufacturer’s instructions to the back of the TV with the screws provided in the installation kit.
There are often several holes on the mounting plate. This allows the height of the TV to be adjusted in smaller increments without having to remove the whole wall mount.
Use a screwdriver to attach the mounting plate to the mounting bracket with the screws provided in the TV wall mount installation kit.
We recommend centering the mounting plate for now. If the height needs to be adjusted slightly, you can alter the mounting plate’s position later by returning to this step.
Unfasten the screws connecting the old TV stand or legs to the TV and remove it/them. They need to be removed for the TV to sit flush against the wall. It also would look pretty strange having the TV stand or legs just dangling in the air!
Info: Some TVs come with a cap or covering to protect the hole(s) where the stand/legs were, once they’ve been removed. If so, attach the covering.
Hang the flat screen TV by sliding the mounting plate into place on the TV wall mount connected to the wall.
With the mounting plate aligned, screw it in tight with the provided screws using a screwdriver to secure the flat screen TV to the wall mount.
We’re just about finished the installation! The last step is plugging in the power cable to the flat screen TV and any other cords you wish to have hooked up.
Info: Some wall mounts for flat screen TVs have clips that hold the wires in place. This cleans things up a little, avoiding a tangle of wires coming from your slick new wall-mounted TV.
If the TV wall mount has clips to hold the wires, make sure they have some slack to avoid the wires becoming unplugged. Leaving some slack is especially important for TV wall mounts that move and tilt.
Now plug the TV into the outlet below, grab the remote, maybe some popcorn, take a seat on the couch, and find something to watch on your beautiful hanging flat screen TV!