Mounting a TV on the wall frees up space in the home and gives a much cleaner appearance, but it can be an intimidating task. To help you out, we have put together a how-to guide with tips to mounting your TV so you can avoid the most common mistakes.
Things you should know before you get started. . .
- Be sure you have all the necessary hardware, mounting kit, and cables required to complete the installation.
- Read manufacturer’s instructions for both the TV and the wall mount. If you have not purchased a wall-mounting bracket yet, check your TV’s owner manual for mounting guidelines. Always check the screen size and the weight that a bracket can hold.
- Think about what you want your bracket to be able to do as well. You may want to get a bracket that enables you to swivel your TV left and right to avoid glare, or get a better view from different seats.
- Decide whether you will leave the cables showing or hide them in the wall behind your TV.
- Arrange to have at least one other person present to help you hang the TV on the wall bracket.
- Determine the best wall location for mounting your TV. Check for a location with no glare and good visibility from all sitting areas in the room. For optimal viewing, plan to mount your TV at a height on the wall that corresponds to the viewers eye level when seated.
- Choose a location that is also close to an electrical outlet and measure the length of the TV’s power cord to be sure it will reach. Please see the safety tips section below for additional requirements on choosing the optimal place to mount your TV.
- Ensure the area behind the wall where the TV will hang is clear of obstructions by using a cable-wire tester/locator before drilling. This will avoid damage to house wiring.
- Turn off power in the area you will be drilling/cutting to avoid electric shock.
- Make sure that you understand local building and fire codes. If you are routing cables inside your wall, use models that are rated for in-wall installation. Do NOT route cables through your wall that lack this safety rating. If you want to keep cables not rated for in-wall hidden, you will need to hire an electrician or purchase an easy-to-install cable management raceway, which will hide your cables on the outside of the wall.
Get started . . .
- Attach the TV mounting bracket to the television. If there is a stand on your TV frame, remove it by unbolting it.
- Locate your mounting holes on the back of your TV. Most flat panel TVs do not have their mounting holes exposed. If necessary, use a screwdriver to pry off the plastic caps that cover the holes.
- The TV portion of the bracket comes in two pieces. Make sure you line up the screw holes on each side so that the mount is level. Attach the mounting arms to the mounting holes on TV, using the bolts provided with your mounting kit. Do not use a power drill for this and be careful not to over-tighten.
- Set your TV to the side. It’s best to not keep your TV lying face-down as this could cause damage to your screen.
Note: Not all brackets are mountable on concrete or brick, and only some will include the appropriate hardware. You may need to order additional materials from the manufacturer or purchase some supplies from your local hardware store, such as concrete wall anchors. Be sure to follow the instructions in the owner’s manual.
- Use a stud finder to locate nearby studs at your mounting location. To safely and securely mount your TV to the wall, you’ll need to drill the bracket into these wooden studs. Once you have located each stud, mark the center of each with a pencil or masking tape.
- Measure the distance between the top and bottom holes on each TV mounting arm. Mark two points in the center of each wall stud, corresponding to these holes. Use a level to verify that the bracket is level before securing it to the wall.
- Have your helper keep it stable while you screw it into the wall to make sure it stays level. After securing the bracket to the wall, check the level again. NOTE: Do not use hollow-wall anchors as they CANNOT support TV wall mounts.
- Connect the cables. If you are attaching your TV to a fixed mount laying flat on the wall, you may find it easier to connect the cables to the television before attaching to wall bracket.
- Be sure the TV and any attached devices are unplugged.
- Have someone help you hold the television up to the wall mount. Attach the audio and video to the television per the manufacturers’ instructions.
- If you route your cables along the outside of your wall, you’ll want to keep the power and A/V cables separate to avoid interference. Don’t bundle them together, and try to keep a couple of inches of distance between them throughout the run. Some cable management raceways include two separate wiring channels for this purpose.
- If you are going to run the A/V cables inside the wall, follow these instructions:
- Shut off the power to the area you’re working in.
- You’ll need to cut holes for the A/V cables to enter and exit the wall. Use your stud finder to check for obstacles behind the wall, then drill a pilot hole. This is a small exploratory hole, drilled in the center of the space. Use caution when drilling pilot holes, so you don’t plunge your bit into a pipe or electrical conduit. Next, insert a sturdy wire (such as a bent coat hanger) into the pilot hole, and explore the space behind the wall where you’d like to cut. You should also explore nearby crawlspaces or review your electrical and plumbing plans (available from your builder) to make sure you know what’s behind the drywall before you cut. Don’t cut unless you know that the area behind the wall is clear.
- When cutting drywall, use a hand-held drywall saw (not an electric one) and cut slowly. Cut the drywall in one piece, on an inward slant, so that it’s easier to patch later if necessary.
- Hang the TV. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS ALONE. You will need another person to help you lift and secure to the bracket.
- Lock the TV mounting arms onto the wall bracket plate. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to secure the connections.
- Confirm that every point of connection is locked down securely. Test your installation with a few light tugs.
- If your bracket allows for tilting or swiveling, make those adjustments.
- Test and troubleshoot connections and TV functions to be sure they all work. Make adjustments as necessary.
- Sit back and relax, you’re done!
Not comfortable with mounting your television yourself? No worries, just call a professional. P.C. Richard & Son has professional electronic installers available in the NY, NJ, PA and CT areas. Learn more about our installation packages here.
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