How to Mount a Flat Screen TV

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I’ve experienced mounting a flat screen TV twice in my life using two different wall mounts; the basic flat mount and full-motion mount. There is another style, the tilt mount; think of watching your favorite program while lying down on the couch or relaxing on a bean bag chair situation, that’s where the versatility of the tilt mount is beneficial.

All of the styles require some basic tools and of course a little help from a friend, relative or neighbor. Mounting large flat screen TVs can be tricky but with these helpful hints, it’ll be done in no time. The first consideration is whether your flat screen TV is actually wall mountable. Next, choose the right wall mount for your TV. Will it support the weight, does the wall placement you choose allow your viewing to be comfortable? Remember, flat screen televisions are basically frontal viewing, like a computer screen. TV placement will require some discussion unless you live alone.

So which mount should you use for your viewing pleasure? That depends on what you want your mount to do for you. If you’re okay with viewing your programs from the couch or your bed then the basic flat mount is best. It’s stationary, no movement, and close to the wall giving more room to walk past and conveniently opening up your living space. The tilt mount we’ve already talked about, convenient for floor viewing (great for the kids).

My personal favorite is the full-motion mount; side to side movement, tilting extending outwards to bring the smaller TVs closer to you so the zombies look like they’re right up in your face. Great for apartments as it can be placed close to the wall when not in use freeing up the walkway. This style also allows viewing from different angles and is great when you can’t block out all of the sun, just turn your TV.

Ease of viewing equals viewing your programs in a relaxed, comfortable seated position from your couch, recliner, futon, or dining room, whatever. Regardless of screen size, most experts agree that the eye level for maximum comfort is the middle of the screen. We had to sit on the couch to determine what was comfortable and where the mounting should take place. Ideally, your screen will be mounted about 30 to 40 inches from the floor, the same as if it were resting on a TV stand. Too high on the wall means your neck will get a workout and then you’ll probably want to remount it all over again! But as always, it’s the size and your own viewing desire that make the final decision paramount to you.

Use the stud finder to find the wall studs and mark them with a pencil. When you’ve decided the height is right, mark the wall with a pencil to the left and right and bottom center of the TV and place tape there. This is where the screen will be mounted, make sure it’s level. At this point, the friend, neighbor or family member comes in handy. You’ll want to make another mark about 15 inches above the bottom center mark which is the screw hole line. Measure the distance between screw holes and mark those on the wall on the screw hole line.

Screw the brackets into the TV, following the instructions provided in the kit. You may have to pry off the screw plates on the back of your TV, do this with the flathead screwdriver. Securely mount your TV to the wall bracket plate. Congratulations, you’re all done!

Note: Mounting into drywall isn’t usually recommended depending upon the TV weight unless you are using strap toggle bolts or lag screws. Strap toggle bolts are usually rated for about 70 lbs. and can also be used in concrete blocks (great for patios) and wood studs.

Tools you should have before starting are:

  • Wall mount
  • Strap toggle bolts or lag screws
  • Power/Cordless Drill
  • Handheld screwdrivers both flathead and Phillips (star)
  • Sockets and wrench
  • Level
  • Pencil or painters tape
  • Utility knife
  • Tape measure
  • Snacks
  • Cold Drinks
  • Stud finder
  • Helper(s)
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