TV Wall MountOne of the perks of buying a flat screen television is reducing the bulk of your home entertainment system.  However, if your television is still in your old A/V cabinet, savings are minimal.  Here are some tips on how to successfully wall mount a flat screen television.

1) Buying your Bracket. Most televisions lack mounting equipment, so buying a separate wall bracket is often required.  Many sets require specific brackets, so check owner’s manual for requirements, and that the bracket will support set’s screen size and weight.  Also consider whether you want your television to swivel and tilt on its mount. 

2) Determining how to run the cables. You can hide cables by running the A/V cable through the wall and having an outlet installed behind set, or you can purchase a cable management raceway, which hides wires without having to thread them through walls.  Your television’s power cable is not safe to run behind a wall.

3) Considering the location of your television. Make sure you know what is behind the wall before drilling to avoid dangerous mistakes.  Brick and concrete walls require wall anchors of appropriate strength and walls with metal studs lack the strength to hold a television.  In addition, consider glare sources that might affect the picture.  The height of the television should hang at eye-level while seated, to avoid sitting at an awkward angle to view it.

4) Mounting the Bracket. Brackets generally come in two halves, one that affixes to the television and another that mounts onto the wall.  To mount the wall portion of the bracket, first find wooden studs in the wall.  To determine where you’ll hang the bracket, measure the height of the panel and use that measurement to mark where you want the middle and bottom of the panel to sit.  Then measure the distance from the bottom of the panel to the bottom of the bracket.  Now, use this measurement to go up from where you marked the bottom of the panel.  This is where the bottom of the bracket should sit.  From there, follow the manual to attach the bracket, checking that the mount is attached to the center of the studs and the bracket is level before securing.  Have an assistant hold the bracket as you secure it to ensure it remains level.

5) Preparing your television. To prevent damaging the screen, use the television’s prepackaged stand to keep it upright, or cover the glass with a blanket before laying it down or leaning it. The television section of most brackets have two pieces, so make sure the sides are lined up at the correct screw holes to keep the bracket level.  If you can’t find mounting holes on the television, they’re often hidden underneath plastic caps, which can be removed with a screwdriver.  Also, check that the screws used will not impede the swivel of the bracket, if it has that option.

6) Mounting the television. Mount the panel onto the bracket as shown in the manual, using your assistant to help lift and line up the television.  Once it’s in place, have your assistant hold the television and check to confirm the panel is level before securing.

7) Enjoying your work. Connect cables, turn it on, and enjoy your newly mounted flat panel television.

To locate the flat screen TV user’s manual for the model you own, visit the ManualsOnline Library.