What is the best way to wall mount a TV, and what do you need to consider before starting? Learn how to mount a TV on the wall - step by step.
If you are wondering how to mount a TV on the wall, it might seem like a daunting task.
There are several things to consider.
Where should you place the TV? What type of TV wall mount? What tools do you need?
And that’s before you even think about drilling holes into your walls!
The good news is that installing a TV wall mount is relatively easy, and it shouldn’t be too difficult even for a DIY novice.
By following this step-by-step guide, you will have a good idea of what is involved in the process.
And then, if you still think hanging your TV on the wall is beyond you, you can always consider hiring a professional to do the job for you.
For a complete overview of each type of mount, check out the guide to the best TV mounts.
- Before You Begin
- How to Mount a TV on the Wall
- What Tools Are Required for Wall Mounting a TV?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Before You Begin
Before you break open your toolbox, there are several things you need to consider. You mustn’t skip this part because it will make installing your TV much easier.
Choose the Correct Type of Wall Mount
There are 3 main types of TV wall mount:
- Fixed: a low-profile mount that keeps your TV close to the wall and offers little movement. The most discrete option, but you can’t move the TV position very much.
- Tilting: similar to a fixed bracket but allows the TV to tilt up or down. Ideal if you might have glare from windows in the room at times during the day.
- Articulating: an adjustable tv wall mount allows you to move the TV away from the wall and into different positions. The main options for a full motion mount are to swivel from side to side – or tilt up or down.
You will need one of these if you want to move the TV for different viewing locations.
Main takeaway: Buying the correct mount type for your situation can save you a lot of headaches in the future.
What Are Your Walls Made From?
Most TV wall mounts allow fixing to a brick or concrete wall – or drywall with wood studs.
For a concrete and brick wall, you should have no issues. You will just need to ensure that you have the correct drill bit and fixings for that wall type.
For drywall, you need to know:
- Where the wall studs are. Are they in the right place for where you want to mount the TV?
- How far apart the studs are. Make sure you buy a mount that supports the distance between each wooden stud.
Main takeaway: Make sure the mount you buy is suitable for the wall surface.
Where Do You Want to Mount a TV in The Room?
In some rooms, you have little choice where the TV is mounted. You will just have to work around the limitations you are presented with. If you have a choice, think about the following issues:
- Is the wall suitable for attaching a mount?
- Try to avoid reflections from windows during the day or room lights at night.
- Can you place the TV at the correct height? Ideally, you want the center of the screen at eye level.
- Which location gives the best viewing distance?
One tip is to cut some wood or cardboard to the exact dimensions of your TV. You can easily place this mock-up around the room to get an idea of where the best fit would be.
Main takeaway: Picking the best location for your wall mounted TV now will save you from moving the TV again later.
Check the Specification of Your TV
Before buying your TV mount, you should check a couple of things on your television:
- VESA specification: does your TV have mounting holes on the back, and how far apart are they? Common sizes are 100mm x 100mm or 400mm x 400mm. Then, make sure the bracket you buy will fit the VESA hole spacing of your TV.
- TV’s Weight: how heavy is your TV? TV wall mounts support a maximum weight.
- TV Size: every mount will suggest a minimum and maximum TV size, which is an excellent general guideline to follow.
You can look at the manual for your TV or find the specifications on the manufacturer’s website.
Main takeaway: Buy a wall mount suitable for your flat screen TV.
How to Mount a TV on the Wall
Mounting a TV on the wall isn’t difficult if you follow these simple guidelines. Before starting, make sure that you have the correct tools to hand and clear enough space to work. While it is possible to mount a TV on your own, it will be easier with two people.
Total Time: 45 minutes
Step 1: Unpack the Mount
Take the wall mount from the packaging and make sure you have all the parts and fixings. There are two main components: a bracket or plate that attaches to the back of the TV – and the mount that attaches to the wall. Separate the two parts, so you don’t get everything mixed up.
Step 2: Attach the Bracket to the Back of the TV
Check the instructions for your mount and install the correct part to the television’s rear. Wall mounts have different ways of attaching to the TV – some have a mounting arm, and some have a TV mounting plate. You will need to secure the plate using the correct VESA hole configuration. You should also check your TV’s instructions for the right screw size, which should come supplied with your wall mount.
Step 3: Find the Wall Studs
If you are installing on drywall, you must drill into the center of the wood stud, or the wall won’t support the weight of your TV and mounting bracket. The easiest way to find the studs is to use an electronic stud finder – or there are tricks to find the wall studs without a detector. Mark the center of the studs on the wall with a pencil. If your wall is concrete or brick, you can skip this step.
Step 4: Mark the Wall for the Plate
Place your wall mount plate on the wall and use it as a template to get the fixing holes in the right place. Some mounts include a paper template, so use this if you have one, as it’s easier than holding up a heavy metal plate.
Use a level to make sure the wall bracket is straight, and then mark the position of the holes with a pencil.
Step 5: Check You Have Everything at the Correct Height
Before drilling the wall, it’s good to check that you have marked everything at the correct height. Temporarily place the wall plate on the back of your flat panel TV and measure the top and bottom edge of the television from the wall plate holes. Then mark the top and bottom of the TV on the wall with a pencil or painter’s tape. Stand back and make sure the TV will be at the right height.
Step 6: Drill the Pilot Holes
Check the wall mount instructions and find the correct drill bit size, which can vary depending on the type of wall. Drill a pilot hole for each place you have marked on the wall.
Step 7: Secure the Wall Mount
Place the plate on the wall and line it up with the pilot holes. Get the fixing bolts and screw each one into the plate with a screwdriver or ratchet. Do each bolt part of the way first, then tighten each one completely when all are in place. Don’t over-tighten the bolts, just enough so the plate is solid. It will be easier to do this with two people, one to hold the plate and the other to tighten the bolts.
Step 8: Hang the TV
Carefully lift the TV and hang it on the mount. Your instructions will tell you exactly how it should attach, but generally, the plate or bracket on the back of the TV will clip into the mount on the wall. Unless you have a small TV, it is best to use two people to lift the screen into place.
Step 9: Connect the Cables
Attach all the necessary cables to the TV, using the cable management features of the TV bracket to keep things tidy. If the wires connect to the back of the TV, and you don’t have enough space, go back to step 8 and connect the cables before you hang the TV on the mount. You can also use right-angle connectors on the wires if there isn’t enough space between the back of the TV and the wall.
- 1x TV wall mount
- Masking tape (aka painter’s tape)
- Drill and a masonry or wood drill bit (depending on your fixing surface)
- Large Phillips screwdriver
- Spanner or socket set
- Tape measure
- Spirit level (aka bubble level or level)
- Wall stud finder (optional)
What Tools Are Required for Wall Mounting a TV?
The tools you will need for wall mounting a TV are pretty basic. It might vary depending on the type of mount that you buy, but in most cases, you should need:
- a drill and a masonry or wood drill bit (depending on your fixing surface).
- a large Phillips screwdriver for connecting the plate to the TV.
- a spanner or socket set for securing the bolts to the wall.
- a pencil or masking tape (aka painter’s tape) for marking the wall before drilling.
- a tape measure.
- a spirit level (aka bubble level or level) – to make sure your mount isn’t wonky.
- wall stud finder (optional – if you have drywall with wall studs). If not, find out how to mount a TV on the wall without studs.
Many people will have these in their toolbox already.
Most wall mounts will come with all the fixings that you should need.
Screws for putting together the mounting plate and attaching it to the TV, and bolts and fixings for securing the bracket to the wall.
However, a wide range of different screw sizes may be required, especially for securing the plate to your TV.
If you are missing the correct fixings, the better brands will send you what you need if you contact their helpdesk.
Alternatively, if you know what you are doing, it might be quicker to go to your local hardware store and get the right size fixings.
You will only need a stud finder if you have drywall with wooden studs. And, even then, there are ways of finding the studs without buying a tool:
Whichever way you choose, you must drill into the center of the studs for most mounts if you have drywall.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some quick-fire questions and answers about how to put a TV mount on the wall.
Can You Mount a TV on the Wall by Yourself?
You can mount a TV by yourself, but it is easier with two people. Most tasks are easy for one person, but the tricky part is screwing the mount to the wall, which is easier if one person holds the mount and another tightens the bolts.
Can You Mount a TV to Just Drywall?
To mount a TV to just drywall, you will need to buy a specially designed bracket. Most TV wall brackets are designed for securing to wood studs in drywall, and you must not try and install these in a wall with no studs. However, a few mounts are made for studless drywall, so you just need to buy one of those.
Can You Mount a TV without Damaging Walls?
Any standard TV mount will require you to drill a hole into the wall. Some studless mounts only require nails, but most will attach using large bolts. If you don’t want to damage the wall at all, you should consider a TV stand, a cabinet, or a ceiling mount.
About Home Cinema Guide
Paul started the Home Cinema Guide to help less-experienced users get the most out of today's audio-visual technology. He has been a sound, lighting and audio-visual engineer for around 20 years. At home, he has spent more time than is probably healthy installing, configuring, testing, de-rigging, fixing, tweaking, re-installing again (and sometimes using) various pieces of hi-fi and home cinema equipment. You can find out more here.