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How to Wall Mount a TV Like a Pro

How to Mount Your TV on The Wall Like a Pro

For anyone wondering how to wall mount a TV, it might seem like a daunting task.

There are several things to consider. What type of wall mount? Where should I place the TV? What tools do I 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. It shouldn't be too difficult even for a DIY novice. Hopefully, by following this guide you will have a good idea of what is involved in the process.

And, if at that point, 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.

Let's look at the things you need to think about before you begin.

Things to Consider Before Trying to Wall Mount Your TV

Before you get anywhere near to breaking open your toolbox – and maybe even before you buy your mount – you should give some of these things some thought. 

You will make your life much easier if you are clear on all these issues before you start mounting your TV on the wall.

1. Check the Specification of Your TV

Before trying to mount your TV on the wall, you should check that it is even possible to do so. There are two main things to look for:

  1. VESA specification: does your TV have mounting holes on the back, and how far apart are they? Common sizes are 100mm x 100mm – or 300mm x 300mm. Make sure the wall mount that you buy will fit the VESA hole spacing of your TV. If your TV doesn't have wall-mounting holes – then you can't wall mount the TV with most standard TV wall mounts.
  2. The weight of your TV: TV wall mounts support a maximum weight. Make sure you know how heavy your TV is before you buy a wall mount.

You can look at the manual for your TV or find the specifications on the manufacturer's website.

2. What Type of TV Wall Mount Do You Need? 

There are 3 main types of TV wall mount:

  • Fixed wall mount: a low-profile mount that is close to the wall and offers little or no movement. The most discrete option, but you can't move the TV position very much. Some mounts may allow you to slide the TV sideways to tweak the position.
  • Tilting wall mount: similar to a fixed wall mount but allows the TV to be tilted up or down. Ideal if you might have glare from windows in the room at times during the day. You can alter the tilt to get the best view without reflections.
  • Articulating wall mount: there are several different types of articulating wall mounts that offer different movement. Pull out from the wall, swivel left and right, and tilt up and down. If you think you will benefit from changing the position of the screen, get a wall mount that offers the type of movement that you need.

Choosing the correct wall mount for your situation can save you a lot of headaches in the future. 

Check out my buying guide to the best TV wall mounts if you need help choosing the right one.

3. What Are Your Walls Made Of? 

Most TV wall mounts allow for fixing to brick, concrete or drywall with wood studs.

For brick and concrete, you should have no issues. You will just need to make sure 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 your wall studs.

Make sure the wall mount that you are using is suitable for the type of wall surface that you have. 

4. Where Do You Want to Mount the 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 that you are presented with. If you have a choice, think about the following issues:

  • Try to avoid reflections from windows in the day
  • Can you get the TV at the best viewing height?
  • Which is the position that gives the best viewing distance?
  • Do you want to be able to move the TV for different viewing positions? If so, an articulating wall mount is best. If not, a fixed or tilting mount might be enough.

One tip is to cut some wood or cardboard to the same dimensions as your TV. You can easily place this mock-up around the room to get an idea of where the best fit would be.

Should I Mount My TV Above the Fireplace?

A common question is if you can install a TV above a fireplace. It seems like an obvious place as it's usually the focal point of the room.

Well, you can if you like, but I wouldn't.

First, the space above the fireplace will often make the TV too high for comfortable viewing. If you are mainly watching from a seated position, then ideally the center of the screen will be around eye level.

Secondly, a fire will probably send hot air - and possibly smoke or fumes - up across your TV screen. This isn't a good way to treat an expensive piece of technology if you want to keep it in perfect working order.

5. How High Should You Wall Mount a TV?

There are a few ways to decide on how high to wall mount your TV.

It's a common question – and it's not something that you think about until you're standing there with a drill in your hand – but it's an important consideration.

Unfortunately, the simple answer is an annoying "it depends".

It depends on the room – lounge, kitchen, or bedroom? How far away from the TV are you? Are you lying down, standing up or sitting down? What are you sitting on? How tall are you? How large is the TV?

And, to top it all off, it is common for people in the same room to disagree!

If you are a numbers person, you could take a very technical view and use a complex calculation to decide the best height for your TV.

Feel free to do it that way if you wish. In my opinion that is overthinking it.

A good general guideline - for watching a TV from your couch in the lounge - is to make sure that your eyes are roughly looking at the center of the screen.

If that feels a little low for you, perhaps go a little higher so that you are looking directly at the bottom third of the screen. 

It doesn't have to be exact, but ideally, you don't want to be looking too far down - or up. That will just get uncomfortable after a while.

So, I would try and get the center of the screen at around 42-inches from the floor. Maybe a little more. Maybe less. You decide what feels right.

Try taking a measurement when you are sitting in a normal viewing position in your room.

Best height to wall mount a TVHow High Should I Mount My TV on The Wall?

Generally, this would be about right for most people sitting down on typical lounge furniture and chairs.

It might seem lower than you were imagining.

If you are casually watching the TV from further away across the room, then you might want it a little higher.

If you can, maybe try and get a couple of unsuspecting volunteers to hold the TV between them so you can get an idea of the best height for you. 

Or, as suggested previously, make a cardboard mock-up the same size as your TV and use that to get a better idea.

Do this before you start drilling the wall mount holes in the wall.

Of course, in a kitchen, you are more likely to be standing – or perched on taller chairs. So higher will probably be better.

In the bedroom, if you are lying on the bed you might want it high enough to make sure you can easily see all the screen without straining your neck. And you may also need to avoid obstructions like a chest of drawers or wardrobe.

So, as I say, it does depend on the situation. You need to consider the circumstances in your room before you decide on the best height to wall mount your TV.

In some cases, you might have no choice where you can install the TV. In which case, a fully articulating wall mount would probably be the best solution. You can then move the TV to different positions to suit your viewing location.

6. What Cables Do You Need?

A full motion TV wall mount that can be pulled away from the wall has a few advantages over fixed and tilting wall mounts.

One of the main benefits is that it is easier to connect your cables to the back of the TV. You can pull the TV away from the wall and easily attach all the necessary cables. 

Although, you will need to allow for longer cables if the TV is going to be pulled away from the wall. So, make sure you have enough slack to handle the movement of the screen.

If you are installing a low-profile fixed or tilting wall mount, it can be tricky connecting all the cables. Depending on the position of the TV connections, you may even need to rely on 90-degree HDMI connectors if you are close to the wall.

Consider the position of the TV connections and the shape of the connectors on your cables. You don't want to be thinking about this after you have wall-mounted the TV.

Otherwise, you may find that you are unable to plug everything in.

You might also want to think about how to hide the wires after you have finished. This is particularly important if you are going to install an in-wall recess and run the wires inside the wall.

What Tools Are Required for Wall Mounting a TV?

The tools that you will need for wall mounting a TV are fairly basic. It might vary depending on the type of wall 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)

Many people will have these in their toolbox already.

Tools required for wall mounting a TVCommon Tools Required for Wall Mounting a TV

While many mounts can be installed by one person, having an extra pair of hands to help can often make life easier too.

Many 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 mount to the wall.

However, there is a wide range of different screw sizes that may be required. Especially for securing the plate to your TV. If you are missing the correct fixings, many of the better wall mount manufacturers 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.

What Is the General Wall Mounting Process?

First, let's take a high-level view of the best way to wall mount your TV. While the exact procedure will vary depending on the wall mount that you buy, the general procedure for mounting a TV is:

  1. Attach the mounting plate/arms to the TV: most wall mounts will have a mounting plate or arms. These are secured to the back of the TV via the VESA mounting holes.
  2. Secure the mount to the wall: The main part of the mount is secured to the wall at the correct height and location.
  3. Attach the TV to the mount: and adjust the position (if possible).

You don't have to do this in the exact order. Steps 1 and 2 are interchangeable. So, just go with what feels best for you.

How to Attach the TV to The Mounting Plate or Arms

Each TV wall mount will look slightly different and have a different way of attaching the TV to the wall mount.

Some mounts will have a mounting plate – and maybe some extension arms to fit different TV sizes.

TV Wall Mount with Mounting PlateTV Wall Mount with Mounting Plate

Other mounts may have mounting arms instead of a plate – especially fixed or tilting wall mounts. These arms hook onto the low-profile wall mount.

TV Wall Mount with Mounting ArmsTV Wall Mount with Mounting Arms

I have a simple articulating wall mount that I will show as an example that comes with a mounting plate.

However, the main point here is that the mounting mechanism will need to attach to the VESA mounting holes on the rear of the TV.

The manual for your TV should tell you the screw diameter that is required for the VESA mounting holes. It may also suggest the minimum and maximum length for the screws. 

Instructions for VESA mounting holes in TV manualInstructions for VESA Mounting Holes in TV Manual

This is important as the mounting plate may be unstable if the screws are only just long enough to fit onto the thread.

Each mount will usually come with a variety of different size screws.

The wall mount that I have came with 6 different screws sizes – four of each type:

  • 4 x M4x25 (4mm diameter x 25mm length)
  • 4 x M5x25 (5mm diameter x 25mm length)
  • 4 x M6x25 (6mm diameter x 25mm length)
  • 4 x M8x25 (8mm diameter x 25mm length)
  • 4 x M8x15 (8mm diameter x 15mm length)
  • 4 x M8x35 (8mm diameter x 35mm length)

You will only need one set of 4 to connect to your TV's VESA mounting holes.

Screws for Securing the Mounting Plate to The TVScrews for Securing the Mounting Plate to The TV

Hopefully, the supplied screws will fit the VESA connections on your TV.

However, if not, then you will either need to buy the correct size screws at a hardware store – or phone the helpdesk of the wall mount manufacturer and they may be able to send you some.

The mount that I have, has a central mounting plate, and four arms that connect to it. The arms can be arranged in a different position depending on the VESA mounting pattern for your TV.

Therefore, I could use this same mount on TVs with VESA patterns from 100 x 100 to 400 x 400 – and all sizes in between.

The advantage of this is that you can use this mount on TVs with several different VESA patterns. Many wall mounts are designed like this.

The mount that you have will probably do this differently. But, the main point is that you might need to set up the mounting plate so that it will connect to the VESA mounting pattern for your TV.

For my example wall mount, the mounting plate can be used on its own – without the arms – for TVs with a VESA pattern of 100 x 100 or 200 x 200. I can just secure it directly to the TV.

Anything larger than this will need the extension arms to make it fit.

My TV has a 400 x 400 VESA pattern:

Vesa Mounting Holes on The Rear of A TVVesa Mounting Holes on The Rear of A TV

With my mount, the plate itself only supports VESA 100 x 100 and VESA 200 x 200. So, I need to connect the extension arms and put together the mounting plate like this:

Preparing the Mounting Plate for The TVPreparing the Mounting Plate for The TV

There are extra screws with the mount which are needed to secure the arms to the mounting plate.

The mounting plate can then be secured to the TV using the supplied screws and the VESA mounting holes:

TV Wall Mounting Plate Secured to TVTV Wall Mounting Plate Secured to TV

The mounting plate is now attached securely to the TV and we can move to the next stage.

How to Secure the Wall Mount to The Wall

The next stage is to attach the wall mount to the wall. Your wall mount will usually come with screws for fixing the mount to the wall.

My wall mount came with 4 x 7mm diameter/80mm depth screws with hexagonal heads. These can be used for both drywall and brick walls.

There are also 4 plastic anchors (aka wall plugs or Rawlplugs). These are for use with a brick or concrete wall only.

Fixing screws and anchors for a TV wall mountFixing Screws and Anchors for A TV Wall Mount

There are many ways that you could do this process – but I would follow these general guidelines.

1. Preparation

Mark the wall where you want to fit the bracket. To do this, place your wall mount on the wall and use it as a template to get the fixing holes in the right place.

Use a pencil to draw where the fixing holes are. Also, use a level to make sure that the wall mount is straight before marking the holes.

If you are brave or aren't bothered about getting the position exactly right, then you can put the wall mount in place by eye and mark the fixing holes.

Some fixed and tilting mounts allow you to slide the TV left or right a little after mounting. This can save you if you don't get it exactly right. However, it won't help if the TV is too high or low.

If you want to get it exactly right, it's best to do some extra measuring and marking on the wall. You don't want to drill holes in the wall and then realize it's too high or low – and then have to drill some more holes.

To do this, you should by now have decided how high you want the TV on the wall. Remember, in most cases, this will be eye level when you are sitting down. In some rooms, you may want it higher than this.

  1. Take your estimated height for the center of the screen and measure and mark this on the wall. You can mark it with a pencil or with painter's tape. 
  2. If you want to be double sure, you can also measure and mark the top and/or bottom edge of the screen (and even the left and right edges).

By marking the wall properly before drilling, you can stand back and get a feel if you are in the right place.

Having this clearly marked means that you won't put the wall mount in the wrong place by mistake. You can always see the dimensions of the screen.

It's much better to have second thoughts at this point. If it doesn't look quite right, all you need to do is remove your markings and do it again.

When you have the height line marked, you can place the wall mount on the line and mark the position of the mounting holes with a pencil.

Mark the TV Wall Mount Fixing Holes with A PencilMark the TV Wall Mount Fixing Holes with A Pencil

With most mounts, the horizontal line for the center of the screen should be in line with the center of the wall mount.

Depending on the wall type, there may be different holes for securing the mount to the wall. Make sure you mark the right ones.

For example, the mount may have several holes to match the different spacing between wooden wall studs.

2a. Wood Stud Installation

If you are mounting to wooden studs, you will need to make sure that when you mark the mounting holes, that you do this in the center of the wooden wall stud. 

How do you find the wall studs? Probably the easiest way is to buy an electronic wall stud finder which will tell you the position of each wall stud behind your wall.

If you don't want to buy a stud finder, check out this video for a trick to find the wall studs without buying a stud finder:

Made you choice? Great, let's continue.

  1. Find the wall studs and mark their position with tape or a pencil.
  2. Place the wall mount in the correct position on the wall and mark the fixing holes with a pencil. Make sure the fixing holes line up to the wall stud center that you have marked.
  3. Use a level to make sure the mount is straight.
  4. Put down the wall mount.
  5. Get your drill and make a hole into the center of each wall stud for each mounting hole. For the example mount, I need a 4mm drill to a depth of 80mm. Your mount may have different requirements.
  6. Grab the wall mount again and place it back in position over the holes. At this point, you may find it easier to have somebody else hold the wall mount in place.
  7. Insert the supplied fixing screws and tighten them up with a socket set or spanner.

When completed your wall mount will be securely fixed to the wall.

How to Mount a TV on A Wall without Studs

If you have drywall, then most wall mounts require you to secure the mount into wooden wall studs. Brick and concrete walls don't have wall studs.

But, what can you do if you want to mount the TV on drywall with no studs available?

Well, there are a few TV wall mounts that are designed for drywall and no studs.

You won't get the flexibility of the other wall mount types. However, they can provide an excellent solution if you only have one possible location for your wall mount – and that is on drywall with no studs.

Amazon has a no-stud heavy duty tilting wall mount as part of its AmazonBasics range.

AmazonBasics No-Stud Heavy-Duty Tilting TV Wall Mount Bracket

It is suitable for TV sizes from 32 to 80-inches and can hold up to 150 pounds in drywall.

The ECHOGEAR EGLD1 is a no stud TV wall mount that is also popular on Amazon. ECHOGEAR is a trusted brand in the wall mount world so I would always be happy to buy one of their mounts.

2b. Brick and Concrete Installation

For mounting the TV on a brick or concrete wall, I don't need to worry about finding wood studs. Just get the mount in the correct position and mark each fixing point on the wall.

  1. Place the wall mount in the correct position on the wall and mark the fixing holes with a pencil. Make sure the mount is horizontal by using a level.
  2. Put down the wall mount.
  3. Get your drill and attach the correct size masonry drill bit. For my example wall mount, I need a 10mm drill size. Check the correct drill size for your wall mount.
  4. Drill 4 pilot holes. My mount required an 80mm depth. Check the correct hole depth for your wall mount.
  5. Get the supplied plastic anchors and push them into each of the four holes. The plug should fit right into the hole and should not stick out at all.
  6. Put the mount back in place on the wall. You might find it easier to have somebody else hold the mount in place. Tighten each fixing screw with your spanner or socket set.

When the final screw is tight, you can stand back and admire your work.

There's one gotcha you might want to look out for.

In some modern homes, there may be plasterboard/drywall, and maybe an air gap, in front of the brick or concrete.

If so, you might need to increase the depth of the pilot hole – and buy longer fixing screws. The point is, the plugs and screws need to be fully inserted into the brick.

If you don't add extra depth for any drywall in front of the brick, then you may not get enough support to hold the mount and TV on the wall.

If in doubt, contact a professional or call the helpdesk of your wall mount manufacturer.

If you are sure your wall is simply concrete or brick, then you won't have to worry about this.

How to Hang the TV on The Wall Mount

This is the easy bit.

You should now have the mounting plate attached to your TV – and your wall mount attached to the wall.

It's now time to place the TV in position. You may find this process much easier with two people.

Two men attaching a TV to a wall mount

The actual process will vary between wall mounts – so take a look at the guide that came with your mount.

For my mount, the mounting plate on the back of the TV is inserted into a securing ring on the wall mount. Once fitted, it creates a solid base to keep the TV in place.

NOTE

There is one thing you might want to consider at this point if you have a low-profile fixed or tilting wall mount.

If the TV power and HDMI connections are on the back of the TV, you might want to attach the cables before you lift the TV on to the wall.

If the connections are at the side – or if you have a full motion TV wall mount that can be pulled away from the wall – then you will probably be able to connect all the cables after the TV has been placed on the wall.

Some mounts may also have one or more securing bolts that need to be inserted at this point. These just make the TV even more solid – and mean that the TV can't be removed from the mount easily.

Rather than securing bolts, some mounts have an automatic locking mechanism that will snap into place when you place the TV on the mount.

Before letting go, pull down gently on the TV to make sure it is secure.

You can now stand back and admire your work.

Looking good!

Connecting the TV Cables

As I mentioned previously if you have a low-profile wall mount you may find it easier to connect the power and HDMI cables before you lift the TV on to the wall mount.

However, if you haven't connected anything yet, it's time to connect all the required cables.

Every TV will need a power cord, so you must connect this.

After that, it depends on how you are planning on using your TV.

TV Antenna

If you are using an antenna for over-the-air TV signals, then you will need to connect the cable for this.

Internet

Most smart TVs require an internet connection. If you want to save yourself a cable, many TVs will support a WiFi connection.

However, if you want a quicker and more reliable internet connection, you may want to install an Ethernet cable.

Where possible, I always prefer using a good old cable for Internet connections. However, if you have a good WiFi connection available you may prefer the convenience.

HDMI Cables

Most modern AV devices will use an HDMI connection for sending the sound and picture. Therefore, if you want to connect a DVD or Blu-ray player – or a games console – then you will need separate HDMI cables for all your external devices.

Installing an AV receiver is a great way of reducing the number of cables going to your TV. You connect all the external devices to your receiver. Then, you just need a single HDMI cable to send the picture from the receiver to your TV.

Alternatively, if you install a soundbar for better sound, then you will need to connect an optical cable or use an HDMI ARC connection from the TV to your soundbar.

90-degree HDMI connectors might be required if your TV is fixed close to the wall. You can either buy adapters to convert your existing cables - or you can buy HDMI cables with right-angle connectors already fitted:

UGREEN HDMI Right-Angle 90-Degree Cable

Either solution can be just what is needed in a tight spot.

How to Wall Mount Your TV and Hide the Wires

If you have a fully articulating wall mount, then you will need to leave enough cable so that the TV can be extended – and tilted or swiveled – into the positions you require.

Leave enough slack around the joints and secure the cable to the mount in other areas.

If you have a fixed wall mount, you have the benefit of only needing the exact length of cable for the job. No slack required as the TV won't be moving position.

So, just make sure that you have enough cable to do the job and keep it tidy – and not too much that will get in the way and make it look messy.

You can easily ruin the look of a wall-mounted TV if there are unsightly cables in view all over the place.

Many wall mounts will have cable management features where you can keep the cables tidy and out of the way. If you are still struggling to keep the cables under control, you may be able to use cable ties to keep unruly wires in place.

If you need the cables to run down the wall to power outlets or external devices, you can consider 3 main options:

  1. Recessed in-wall relocation kit with power and AV cable connectors. This requires more planning. However, if your room allows, you can run cables inside the walls for the perfect hidden cable solution.
  2. A raceway cable management cover that can hold all your wires that run from the TV to a media cabinet or power socket. These can be painted to match the color of your wall.
  3. A length of braided cable sleeving or plastic cable tidy tube to keep the cables organized and hidden.

Any of these solutions can make a big difference to the look of a wall-mounted TV.

How to Remove a TV from A Wall Mount

So far, we have discussed how to mount the TV on the wall.

However, what if you've got the TV mounted already, and want to remove it?

The best way is to reverse the stages that we used to mount it.

  1. Disconnect AV and power cables.
  2. Remove any bolts that secure the mounting plate to the wall mount.
  3. Lift the TV off the wall mount.
  4. Remove the VESA mounting screws connecting the mounting plate/arms to the rear of the TV

Some wall mounts, especially flat and tilting mounts, may have a locking mechanism keeping the TV in place. If so, you may see some straps hanging down behind the TV.

By pulling down on the straps you will release the locking clips and allow you to lift the TV away from the wall mount.

If you can't see any obvious locking mechanism – or securing bolts – take a look at the manufacturer's instructions and see the procedure for mounting the TV. You just need to reverse the process.

Of course, if you know the manufacturer, you can always call their helpdesk and they will be happy to point you in the right direction.

Conclusion

This guide covers all the areas that you need to think about before mounting your TV on the wall.

Before you begin, you should think about some of the important considerations like the room location, the type of wall, the type of wall mount, and the specifications of your TV.

In my opinion, preparation is the most important part of the process. Get this right and you will have few problems completing your task with style.

Once you are clear on where you are going, you can get on with the fun bit.

Mounting a TV on the wall isn't the most difficult DIY task in the world. However, if you aren't confident using a drill and other basic DIY tools, then you should either take your time - or hire a professional to do the job for you.

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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 worked as 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.