How to Mount a TV (Without Ruining Your Wall)
Did you finally replace that hefty TV you bought decades ago with a slimmer, sleeker model? You’re probably eager to mount your new beauty to the wall. But before you rev up the drill and get to work, it’s important you take the time to understand how to mount a TV safely and precisely. Take a look at our guide for mounting your TV like a pro — without ruining your wall.
Tools and Materials You’ll Need to Mount a TV
Before getting to work, gather the following tools and materials to make mounting and installing your TV a breeze:
- A helper
- Tape Measure
- Digital stud finder
- Socket wrench
- Wire covers
- Mounting bracket kit (includes bracket, screws and plate)
- Drill and bits (for brick: hammer drill and masonry bits)
- Sleeve anchors (only for brick and plaster)
7 Steps to Wall Mount Your TV
Now that you’ve gathered all the tools and materials you’ll need to mount your TV, follow these seven steps to ensure you’re safely and properly putting up your television wall mount.
Choose a spot . There are a few things to consider when selecting a location to hang your TV. First, think about where you’ll be watching it from — your couch or recliner. And you’ll want to avoid glare by considering the room’s light sources like windows and fixtures. Most importantly, the wall must be able to support the weight of the TV in the spot you choose. With the help of a friend and a stud finder, look for a place that meets these requirements.
ProTip: For drywall and plaster installations, you must attach the mounting bracket to studs (never drywall screws!) to support your television. And consider component placement like your receiver or gaming console. You don't want to go to the trouble of mounting your TV only to discover that you've nowhere to put them.
If you want to hide electrical cords in the wall, you’ll need to find out whether your electrical and drywall skills are up to the task. There’s no shame in hiring a professional to show you the ropes, and if you aren’t comfortable with this technical approach to hiding electrical cords, consider less expensive options like wire covers or painted cables.
Pick a mount. Mounting brackets can be stationary or adjustable. Adjustable brackets that angle or swivel cost about $80 to $300 and stationary brackets range from $25 to $75. While you might opt for a more affordable stationary style, keep in mind that connection ports on the back of the TV may not be accessible without an adjustable bracket.
Attach the mounting plate to the TV. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to attach the plate to the back of the television. This will help you figure out where exactly the TV will hang from while you find the right height. You’ll need to screw the brackets to the TV (the screw holes might be hidden by plastic plugs that you can pop out). Once the brackets are screwed in, you’ll hang the wall plate on the brackets so the whole mount is attached to the TV.
Find studs. If installing on drywall or plaster, use a digital stud finder to locate two studs at a distance that accommodates the mount and bracket.
If you're working on plaster, this may be more difficult. Gently knock on the wall and listen for areas that don't sound "hollow" to help you find the right spot. Use the tape measure to pencil mark the desired height at the center of each stud.
Drill pilot holes. Measure the distance between the top and bottom holes on the bracket, and make corresponding pencil marks on the studs. Use the level and tape measure to be sure the marks are even. Have your helper hold the bracket in place with holes positioned on the marks, while you check that the bracket is level. When marks and holes lined up, remove the bracket and use the drill or hammer drill to make pilot holes.If installing on a brick or plaster wall, tap sleeve anchors into the holes.
Secure the mounting bracket to the wall. Align the bracket holes with the pilot holes on the wall. While your helper holds the bracket steady, attach the bracket to the wall with screws.
Pro Tip: Drill the screws halfway then stop to check that the bracket is level. Adjust if you need to, then finish drilling the screws.
Place the TV on the mounting bracket. With your friend's help, carefully lift the TV and attach the plate to the bracket. The manufacturer's instructions will detail how the parts fit together.
Make sure the fit is secure and double-check that the connection between the TV plate and wall plate is tight. Then attach your components, plug in your TV, sit back and enjoy a show!
What to Do With Old TV
Now that your new TV is safely installed, what should you do with your old television? Consider selling it or dropping it off at a donation center. Or, if it’s run its course, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends recycling unwanted electronics. Look for an e-recycling center near you.