Today’s Toll Talks Blog is written by guest blogger Jay Harris, from our friends at Home Depot. Whether you are a do-it-yourselfer or you hire a professional installer, you can enjoy some interesting options Jay shares for wall mounting your TV.
Not since the invention of the color television has TV technology experienced such a growth when it comes to your viewing options. Gone are the days of one-TV families; it seems that multiple sets in unusual places are the new family entertainment institution! And one of the flat screen features making this phenomenon possible is the ability to mount the set on a wall.
Wall-mounting your television provides many benefits. Not only can you free up floor and table space when your TV hangs from a wall, but you can also clear up clutter and hide those pesky wires and cumbersome cords.
But perhaps the best part of the wall-mounted television is found in the mounting hardware itself. For more about the possibilities, consider the following breakdown:
Fundamentals of Mounting
Although they follow the same basic structure – metal bars and brackets on a track that affixes to a wall through screws anchored in the wall studs – wall mounts come in several distinct variations in order to serve different purposes.
In addition to your standard, fixed flat mount (which is also the least expensive), here are four other options:
This super-slim mount can make your flat screen appear almost flush with the wall. A low-profile mount provides just that: an artwork-esque, minimalist presence and clean appearance without drawing attention to your TV. These are great for screens placed at a level that do not need to be moved.
If you need more flexibility, consider a more versatile mount that allows screen movement. Since the best height for viewing a flat screen is at eye level when seated, if you have a tilting mount, you have the ability to hang the screen higher and tilt it downward. These work well for screens hanging high on a bedroom wall or in a corner of a room, as in a bathroom, or even a garage or outdoor patio.
Tilt/Swivel (also Tilt/Pan)
This is a bump up from your basic tilt mount because this option comes with the ability to twist the set slightly from side to side in addition to tilting it up and down. This also allows you to swivel the set away from any distracting glares or light sources in the room which detract from your view. Keep in mind that these sit farther away from the wall (typically, at least 3″) to allow for adjustment.
The full-motion is the cream of the crop of mounts. Not only does this mount allows for tilting and swiveling, but it also extends out from the wall! Since many of them stretch out up to 12 inches, this mount allows for multiple viewing locations in a room and provides the potential to watch from an adjacent room. When you’re finished watching TV, simply push the set back against the wall.
This is a great option if you are cooking in the kitchen and want to watch from another room.
At this point, let’s go over a few basic tips to keep in mind when mounting your flat screen:
- You should always read the portion of your TV’s manual that discusses mounting guidelines because you will find the specifics for your individual set contained therein.
- Remember to always stay within the appropriate range as detailed in your manual – this ensures the wall mount you select will be able to support the size and weight of your particular screen.
- In general, in addition to your manual and wall mount kit, you should have a power drill and bits, screwdriver, carpenter’s level, stud finder, tape measure and a pencil.
- The pencil will be your best friend: A) if you make a mistake, you can always erase it and B) be sure to make your mistakes with the pencil first – not the screws!
- Make sure you have your TV-mounting “station” ready to go before you begin the process: have all of your tools and necessary hardware as well as appropriate cables organized and even laid out in the order you will need them.
- When you have your television out of the box and off to the side while you prep the mounting kit, make sure the screen is facing up – never lay the TV with the screen-side down as this can cause permanent damage.
- Try to avoid mounting the set to metal studs in your home or using hollow-wall anchors as they are often unable to support the TV’s weight. You will be surprised how large and cumbersome high capacity drywall anchors are. If at all possible, use the wood studs behind the drywall to support the weight of the television.
- Always ensure the TV and source components are unplugged when you attach A/V cables to the TV. In fact, it’s a good idea to just keep everything unplugged until you have the entire set attached and hung and you’re ready to confirm your new system works!
- Employ the buddy system: don’t attempt to hang your flat screen alone. Always have at least one other person who can assist with either interlocking the brackets or supporting the weight of the TV while the other person connects.
Now that you know a bit more about mounting, where are you going to test out your new knowledge?
Jay Harris is a Home Depot “on the floor” sales associate and a regular contributor to Home Depot’s blog. His interests include providing tips on TV mounts at Home Depot to covering the latest in LED light bulbs.