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How to wall mount a flat-panel HDTV 
TV Installation Guide


Wall Mounts for HDTV

Installing a Plasma or LCD TV Wall Mount
Flat panel LCD, LED and Plasma HDTV Instructions

Guide to a wall mounted or hanging flat panel HDTV

You just bought that new HDTV with the flat panel design and big screen. Now you want to hang the TV on a wall. Well, yes you can do that, but you need to think about this project before you start drilling holes in your wall. First you should select your mount. With some HDTV models, the manufacturer will offer a specific mount for your set. Plan on spending at least $150 to $300 for the mount, remember it’s holding up your very expensive TV. Go to for a mount selection guide for specific TV models by brand.

You want your HDTV flat panel screen to be VESA mount compliant. This means the back of your display panel will have standard spaced mounting holes available for a matching mount and brackets. Two vertical brackets will attach with screws to the back of the TV. The brackets will attach to a metal wall plate which will be bolted thru your wall to your wall studs. The studs will provide the support for the TV. You can also mount to concrete blocks or brick walls.

Now select the right position. This will be decided by the room shape or the room size, location of wall studs, lighting, glare, viewing angles and person preference of viewing position.

After you have selected the final location, try a test run with two people holding the TV set in a possible mount position. It looks great there, but only one problem, the dangling cables. You can cut a hole behind the TV screen and snake the wires through the wall, and out another hole by your A/V equipment such as DVD player. Many building codes forbid running power cables inside a wall, so you may want to consider getting an electrician to install an AC outlet behind the TV set.

Remember to plug in all your cables before you mount the HDTV, because once it is up there on the wall you don’t want to have to take it down just to plug in some more cables. Buy and connect as many cables as you can before you mount the set, even if you don’t plan to use them at the time, this will make adding new devices much easier in the future. Consider HDMI cables as this connection will "future proof" your setup for awhile.

Give yourself plenty of time when installing. If you are not sure about anything, get a professional to do it for you.

Mount Types for Flat Panel TV

Flat/Non-Tilting Wall Mount for 32 to 50 inch Flat Panel TV. The TV remains in a fixed position on the wall.
Tilting Wall Mount for 32 to 50 inch Flat Panel TV. The TV can be tilted up or down.
Full Motion Arm Wall Mount for 32 to 50 inch Flat Panel TV. The TV can be moved out from the wall, tilted up or down and turned left or right for multiple viewing angles.
Motorized Adjustable Remote Controlled Mount for 37 to 63 inch flat panel TV. The TV can be moved out from the wall, turned left or right, tilted up or down all by robotics remote controlled from your viewing position.
Ceiling Mount for 32 to 50 inch Flat Panel TV. The TV is mounted to the ceiling instead of a wall.
Floor Stand for 32 to 50 inch Flat Panel TV.

Flat panel TV wall mounts consist of two main parts, a back plate that mounts to the wall, and a front plate with the VESA mounting hole pattern that is screwed onto the back of your television. The mounting process is almost always the same. You screw the back plate onto the wall, and attach the front plate to your TV rear, and then lower the TV/front plate assembly into place on the wall mount assembly. Make sure you follow the installation guides that come with both your mount and TV. Articulated-arm TV mounts provide better positioning of the panel while maintaining all the benefits associated with tilting and swiveling mounts. These type of wall mounts however, are somewhat more expensive than fixed or tilting wall mounts. Mounts come in attractive polished silver finish, or black and feature tilt, swivel, pan, and extended motion adjustments.

Sanus VisionMount™ MF110-B1 

For 15"- 40" TVs
• supports up to 100 lbs.
• tilt range: +5° to -15°
• swivel range: 90° left to 90° right
• swivel arm extends out to 9-1/2"
• VESA-compatible mounting hole pattern

About Wall Mount Brackets
Tools you need
Getting Started
Stud Finder
Installing the mount
Placing the TV on the wall
About Wall Studs

The concept of a "Home Theater" has been around for years but with the introduction of High Definition television in 1998 and the decreasing prices of large flat panel TVs, more people are able to finally enter the exciting world of home theater. The design of a home theater is very personal and the choices of hardware are also based on your personal taste. For most people able to afford it, the choices can involve very expensive systems including the TV, sound systems and furnishings. Part of this whole design is the idea of wall mounting your flat-panel TV. Basically, the process requires that you drill four holes, attach the mounting bracket to the wall with screws, connect your cables and lower the TV into place on the wall.

The large screen sizes such as the 40 inch to 60 inch TVs can be mounted on your wall as well as on a stand. Some people prefer a wall mount for their TV and even for their loudspeakers. These large flat-panel TVs typically weigh over 100 lbs., so you won't be moving them around too much. But wall mounting your flat panel TV requires some fore-thought and planning before cutting into your wall. If you want the flexibility to move the television around frequently, wall mounting isn't a good idea. For everyone else, hanging the TV on the wall will save significant space and can add a very attractive, professional look to any home theater system. Hanging the display yourself can also help save money on professional installation (basic professional installation can cost $500 or more) and let you plan and implement a system to your exact specifications. Another option is a ceiling mount. The ceiling joists in the framework of the home are used to provide the support for the TV which can be flat mounted to the ceiling or attach to a mount hung from a column which allows the type of movement you can get with a wall mounting.

You have to decide exactly where to mount the TV. Once you cut holes and run cables thru the walls you are fairly committed. You most likely have to purchase a wall mounting bracket which accommodates your model of TV. These brackets can cost over a hundred dollars. You have to determine how the TV will plug in to AC power. You have to determine how and where to run the connecting video and audio cables. You have to have the correct tools and be willing to do the installation (or have it done for you by professionals).

Before you undertake wall mounting a LCD or plasma flat-panel HDTV, you need to ask yourself "is this a job for a professional installer?"

If you do not want to undertake a job such as this or you feel you cannot successfully accomplish this work, then it’s worth hiring a professional to do it for you. If you select a known installer with a good reputation you'll know the job is done right. However if you have done some home improvement tasks before and want to do the job yourself, then by all means go ahead. 


Hanging a flat-panel TV isn't an operation to take lightly. Not only are you installing large, heavy, metal brackets, you're also going to put your very expensive new television on the line expecting that you did it right. The installer must verify that the mounting surface, ceiling or wall, will safely support the combined weight of all attached equipment and hardware, including the mount and the TV. Safety is primary at all times. Do not be in a hurry. A job done right will take longer but will reward in the long run. Always opt on the side of caution. Working with power tools, electricity, wiring, and heavy objects can be hazardous. Ceiling mounts can be more dangerous than wall mounts due to the potential for falling.

Safety tips

  • Be sure to use A/V cables that meet local building and fire code. Most codes require UL-rated wire labeled CL2 or CL3 for in-wall installations.
  • Make sure the area behind your wall is clear before cutting.
  • Turn off the power in areas you'll be drilling or cutting to avoid electric shock.

Your TV's power cable isn't made to be safely installed in your wall — that means that if you want to keep that cable hidden, you'll need to hire an electrician to install a recessed AC outlet on the wall behind your TV.


The first step in preparation is shopping. You can find wall-mounting kits in a variety of places, including electronics stores (both brick and online) and direct from manufacturers. You can also choose between mounts for specific models and generic kits that claim to work for nearly any display. Buy the mounting hardware your TV's manufacturer specifically recommends for your model. You're spending a couple hundred dollars on the hardware and putting thousands more on the line. This isn't the time to skimp. Additionally, buy the mounting hardware from the same place you bought the TV or directly from the manufacturer. Prices vary depending on your television's size and the manufacturer, but expect to spend at least $200 for a complete wall-mounting kit. You also need some tools to do the install.

First make sure that your chosen LCD or plasma TV is even capable of being wall-mounted. It’s rare but there are some early models that were table-top only. The easiest way to check this is to see if the box or owners manual mentions ‘VESA Compatible’ or just the words VESA mount. VESA stands for “Video Electronics Standards Association” and is just another way of saying this display is designed to work with VESA standard wall mounts.

Wall mounts come in a wide range of sizes and styles. 

Plan the wire route

If you want to hide wires running from your TV to your Audio/Video component rack, check out the wire routing options below.  

  • Short run (TV and component rack are located along the same wall)
    • inside the wall
    • behind a baseboard, door jamb, or crown molding
    • under your carpet
    • inside cabinetry, bookshelves, drawers, or closets
  • Longer run (TV and component rack are located in different parts of the room)
    • the four options above, plus:
    • through a crawlspace, or unfinished basement or attic
Try to run your cables in places that won't require drywall repair afterwards.
After planning where you're going to route your wire, calculate how much wire you'll need. Always have a bit more than you think you'll need. You need enough wire to run from your receiver to the wall, then horizontally inside the wall, vertically inside the wall and then out to the TV. Allow for some slack. Now add 3 extra feet just in case.

Wall-mounting your flat-panel TV can give you a modern look, but what about your TV's audio/video and power cables? You need a neat, décor-friendly covering that hides the portion of your cable run between the TV and your A/V cabinet. You can run your cables along the wall and keep them hidden by using plastic cable wiring solutions such as smooth PVC housings which can be painted or even covered with wallpaper to conceal them.

You can buy these in sections to match your needs and they include the screws and/or attaching materials for wall use. About 1 inch deep and up to 5 inches wide, they are good for short runs between the TV and your audio/video rack. You want two separate channels for audio/video cables and power cables to prevent interference.

» covers 12", or up to 30" of cables between TV and A/V cabinet.
» non-textured finish accepts paint and wallpaper
» accommodates up to 10 cables in 2 cable channels
» ultra-light MDF construction
» installation hardware included

Some wall mounts offer external cord clips that keep the cables in order. Others allow the cables to be threaded through a piece of the mount. Many professional installers will run the cables behind the wall. In any case, for aesthetic and safety reasons, it's always important to keep the wires out of the way.

Tools Needed for Assembly

Most flat panel displays can be wall-mounted with tools you already own, (tape measure, screwdrivers, a socket set, cordless drill etc). One item you might not own, that can come in handy for pinpointing the exact location for the mount, is a stud finder (about $20 at Home Depot or Lowe’s).

Recommended tools:

Tape Measure, Socket set, Level, Sheetrock Saw, Electrical Tape, Stud-Finder, Philips Screw Driver, and the LCD/Plasma TV and wall mount, as well as the proper cabling.

• stud finder ("edge to edge" stud finder is recommended) 
• Philips screwdriver 
• drill 
• 1/4" bit for concrete and cinder block wall 
• 1/2" bit for metal stud wall 
• 5/32" bit for metal or wood stud wall 
• level 

There are several key factors to consider when deciding where to hang your TV:

Availability of power. 
Mount the display as close to a reliable power source as possible. 

Location of components. 
Choose a location reasonably close to your home theater components (including cable or satellite television wiring). The less cabling you have to hide, the better. 

Windows and ambient lighting. 
If you can't choose a room without windows or ambient light, position the TV to minimize glare. Mount it out of direct sunlight and angled away from any windows. Also, choose heavy window coverings that block outside light.

Viewing angles. 
One of the greatest benefits of plasma and LCD televisions is their incredible (often 170-degrees or more) viewing angles. Even so, position seating directly in front of the display, at a distance about two to three times the TV's diagonal measurement. For example, if you have a 50-inch television, the optimal viewing distance would be about 8 feet to 12 feet.

Speaker positioning. 
Leave room for speakers. Plan for speakers on either side of the TV, plus a center channel speaker either directly above or below the display. Arrange the seating area so you can place the left and right surround speakers directly to the viewers' left and right, and leave room behind for rear surround (6.1 and 7.1-channel systems).

Preparation is the key. Plan ahead so you end up with the installation you want.

You need to consider other things before wall-mounting a flat-panel TV. 

  • Where do you run the wires. If you'd like to run your wires on the outside of your wall, but avoid that tangled, unattractive look, you can buy cable management raceways that attach to your wall or baseboard. They keep the wires hidden, and can even be painted to match your décor. Usually made of PVC plastic, you can custom tailor your cable runs with just the right turns, end caps and cutouts for an attractive appearance.

    If you run your wires inside the wall, avoid mounting your TV on an exterior wall, since these walls have extra bracing and insulation that can make running wire difficult.  In many cases, this means you'll need to get UL-rated A/V cable labeled CL2 or CL3. The Underwriters Laboratory (UL) looks at heat generated from current flowing through wire, how quickly the cable will catch and spread fire when exposed to flame. 

    Don't run the AC power cable inside the wall. If you want the power cable hidden, you may need to hire a licensed electrician to install a recessed AC receptacle in the wall, in a location where it will be covered by your TV, and not obstructed by the mounting bracket. Another option is to route the A/V cable in-wall, and use a small wire raceway on the outside of your wall for the power cord.

  • Height. The middle of your TV screen needs to be at about eye level while you're seated. Mounting the TV too high can result in neck strain.
  • Screen glare. Sitting in your favorite TV-watching spot, look at the place on the wall where you plan to mount your TV. Is there light reflecting off that area? Screen glare can be distracting, and detract from an otherwise beautiful picture, so be aware of potential sources of glare.
  • Location. Choosing the right place to wall mount your LCD or Plasma HDTV is very important. Interior walls should be chosen first, then exterior walls as a last resort. Decide how the TV will connect to any other A/V components and where they will be located in relation to the TV.

HDTV Wall Mounting Brackets

Metal brackets are used to wall mount your TV. The bracket will have, in the most simple form, a horizontal part called a wall plate which attaches to your wall and vertical parts which attach to the back of your TV and the horizontal wall plate. The weight of the TV is distributed across your wall studs.

Most TVs don't come with their own mounting hardware, so you'll have to purchase it separately. Here are some tips to help you pick out the right one for your TV.

  • Check your TV owner's manual for mounting guidelines. Some models require use of a specific bracket, but most models are compatible with a number of brackets that follow VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) standards. You'll see the word "VESA" followed by a number, which tells you how far apart the holes on the bracket or TV are in millimeters. For example, VESA 75 means that there are 4 holes in a square, and each side of the square is 75mm long. VESA 100/200 means that the holes are in a rectangle, with two sides measuring 100mm and two sides measuring 200mm. You should be able to find that information in the owner's manual, or you can measure the holes yourself to determine which VESA standard fits your TV. Many mounting brackets are compatible with more than one VESA standard, so finding one to fit your TV won't be difficult.
  • Always check the screen sizes that the bracket says it can hold, and stay within the appropriate range. You should also check the maximum weight a bracket can hold and make sure that it can support your TV.
  • Think about what you want your bracket to be able to do. Do you want to be able to swivel the TV left and right, or get a better view from different seats? Do you want to be able to adjust your TV up and down? There are different brackets available which will allow you to make adjustments to your TVs screen position.

The standard flat wall mount is the easiest to do yourself. This is the TV wall mount that takes up the least space. Tilted and articulated arm wall mounts add a bit more depth to the overall mount, but these mounts leave your connecting options open, as they will enable you to add more cables to support new gear later without having to remove the display panel from the supporting brackets. Once you decide on the type of TV wall mount to employ, purchase your mount only from a reputable source and ensure that it fits your TV; in particular, check that its load bearing capacity will accommodate your television.

Important: Ensure that the TV wall mount you choose comes with a VESA compliant mounting hole pattern. This is the standard measurement for flat-panel TV mounts. Universal mounts  designed to fit various sizes, normally come with multiple hole patters to fit the different screen sizes.

The VESA mounting standard includes the VESA 50, 75, and 100, while larger models may use the VESA 200. The number behind the VESA standard indicates the mounting hole pattern in millimeters. For example, the VESA 100 will have four holes placed at the corners of a 100mm by 100mm square. The exception is the VESA 200, which comes either in VESA 200x100mm, or VESA 200x200mm hole pattern.

Plasma television sets are slim, BUT they are heavy, with some very large screens weighing over 200 lbs. Plasma television sets are substantially heavier than an equivalent screen size LCD TV. A 42" may easily weigh over 90 pounds while a 50" plasma television set may easily exceed 100 pounds. This means that not all walls are suitable to take a plasma TV wall mount. If in doubt, either call for professional assistance or use a pedestal stand.

In particular, if you are installing your TV wall mount on a drywall, be sure to screw your mount into the wooden studs behind the wall, not just into the wallboard, otherwise your display panel could come crashing down and be damaged.

Alternatively, if your drywall makes use of metal frames, use the appropriate spring loaded fixtures - ordinary self-taping screws are not safe enough to hold your TV. In either case, always ensure that the fixtures you use penetrate the wall stud supports.

Where can I buy the brackets to mount my TV on the wall?

There are several companies selling mounting brackets for TVs such as SANUS, PEERLESS and others, as well as stores such as Best Buy. call 1.866.740.9830
Technical Connections Inc.
180 Industrial Blvd Suite G
McKinney, TX 75069
PHONE (800) 485-0366
FAX (214) 585-0363

What types of brackets are available?
Brackets are available which will allow you to tilt your TV up or down.

Brackets are available which will allow you to swivel your screen left and right as well as move the TV out from the wall.

Allows you to make tilt adjustments with the touch of a finger. Lock the viewing position by simply tightening a knob — no tools required. Places your flat-panel TV a mere 2-1/2" from the wall. Heavy-gauge steel construction.

• Universal mount fits virtually any 32" to 60" Plasma or LCD flat panel screen 
• Adjustable 15° of forward tilt, 15° backward tilt 
• One-touch tilt for effortless adjustment 
• Optional tilt lock in 5° increments 
• Horizontal screen adjustment up to 12" 
• Universal brackets easily hook onto wall plate for fast installation 
• Easy-glide bracket design ensures screen is securely attached to wall plate 
• Mounts to two wood studs, concrete, cinder block or metal studs 
• Comes with complete fastener pack with all necessary screen attachment hardware

Position your flat-panel LCD TV for optimal viewing with this wall-mount bracket. It uses an articulating arm that can hold the TV close to the wall or extend it away up to 9-1/2".

TV Screen Tilt

Step by step - Brief Summary

  1. Purchase a TV wall mount from a reputable dealer, and ensure that it fits your TV.
  2. Locate the wall studs in the wall on which you want to hang the TV. It is critical that the screws holding the TV to the wall are screwed into the solid wood of a stud, not just into the wallboard. Your wallboard alone will not support the weight of a large flat panel TV. The best way to find a stud is with a stud finder, which is available at a hardware store for $20.
  3. When you find a stud, mark it in pencil on the wall. Measure the vertical distance between the screw holes on the mount. After deciding how high to mount the TV, mark in pencil where you will place each screw.
  4. Double check that it will be level by measuring the distance from the floor up to each screw hole you have marked. It is crucial that you mount it level. It will be hard to fix after the fact.
  5. Use big screws and drill a pilot hole first.
  6. Attach the mount with the screws. Double check to ensure that it is level.
  7. Cut a hole behind the TV to run the wires into the wall, as wall mounted TVs look best if the wiring is completely hidden. Make another hole where you want them to come out. Once your holes are made, fish the cables through the wall.
  8. Hang the TV on the mount. Usually, this involves attaching rubber/plastic mounts to the back of the TV.
  9. Double check the stability of the TV, and ensure that it is firmly in place.
  10. Connect your wiring.

Wall plate can be mounted to two studs that are 16" apart. 
Use a stud finder to locate the edges of the studs. Use of an edge-to-edge stud finder is highly recommended. Based on their edges, draw a vertical line down each stud’s center. Place wall plate on wall as a template. 

The top mounting slots should be located above the desired screen center. Level plate, and mark the center of the four mounting holes. Make sure that the mounting holes are on the stud centerlines. Drill four 5/32" (4 mm) dia. holes 2- 1/2" (65 mm) deep. Make sure that the wall plate is level, secure it using four #14 x 2.5" wood screws. 

Note: If mounting equipment weighing greater than 200 lbs, triple stud mounting is strongly recommended. 

• Installer must verify that the supporting surface will safely support the combined load of the equipment and all attached hardware and components. 
• Tighten wood screws so that wall plate is firmly attached, but do not overtighten. Overtightening can damage the screws, greatly reducing their holding power. 

• Make sure that mounting screws are anchored into the center of the stud. The use of an "edge to edge" stud finder is highly recommended. 
• Hardware provided is for attachment of TV mount through standard thickness drywall or plaster into wood studs.

  • Don't mount too high. It's tempting to mount at picture height, but most people would find it more relaxing to watch if the screen center was around 40-45 inches off the floor.
  • "Future Proof" your installation by including a HDMI cable through the wall, even if you are not using one today. 


Getting Started

You’ll need to determine the horizontal placement of the mount on your wall. Once you have a rough idea where you want to place the TV display (left to right) you’ll need to check for obstructions below the mount down to where your power cable and video feeds will exit the wall, and ultimately make their way to your source equipment. This is where the stud finder comes in.

Also, locate the wall-studs as they relate in position to your bracket. At the very minimum you’ll want to ensure you are penetrating into at least one wall-stud (with two anchor bolts, top & bottom) if you are mounting a LCD. If you’re mounting a plasma, you’ll want to hit two studs with two anchors bolts on each side, i.e. a total of four anchors. For HDTVs over 200 lbs., it is recommended to secure using three wall studs.

Note: While it is acceptable to bear the weight of a small to medium sized LCD on one stud, that doesn’t mean you can leave the opposite side loose or free. You’ll still need to anchor the opposite side, most wall-mount kits come with the necessary hardware for this.

A note about the aforementioned power cable: There are several methods of getting power to your wall mounted display but not all of them are condoned by the National Electric Code. The preferred method is to employ standard 'romex' electrical cable terminated inside a  receptacle. Consult an electrician if in doubt.

Once you find the studs, mark their location in pencil on the wall. Measure the vertical distance between the screw holes on the mount. Now it is time to decide on how high to mount your TV. Both the 'flat' and the 'swivel articulated-arm' TV wall mounts are normally fixed such as to set the centerline of the display panel at eye-level when seated; on the other hand, the tilted wall mount is usually set at a higher level.

After deciding on the height, mark in pencil where you will place each screw. Double check that it will be level by using a spirit level or by measuring the distance from the floor up to each screw hole you have marked. It is crucial that you mount it perfectly level - it will be hard to fix a poorly done job later, so re-check your measurements.

Also, use heavy-gauge screws that are capable of taking the full load of the display when screwing your TV wall mount to the supporting wall. The best way to fix thick-gauge screws is to first drill a pilot hole; this is a hole slightly smaller in diameter than the diameter of the screws you are using. Attach the mount with the screws - double check every time to ensure that it is level.

Tip: Double check the stability of your TV wall mount. Once you fix the TV mount in place, pull on it as hard as you can to make sure it is absolutely firm in place; do this before proceeding to hang on your television set.

Once your mount is in place, hang the television set on the mount. You would need someone to help you hold the panel till you manage to hang the unit in place.

Irrespective of the model and brand, the mounting process for a flat-panel television set is practically always the same. You first screw the back plate of your TV wall mount onto the wall and attach the front plate to your flat-panel TV. Then all you have to do is to lower the TV with the mounted front plate assembly (with the help of an extra pair of hands) in place into the rest of the wall mount. Models vary considerably, so make sure you follow the installation guides that come with both your TV wall mount and your TV set.

TV Installation TIPS!

  • Recessed Installation: If you plan to recess your television set to keep the screen flush with the wall, it is important to allow at least three inches of open space above the top of the unit - plus the necessary extra space on either side of the TV to attach the side speakers - if applicable in your case.

    In addition, ensure that the recess is deep enough to allow air to circulate behind the unit to avoid any overheating. Remember that ventilation is especially important with plasma television sets since these tend to get hotter than their LCD TV counterparts as a result of the higher power requirements. A 42-inch plasma TV may easily consume  400W as against the 300W required for an equivalent screen size LCD HDTV.

While aesthetically, recessed installations are an interesting option, keep in mind that you are stuck with the size of the recess. In other words, you cannot upgrade to a larger TV set at a later date should you desire so and put it in the same recess.

  • Finding Studs: In new houses, studs are generally placed 16 inches apart. In addition, power outlets are usually placed adjacent to a stud, so look for a stud there.

If you cannot locate the studs, get an inexpensive $20 stud finder - available from a hardware store.

For slightly more, you can get an all-in-one metal and wood stud finder and electric cable locator. A great all-in-one product is the Zircon 60371 OneStep Stud Finder. It sells for under $30 and includes auto depth sensing, auto re-calibration, and even an integrated erasable marker to make it easy to mark the spot for anchoring without removing the tool from the wall. It will find the center of the stud so you can anchor the mount securely. 

Zircon 60371 i65One-Step stud finder


  • The biggest concern when installing a flat-panel TV wall mount is buried electric wiring in the wall. Be careful not to drill or screw into any wiring. The best way to work safely is to get an inexpensive electric cable locator - usually available from hardware stores. The Zircon 60371 i65 One-Step stud finder referred to above is also capable of finding buried electric cables.

  • It is true that plasma television sets are slim, but as stated earlier on, they are very heavy. If you are not sure of your "Do-It-Yourself" skills, or in doubt about the load bearing capacity of your wall, call for professional assistance.

Installing the Mount:

Before you begin mounting the bracket to the wall, you’ll want to attach the mounting rails to the back of your display. Do this first to get a better idea of exactly where the display will sit in relation to the bracket on the wall. In other words, if the rails that affix to the rear of the display shift the overall height of the display up by two inches, you’ll need to factor this into where you mount the wall bracket.

Once this is done you’re almost ready to install the mount to the wall. Get a pencil and make some light marks on the wall, where the anchor bolts will go through the mount and also trace out a pattern where your wall-box (for cabling) will be cut.

Then put the mount aside for a minute. You’ll want to tap or pre-start a pilot hole for your anchor bolts as they can be difficult to start on their own. You can use a cordless drill with small diameter bit for this or by driving in a sheetrock screw and then removing it.

Cut-out and install your wall-boxes for the cabling, both at the display location and wherever you want the audio/video cables to interface with your A/V system. This is where the recommended sheetrock saw comes in.

If you’re exiting the cables directly below the display (at electrical box height), the actual pulling of the cables will be much easier than if you’re trying to reach another location in the room, by going into the crawlspace or basement and back up into the room.

If the wall you are installing the display on is insulated you might find it difficult to get the cables from the wall-box behind the mount down to the box near your equipment. Use a fish-tape for these types of wire pulls, or substitute two straightened coat hangers taped together.

With your wall-boxes in place and cabling run, you’re ready to attach the mount to the wall. Hold the mount up to the wall and with your level ensure that its level and in your desired position.

With a socket-wrench, secure your first anchor; this may take a bit a pressure to get the bolt started depending on how well you tapped your pilot hole. Move onto the second bolt, third, fourth and give them all a good last twist to ensure they’re snug and you’re ready to hang the display.

Wall plate secured to two wall studs with four fasteners.
Audio/Video wiring coming thru insulation in wall connects to TV.

Exit the cables in the large open area in the center of the mount.

Attaching the wall-mount bracket

Wall mounts are generally composed of two pieces — one that attaches to the TV, and another that mounts on the wall. The portion on the TV then attaches to the piece on the wall. 

Most flat-panel TVs have four plastic caps over the holes used for wall-mounting. 

Attaching mount to the TV

  • Most flat-panel TVs don't have their mounting holes exposed. The holes will be covered by a plastic cap. Use a screwdriver to pry them off.
  • Lean the TV up against a couch or table, using soft material like a blanket to protect the glass. 


Attach the connectors or rails to the television. Details will vary by manufacturer, but look for rails or mounting holes on the back of the TV display. Bolt the mounting hardware firmly to the television, making sure all parts are level and facing the right direction. Make sure you'll be able to access any knobs or controls when the unit is on the wall. Lock down any sliders on adjustable wall-mounting kits so you don't have to contend with moving parts when you're trying to hang the unit.

Attaching mount to the wall

  • To safely and securely mount your TV to the wall, you'll need to drill the bracket into wooden studs. After you've chosen your ideal TV mount location, use a high-quality stud finder to locate nearby studs. Mark each stud with a pencil or masking tape.
  • Once you've chosen which studs you're going to use, verify where each stud is located using an awl or thin nail. Hammer the nail into the wall partially until you hit the stud, then pull it out, move it about 1/4" to the side, and repeat until you only hit drywall. Do the same in the other direction.
  • Find the middle of the stud by measuring the distance between the two drywall-only holes. Mark it — you'll want to mount the bracket on that middle line.
  • Verify that the mounting holes in the bracket line up with the center of the studs.
  • Follow the steps below to figure out how high to mount your bracket on the wall. Also check the owner's manual for additional tips.
  • Looking at the back of the TV, measure the distance from the bottom of the panel to the bottom of the bracket that you've attached to the TV.
  • Use a pencil or masking tape to mark the wall where you want the bottom of the TV to be.
  • Using your previous measurement, mark the wall where the bottom of the bracket should be.  
  • To figure out how high to mount the bracket: Measure the distance from the bottom of the panel to the bottom of the bracket. Make a mark on the wall where you want the bottom of the TV to be. Mark the wall where the bottom of the bracket should be.

  • If you're going to run the A/V cables inside the wall, cut a hole for the wire to exit the wall before you mount the bracket. Some brackets will have pre-existing holes for this purpose. Trace the one that's closest to the A/V connectors on your TV. Next, drill a pilot hole. This is a small hole, drilled in the center of the space. Use caution when drilling pilot holes, so you don't plunge your bit into a pipe or electrical conduit. Next, insert a sturdy wire (such as a bent coat hanger) into the pilot hole, and explore the space behind the wall where you'd like to cut. You should also explore nearby crawlspaces or review your electrical and plumbing plans (available from your builder) to make sure you know what's behind the drywall before you cut. Don't cut unless you know that the area behind the wall is clear.

    When cutting drywall, use a hand-held drywall saw (not an electric one) and cut slowly. Cut the drywall in one piece, on an inward slant, so that it's easier to patch later if necessary.  

    Use a sturdy wire (such as a bent coat hanger) to explore your pilot holes. Be sure that the space behind the wall is clear before cutting.

  • Always use a level to verify that the bracket is level before securing it to the wall studs. Have your partner keep it stable while you screw it into the wall to make sure it stays level.
  • Verify that the bracket is level before mounting the TV. It's much easier to make changes now than after the TV's on the wall.
  • Note: Metal studs — If your house has metal studs, you may not want to wall-mount your TV. Most metal studs are too weak to support the weight of a flat-panel TV.


Hanging the TV on the wall

Get a family member or friend to help you with this part. It’s definitely easier to hang a display with two people, one on each side, especially if it’s a 42” Plasma, don’t try to hang something that heavy by yourself.

Take a look at where the inputs for power and video are located on the back of the display before you lift it. It’s much easier to put the cables into their respective slots if you already know where they go.

Once the display is mounted and the cables are all in place, check to make sure the safety tabs are in position. The weight of the display itself will likely keep it secure on the mount but these tabs or “locks” that close over the rails of the mount, add the extra piece of mind you want when it comes to expensive LCD’s or Plasmas.

  • Do not attempt to do this part on your own. Ask your helper to assist you in lifting the TV and lining up the bracket. 

When you attach the bracket on the back of the TV to the bracket on the wall, have your helper assist you in lifting the TV, lining up the bracket, and keeping it steady. If you have an adjustable bracket, use a level to position the screen. After installing all the individual parts, hang the TV by connecting the television's hardware to its connectors on the wall plate. Often, this process will involve sliding or hooking slots on the display hardware to rails on the plate. Finalize the attachment with safety knobs or other bolts to hold the pieces in place. Unlock any flexible controls and adjust the display's positioning on the wall as needed.
Cable connections.  
Finally, hookup. Most flat-panel TVs include accessible inputs and outputs, making it easy to connect various home theater components. Plug in the unit first, and then connect video and audio sources (including cable or satellite TV receivers and DVD and/or VHS players). Finally, group all the wiring with cable ties and hide them using plastic housings matching the wall's color. See Audio/Video connections cable types.

Wall studs

What are wall studs? 

Wall studs are part of the framework of a house. In most homes you will find that behind plaster, dry wall or other wall types there are wooden frames made up of supports called studs or wall studs. These were traditionally of uniform measurement such as 2 inches by 4 inches (2 by 4) or 6 inches by 2 inches. You generally cannot see any evidence of a wall stud from the outside. 

Wall studs are vertical membranes that form the skeleton of a house. Wall studs work together with the construction of the whole house to provide and insure stability. Any other hardware, furnishings or ornaments rely on quality wall stud construction and placement so that they may stand and/or be affixed securely. Those strips of wood, the wooden wall studs, stand between your roof, windows, doors, floors and you. They are a foundation for your siding, plastering, mason work and any other inside or outside wall coverings. 

If you could look inside your walls, this is what you would see. The vertical support studs are what will bear the weight of the TV. Mount the wall plate using the center of the stud. A stud finder is invaluable to do this. Mounts are designed to distribute the weight evenly across two wall-studs. 

What is a wall stud finder? 

A wall stud finder is an accurate and indispensable tool used in place of manually finding studs by hand. When anything is hung from a wall by nail or screw, the nail must be hammered into a stud for solidity and so as not to tear holes in the plaster, wallpaper, paneling or other wall covering. 

Whenever home remodeling is done the studs must be discovered as well. You will need to nail any new paneling to them, or any new plasterboard. You will need to know where they are even to add insulation within and between walls. You can get one at a hardware store or possibly an electronics store. They come with instructions and sometimes even with batteries. 

What types are there? 

Electronic - can be held and used in one hand. It emits an alarm and uses an LCD light array to acknowledge finding studs and edges of studs. It measures the mass and the volume of the wall and then finds the stud within it.

Other types of wall stud finders find metal staples or screws that hold the covered drywall to the studs themselves. These are magnetic wall stud finders, which are dependent on there being metal to find, and that the metal is in the studs and not somewhere else. 

When, how and why are they used? When you are mounting paintings, shelving or other items to walls, you need to use a stud finder. Move the stud finder across the wall until you hear the first beep and the lights light up. At this point you have found the edge of the stud and may want to mark it with the pencil. Slowly keep moving the stud finder across the wall and when it beeps again you have found the center of the same stud. Now mark the center by placing the pencil at the top middle of the stud finder and marking there. This center mark is where you will want to screw the fastener in. Stud finders are used to make sure all your remodeling jobs are done in conjunction with the solid framework of your house, known as the wall stud. 

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