The television is often the focal point of the living room. Getting your electronics to blend into your space without taking it over may seem like it requires serious technical know-how, but it’s easier than you may think to display your TV on the wall and make all those electrical cords disappear. Here’s how.
(If you rent your home rather than own, be sure to check with your landlord or apartment management before you get started. You may be better off with a stylish TV stand.)
Choose Your Mount
Displaying your television on the wall starts with a sturdy wall-mount bracket.
If you have seating in different parts of the room, go for a full-motion or articulating mount that will allow you to move the TV out from the wall and swivel it in any direction. This style is ideal for corners, cabinets, or recessed areas. However, it can be more expensive and harder to install, and it often requires longer cords.
An ultra-thin, ultra-slim, or low-profile mount will allow your television to lie flush to the wall. These are the most affordable mounts, but if your cable connections are on the back of the TV, the cords can push your screen out or cause it to tilt a bit. A low-profile tilting mount will allow your TV to tilt up or down, with less motion than an articulating option. Pricier than a static low-profile mount and easier to install than an articulating style, this is the best option for many situations.
Once you determine what style mount fits your needs, consult your television’s manual for the bolt pattern and the unit’s weight specifications. You’ll need that info when you go to purchase the mount.
Secure the TV
There are plenty of affordable mounts in stores or online, but remember that the cheaper the mount, the better the chance it will come with fewer bolts and lower-grade lag bolts, which are the pieces that hold the mount to the wall. It’s better to spend a little more to secure your investment.
To install a mount onto the wall, follow the instructions that come with the mount. In general, remove the screws in the back of the TV. Using the hardware that came with your mount, mount the brackets onto the back of the set. Next, use a stud finder to locate the studs in your wall. In order for your set to be secure, you want to mount your bracket directly into the studs. Studs are usually 16 inches apart from the center of one to the center of the next, and they are about 1.5 inches wide.
Mark the center of one stud with a pencil before you locate the next stud and mark it. Use a level and draw a line between your marks before you drill pilot holes. Now you’re ready to bolt your bracket directly into the wall.
One note: If your flat-screen TV is larger than 55 inches, consider anchors. Drywall is often not sturdy enough to support a larger TV without them.
Hide the Cords
If you are somewhat handy, hiding power and cable cords is as easy as cutting a couple of holes in the drywall and using an in-wall power cord and cable kit, available at any major home improvement store, to safely hide your cords inside the wall.
If you can’t drill into your walls, a paintable cable management system or cord concealer will help protect your cords while eliminating clutter. You can find one online or at most home improvement stores.
The Finished Project
Once you’ve mounted the bracket and determined how to hide your cords, carefully hang your set on the wall. A large set can be unwieldly, so get help if you need it.
And then sit back and enjoy your shows.