This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in October 2014.
We can’t help settling into the couch a little deeper this time of year. Between the cooler weather, new TV programming, and football season, fall seems a good time to be focusing on making the living room comfortable for the impending long, cold winter. And for me, part of that comfort involves getting the flat screen TV into a permanent location.
You know how it can be after you move; you shift things around for awhile, finding the best furniture layout for your needs, eventually ready to really settle in and make things “permanent.” Contrary to what you see above (that isn’t my house, but I aspire!), my TV isn’t mounted on the wall right now, but it needs to be, and that is one of our big “permanent” adjustments at the moment.
There are lots of products on the market these days to make it more conducive for homeowners to learn how to mount a flat-screen TV . Things like Legrand’s Wiremold Flat-Screen TV Power kit and PowerBridge solutions like this make it easier to hide cables between studs in the wall, and eliminate the messy “I just punched through my drywall for this project” look. But aside from that, there’s a lot to know when it comes to choosing the right style of wall-mount:
1. Know what style you want:
If you just want the flat-screen TV up on the wall like shown above, a flat-mount might be the easy solution you’re looking for. It’s ideal when your seating faces directly at the TV, and in small spaces where you can always see the screen. On the other hand, you might be thinking of a tilt or turn variety, or even something that articulates in all directions, which is convenient for open floor plans and great rooms. Where you’re going to install the TV is a big factor in this too. You’ll want your flat-screen to be at a height so that you’re looking straight ahead at the screen when you’re sitting. If you’re going to install the TV over your fireplace, be sure it can tilt vertically to angle it down towards your eyes. There are even mounting units for installing a TV in the corner of a room.
2. Buy according to the size of your TV:
Many wall mounts on the market will fit the back of your TV (your flat-screen TV will have threaded screw holes in the back that you attach the wall mount to) but be aware that the weight of your TV is an important factor too. Bigger screens = more weight, and more weight puts strain on a wall mount. It’s not so much that you’ll have to worry about the TV falling off the mount or ripping the mount out of the wall – though a valid concern – but possible that a too-heavy TV on a too-weak mount will sag, which is likely to also effect how well it articulates. You spent good money on a TV, so invest in a quality mount too.
3. Pick a color!
Most TVs are black or dark gray, right? So, two things to consider: if your walls are white (like mine! this is a real-life inquiry!), would installing a white mount behind the black TV blend in better with the wall and be less obvious? Or does it not matter since the TV is already black? Conundrums. Of course, this has a lot to do with….
4. How close do you want the TV fold against the wall?
Be sure to check this spec. There’s a range in how flush the articulating wall mounts can sit against the wall, depending I’ve found, on the range of flexibility. For example, the photo at the top of this post shows a TV on a flush mount (no movement), but a TV I installed in an old house had a turning mount, and it always looked a little bit like robot arms were tucked behind the screen.
For more tips on installing flat-screen TVs: