Making & Mending - DIY Install - Fixed TV Wall Mounts
The days of giant, boxy televisions that take three people to carry are long behind us. Modern TVs are flat, slim, and most importantly, lightweight. These newer, sleeker designs make it much easier to save space by using a TV wall mount over a traditional TV stand. Before installing a TV mount, there are a few basic details to be aware of.
In this guide, we will be covering fixed and tilting TV mounts. Tilting wall mounts tilt down, making them the better choice for televisions mounted higher up, but aside from that they are the same as fixed mounts. For articulating (swing arm) mounts, see our other TV mount DIY install guide here.
There are a few different ratings that apply to TV wall mounts. The first is the size of the television. Wall mounts will be rated for different screen sizes, so be sure to select a unit that will accommodate your television. Each wall mount will also have a weight limit. Most modern TVs are light enough that the weight is not an issue, but it never hurts to double-check.
The other major factor is the VESA pattern of the television. VESA patterns are the holes on the back to the TV used to attach the mount. There are different types of VESA patterns, measured in millimeters. For example, a 200x200 VESA pattern means the holes form a square that is 200 millimeters on each side. The VESA pattern should be listed in the TV instruction manual. Otherwise, a ruler or tape measure can be used to check. Be sure to select a wall mount with a maximum VESA pattern compatible with the TV. If a little wiggle room is needed, a VESA adapter kit can be used.
In the guide below, we will be using a tilting TV wall mount rated for 32-55” televisions. There is a video version of the guide available at the bottom of the article.
Step 1: Gathering the Tools
All of the small odds and ends needed to install the wall mount (screws, washers, etc.) will come with it. Everything else will be common tools. Users will need a Phillips head screwdriver, a pencil, a stud finder, a level, and a drill with a ¼” drill bit. This is also a good time to check the VESA pattern and confirm its size.
Step 2: Attaching the Mounting Arms
Find the holes of the VESA pattern and lay one of the mounting arms on top. The arms are attached vertically, so each one will use two of the four VESA holes. Put washers over the screws that came with the wall mount and use them to secure the mounting arm to the TV with the screwdriver. Repeat this step for the second mounting arm before continuing to Step 3.
Step 3: Marking the Studs
Use the stud finder to locate a stud on the part of the wall where the TV will hang and mark it with the pencil. Then find the next nearest stud and mark that one as well.
Step 4: Positioning the Wall Plate
Use one of the spots marked in Step 3 to drill the first pilot hole into the wall. Hold the wall plate up to the hole and use one of the mounting screws to secure it, keeping it a bit loose so the wall plate can be positioned. Hold the plate upright, using the level to make sure it is straight, and mark the spot for the next mounting screw with the pencil.
Step 5: Attaching the Mounting Screws
Drill the second pilot hole, using the spot marked in the previous step. Then secure the wall mount with the second mounting screwing. With both top mounting screws now holding the wall plate upright, use the drill to make pilot holes for the bottom two screws and then attach them as well.
Step 6: Mounting the TV
With the mounting arms attached and wall plate secure the TV can now be mounted onto the wall. When lining up the television, make sure the hooks on the mounting arms grip the top of the mounting plate.
Step 7: Securing the Safety Screws
On the bottom of the mount (under the TV), tighten the safety screws to make sure the TV stays snug and secure on the wall mount.
(Optional) Step 8: Adjusting the Tilt Angle
For tilting TV wall mounts, the knobs on the side of the bracket can be used to adjust how far the TV tilts. Adjust the tilt to a comfortable position and the TV will be ready for use.