How to mount a TV to the wall

Learning how to mount your TV on the wall gives you the power to make one of the biggest upgrades to your home theater (besides buying a new TV or a deluxe sound system). Wall-mounting a TV comes with a number of benefits, from a cleaner aesthetic design to better ergonomics for more enjoyable viewing. From prep work to actual installation, here's How to mount a TV to the wall step by step.

1. Find the studs

Once you've settled into the perfect spot on the wall, you'll need to find the studs to mount the bracket properly. Attaching your TV wall bracket to the studs provides the structural strength needed to support a TV that weighs 30 to 100 pounds. Drywall alone will not support this kind of weight, so it is essential that you secure the TV mount to the studs. 

Finding stud locations is as simple as using a cheap stud finder or using other means of finding stud locations. Measure the mounting points on the TV during the stand to determine how many studs you need to find. Depending on the specifics of the wall and TV mount you've chosen, it may need to have around three studs. You can mark the position of light studs on the wall with a pencil.

2. Mark the hole position

Next, you need to mark specifically where you intend to screw the wall. Ideally, you would use a level to ensure that these marks are not only even between the two studs but also to ensure that the count won't skew. 

You can mark specific locations for the pilot holes in the wall with a pencil or, you can stick paper over the intended installation location, use a pre-printed template, or mark each hole in the wall yourself.

3. Double check the bracket position

With your marks in place, it's time to position the bracket on the wall. First, place the bracket flat against the wall, aligning a screw position in the first marked hole. 

Holding that point firmly, rotate the other side of the holder if necessary to align with the second hole. Use a level to double-check that the stand is level when it is aligned with your planned pilot holes.

4. Drill pilot holes

Using a drill, you will need to drill pilot holes through the drywall and into the studs in the appropriate locations.

5. Mount the wall bracket

After the pilot holes are drilled, you will use the included mounting screws to secure the wall bracket. Using a power drill, screwdriver or ratchet, place the wall screws to secure the bracket to the wall, with the screws going into the studs. In general, you'll want the screws tight enough to hold the mount snugly against the drywall without wobbling or rattling on the mounting plate. 

If the screws sink into the drywall or the bracket is warped in any way, you've screwed it up too tight.

6. Attach the TV mounting plate

Next, you will attach the mounting plate to the TV. This is the second half of the TV mount, which will attach to the back of the TV, and then connect to the wall mount to securely mount the TV on the wall. 

Depending on the type of mount you are using, the two halves can be attached via a simple clamp, a rail system, or even an extendable arm. Line up the TV mounting plate with the VESA mounting holes on the back of the TV frame. Be especially careful not to over-tighten the screws, which could result in damage to the TV frame or stripped screws, both of which can cause real problems when mounting (or later removing) the TV. 

A good rule of thumb is to tighten the screw until it holds the bracket snugly against the chassis, then tighten it a quarter turn.

7. Attach the mounting plate to the wall bracket

With both the wall mount and the TV mounting plate secured in place, all that remains is to attach both. 

Start by raising the TV to the appropriate height or slightly above the intended position so that the TV can be lowered to attach the stand and base plate. In some cases, this will be a drop-in connector with safety screws that can be tightened after mounting, but in others will use attachments that can be clamped or screwed into place. 

Be sure to refer to the instructions that came with the TV mount and use the included hardware to attach the plate to the bracket. Take care when lifting the TV, paying special attention to holding the TV by the outer edges, not by the glass. 

Be especially careful not to hold or press the screen, which can damage the screen very easily. Once the number is properly mounted, you can let the stand support the weight of the TV.

8. Reconnect the TV

All that remains at this point is to reconnect the power to the TV and any other devices that may need to be plugged in. Once done, you can go back and enjoy your newly mounted TV.

Final Thoughts

Whether you have a simple tilting wall mount or a fully articulated two-arm mount that offers a full range of motion and position, the basics for installing that hardware are pretty much the same. The process of How to mount a TV to the wall is fairly simple, but doing it right can make the difference between an attractively mounted TV and a TV that may be out of place or even damage the TV.

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