Mounting a flatscreen TV to the wall can reduce clutter and give a clean modern look. And this project is easy enough that the average handy homeowner can do it themselves. In this article I share my tips to help make the installation go as smoothly as possible.
For our TV, a 55” Samsung, I chose the Sanus VMPL50A-B1, which fits 32” to 70” TVs. This mount is very heavy-duty and it places the TV very close to the wall, while still allowing tilt adjustment. If you are mounting the TV up high, being able to tilt it downward toward the viewer can make a big difference. The mount costs about $76 on Amazon, but I saw if for roughly twice that price at the big box retail stores. This mount has a bracket that attaches to the wall, and a bracket that attaches to the TV. You then clip the TV bracket on to the wall bracket. Let’s get started:
1. Attach the Bracket to the Rear of the TV
The kit includes several different screws and spacers to fit a variety of TVs. Lay the TV screen down on a soft surface or towel and screw the bracket into the back.
2. Find the Studs
The kit instructions say you can use drywall anchors, but if at all possible, I prefer my expensive new TV to mount to studs. Once you find the studs, hold your mount on the wall and make sure you can locate the TV where you want it. As you can see, our TV bracket ended up quite a bit off-center of the wall bracket, but this is fine.
3. Measure and Drill
Measure carefully. Once the TV is on the wall, you’ll have quite a bit of side-to-side adjustment, but very little up-and-down adjustment, so measure very carefully. Some people make a cardboard mock-up to test the placement (the TV box is a convenient source of cardboard for this). Remember that adjusting the tilt may alter the height by a lot. Drill pilot holes into the studs and then bolt the wall bracket to the wall.
4. Add Holes for Cables
If you don’t mind seeing cables, you can skip this step. Since this TV sits right above out fireplace, visible cables would really detract from the look. I drilled some fairly large holes for the cables, knowing they would be hidden once the TV was mounted. I also bought HDMI right angle adapters so my connections would go straight toward the wall, rather than having to turn the cable in the very limited space. Be aware that the adapters come as 90 or 270 degree version depending on which direction your TV connectors face. Be sure to order the right variety.
5. Route the Cables
Again, if visible cables don’t bother you, don’t worry about this step. I dropped a string with a washer tied to the end into one hole, and pulled it out the other hole. Then I taped the cable to the string, and used the string to pull the cable where I wanted it. I also pulled an extra HDMI cable through if we end up wanting to hook something else to the TV later.
6. Mount the TV
This is a lot easier with a helper. Even if you can hold the TV yourself, it’s good to have someone to look behind the TV and tell you which direction you need to move. When you have it correct the brackets engage with an audible click
7. Adjust the Placement
Check the side-to-side position, and level. To adjust the tilt, Sanus includes a very long allen wrench, but even this wasn’t long enough for our 55” TV. I ended up using a socket driver with a 2ft long extension.
You’re done! Have a seat and enjoy your handiwork.