Putting a Flat Screen TV on the Wall

It seems only yesterday that the flat screen TV was the new gadget to have, but now old-style TVs are no longer produced and we’re looking at 3D televisions as the next big thing. One of the best things about flat screen TVs is that they are so much thinner and easier to live with and putting them on the wall seems the natural thing to do.

Putting a TV on the Wall Can Be Scary

But a lot of people are reluctant to wall mount their televisions and it’s not really surprising. It’s one thing for a shelf of books to come down off the wall, or even a picture or mirror. But if your brand new flat screen TV bites the dust you’re probably looking at a good few hundred pounds down the drain, thousands in some cases.

There are two main aspects to mounting a flat screen TV on the wall successfully. The first is mounting the wall bracket securely and the second is getting all the cables to it in a neat and unobtrusive way. We’ll tackle brackets first.

First assess the wall you are going to be putting the TV on. Is it a stud partition, breeze block, drywall or even stone or brick? There’s not enough space to go into all the different types of fixing here but look at the other articles on this site about using the right screws and wall mountings.

Bracket Types and Fixings

Then select a bracket. The choice is between two main types, full motion or flat. The swivel mounts are useful if you want to be able to move the TV from side to side or even bring it out from the wall and push it back again. Flat mounts don’t allow this, they might have a mechanism that allows you to tilt the screen up or down a little but that’s all. But they are cheaper than full motion brackets.

Most mounts will tell you a TV size range and weight that they can accommodate so check the manual of your telly to find out what you need. Also most televisions fit the VESA Flat Display Mounting Interface (FDMI) mounting standard. VESA came out with flat screen computer monitors and defines different types of mounting. Check your manual or TV box for an indication of any VESA support and get a stand that matches. Alternatively make sure the stand is universal and you should be ok.

Working Out Where it All Goes

Nearly all flat screen TV brackets come in two parts, one to go on the wall and one to attach to the telly. Get a second person to help you and offer the television up to work out roughly where it should go. Then mark the place on the wall, drill the holes and bolt that to the wall using the appropriate fittings for your wall and a spirit level to make sure it’s all straight. Then attach the bracket to the TV using the manufacturer’s instructions.

Now it’s time to deal with the cabling. If you need extensions then you should be able to get them from a TV and audio store, or possibly a large DIY store. Note that if you are putting the cables into the wall it might be worth purchasing extension leads for ever single port on the telly. Run all of them through the wall, even if you don’t use some of them. Then when you buy a new game console or other gadget, you can add it in without having to re-run the cabling and redecorate the wall.

Getting Cables to the TV

If you have a solid wall chase a channel in the wall and lay the cables into it. You might find it easier if you put them in trunking or pin them to the wall so that they stay in place. Then plaster or fill over the channel and redecorate. It might be worth putting the TV up and testing all the cables before you start mucking about with the walls. The last thing you want to do is find out it doesn’t work once you done all the work!

If you have stud partition then drill a hole by the wall bracket and drop an iron item through it on a long piece of string. Drag that down the inside of wall using gravity and a magnet until it is as near as possible to where you want the cables to go then drill another hole to bring the iron weight out.

Tie a cable to the string and pull it through, leaving enough length on the string for you to pull it back again for the next cable. Repeat this until all the cables are though.

Of course you don’t need to do all of that, you can just clip all the cables together with cable ties or buy a cable tidy pipe. Then just let them dangle from the TV down to the gadget area. It depends on how long you will be in the property and how neat and tidy you want it to look.

Connecting and Finishing Up

Once all that’s done, connect all the cables to the TV. This is another point where you’ll need your second person as you’ll need them to hold the telly up close to the bracket while you make all the connections.

Hang the television on the wall bracket and make sure any locking points or brackets are secure. Then sit back and watch in comfort.