by C.D. Crowder
Mount your flat panel TV on a wall to save space and free up space taken by a TV stand. Flat panel TVs can be fitted flat against a wall or mounted so that you can adjust the angle of the television. Installing a wall mount is generally not difficult and can typically be done in about 30 minutes. Here are a few steps to help you install your own television mount.
Choose the location for your TV. Use a stud finder to locate studs within your wall. Find at least two studs close together for the most stable mount.
The weight of your flat panel TV will cause the wall mount to pull out of the wall if the TV wall mount is not secured to a wall stud or board. Make light pencil marks to identify the studs. Studs are boards, typically spaced from 16 inches to 24 inches apart, inside of your wall.
The height of your TV will depend on the furniture in the room. Tape a large piece of paper against the wall to envision comfortable viewing positions.
Choose a compatible wall mount for your TV. Flat panel TV wall mounts can be flat, tilt or articulating mounts. Articulating wall-mounts offer the widest range of movement. Flat and articulating are the two most popular types.
For flat panel TVs that are 42 inches or larger, flat or tilt mounts work best due to the weight of the television. Smaller televisions work well with articulating mounts to provide a wider viewing area throughout a room.
For extremely small areas, flat or tilt mounts are best to avoid bumping the television into objects. Larger areas with furniture located around the room are best for articulating mounts.
Flat mounts help prevent stress on the wall or mount. However, when used and installed properly, all wall-mount types are safe.
Attach the mounting brackets to your TV. Using a screwdriver and the screws provided with the mount, attach the mounting brackets to the back of your flat panel TV.
Mark your installation point. Use your level to draw a level guideline where you plan to install the wall mount. Hold the wall mount against the wall and align the mounting bolt holes with the stud markings. Making sure the wall mount is level, mark the bolt-hole locations with a pencil and set the wall mount aside.
If you're planning to run cables from the TV inside the wall, also draw an outline of where the hole for the wall box will be cut.
Drill holes in the studs. Drill holes into the studs according to the marks you've made. Using a socket wrench, insert the mounting bolts into the bolt holes. Mounting bolts will be different sizes depending on the type and size of wall mount you choose.
Attach the mounting bracket and TV to your wall mount. Place your flat panel TV onto the wall mount using the brackets already installed on the television. Some wall-mount models involve screwing the brackets to the mount, while others lock the brackets in place by sliding the television over the mount.
Never lift a large flat-panel TV onto a wall mount by yourself. Lifting heavy electronics alone can result in back injuries or damage to your TV.