How do you add an extra two feet to your TV room without ripping out a wall?
“Get rid of that old, giant entertainment unit, and wall mount your TV,” says John Logan of Logan’s Audio Video.
Flat-panel TVs offer some of the best pictures available, plus a sleek design that looks great in almost any décor. Their slender shape and light weight make them ideal for wall mounting.
“By wall mounting your TV,” Logan explains, “you not only gain back extra space in your room, you can also keep your TV out of reach of little hands.”
Logan offers some tips for buying and mounting a TV bracket.
Mounting bracket shopping tips
• Always check the screen sizes that the bracket says it can hold, and stay within the appropriate range.
• Think about what you want the bracket to able do. Do you want to be able to swivel the TV left and right to avoid glare, or get a better view from different seats? Do you want to be able to nudge the TV up and down in case you don't get the bracket exactly where you want it the first time? There are lots of options out there, so keep such conveniences in mind.
Where to mount the TV
• Obviously, the TV needs to be easily, comfortably viewable from the couch and other viewing spots.
• Ideally, the middle of the TV screen needs to be at about eye level while seated. You'll want to be comfortable while watching TV, and mounting it too high can result in neck strain. Plus, you'll probably see the best-looking picture when you view the TV head-on, rather than at an angle.
Locations for running the wires
If you'd like to run wires on the outside of the wall, but avoid that tangled, unattractive look, you're in luck. You can use paintable cable management raceways that attach to the wall. They'll hide the TV's A/V and power cables between the set and an A/V cabinet.
If you opt to run the wires inside the wall, be sure to check with local building and fire codes first and avoid mounting the TV on an exterior wall, where there are additional braces and insulation to deal with.
Logan also explains, “If you're planning to route your A/V cables inside your wall, you might be tempted to run your TV's power cable in the wall as well. But those cables aren't designed or rated for safe in-wall use, and can pose a safety hazard. So if you want the power cable hidden, we strongly urge you to hire a licensed electrician to install a recessed AC receptacle in the wall, in a location where it will be covered by your TV, and not obstructed by the mounting bracket.”
Attaching the bracket to the wall
“Most brackets are designed to be bolted to two wooden studs in the wall,” says Logan. “But in a lot of homes, the studs are not in the right spot to centre the TV on the wall or the home may have metal studs. In these cases, we suggest mounting a strong piece of plywood to the studs and then mounting the bracket to the plywood.”
Where to put components?
Once you’ve gotten rid of your entertainment centre, and your TV is on the wall, where are you supposed to put your Blu-ray player, satellite receiver, and other A/V components? Logan suggests thinking outside of the box.
“With new technology, your components do not need to be visible. You can hide them in a closet, across the room or in a closed cabinet. Running a little extra cable to hide your components can give your room a modern look and feel.”