When Scott and I bought our new Christmas present for each other, the smaller flatscreen TV moved upstairs to our master bedroom. After the holidays, we’ve mostly been concerned with getting the living room straightened up and the stereo system ready to rumble (literally). With a few days being trapped in the house thanks to a recent snowfall, it seemed like perfect timing (for Scott, at least) to get the upstairs TV mounted onto the wall.
This little task wound up being a two-person job, especially when it came to snaking the wires. Without further ado, here are the step-by-step instructions:
- mounting kit (make sure it’s the right size for your TV)
- stud finder
- wires for the TV connection (to whatever your setup may be – DVD player, satellite, etc)
- box cutter
- jigsaw (if you’re going to hid the wires behind the wall like we did)
- fish wire (aka “that snake thingy”)
1. The first thing to do is measure out where you want the TV to go. For us, this meant laying down on the bed, seeing where we might like the TV, getting up, seeing if it would work over the dresser (for balance), then having the other person do the same. Eventually, we found the exact spot and drew out the line on the wall for the bottom-most edge of the TV.
2. Measure the TV height and divide by two. Since ours was 20 inches tall, that meant the middle of the bracket would need to fall 10 inches above our previously drawn line.
3. Find the studs in your wall using a stud finder. Mount the wall bracket to these studs to ensure that there will be no slippage of the heavy (and very expensive) TV. Also connect the TV bracket onto the back of your TV (can’t have one on the wall without a matching counterpart on the TV).
4. Now that you know where the TV is going to go, you need to make room for the wires. Hold the TV up to the wall, and with your pencil, mark where the wires will be hooked up so that you know where the hole in the wall needs to go (to snake everything through). Make sure that the hole will be hidden by the TV once it’s in its final spot.
5. Cut the hole for the wires, starting with the box cutter. If it proves to be difficult to cut, use a jigsaw.
6. Make sure you have a supervisor on hand to admire the mess you’re making of your bedroom.
7. Don’t forget, once you snake the wires into the wall, you need another hole closer to the outlet to let the wires back out. Be sure that this hole creates a vertical line with the one above (so that you’re not snaking the wires through a stud, just through the space in the wall).
7. Next, meet our new best friend for this project: fish wire tool.
This baby was a real helper in making the wires slide easily through each hole in the wall. Simply stick it through the top…
And find it at the bottom. To get the wires through, tape them on the end of the snake wire, then send in through the wall. Easy. No arching your fingers in weird angles to try to find the wire in the wall.
8. Once all of your wires are through the wall, it’s time to hook ‘er up. Connect your wires, then prepare yourself for mounting the TV onto the wall!
UPDATE (& Disclaimer): One of my readers mentioned something I hadn’t even thought about: per the NEC (National Electric Code), it violates code to run your TV’s electrical cord through the wall with the rest of the wires. If you don’t want to pay an electrician to move your outlet behind the TV, you can install one yourself. Another alternative is to do what we did here, which is a paintable plastic cover that you can stick to the wall.
9. Do a little stretch, then lift your TV onto the wall. This is where it’s helpful to have two people. One to make sure the wall attaches properly to the bracket, and the other to pull the cords throught he wall so that they don’t bunch underneath the TV.
10. Wonder what those strings are hanging from the TV? They are actually what lock the TV into place onto the mount. See the two pics below for a demonstration. When you pull on the string, the lock snaps down so that the TV is snug and secure on the mount.
11. Once you’ve pulled on the strings to secure the TV, you can still slide the TV along the mount if it’s not perfectly in position.
12. Clean up the mess you made from sawing into the wall.
13. Step back and admire your work.
There you have it! Instructions for you, and no more craning our necks in bed to see the bottom of the TV. Win-win.