Project Guide

How to Mount a Flat Screen TV on a Wall

Select a TV Mount
A TV mount sitting on the ground.

There are different types of TV wall mounts.

  • Fixed TV mounts keep the television in a stationary position, flush against the wall.
  • Swivel TV mounts allow the screen to pivot to the left and to the right to accommodate viewing from within a room.
  • Tilting TV wall mounts give the ability to angle the screen down for better viewing when installed higher on a wall.
  • Full-motion TV wall mounts allow you to manually adjust the television right, left, up and down for a custom angle. Some models have a telescoping arm, which can be useful when mounting a TV on the wall in a corner location.

No matter which type you choose, installing a TV wall mount requires the same procedure.

There are size and weight limits for mounting hardware. Be sure to check the product specifications and confirm that your television is compatible with the mounting brackets.

Choose Location and Viewing Height
Two people marking a spot on the wall to mount a TV.

Mounting a TV on the wall requires a little bit of planning. Save time and reduce stress by thinking ahead before drilling holes in your wall.

  • Select a place with easy access to power outlets, cable input sources, and connections for speakers and accessories.
  • Determine where components such as cable boxes, gaming consoles and DVD players will be placed. Consider installing a shelf beneath the mounted TV to hold essential equipment.
  • Avoid direct sunlight, heat, and vibrations and do not place in direct flow of traffic.
  • Select a weight-bearing wall. The wall must be able to safely support four times the combined load of the equipment and all attached hardware and components.

How high should a TV be mounted on the wall is a question most TV-watching DIYers have.

  • The optimal viewing height is to center the display at eye level when seated. Many people consider this to be too low for a wall mount, and commonly use the following rule for placement:
  • Position the bottom of the display no higher than eye level when seated, and the top of the display no higher than eye level when standing. Anything within these limits should normally provide a comfortable viewing experience.

To help find the right height and test the TV mount location and viewing height:

  • Cut out a sheet of paper or cardboard the approximate size of your TV and hang it on the wall in your desired location. 
  • Affix to the wall with painter’s tape. 
  • Test out that location from different locations around the room. Make sure that it is centered and isn’t positioned so high that it strains your neck when you look at it.
Locate Studs
Person holding a stud finder against a wall.

You must screw into studs when mounting a TV on the wall. Do not use hollow-wall anchors as they cannot support the weight of TV wall mount brackets and the television.

  • Once you’ve picked an ideal location for hanging a TV on the wall, run a stud finder along the top of the paper. 
  • Locate the two studs in your wall that will support your TV.  (Some models are fastened to only one stud.)
  • Mark the location of each stud’s center with a pencil. Use a nail to confirm a stud has been located. 

Tip: If mounting a TV to a wall made of brick, you won’t need to find studs. Instead, use masonry anchors when fastening the mount to the wall.

Mark Pilot Holes
Two people using a level to mark pilot holes on a wall.
  • Mark lightly in pencil where the corners of the TV will be and remove the paper. 
  • Measure the distance between the top and bottom holes on each TV mounting arm. Mark two points in the center of each wall stud, corresponding to these holes. 
  • Use a level to ensure the mounting holes for each arm are even.
Position the Wall Mount
A level being used to mark placement for wall mount.
  • Hold the flat screen wall mount or TV mount brackets up against the wall, and use a level to make sure it’s even. 
  • Use a friend to help you hold the wall mount.

Tip: Remember the old adage, “Mark twice. Cut once.” That same rule applies to drilling in walls. Check that the mounting holes are level twice before drilling.

Drill Pilot Holes
A person wearing safety goggles and drilling a hole in the wall with a power drill.

Use a drill to make pilot holes into studs along where you’ve made the marks for mounting.

Attach the Mount to the Wall
A person wearing safety goggles and drilling screws into the wall mount fixture.
  • Have a friend hold the mount against the wall where you’ve drilled the pilot holes.
  • Using a drill, drive the screws to attach the mount to the wall. 
  • Check again that it’s level once mounted. 

Tip: Drive in each screw halfway and check that they are level before fully tightening all of them.

Attach the Mounting Plate
Two people attaching mounting plate to back of a TV.

Follow manufacturer’s instructions to attach the mounting plate to the back of the TV.

Mount TV to the Wall
Two people mounting a TV to a wall.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions for mounting a TV to the wall.
  • Double-check that the connection between the wall plate and TV plate is secure.
Cover Cords (Optional)
Use A Cord Cover To Hide Cables

After mounting a television, use a cord cover to hide the cables dangling from the bottom of the TV if they aren't installed behind the wall.