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Important Disclaimer: The literature below is only general information and should not be the only source of information as many variations may deter installation process. Always should consult with a professional before attempting yourself.

 

1. How high should I mount my TV on the wall?

Generally, for living rooms, family rooms & etc.. where you watch TV while sitting down on a couch, the TV should be mounted on the wall at "eye level" from the bottom 1/3rd to middle of the screen for comfortable viewing angle. Do not mount it too high like a picture frame! That is, of course, unless you will be watching from an angle where it's more comfortable looking up (like in bedrooms where you naturally look up when you're lying down). Have you ever been to a movie theatre and sat in the front row seat? Right, your neck gets cramped when you're not even half way through the movie. Same principle for watching your TV at home. Some people still prefer to have it mounted high but you might regret later. But again there are some exceptions on some people...

If you are considering to install your TV over the fireplace, you should keep the bottom of your TV just few inches above from the top of your mantle. Because it's usually already too high to begin with when you mount your TV over the fireplace. If you have enough room, the farther you sit away from the TV, the distance will compensate to a certain degree but it's still better to keep the TV closer to your mantle as most modern homes have mantles that are nearly 5ft high from the floor.

2. Where to setup your TV & Components

The layout of your room is probably going to dictate how your furniture gets arranged. At the same time, you should consider the most ideal place where your A/V components should be setup. First, take a look around the room and see which wall the power outlet & cable outlet (if you're setting up cable or satellite box) are located. If you can arrange your furniture in a way that your TV can be setup where the existing electrical and cable outlets are located, that would be the most ideal place to setup your components so you don't have to worry about installing new outlets which involves lots of work.

3. What kind of components you should consider buying based on your dwelling

It all comes down to having a clean look with no messy wires showing after you install your TV and your components. How you can run the wires is determined by what kind of dwelling you live in.

If you live in a modern house or townhome, you have the flexibility to fish wires pretty much where you want with very small limitations with enough time spent. Vertical wire concealment can be done pretty easily between the 2 studs. But fishing the wires across the room can be a very tedious task but can be done if you're willing to spend lots of time on it getting it accomplished. With that said, if you live in a condo, apartment or any dwelling that's built with similar structure, a lot of times, it may be a good idea to buy components that does not require too much of wire fishing to setup a decent system in your home. Such as 5.1ch home theatre/audio systems require lots of wire running. So perhaps, acquiring a sound bar instead of a full home theatre system might be a better idea and you still can achieve quality audio output from a sound bar than what you can out of your plain TV speakers that only have average of 10 watts per channel (usually only 2 channels; left & right, from a TV).

4. "Fishing" Wires

General info

For every dwelling type such as houses, townhomes, condos, condo townhomes, apartments & commercial buildings are built with different kind of materials. There are some limitations on how you can fish the wires for each type of dwelling & also based on the layout. And of course, like everything else in life, with enough time and money spent, almost nothing is impossible. If money and time wasn't an issue, you can re-model or renovate your home to accomodate wiring in-wall or in-ceiling for clean look. But practically, 99% of the people go with the most cost effective option for the optimal result based on the structure & layout.

Most standard modern Houses & Townhomes

Wall Structure: Wooden studs. Usually spaced 16" apart from each other (but not always, especially in the basements).
Wall Surface: Drywall
Ceiling Structure: Wooden joists
Ceiling Surface: Drywall
 

In modern houses & townhomes you have the most advantage to fish wires with least amount of making incisions to the drywall especially with unfinished basement.

For example, in this particular scenario, if you have unfinished basement and plan to install your A/V equipments such as TV & home theatre/audio system on the main floor, the nature of this project will involve lots of cable fishing for speaker wires, HDMI cables, optical cable, etc... depending on where you choose to place your TV, your components, speakers & so on. You can utilize the unfinished basement to route your cables from main floor through the wall to the basement and then bring them back up to the main floor through the wall. This technique is often used if the cables have to be fished several feet horizontally across the wall (such as from the center of the wall to the corner of the wall). Remember, the studs are usually placed 16" apart from each other. Trying to fish the wires horizontally through the wall will create a huge mess and requires a lot of drywall repair work and painting after running the cables through. And that is the reason for utilizing the unfinished basement to route the cables in order to minimize cutting up the drywall to avoid drilling through every single stud to fish the cables horizontally through the wall.

The same technique above could also be applied to the top floor of the house or townhome and routing cables through the attic if you have access. But you should have full respiratory protection on well as other protection necessary as you do this work in the attic because the insulation is harmful to your health.

You could also use the ceiling to fish the cables across the room but it depends on which way the joists run. In most cases, this will require making quite of bit of incisions in your ceiling especially if you are running against the joists then the job will again require drilling through every single joist to get to the point where the wires need to come out which in turn will create lots of mess and lots of patching & painting work afterwards.

Most Standard modern Condos, Apartments, Condo Townhomes

Wall Structure: Concrete with drywall on top & drywall with metal studs usually spaced 16" apart from each other
Wall Surface: Drywall
Ceiling Structure: Concrete
Ceiling Surface: Drywall
 
Your options are very limited to fish wires in this type of dwelling. The only walls where you can fish the wires through is the drywall with metal studs. Obviously, you cannot pull wires through solid concrete wall or concrete ceiling...
 

Most Standard modern Commercial buildings

Wall Structure: Concrete with drywall on top. Drywall with metal studs usually spaced 16" apart from each other
Wall Surface: Drywall or custom decorative wall
Ceiling Structure: Concrete & Truss
Ceiling Surface: Drywall or Drop ceiling or custom decorative ceiling

 

In commercial buildings, you can run the wires through drop ceiling and through drywall with metal studs.

 

 5. Choosing an Appropriate Wall Mount Bracket for your TV

 

Nature of the wall mount brackets

Tilt Wall Mount Brackets Slim / Low-Profile Wall Mount Brackets Articulating Wall Mount Brackets
Most tilt brackets are designed to tilt down & up. Keeps the TV few inches away from the wall in order to allow you to tilt & also provides enough space to connect your cables to the back of your TV without having to use right angle connectors. Does not swivel Left & Right. Most "Worry-Free" bracket. Slim / Low-Profile brackets are designed to keep the TV as close to the wall as possible. These brackets are not suitable for TVs that have inputs facing backwards. Before choosing such a bracket, see the orientation of the inputs on the back of your TV. You may need to find Right angle connectors if inputs on your TV are facing backwards. Fixed brackets do not tilt nor swivel left & right.

Perfect solution for adding the ability to control the angle of your TV to almost any position you want. However, most articulating brackets' wall plates are distinctively narrower than the other types of brackets such as tilting & fixed brackets. Most wall plates on articulating brackets have maximum stud spacing up to 16" apart. Only few have stud spacing allowing up to 17", 18" or slightly more while most tilting & fixed brackets for larger size TVs have maximum stud spacing allowing more than 33" apart on some brackets.


Checklist of What you should consider before choosing a bracket


A. Type of wall that you are mounting your TV on. 

-Variations depend on the type of dwelling:

 

For Drywall with wooden studs (Most modern houses & townhomes)

Available Options:

  • Tilt bracket - OK 
  • Fixed bracket - OK
  • Articulating bracket - OK (As long as the stud requirements are met with the chosen bracket)


For Dywall with metal studs (Most modern condos, apartments, Lofts & commercial buildings)

Available Options:

  • Tilt bracket - OK 
  • Fixed bracket - OK
  • Articulating bracket - CONDITIONAL (Articulating brackets may not be suitable for heavier TVs & stud requirements must meet with the chosen bracket)

 

For Concrete wall (Most modern condos, apartments, Lofts & commercial buildings)

Available Options:

  • Tilt bracket - OK 
  • Fixed bracket - OK
  • Articulating bracket - OK

 

For Brick wall 

Available Options:

  • Tilt bracket - OK 
  • Fixed bracket - OK
  • Articulating bracket - CONDITIONAL (Depending on the density & quality of the bricks)


For Plaster Interior wall (Most older homes & older buildings)

Available Options:

  • Tilt bracket - OK 
  • Fixed bracket - OK
  • Articulating bracket - OK (As long as the stud requirements are met with the chosen bracket)


For Paster Exterior wall (Most older homes & older buildings)

Available Options:

  • Tilt bracket - OK 
  • Fixed bracket - OK
  • Articulating bracket - NO in MOST cases

 

B. Considering using a Flush / Fixed bracket?

***Check the location of the Input connection & orientation on the back of your TV.

Sometimes you will be limited to only certain kinds of brackets you can use depending on the orientation of the cable inputs / connection on the back of your TV. For example, Flush / Fixed brackets are usually very thin (low profile) and designed to keep the TV very close to the wall. Most Slim design LED TVs are usually equipped with connections that are positioned sideways or downwards. If your TV has input connections pointing to the back, you may not be able to use the flush bracket unless you do one of the following; 1. Use right angle connector adapters or cables, 2.  Use the "spacers" to create extra space between TV to the wall which defeats the whole point of using the flush bracket. You might as well resort to a tilting bracket instead.


C. Mounting over Fireplace?

If you would like to mount your TV using Articulating bracket over the fireplace, you should first check the location of the studs and how far they are apart from each other. **Being able to center the TV over the fireplace solely depends on where the studs are located when using articularing brackets (assuming without having to re-build supporting structure over fireplace). 


D. Your total budget of the whole installation cost including; bracket, cables & other necessary items 

When using articulating wall mounts, you will need longer cables which costs more. Especially because of the extra slacks of cables needed at every joint on the articulating arm plus the length of the arm(s) of the brackets thus allowing you to articulate the TV around.

 

6. Where to install the electrical outlet for your wall mounted TV 

  1. Measure the dimension of the TV and then mark the top, bottom and sides of the TV on the wall with masking tape or something else that can be easily removed where you wish to mount it on the wall. *When choosing height, being eye level to the middle of the TV is always ideal for comfort viewing from the position that you will be watching.
  2. Have the electrical outlet installed towards the top edge of the TV (about 1 to 2 inches below from the top edge of the TV). *Doing it this way prevents the electrical outlet getting in the way of the wall mount bracket for the TV.
Scroll over this image to enlarge picture
 

Stay tuned... There are more articles coming soon.