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7 things to consider before mounting your TV

Don't mount your flat-screen to the wall without answering all of these important questions.


Mounting your TV comes with several considerations.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

On the surface, mounting a television to your wall seems like a good idea. It saves floor space and lifts the screen up to where the whole room can easily see it. There are some important things to consider, though, before you mount up.

Do you have a spot for the components?

If you're like most people, you have several devices hooked up to your television. Game consoles, cable boxes, DVRs and the like are going to need a home nearby your television so the cords will reach the TV's output ports. I solved this problem by installing a floating shelving unit under my television.

Another idea is to put a bookshelf under the television to contain all of the devices. Simply drill a hole in the back of the book shelf to thread the cords through.

Do you have a cord-concealing plan?

You need to consider the aesthetics all of those cords, too. Even if you don't plug a single device into your television, you'll still need to contend with an ugly cord trailing down your wall to the wall socket. Are you OK with the television tail?

If not, there are a few solutions:

  • You can have your cords installed inside the wall (by a professional, of course)
  • Get a power outlet installed behind the television so the cord doesn't need to dangle
  • Purchase a cord-hider that will camouflage the cords like this cord cover or this cord cover kit
  • Consider mounting your components directly behind the TV (provided you only have a few)

Can your wall handle it?

The most important thing to consider when mounting a television is whether or not your wall can hold it up. Even the most modern, lightest televisions are quite a bit heavier than your painting of Aunt Trudy. Because of this, the location you choose will need a stud(s) to anchor the screws. You can find out if there are studs by using a stud finder. (No, drywall anchors won't work. Eventually, the anchors will get pulled through the drywall and your TV will end up on the floor.)

No stud? Choose another location that does have a stud where you need it.

Are you mounting it above a fireplace?

Putting your TV above your fireplace seems like a great idea, but it's not. Geoffrey Morrison lays out the facts in this article about why fireplaces shouldn't be part of your television placement plan.

Grab the right tools

Make sure you have the tools needed to mount a television on your wall. You'll need a stud finder, drill, a drill bit that is around the same size as the mount screws and a screwdriver bit. If you don't have the tools you need, and you don't want to invest in them, you can rent them at some home improvement stores.

Are the ports accessible?

Check to see where the ports are located on your television. If the ports are on the back of the TV, you'll want to purchase a wall mount that can telescope outward, giving you better access to the back of the television. This is particularly important if you're the type that's constantly adding new devices. You don't want to unmount the television every time you need access to the ports.

What's your angle?

Another wall mount consideration is angle. If you like angling your TV depending on where you sit, you might want to choose an adjustable mount that lets you rotate the TV to different angles. For example, my husband turns the television when the late afternoon sun comes through the window to reduce glare. In this case, we definitely needed an adjustable mount.