Every flat screen TV comes with a stand that allows you to place it on a table top, but you might prefer to mount it in a different way, and there is a wide variety of approaches as well as cautions.
Homebuttons offers TV installation services throughout Southern Georgian Bay, from the tip of the Bruce Peninsula around to Wasaga Beach, and down the Lake Huron shoreline to Kincardine and points beyond.
Every TV mounting bracket specifies on its packaging the size range and weight it can handle. People often purchase the bracket from the same retailer that sells them the TV and usually that means the clerk will guide them to the right purchase. If you already have a TV and go out to buy a mounting bracket, you should be aware of the TV’s size and weight before you go shopping. Remember that TV sizes refer to the diagonal length of the display screen – from the bottom left corner to the top right. The weight of the TV can be obtained in the specifications for the TV; you can find it in the manual or online. Plasma TV’s are much heavier than LCD or LED displays.
Homebuttons can provide a mount for you if you can provide the above information. Of course, we can also provide the TV itself, and then the mount is sure to match. If you prefer to purchase both the TV and bracket yourself, we’ll still be happy to install them for you.
Every bit as important as the weight capacity of the mount is the structural integrity of the wall it is to be mounted on. In the early days, when there were more plasmas than LCD’s people would often install plywood either on top of or recessed into a drywall wall, so that the weight could be distributed across several wall studs. With the lighter displays today, that is not usually necessary, but it is still important to know that there is sufficient backing to support the weight. In some older rec rooms there is a gap between the wall panelling and the structural wall behind, and the one-by-two strapping is not sufficient to carry the weight. In newer homes, built with the energy wise ICF method, the drywall may be anchored to styrofoam. In some condos, there may be a two inch layer of styrofoam between the structural concrete and the finished drywall. Each wall type provides its own challenges.
Homebuttons has experience in all types of wall-mounted TV’s and, although some situations may be more challenging and take a little more time, most difficulties can be overcome.
Flat screens can be mounted tight against the wall, or tilted out to better align with a lower viewing angle. They can be mounted on poles that come down from the ceiling, or on reciprocating brackets that allow the TV to be pulled out and re-oriented to aim in different directions, or to recess back into a cabinet space. Each case creates a different stress on the supporting structure. With a non-tilt bracket the gravity pulls straight down, while a tilt tends to put more strain on the top of the bracket. A reciprocating bracket requires a much stronger support at the wall because the weight of the TV pulls more on the bracket as it is moved out from the wall.
Slim brackets can be purchased that minimize the gap between the TV and the wall. While this makes a nice neat appearance, you have to be sure that there is room behind the display for the cables. Many HDMI and component cables will stick out from the surface they are plugged into anywhere from ½” to 1”. If there isn’t enough room between the bracket and the wall for the ends of the cables, it creates problems. The only time that a slim bracket is really an advantage is if it is mounted in a place where, because of the shape of the room, it can be seen from the side. If it is in a location where furniture or other walls prevent you from getting flat to the wall to look at the side of the TV, you might as well use a regular bracket.
Homebuttons can provide right angle connectors to allow for connecting the cables to the TV with a slim bracket.
Careful consideration should be given to how high a wall-mounted TV will be. If it is much higher than your eye level when you are watching, you could get a stiff neck. If it’s on a wall at the end of the bed you need to consider whether you will be sitting up to watch it or lying down, and place it in a location that is easiest to watch according to your preference.
Homebuttons can provide and install motorized TV lifts designed to rise up out or a cabinet or the footboard of the bed.
Sometimes people move into a house and are happy to see that the previous owners were kind enough to leave the wall bracket behind, still anchored to the wall. You would expect that to make the installation of your new TV pretty quick and easy. It is in the sense that the bracket has already, presumably, been installed in the proper location to match the structural strength of the wall, saving a lot of time searching for studs. The hitch is that the part of the bracket that matches your TV might be missing. Every package for a TV mounting bracket includes a wide variety of machine screws because the requirements vary between displays. Usually when the TV has been mounted successfully the screws that weren’t used have been thrown away. If your TV doesn’t match the TV of the previous owners, the screws they left behind for you may not work. That’s when you have to go looking for a new bracket or screws with the right diameter, length and thread count.
TV mounts also include spacers and washers to fit a variety of TV displays. If you force a screw that is too long for the application, you may end up damaging the interior workings of the display. This is where it is an advantage to have an experienced installer. Another advantage of experience is in the alignment of the bracket so that it ends up exactly where you want it to be on the wall. An experienced installer knows what to look for and what to measure so that the final location will be correct.
The new curved TV displays don’t require curved brackets. They are designed to work with the same brackets as flat screens. Having said that, some manufacturers suggest that there is a “sweet spot” for viewing their curved screens, where the effect is better than from other angles. If that is the case, a reciprocating bracket might be preferable because it can be angled to face different parts of the room to suit different viewing locations.
Cheap brackets are problematic. They will support the weight they claim, but often they are very difficult to assemble; sometimes the screws don’t fit well into the threaded holes. Allowing for variations in retailers, the rule that you get what you pay for applies here as well as in most things. Many of the more expensive brackets are also the easiest to assemble and mount.
Sometimes it can be tricky to remove a TV from its wall mount. They usually have a lock of some kind that prevents someone from pushing up on the TV and making it fall off the bracket. But every bracket manufacturer approaches the problem differently. Some insert a bar in the slot at the top to prevent lifting the display. Others have catches at the bottom with strings that hang down so that you can release them. Still others use thumbwheels. If you didn’t install the TV you might have trouble finding out how to remove it from the bracket.
One concern that is often overlooked is how the cables get from the sources to the display. The power cord has to reach an outlet; often the builder will put an outlet on the wall behind where the TV is meant to be. He might even include a coax outlet but if you have a set top box (cable or satellite) that doesn’t help because the cable has to go from the wall to the box and then from the set top box to the TV display. Some builders, anticipating that you will want to install your TV above the fireplace, install an inlet on the wall beside it so that you can fish cables through it. Great idea, but I’ve run across cases where the piping in the link contained right angles that made it impossible to fish the cables. If you are doing your own pre-wiring and want to include a pipe for cables, use central vac pipe, but be sure to install it so that the angles are not sharper than forty-five degrees. Insert a string through the pipe so that it can be used to pull cables through in the future.
Homebuttons can install recessed access plates to trim an opening and run cables behind the drywall as long as both ends are in the same stud space. If that is not applicable, we use surface mounted plastic channel that encloses the cables and can be painted to match the wall.
Installing a TV on an irregular surface, like the masonry of a fireplace, requires a seasoned approach so that the display will not only be in the right location but will also hang straight.
Homebuttons puts the emphasis on helping customer to understand their system. The years of experience we bring to a job means that any problem can be addressed in a safe and effective way.