Wall Mount TVs - Information

How to (do it yourself)

Hanging a television is fairly straightforward and generally takes around 30-60 minutes depending on the size of the TV, the bracket being used and the walls.

However if you are going to hang the TV on the wall, then you will have a number of cables that you may want hiding, the task of doing this varies again based on the type of wall and the number of cables.

Don't forget to refer to our Parts You Will Need guide to help ensure you do not forget to include any cables or parts you might need?


Guide in one

Either click on the section below you are interested to read, or tick each box and then click show and only the relevant sections will appear.


Cable Types

Images Cable Description Type
Image Mains Your TV needs power, there are three options:
  • extension
  • fused spur
  • new socket behind TV
An extension hidden in the wall is easy to fit yourself and provides a simple and effective solution. Alternatively a fused spur is preferable over a socket, as this can be hidden in the wall and will not affect the positionning of your TV. oth the latter options must be fitted by a registered electrician.

Manual Re-Wire
Image RF Cable (Aerial Coax) This will deliver a signal to your TV from your aerial and some other devices Manual Re-Wire
Image SCART An analogue cable which connects Digital Set Top Boxes, Sky, HDD, DVD and Video Players to your TV. SCART does not support High Definition TV, for this you need HDMI. Moulded
Image HDMI Hi Definition images on your TV need more information than a SCART cable can deliver, HDMI is the only way to get the information to your TV. HDMI cables can also improve the quality of a picture on standard definition devices such as DVD players, because the signal is digital. Cheap HDMI Cables do not always work well over long distances. Moulded
Component Moulded

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Hidden Electricity Cables

In modern houses, wiring has to run vertically from the socket or switch, affording a degree of predictability when installing additional cabling.

In older properties detecting hidden cables and piping (water and gas) is much more difficult. Clues can often be fond when you consider where the various points are such as switches, appliances, sinks, radiators etc on both sides of the wall. Generally tradesmen would have taken the easiest option to train cables and pipes around the house so have a good look and make an assessment based on this.

You can buy battery operated cable and pipe detectors from most DIY stores which work with limited success. However if you take care an old Hard Disk Drive or other powerful magnet can be used. With either try using it where you know cables or pipes are first to determine how it behaves and then try it.

An excellent source of information on this subject is found here at howstuffworks.com or at E how

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Warning

Gas and Electricity are dangerous and water can cause all manner of problems. Plaster can be replaced much more easily. So identify first where your cut off points are and proceed slowly.

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TV sizes types

There is currently a bewildering variety of TVs available on the market. Sizes range from 15inches up to 60 inches. There are four types currently on the market:-

All of the above can be hung on a wall. The LED TVs are the thinnest but the sound quality is not the best since the bass tones cannot be produced well in such a tin space.

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Brackets

When wall mounting a TV, ideally you want the TV to be at eye level when it is watched. For most people this is sitting down, however sometimes the TV may be high up and then the angle needs to be considered.

It should be noted (especially with LCD TVs) that the angle of viewing affects the contrast. Sit close to a TV that is switched on, then stand up and sit down to see what I mean!

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Simple flat

Installing a flat bracket is no more difficult than hanging a mirror. Simply drill your first hole and loosely fit the first bolt. Use a spirit level to ensure the bracket is horizontal and mark the positions of the other holes. Remove the initial bolt and bracket and make the other holes before fixing it.

Please read the Wall Types & Fixings section for further details.

NB Using a spirit level is important (not the crappy one than comes on some brackets), since often the walls, ceiling and floor are not true and can deceive you.

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Articulated

When installing an articulated bracket you need to take note of three important points:-

  • due to the mechanism involved the brackets are often heavy
  • moments of energy
  • they are generally not suitable for plasterboard walls

Moments

When ever you move the TV you put stress on the wall fixings. If the TV can be swung so it is at 90 degrees to the wall (the most extreme), the moments (ie force) can be more than ten times that of a standard fixed wall bracket:-

  • Flat Bracket 32 inch TV* = 3cm x 15KG = 0.45 N
  • Articulate Bracket at 90 degrees 32 inch TV* = 50cm x 15KG = 7.5 N

* A Samsung LE32B450C4 is a typical 32-inch LCD TV weighing 15Kg

In other words the force that needs to be supported for an articulated bracket can be over 15-20 times the force required for a fixed flat bracket. Movement and friction in the bracket when you position the TV can increase this force further.

Additionally many articulated brackets have only vertical fixings. Thus any lateral stresses are poorly supported and almost all the weight is bourn by the top or upper bolt.

Fixing an Articulated bracket

They must be fixed to either a solid wall or a (say) plywood plate which can be fixed to the plaster board to distribute the weight evenly. Such a board can be positioned behind the plasterboard by cutting a suitable hold and plastering over this later.

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Ceiling

These are fairly striaghtforward to fix the main thing to remember here is unlike all other fittings the bolts you use are taking all the weight. So depending on the weight of the TV ensure you use all the holes, decent length coach bolts and fix to a beam. If you are fixing a TV over 32 inches in size, professional help is recommended.

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Trunking

This is the cheapest option and takes the least time to install. However, the overall finish is less desirable especially in a domestic setting.

Basically this is a strip which can be affixed to the wall and may be painted, we use two types, white plastic (which may be painted) and steel trunking which may suit some customers.

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Wiring Regulations

In modern houses, wiring has to run vertically from the socket or switch, affording a degree of predictability when installing additional cabling.

Please note that in older properties wires often go by the easiest route, so ensure any drill you use is earthed and use a strong magnet (such as a computer hard disk would do) to identify the location of any possible cables.

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Wall Types & Hiding Cables

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Standard Approach - Hollow Wall

  1. Cut a hole using a Stanley knife (always use new sharp blades) where the Wall Bracket will be positioned
  2. Cut a hole where the cabinet housing your DVD player, Sky box etc will be.
  3. Feed the cables between the two
  4. When obstacles are encountered cut additional holes to help guide the cables
  5. Plaster over exposed holes and smooth with a damp cloth. When dry sand if required and paint.
  6. In some cases you may want to use plastic wall sockets for a better finish, but this is not necessary:-
    • The holes where the cables emerge will almost always be obscured by a cabinet or the TV.
    • vIf you use sockets, you are adding connections, signals can deteriorate and you are adding additional points of failure to your system.

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Plaster Walls - Cavity

With a large cavity these walls are the easiest to run cables in since all that is required is a hole being the TV and a hole near the cabinet where your DVD player, sky box etc are located. The cables can be dropped down and fed through.

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Plaster Walls - Dot n Dab

Still fairly straightforward to do, however the cavity behind the plasterboard panels is typically about an inch, which makes running some cables tricky. The ‘dabs’ are also obstacles which need negotiating.

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Plaster Walls - Insulation

This can make running the cables tricky, since there is often a timber frame which must be over come to get the cables from one place to another. Depending on the number of cables required the approach varies.

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Cutting a Channel in a Solid Walls

When hiding cables in solid walls, the best option is to cut a channel for the cable to run through the wall. The cable needs fixing in the channel and then plastering over. The disadvantage of doing this is that the cables are fixed and cannot move or be replaced easily without repeating the work. If you have painted walls, made the surface look good is relatively straight forward afterwards, since the plaster can be sanded until smooth and then painted.

Additionally solid walls have a few unknowns. In some properties, pipes and cables run hidden in the walls, furthermore a damp proof course or similar can make cutting the channel difficult.

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Wall Fixings

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Solid Wall

Coach Bolts are generally used and most brackets will be supplied with sufficient numbers to fix the bracket. Determine the thickness of any plaster and ensure you have a good fixing in the wall.

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Breeze Blocks

If you do not get a deep enough fixing in the breeze block (2 inches or more should suffice), they can explode and the bolts come loose.

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Thermalite Bricks

The tell tale sign is that the drill goes in with little or no resistance and you cannot gain any traction on your coach bolt. In this case use chemical screws, one tightening these will release a compound which bonds and forms a solid fix. These screws cannot be removed easily. More info

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Plasterboard Walls

The weight Plasterboard can support depends on the thickness of it and can support surprisingly heavy weights. You also need to ensure you distribute the weight as evenly as possible, ie ensure you use multiple fixings (six should support 50KG ie most big televisions). Kitchen fitters regularly hang kitchen cupboards like this and they weigh more and take far more wear and tear than your TV ever will. Also for tiling plasterboard is rated at 36Kg/m2. This weight is clinging to the surface, not resting on the entire thickness of it.

Either expanding or screwed rawl plugs will do, but ensure that each one you use is fixed soundly and that none of the plaster has crumbled.

If you are fixing onto a solid wall behind a plasterboard - please read the ‘Dot n Dab’ notes below.

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Plasterboard Partition Walls

Many partition walls will have a timber frame. If you can locate this (by tapping and pilot holes) then try to get a fix on this. Unfortunately modern houses often have metal frames which are unusable.

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‘Dot n Dab’

The gap between the plasterboard and the wall is often 1-2 cm in which case you can drill into the wall and get additional fixings however be wary. Whilst you can get a secure fix in the wall, over tightening these fixings can put undue pressure on the plasterboard and cause it to crack anywhere along its length. So make sure the weight is taken by the solid wall and you are no squashing the plasterboard.