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Tips and Guides

A Quick Guide to Wall-Mounting Your TV

Accomplish this feat minus the unattractive cords and cables

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Photography: Jilson Tiu (Main Photo)

You recently rewarded yourself with a new LED TV and you're excited to mount it on your wall. After spending so much on your shiny new must-have, you might be wondering how to best do it without ruining your home's overall look—after all, no one wants to watch TV with the wires and cables exposed. If you love hanging out on Pinterest and Google, you'll notice that most of the pegs you've saved do not show any wires at all! Have you ever wondered what goes behind a TV wall and how the wires are neatly hidden?

It's actually easier said than done. To hide all the cords, you need to cut two vertically aligned holes on your drywall and let them run behind it. However, without the proper tools and experience, there might be mistakes and extra costs. The best solution? Hiring a pro to help you with the electrical and carpentry work. Read on to find out more about how you can mount your TV, the tools you'll be needing, and other important considerations as well.

Check your wall.

Begin by determining where you want to install your TV. You need to know what kind of wall you have—is it a drywall or a concrete wall? A drywall makes use of Hardiflex or plywood materials with wall studs sandwiched in between two boards of either material. As a quick way of knowing which is which, try knocking on it a couple of times. The drywall makes a hollow sound, as if knocking on wood, while concrete walls have a more solid sound as it is usually thicker. If you’re working on a drywall, just find out where your stud framing is and you’re good to go.

Working with concrete will require more work as you would need to build a new drywall in front of the concerned area. This is essential because of the clearance needed inside the wall for all the wires to run through. Transferring electrical outlets will be easier this way as well. Depending on your preference, specify the wall to be around 1.8m to the ceiling in height and four-inch thick just so there is enough room inside for new outlet boxes. Make sure that the center of the new wall is clear of studs while you’d also want to have them behind the two ends of your TV bracket for additional support. You can have your new wall in an accent finish like bricks, wallpaper, wood, laminate, and even padded fabric. A carpenter can finish this for you in a day or two.

Make sure you have the right tools.

You'll need to buy a bracket that matches the size of your TV and this is usually based on screen size. Determine where you want to put this up with the use of a measuring tape and a stud finder. This will help you identify where the open spaces behind the wall are. As mentioned earlier, note where the stud framing is, as you would want to install some screws in your bracket directly on those areas. You or your carpenter should also have an electric drill with a circular wood drill bit to drill the holes with later.

Be guided by standards.

Decide how high you want the TV to be installed. Use masking tape to specify and mark the area—this avoids having to draw marks directly on the wall. Typically, the center of your TV should be at least 1.1m from the floor. This only suggests that the center of your TV should be at eye-level.

Remember that this can still vary depending on a few factors—your height, the height of your sofa, the distance of the TV from the sofa and of course, the size of your TV. The height will be based on what is comfortable for you. Though it's not ideal, for heights above the mentioned standard, make sure you use a TV bracket with a tilt mechanism.

Take note of the electrical outlets.

If you have existing power and cable lines in the location where you want to put up your TV wall, you’re in luck. However, if this is not the case, there should be one electrical and cable outlet directly behind the TV (beside the bracket) for power supply. Another one or two outlets should be below it, preferably inside your TV console or entertainment shelf/cabinet, if you have one. Should these outlets be absent, do not run an extension cord inside your partition wall, hire an electrician to do this for you.

Put it together with these tips:

1. Install your TV bracket and make sure you check the instructions. Once you have this covered, drill the first of two holes. Each hole should be around three to four inches wide—big enough for a number of wires to go through it. The first hole should be inline with the TV bracket area to make sure that it will be covered later. The second hole is where you’ll connect the wires to your cable box and home theatre from the TV so this should be inside your TV console or on a hanging shelf. Sometimes, an additional hole is added for consoles and appliances that are not at the center of the TV area.

2. Determine the distance from the back of your TV to your TV equipment—you might have to purchase longer HDMI, AV, and speaker cables for this. Make sure you have enough length for it to run down your wall from the back of your TV.

3. Feed the wire from the top hole to the other/s. Use some steel wire, or repurpose a wire hanger to help guide the wires down. Make sure to leave the ends of the wires hanging so that you can install them on both ends. Connect all the respective wires, and finally put up your TV. Turn it on and you're all set to binge watch your favorite movies and series. 

Interior designer Vera Villarosa-Orila is an alumna of the University of the Philippines and is one of the go-to designers for the Real Living Makeovers. You can get in touch with her through e-mail: vera.villarosa[at]gmail.com.

 

 

Do you have questions or concerns about your home's layout, furniture, and color scheme? Send your questions to reallivingonline[at]gmail.com with the subject: Expert Advice. We might answer and feature your queries online.

PHOTOS: Jilson Tiu (Main, 1 and 4) | Vincent Coscolluela (2 and 3)

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