If you are mounting a very large TV, which I define as anything above a 65” screen. Read this blog for tips and advice on how to this with success and not have it the TV fall off the wall. I have already written articles on how to mount TV’s and mounting TV safely onto plasterboard walls which will be a great addition to this article. Much of this has been discovered personally while doing installations and may not be obvious to the DIYer, for instance to get an 75” TV out of the box can be difficult by itself or levelling a 85” TV can be a nightmare. Let’s begin.
Make Sure The Wall Can Support The Weight
Before mounting very large, heavy TV’s to walls which are usually also very expensive. You will want to check that the wall is strong enough to support it. There are a few different types of walls that TV’s are commonly mounted onto. These are solid brick walls, stud walls and drylined “dot and dab walls”. Solid walls are usually very strong but plasterboard walls not so much. It’s still fine to mount onto these types of walls but care and attention needs to betaken to make sure the TV is safely secured to the wall. For instance mounting an 80” onto a stud wall onto a full motion wall bracket that allows the TV to be pulled away and moved, is going to require more care and attention than mounting onto a brick-wall. You may want to cut away a section of the plasterboard and install a piece of plywood behind to allow you get a secure fixings into and strengthen the wall.
Get A Good Quality TV Mount
With large TV’s it’s imperative that you get a good quality TV mount for the screen. This is especially true with full motion TV wall brackets with some of the cheaper models really not being up to the task. When purchasing a mount you need to make sure that that it can support the weight and size of the TV. This is usually sufficient information but you should also check the VESA measurements of your TV and make sure that the bracket is compatible with this. If you’re unsure of what this this, it is the measurements between the fixing holes on the back of the TV and not all brackets are compatible with all TV’s. It may even based on the size of the TV that that it is. To assist you in picking the right bracket, here are my favourite TV mount manufacturers.
Brackets for Stud Walls
When choosing a mount for large TV’s on stud walls, it may be a good idea to choose a mount with a as wide fixing base as possible to help spread the weight across at least two of the studs within the wall. These are usually 16” apart for your reference, but not always! Obviously with the size of the screen itself, the bracket will still be hidden by the TV.
Consider A Tilting TV Bracket
Instead of installing a flat to wall TV mount, you may want to consider installing a tilting version instead. The reason I suggest this is because it can sometimes be difficult getting all the TV cables into their respective positions when the TV is on the wall. A tilting bracket can sometimes be used for good effect here as it allows the bottom to be pulled away enough to make access to the TV input/ output connections easier. You can set the tilt to zero degrees if you didn’t actually desire the tilting function so that it would still appear to be a flat to wall TV mount.
Brackets With Post Wall Levelling System
This is part and parcel with choosing a good quality TV mount, but you should purchase a bracket with a post-wall levelling system incorporated. This allows a level adjustment of the TV while it is in position on the wall. There is nothing worse than putting a TV up on a wall, getting all of the cables/ HDMI leads in place which may be short and only be able to be connected when the TV is in position and putting a level on top and finding out that it isn’t level, as you would have to lift the whole thing back off again to make adjustments. With larger TV’s if they are even slightly out it really shows. It’s so nice to just be able to take a screwdriver out and make adjustments to the level.
Level Adjustment To Align With Fireplace/ Furniture/ Ceiling Etc
It is possible that you may not even want to mount your TV perfectly level. For instance, if mounting a TV above a fireplace you may find that the fireplace itself is not perfectly level and if you were to mount the TV to the wall perfectly level, it will look out because the fireplace would take your eye. In situations like this, a post-wall levelling system can be invaluable as you can easily adjust to your preference without having to remove the screen from the mount.
Use Appropriate Fixings
Getting a good quality bracket is only part of the job. You need to make sure that you have good quality fixings to be able to fix it to the wall. The ones included inside the TV bracket box may not always be suitable or it may be beneficial to swap these out for another type. I have made some suggestions, per the wall type below.
Coach bolts are usually the most appropriate fixings for fixing TV brackets into solid walls. The are bolts that are tightened into place using a spanner which can usually get significantly tighter than a screw-head type fixing. For large TV’s an M8 or M10 diameter fixing bolt is usually sufficient but this depends on what your bracket will allow, sometimes a wider diameter fixing will not fix through. You can sometimes to resolve this issue, open the holes up with a drill and metal bit attached but this will also mean that you will not be able to return the bracket to your suppliers if you need to. Most brackets will come with 40mm-50mm (1.5”-2”) fixing bolts but you may want to choose longer fixings instead like 60mm (2.4” approx.). This really depends on the wall and you need to make sure that you don’t come out of the other side of the wall when drilling through! You may also want to upgrade the wall plugs for a superior quality. Fischer make some very high quality nylon expansion plugs which can be used for mounting TV’s to walls.
With studs walls it really does what it available to you as to what fixings you choose. If you are installing plywood behind the wall you can just screw into this with a decent diameter screw. If you’re fixing mounting straight onto the stud wall. I usually use a combination of screws/ bolts into the studs and plasterboard fixings for the hollow parts of the wall. To help find the studs, please read our previous blog, ‘How to find wall studs for TV bracket’. For the fixings in between the studs just on the plasterboard, there are multiple types, but I recommend using wall anchors, often referred to as “toggles” or GripIt fixings.
Dot & Dab Walls
When mounting onto dot and dab walls, It’s best to try and mount to the brickwork behind the plasterboard using long screws or long coach bolts but you need to be careful when tightening your fixings to not to crumple or crack the plasterboard. To avoid this and make still make a strong fixing I recommend the following. Mark up your wall bracket where you want it fixed. Knock on the wall to identify if there are any lumps of adhesive behind, these will sound solid when there is and hollow when there isn’t. On the solid bits, use a standard long(er) coach bolt (usually around 60-80mm) and expansion plug. You can go tight on these fixings. On the hollow parts use, Corefix fixings which have a metal insert which acts as a bridge between the plasterboard and brick-work behind. This allows you to get tight with the fixing without crumpling the plasterboard.
Lift In Position With Two People
It’s virtually impossible to lift large TV’s in position alone and it’s not worth trying. You should always very large TV’s with at least two people, especially for TV’s that need to be mounted higher. Some TV mounts will only have a small slot that you need to place the TV bracket onto which requires you to be able to see behind the TV as you lift in position, which can be done in pairs but when alone you won’t be able to see what you’re doing.
Use A Long Level
It should go without saying that you should use a level to install a TV. When levelling the TV or marking the wall to identify TV fixing positions. Longer levels give more accurate readings. If you have a set of levels I recommend using one of the longer ones to make sure you’re fixing level.
Use Template Included With TV Mount
Many TV manufacturers will provide a card-board template to identify the fixing positions. It can be very helpful to use this as it can be sometimes difficult to hold bracket up and remain in position with brackets for very large TV’s which themselves can be very large and heavy, so holding the bracket, level and marking can be made easier with the template provided which can often be taped to the wall. If there is no template, I sometimes put one fixing in the wall on one side of the bracket which supports one side of the TV providing an extra hand so you can then mark the remaining fixing positions.
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