Guide To Choosing The Right TV Bracket
If you have decided to wall mount your TV to create a more pleasurable TV experience, make the living room a bit tidier or just to save some space. It really is a space saver getting the TV up on the wall, which may appeal to you if you have limited space. I have 3 children, soon to have 4 and what with the kids toys, clothes etc getting the TV’s up in each room really has created room.
Before you embark on this task, even if you’re competent at DIY some time should be spend picking the optimum TV bracket for what you want. Some TV wall mounting brackets may not be suitable for what you want, and some may you may not even be able to use, for reasons that I will go into in this article.
When you use Smart Aerials for your TV wall mounting installation we take responsibility for choosing the optimum TV bracket for your use and supply one with all of our TV wall mounting packages. But as we can only serve a small area in the South East of the UK we can’t help everyone who reads our blogs.
If you’re looking for a TV wall mounting installation service and you’re outside of our coverage area I also recommend our blog how much you should pay for a TV wall mount installation.
Different Types Of TV Wall Mounting Brackets
TV wall brackets and mounting brackets can come in a few different, designs and different types. The most common mounting brackets for TV’s are fixed TV wall mounts, tilting TV wall mounting brackets and full motion wall brackets but you can also get other types of TV wall mounts which allow the TV to be mounted to a ceiling.
Fixed TV Wall Mounting Brackets
A fixed TV wall mount does exactly what it says. It fixes a TV into a single position on a wall. Fixed TV wall mounting brackets are the most popular of all the different mounting brackets available. My favourite thing about a fixed wall bracket is that you can get the TV as close to the wall as possible and with the cables properly managed can create a seamless result.
Tilting TV Wall Brackets
A Tilting wall bracket will allow a TV when mounted at a higher TV position to that where you will be positioned when you’re watching the TV so that the screen can be seen better. Many older TV’s and some of the early LCD and plasma screens would appear very dark when you didn’t look at them straight on so having a tilting wall bracket could really improve your viewing experience. As time goes on modern backlit LED and OLED TV’s have defeated this problem but you may still benefit from a tilting wall mount. I recommend tilting TV wall brackets for when the TV position is considerably higher than your viewing position. Like in a bedroom where a TV has been mounted nearer the ceiling or above a fireplace.
Full Motion Wall Brackets
Full motion wall brackets offer the most flexibility of all the different types of TV mounts as they allow you top turn the TV in multiple directions for viewing in multiple locations. For example, you may want to position a TV in one place in your lounge for watching TV in the evening on your sofa and when you’re watching TV in the morning, this may be on a dining table in the same room or next room having to the TV be able to rotate without having to physically remove the thing from the wall could be very advantageous. Most TV wall brackets will also have a tilting facility, so the TV can be angled down like a tilting wall bracket and the better ones will also have a on wall TV levelling system so that the TV level can also be adjusted for when the TV is pulled out.
I would suggest that when choosing a full motion movable TV bracket for your own installation that it is the most important to get right. You shouldn’t try to cut costs when using a full motion swinging TV bracket as some of the cheaper models can be difficult to move freely which can be a pain and when pulled out and fully extended can really tip down to one side and look silly, especially so when the TV has no post wall levelling system.
The TV wall bracket itself aside, remember when you’re using full motion screen mounts to get cables that are bit longer than normal as it take a metre to a metre and a half of cable behind the TV alone so that the cables themselves don’t stop the TV from being moved which is common with short TV cables. You also run the risk of the cables getting damaged and even worse the TV connections themselves getting damaged when there is strain on the AV cables when they are too short and the TV has been moved.
There are also one two types of full motion wall brackets. These are single arm and double arm wall brackets. A single arm will allow the TV to swing around but the range of motion can be very restrictive. A double arm wall bracket will pivot in at least one extra place which will allow for a much further range of motion. The good ones at least can be pulled out when you want them, angle which ever way you choose and they fold nicely back to the wall so that they have an appearance.
If you want to be able to rotate your TV so that it can sit at a right angle or 90 degrees to the wall. You need to ensure that the bracket extension is at least more than half the width of the TV, otherwise the TV itself will start to hit to wall and stop the TV rotating any further before you have reached a full right angle.
Ceiling TV Mounts
Again the name explains it all. A ceiling TV wall mount will attach to the ceiling and from that a short cylinder type attachment will leave that and fix to to back of the TV. Ceiling mounts are perfect for when you have limited wall space or need to mount the TV a distance away from the wall. Many ceiling mounts fix into a single position, but others will allow the TV to completely turn around, sometimes a complete 360 degrees. It’s important that when you mount a TV to a ceiling using a ceiling mount that extra care is taken when fixing the TV. You should fix into the ceiling joints, if this is not possible I recommend fixing a small piece of plywood between the ceiling joints to provide a strong fixing base. Another benefit of ceiling mounts is that all the connecting cables can drop down from the ceiling and create neat and tidy result, dangling the cables loose isn’t really an option as you could strangle yourself!
Important Things To Check Before You Buy A TV Bracket
Some of this section may seem obvious, others not so much. Having been mounting TV’s on walls for over a decade I have seen just about every possible scenario with TV wall mounting installations. It imperative that before you buy your own TV wall bracket that you’re checking everything within this section to see if your TV mount is up for the job.
Weight Limit Of TV Mount
You must check that your TV mount can support the weight of your TV. You don’t want the TV bracket failing! I’m not saying that if you were to exceed the maximum advertised weight that you TV is going to fall off the wall as I’m sure that the TV manufacturers will err of the side of caution when recommending a maximum TV weight, but they certainly would use this to wiggle out of any liability. If you’re using a full motion TV wall bracket it is especially important that you are not exceeding the maximum weight, personally I would not try to come any where close to this and go for an TV wall mount upgrade when you do. This is because the further you pull the TV away from the wall the more strain that will be on the wall, the wall fixings and the TV mount itself.
The Maximum TV Size
Another thing that you should consider is the maximum TV screen size advertised on your TV. If you’re unsure of the size of your TV screen, measure from corner to corner in inches and that is the size of your TV. You should also be mindful if you TV has a wide frame around it and make and extra allowance for this also. Many new TV’s barely have a frame at all, often known as infinity screens but some have speakers at either side making the TV much larger in some instances. I’m not saying that TV’s can exceed the maximum screen size isn’t possible but one issue you may run into is not being able to reach in behind the bracket itself behind the TV when it is on the wall. If you need to get your arm behind to adjust a tilt and lock in place and you can’t reach it that could be a problem. I once installed a 79” TV onto a stud wall and the bracket that had been supplied to us allowed a tilt. Although it was perfectly safe the TV itself had huge speakers on both side of the screen. I couldn’t reach behind to adjust the bracket tilt. Fortunately, my college had an arm length which resembles Inspector Gadget and could reach them, but it would have been difficult to re-adjust later. A TV bracket which a larger maximum TV size would have been more appropriate for this installation.
Distance Of Fixings Holes On The Back Of The TV / VESA Pattern
This perhaps the most important thing that you need to check before buying your TV mount. Exceeding your TV weight and size is obviously not good but if you can’t even fit the bracket to your TV, well that’s a load of time and money down the drain. Fortunately, with modern TV’s the spacings have been standardised under the VESA TV patterns. VESA fixing positions are measured in millimetres and are given in the horizontal measurement by the vertical measurement. VESA mount patterns typically start for small TV screens at 75mmx75mm, although the can go smaller, then increase to 100mm x 100mm and by further increments of 100mm, so 200mm, 300mm, 400mm etc. It is absolutely imperative that you check the TV mounting positions on the back of your TV, usually found within the manufacturer literature but measure the distance on the back of your TV if you are in any doubt. Then check with the TV bracket that you intend to purchase whether it is compatible. Also do not assume because the VESA specification of your TV brackets exceeds that of the distance between the fixing holes on the back of the TV that it will automatically be fine as I have had on occasion where the fixing positions on the back of the TV were to small for the TV bracket even though the advertised TV size was compatible.
For some of the earlier TV’s many are not compatible with the standardised VESA patterns. I once had to mount a TV where the fixing positions were right at the edges of the TV. The vertical measurements were fine but the fixing positions on the horizontal measurements were too wide. I could have got a larger TV wall mount which may have fit but this would have protruded beyond the edges of the TV and looked stupid. Instead I decided to put an angle grinder straight down the middle of wall fixing part of the bracket and I fixed the two halves’ up to the wall separately. This allowed me to get just wide enough to hang the TV to the wall without it looking stupid. This wouldn’t have been possible with all types of bracket and obviously I’m not recommending doing this as it would void any warranty with the manufacturer. But in this instance, I was personally willing to extend my own warranty to the customer so little harm was done and the TV wall mount look as neat as possible.
Best TV Brackets & Manufacturers
This section I have dedicated to the best manufacturers out there of TV brackets. If you buy these brackets you are buying quality.
In my opinion Sanus is easily the best manufacturer of TV brackets. Sure, it will set you back a bit more than most of the other manufacturers but it my opinion the are worth every penny. Most of there models, even tilting and full motion full brackets can sit or moved back into position only a few millimetres away from the wall creating the best possible appearance. For large TV’s and full motion wall brackets I would rarely bother using any other brand.
I once had a situation a few years ago where a customer wanted a TV to fold back into a very small space. The bracket he had supplied just wasn’t up to the job and want he wanted to do wasn’t possible. It can be difficult explaining sometimes that the bracket purchases aren’t faulty, it just isn’t up to the job. If he had a Sanus bracket he could have done what he wanted.
Peerless is another quality TV bracket manufacturer, to be honest I very rarely actually use them for my TV wall mounting installations. This is not because they are not any good. It’s because my main suppliers don’t stock them and I happy sticking with Sanus brackets and B-Tech for smaller TV mounts and fixed mounts.
B-Tech is my second choice for TV bracket, B-Tech also has a slightly cheaper range called Ventry. To be honest the Ventry range isn’t nearly as good for most TV brackets apart from the fixed Ventry wall mounts which I regularly use for fixed TV wall mounting installations.
TV Brackets For Stud Walls
If you’re going to mounting your TV onto a stud wall. I recommend using a bracket wider fixing base. Some brackets will have a very narrow wall fixing plate and this doesn’t make for a good fixing to your stud wall. Especially when using full motion wall brackets I recommend ensuring that wall fixing is wide enough to fix over two of the wooden studs. If you’re nervous about mounting your TV to your plasterboard stud wall, then I recommend you read our blog onto how to mount TV’s onto stud walls.
I hoped that you liked this blog and it has helped you pick the best TV mount for your requirements. If you have any questions pleas LEAVE A COMMENT and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Bye for now,
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