How to Hang a Flat Screen TV in 5 Basic Steps

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No matter what you like to watch at home -- sports, movies, BBC -- nothing makes it nicer than a flat screen on your living room or bedroom wall. Trouble is, your mount has been sitting next to your floor TV stand for weeks, and you haven't gotten around to hanging it yet. Where do I start? What do I need? Well, we have your answers right here, and we've broken down the daunting task into just five easy steps.

  1. Locate the stud. Because your TV is heavy, it needs as much wall support as it can get. So, before you even hang the TV mount, you need to find the studs. They're vertical beams inside your walls that offer the most support. The easiest way to do this is with a stud finder, which you can find at any local hardware store. Depending on the type of wall you have - straight drywall, brick veneer, etc. - you may need a different strength stud finder. Consult a store expert before making your purchase.
  2. Take measurements. Using a tape measure, determine at which height you would prefer your TV be mounted. Mark the spot where your upper bracket will hang, as this is where you will need to drill first. Make your mark clear, and don't worry about leaving an impression, because you'll be drilling here and covering it with your mount, anyway.
  3. Use the right screws. Your screw type will be completely determined by the type of wall you have. Brick veneer, for example, requires lag screws, while direct drywall screws will usually be provided with your mount upon purchase. If not, check the manufacturer's instructions. When in doubt, longer, thicker screws generally offer the best support.
  4. Install the mount. Using a drill bit, screw holes a little bit smaller than the screw you will be using to attach your mount to the wall. Mounting brackets should come with many holes, lined up horizontally for convenience, to make it easier for you to line them up with the stud you chose. Attach the mount to the wall using a socket wrench to tighten down the bolt. Ensure your bracket is even by checking with your level. Lastly, drill and tighten the bottom screw on your mount, directly below the first one. Then finish placing the rest of the screws, at designated locations as indicated in your user manual.
  5. Mount the TV. To locate your mounting holes on the TV, flip it over on a blanket to protect the screen, and locate the four standardized mounting holes that come with all new flat panel TVs. Attach the brackets to the TV at the holes and tighten then. Make sure they are right-side-up, meaning the "hook" of the mount should be on top, facing downward. Carefully lift the TV, and hang it on the mount rack. Slide the TV to the left and/or right to center it, as necessary. Once it's centered, use the small set screws to lock it into place.

Now sit back, relax and enjoy the show. We'll talk about your need for wall speakers another day.

Last Updated: July 22, 2011
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About Emelie Battaglia Emelie Battagila is a contributing writer for

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