TV Bracket Installation Tips: Securely Mounting Your TV
Scored a new TV in January sales? No one wants their brand-new expensive TV to come crashing down off the wall. Mounting your TV bracket may seem like a daunting task, but it can be a straightforward process. Here are our top tips to help you mount your TV bracket securely on any wall material and avoid disasters!
Understanding TV Brackets: Types and Features
When it comes to mounting your TV, choosing the right bracket is crucial. There are different types of TV brackets available, each with its own features and benefits. The most common types include fixed brackets, tilting brackets, and full-motion brackets. Fixed brackets provide a stable and flush mount close to the wall, while tilting brackets allow you to adjust the viewing angle. Full-motion or cantilever brackets offer the most flexibility, allowing you to tilt, swivel, and extend your TV for the optimal viewing experience.
Consider the size and weight of your TV when selecting a bracket to ensure it can support your TV’s weight. Make sure the bracket is compatible with your TV’s VESA mount pattern, which determines the hole placement on the back of the TV. TV brackets sometimes come with wall fixings included, but they may not be suitable for your wall material, so it’s important to check what your wall is made of before installing your TV bracket.
Before You Start
You’ve chosen a TV bracket, but there are a few things to take care of before installing it. If the wall has a plasterboard outer surface but you’re not sure what’s behind it, try to find out as it will help you choose the right wall fixings to securely hold your TV! Is the plasterboard attached over bricks or blockwork (also known as “dot and dab”)? Does it have insulation behind it, or timber studs?
If you tap on the wall and hear a hollow sound in some places and a solid, thudding sound in others, you might have a dot and dab wall, where plasterboard is attached over blockwork with dots of adhesive, leaving a gap between them.
If it’s a plasterboard stud wall, start by locating the studs in your wall using a stud finder – just move the stud finder along the wall until it indicates a timber stud’s location. Studs provide a sturdy anchor point for your bracket and help distribute the weight of the TV. Mark the stud locations with a pencil.
If you’re still not sure or want to check for insulation, drilling a small pilot hole may help, just check for wires or pipes first to avoid accidents or damage! A stud finder can help here too, as it can detect both studs and electrical wires or pipes. You can also use a wire and pipe detector, which is specifically designed to locate electrical wires and plumbing pipes. Generally, drilling directly above or parallel to wall sockets isn’t a good idea, as wires are likely to run in those directions.
Once you know what material you’re working with, it’s time to choose suitable wall fixings (more on that below) and gather all the necessary tools and equipment, including a drill, level, screwdriver, and measuring tape. You should also determine the desired height and location for your TV. Mark the spot on the wall using a pencil, and then you’re good to go!
Mounting your TV bracket on a plasterboard wall
Plasterboard isn’t as strong as concrete, brick or timber, so avoid mounting a TV bracket directly onto plasterboard without any additional support if you can. Plasterboard alone may not be strong enough to hold the weight of the TV. For a more secure fixing and peace of mind, you should fix your TV bracket to timber studs.
Use a stud finder to locate the studs in your plasterboard wall and adjust the bracket placement accordingly. Drill pilot holes into the studs at the marked locations and make sure the size of the pilot holes matches the screws you’ll be using. Attach the bracket to the wall using wood screws – taking particular care to ensure that they are securely fixed into the timber studs behind the plasterboard.
If your plasterboard wall doesn’t have studs and you need to fix straight to the plasterboard, it’s essential to use fixings that can securely hold the weight of your TV. When selecting plasterboard fixings for a TV bracket, go with ones specifically designed for plasterboard, such as toggle bolts – anything that spreads the load behind the plasterboard as much as possible. These fixings provide a larger surface area for distributing the weight, reducing the risk of the bracket pulling out of the wall. Additionally, you should consider the weight of your TV and choose fixings with a weight capacity that exceeds it. Good fixings for spreading the weight of your TV in a plasterboard wall include wall include T-Bolt or Cobra FlipToggle.
We don’t recommend mounting full-motion/cantilever TV brackets on a plasterboard wall, especially for a heavy TV. The tensile force (ie the force pulling out of the wall at the top of the bracket and pushing in at the bottom) increases as the TV bracket is extended, and can cause the fixings at the top of the bracket to pull out, or the bottom of the bracket to crush the plasterboard into the space behind it. Cantilever brackets are better mounted onto stronger wall materials like concrete or brick.
Mounting on Insulated Plasterboard
Installing a TV bracket to insulated plasterboard has a few unique challenges, depending on if you’re fixing your TV bracket to the plasterboard itself or the masonry behind it, how the insulated plasterboard has been installed, and the thickness of the insulation.
If the insulated board is attached directly to masonry using dot and dab or drywall adhesive, you’ll need to either fix your TV bracket to the masonry through the insulation or fix to the plasterboard itself. If your insulated plasterboard is attached to timber studwork, you can simply fix to the timber studs like described above, as long as the wood screws you use are long enough to reach through the insulation and the timber stud is in a convenient position.
If you’re fixing to the masonry through the plasterboard and insulation, you’ve got a couple of options. With thinner insulation you can use regular dot & dab or masonry wall fixings, like Corefix Connect described below, as long as the distance from the front face of the plasterboard to the masonry is no more than 45mm.
With thicker insulation, you may need to resort to different ‘workarounds’. You should still go with a masonry fixing, but having some kind of sleeve will protect the insulation from being damaged by the screw. For example, you could use a masonry fixing together with a long screw and a space plug through the insulation, as shown in the video below by Ultimate Handyman.
Alternatively, you can fix directly to the rear of the plasterboard, making a hole within the insulation with an undercutting tool if necessary. Cobra WallDriller Plus wall fixings are designed to work with both regular and insulated plasterboard without the need for an undercutting tool.
Mounting on A Dot & Dab Wall
Plasterboard attached over blockwork with dots of adhesive is called a “dot & dab” wall, and is often found in modern houses in the UK. A dot & dab wall usually has a gap between the plasterboard and the blockwork, which can make fixings heavy items tricky as it can cause the plasterboard to bow inwards and crush into the empty space behind it!
Corefix Connect fixings are specialist dot & dab fixings with a unique steel core, which bridges the gap between plasterboard and blockwork. This transfers the load of your TV to the blockwork, and ensures there’s no strain on the plasterboard. The steel core also prevents the plasterboard from bowing inwards when you tighten the screw. To install Corefix Connect, all you need to do is drill a 10mm hole, gently tap the plug in, tap in the steel core and screw in the bracket. You can find Corefix Connect on Amazon or at DIY & trade retailers like B&Q, Selco and Screwfix. Using specialist dot & dab fixings for your TV bracket ensures the weight of your TV is held by the blockwork with no damage to the plasterboard!
Mounting your TV bracket on a concrete or brick wall
Concrete or brick wall generally provide a strong base for attaching your TV bracket. Make sure you use appropriate wall plugs and screws designed for masonry. For solid concrete or brick, the Corefix Connect fixings provide a secure hold of 100kg on 4 fixings. For hollow concrete blocks or hollow bricks, you’ll need fixings which spread the anchor in the cavity, such as Cobra FlipToggle or Fischer Duopower.
Use a masonry drill bit to create pilot holes in the wall at the desired bracket location. Make sure the size of the pilot holes matches the wall plugs you’ll be using! For very dense concrete, using a hammer drill will make the drilling faster and easier. If you’re dealing with very porous material like aerated concrete, we recommend turning of the hammer function so as not to damage the material.
Once you’ve drilled the holes, insert the wall plugs into the pilot holes, ensuring they are flush with the wall surface. Then align the bracket with the wall plugs and attach it using the appropriate screws. Make sure the screws go into the wall plugs for a secure hold.
Once you’ve fixed your TV bracket to the wall, mount the TV on it, aligning it with the VESA mount pattern. You can enlist a friend or family member to help hold the TV. Once the TV is up, double-check the levelness of the TV and make any necessary adjustments. There’s no need to rush – take your time during the installation process and double-check your work at each step. After mounting the TV, test the stability by gently nudging it to make sure it’s securely mounted.
After you’ve connected the necessary cables and wires to the TV, it’s time to tackle the issue of concealing them. After all, nobody wants a cluttered and messy look with wires hanging down the wall! One simple option is to use cable raceways or cord covers. These can be easily attached to the wall and provide a discreet channel for all your cables to run through. Another option is to use cable clips or adhesive hooks to secure the cables along the baseboard or behind furniture. If you prefer a more permanent solution, you can consider installing an in-wall cable management system. This involves cutting a small channel in the wall and running the cables through it, then covering it with a wall plate. This method provides a clean and seamless look, but it requires a bit more effort and expertise and may be best left to the professionals. Whichever method you choose, make sure to plan the cable routing carefully and take into account the length and thickness of the cables.
It’s important to know when to call the professionals for help with mounting your TV on a wall. While some DIY enthusiasts may feel confident in taking care of everything themselves, there are certain situations where it’s best to leave it to the experts. If you are dealing with a heavy TV or a full-motion/cantilever TV bracket, especially for a plasterboard wall, it is advisable to seek professional assistance. If you’re uncertain about your wall material or the best fixings for mounting your TV bracket, it’s also a good idea to reach out to a professional. Overall, if you are unsure about any aspect of the installation or just want to ensure a flawless result, calling the professionals is always a wise decision. Remember, a properly mounted TV not only enhances your viewing experience but also ensures the safety of your expensive TV!