1. What is a flat screen wall mount?

    A flat screen wall mount helps elevate the TV viewing experience. It can match the eye level without distorting the whole arrangement of living room. Though a TV stand can do the job well, a wall mount is preferred most, due to its amazingly great usability. Think of a situation when the layout of your living room wants you to place a flat screen TV above any furniture. Probably, a TV stand won’t be perfect in such a case. A wall mount scores higher than a TV stand when you don’t want it to be bulging out of the wall always. Such a wall mount add an ultra-modern look to your living room besides delivering a cinematic experience.  

    Types of wall mounts

    The choice among different types of wall mounts – differing in terms of capacity, design and, yes, the price tag, is a crucial one. Primarily, you will’ve to look for the wall mounts that are supportive to the structural weight of your flat screen TV. One type of such wall mounts can support displays of 26-42 inch displays weighing 100 pounds, while another type supports 42-50 inch displays weighing 150 pounds. If your display is larger than the above-mentioned dimensions, you should go for two-stud wall mounts wherein the wall plates attach two studs.

    Go for cement anchors to attach the TV to a brick wall. The material of the mount plays a significant role. If you want it to last really long, then go for a mount made of Aluminum or Steel.

    The design, conversely, is a personal choice and depends upon whether you want to keep the screen fixed or moving. Broadly, the flat screen TV wall mounts can be segregated into four categories based on their design.

    Flat/Fixed Wall Mount: It is the most elementary type of wall mounts and thus is the most economical. It’s ideal for living rooms with simple seating arrangement. Often known as low-profile TV mounts, these fixed mounts occupy lesser space between the wall and the back of your flat screen TV.  

    Tilt Wall Mount: If you enjoy watching TV lying on your couch or bed then you should definitely go for a tilt wall mount. The ideal locations for installing a tilt wall mount are above the fireplace or on the walls of your bedroom. When you set up your TV on a tilt wall mount, you see lesser reflection of light on the screen of the TV from the windows. In case of tilt wall mount, the distance between the wall and the screen increases for efficient tilting of the screen.  

    Tilt-and-swivel wall mount: The tilt-and-swivel wall mount offers various angles to watch TV. This type is perfect for dining halls, kitchens and living rooms with semi-circular seating arrangement where there are quite a good number of people with their eyes fixed on just one screen.

    Articulating wall mount: This type offers the maximum flexibility and versatility through the blend of a good number of levers. This would enable you to watch the TV from almost any corner of your room.    

    Price: Let’s move onto the most crucial factor determining your choice of wall mounts – the price. All the above two factors i.e. capacity and design determine the mounts’ price. The more the capacity, the more complex the design, the more you will have to pay.

    Of all, the fixed flat screen TV wall mounts are the most economical. A 40-inch LCD TV wall mount costs approximately 25 US Dollars and $100 is the maximum amount you have to pay for such fixed mounts for larger TV screens.

    There is a minimal difference between the prices of the flat/fixed mounts and tilt mounts. The tilt wall mounts are easily found in the range of $25 to $100. Here, the distance between the wall and the screen increases for efficient tilting of the screen. The tilt-and-swivel wall mounts also fall in the price range of tilt wall mounts.

    For intricate engineering involved, the articulating flat screen TV wall mounts have higher price range. For small screens, these wall mounts cost you $50 whereas for large screens, the price would vary between $200 and $300.  
    How to install wall mounts?

    The installation part demands proper care and understanding of the instructions. Though the following steps hold true to most of the wall mounts, read the manual provided with the wall mount for specific installation steps.

    (1) Attach the mount to the TV: Flat screen TV wall mounts attach to the wall with the help of a wall plate and to the flat screen TV’s back with the help of rails. Proper installation of the wall plate and rails reduces your effort in installing the TV on the mount. First of all, you should attach the wall mount’s TV portion i.e. the rails to the back of the flat screen TV. Pry the plastic caps off the mounting holes on the back of the TV with the help of a screwdriver. Keep the mount at level by lining the screw holes at both sides.

    Do not place the TV screen upside down while you are attaching it to the wall mount as it can permanently damage the screen. Choose another set of screw holes to attach the mount (in case of tilt mount or tilt-and-swivel mount) to the back panel of the TV if you think a particular set of screws would interfere in the free movement of the wall mount.

    (2) Measurement: Measure at what height you should place the wall mount on the wall. Attach the wall plate to the rails of the wall mount wherein the TV screen has already been attached. Measure the distance between the TV’s bottom and wall plate’s bottom. Make use of a level for accurate measurement. Secondly, you have to measure the TV’s height and mark it on the wall using either a masking tape or pencil. Determine the point where the bottom of the TV should be while mounting on the wall so that it matches the eye level and the A/V and power cables are hidden. After you figure out the placement of the bottom of the TV, you can mark the spot on the wall where you think the bottom of the wall mount should be.

    (3) Attaching the wall plate: Use an optimum quality stud finder that can accurately tell the center of the studs where you can drill the bracket into. Use a masking tape or a pencil to mark the stud on the wall. Make sure that the mounting holes of the wall mount are at the same level that of the center of chosen studs.  

    (4) Routing cables: If you plan to route the A/V cables outside the wall, then maintain a feasible distance among them instead of bundling them together. In case you plan to route the A/V cables into the wall then A/V cables have to run in enter-exit fashion in the wall through pilot holes. Before drilling such pilot holes on the wall, you should find obstacles beneath the wall using the stud finder. Use a sturdy wire to ensure that the area where you want to drill pilot holes into the wall is clear. Once sure, drill a hole with the help of drywall saw.

    (5) Hanging: In this part, you will need an assistant to ensure proper lifting of the TV and accurate lining of the wall mount bracket. Your assistant will keep the TV steady while you are screwing it to the wall. Make sure that the bracket allows for easy swiveling or tilting. Finally, attach the A/V cables to the flat screen TV.
    You are advised to consult a professional in case you cannot carry on with the installation on your own.  

    Safety Measures:

    Since the flat/fixed wall mounts have lesser space between the wall and the TV screen, make sure that the A/V connections are working when the screen is mounted. Different screens need to be placed at variable distances from the wall. So, tallying both the entities is your task.  

    Make sure that the screws that hold the TV to wall are tightly screwed into the wall stud’s solid wood, not merely the wallboard. Use a stud finder to locate the wall stud where you want to hang your TV on. Locate the stud’s center if you want to be completely sure that the TV is firmly attached to the wall.  

    Although it saves a lot of space around to mount the flat screen TV above the fireplace, it is not always preferable. The TV screen can get a permanent blow owing to excessive heat dissipated from the fireplace. Placing a thermometer above the fireplace can help. If the temperature rises beyond 90 degrees, it is not the perfect place where the TV should be mounted.  
    Finally, the flat screen TV wall mounts not only add to your multimedia experience but also enhance the ambience of your living room.

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