TV wall mount buying guide
Which type of mount is right for your installation?
Steve Kindig has been an electronics enthusiast for over 30 years. He has written extensively about home and car A/V gear for Crutchfield since 1985. Steve is also a volunteer DJ at community radio station WTJU, where he is a regular host of the American folk show "Atlantic Weekly," as well as the world music program "Radio Tropicale."
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Wall-mounting your TV can give you a really neat, clean look. You can hide the audio/video cables using a raceway, like the Wiremold cover above, or by routing them through your walls.
Virtually all flat-panel LCD and plasma TVs include a pedestal stand. This works great if you're placing your TV on a table or cabinet. But one of the things that makes flat-panel TVs so appealing is their shallow depth and reasonably light weight, which allow them to be mounted on a wall. This creates a very clean, space-efficient look, and when the TV isn't on, it's barely noticeable.
Most TVs don't come with their own mounting hardware, so you'll have to purchase it separately. This article will explain the differences between various types of wall mounts, and recommend the right type for various installations. We'll also include some basic installation tips, but for more info, watch our video or read our in-depth guide about TV wall-mounting.
TV wall-mounts range from basic fixed-mount designs to those with nearly unlimited flexibility for positioning your TV. Think about what you want your bracket to be able to do. Do you want to be able to adjust the TV to get a better view from different seats? Would you like to be able to angle the TV for optimum viewing, yet also have it hug the wall when not in use? There are a variety of options to choose from.
Flat mount — This is the simplest, lowest-cost type of mount. It places the TV closer to the wall than other mount types — as little as 1" away. A flat wall mount has no angle adjustments — the TV screen's position is parallel to the wall. This type of mount is a good choice for plasma TVs, which have the widest horizontal and vertical viewing angles.
Tilt mount — By providing vertical angle adjustment, this wall mount type makes it easy to compensate for a TV positioned above the optimum viewing level. The tilt mechanism causes the TV to be spaced a bit further out from the wall — typically at least 2-1/2". Common applications include TVs mounted above a fireplace or high on a bedroom wall. The angle adjustment can also help to counteract screen reflections from windows or room lights — an issue for many plasma TVs and some LCDs.
Tilt/swivel mount — By adding side-to-side swivel adjustment, this wall mount is a smart solution when a TV needs to be angled to provide the best viewing. It's also great for rooms with more than one usual viewing spot.