TV wall mount buying guide

Which type of mount is right for your installation?


Steve Kindig

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."

More from Steve Kindig

TV wall mount

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.

Wall-mount types

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.

TV wall mount

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.

TV wall mount

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

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.

TV wall mount
Articulating mount — The most sophisticated, versatile type of mount. It provides the greatest tilt/swivel flexibility. The arm folds back so the TV can be close to the wall when not in use. Because this type can move the TV several inches out from the wall, it allows a wider range of side-to-side swivel.

  • Corbett French from United States

    Posted on 6/10/2015 9:43:40 PM

    Nancy, different mounts can different amounts of weight. So you're just going to have to look around. Also something else to consider is how it will be attached to the wall. Can the mount go into sheet rock? studs only? Is a stud where you want to place it?

  • Gina from New York

    Posted on 7/21/2015 10:23:06 PM

    How far away from the wall can a 55" flat screen tv be, using an articulating mount?

  • Jeff Miller from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/22/2015 12:13:51 PM

    Gina, it depends on the mount. I've forwarded your question to an Advisor, and they will be in touch with you soon.