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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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The clean, uncluttered look of a wall-mounted TV

Virtually all flat-panel TVs come with a pedestal stand. This (and maybe a tip-prevention strap) is all you need 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 light weight, which allow them to be mounted on a wall. This gives you a very clean, safe, and space-efficient installation.

Since very few TVs include their own wall-mounting hardware, you'll have to purchase a mount separately. This article explains the differences between various types of wall mounts, and offers recommendations for various types of installation. If you're wondering what it takes to install a TV, check out our how-to guide and video on 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.

Sanus LL11-B1 side view

Fixed mount — This is the simplest, lowest-cost type of mount. It places the TV closer to the wall than other mount types. The popular Sanus LL11-B1 (shown) holds the TV about 9/16" from the wall. 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 if you'll be sitting directly in front of the TV, and can position the TV at the ideal height, with the center of the screen at about eye-level when you're seated.

Sanus VMT5 side view

The ability to adjust the angle of your TV screen can not only reduce glare, it also lets you tilt the TV up for easy cable connections.

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". Tilt mounts are a smart choice for TVs placed above a fireplace or high on a bedroom wall. The angle adjustment can also help reduce screen reflections from windows or room lights.

[Shop for tilt-mount brackets]

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.

[Shopt for tilt-swivel brackets]

Sanus LC1A tilt/swivel ceiling mount for 37"-70" flat-panel TVs

Ceiling mount — In some situations (say you're dealing with a brick wall), a wall mount just won't work, but a ceiling mount will.

[Shop for ceiling mounts]

  • Corbett French from United States

    Posted on 6/10/2015

    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

    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

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

  • anna from raytown

    Posted on 1/26/2016

    In all actuality, you don't really want a 55" flat screen tv moving at all. That puppy is so big, you want it mounted and you really don't want any movement, not on a screen that big, that is just executing good judgment.

  • Danielle from Tempe

    Posted on 10/6/2016

    We have a 55" which is thinner than an IPhone, it would be great to put it on a tilt/swivel mount or even a ceiling mount.

  • betty from Los Angeles, ca

    Posted on 12/25/2016

    i have a mount that is flexible. but when i had it installed it was installed as fixed. how can i change this?

  • Kathy from Inglewood, CA

    Posted on 1/5/2017

    Is 48" tv to big to be on a tilt/swivel mount?

  • Sam Clark from Vista

    Posted on 1/6/2017

    This article was just a couple of worthless fluff paragraphs - the kind of thing you see on someone's "blog" that isn't much more than a bunch of keywords in an attempt to get traffic for ad revenue. I expect more from crutchfield. Please replace this with something that isn't so damaging to your good name.

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