One of the allures of ultra thin flat panel televisions is the ability to mount them on your wall, saving space and creating a theater atmosphere. However, a TV wall mount takes a considerable amount of forethought. You need to decide which wall is best, how high it needs to sit, how many holes you’re willing to punch through your wall and who is going to do the final installation.

Mounting a 42-inch screen that weights between 70 and 100 lbs. is not like hanging a photograph, you can’t just grab your trusty hammer and level and start hanging a TV wall mount willy-nilly. If done incorrectly, your expensive new toy could quickly come crashing to the ground.

The steps involved may sound simple, but when you really think about it, you have to make decisions based on current and future tastes. Additionally, installation is not just a 15 minute job. You have to find wall studs sturdy enough to support the weight and you need to make sure all the anchors are truly secure. Perhaps a TV wall mount is simple enough for a handyman but what kind of chances are you really willing to take?

Here are some items to keep in mind if you do your own TV wall mount:

TV Placement

With traditional televisions, you could place them in an entertainment center and let them sit. And if you wanted to redecorate or rearrange the furniture you just moved the television with the rest of the furniture. With a mounted set, you are stuck with your decision. They are too big and too expensive to move every time you decide to shift the sofa.

Choose a wall for your TV wall mount that will accommodate your viewing needs. Using interior walls is usually preferable to exterior walls because of the ability to run wires and find studs. Plaster walls in older homes will require different types of anchors.

Consider everything you plan on using your TV for including movies, sports or video games and your own vantage point be that on the sofa, on the floor or under the covers. Adjust the height of your TV wall mount accordingly. You may want to consider all the other elements involved with your TV like a DVD player, cable box, speakers and so on, and how these items will be stored or hidden from view. Think of your new TV as an expensive piece of art you are trying to showcase.

Get Wired

Before, you could hook up all of the additional gadgets and toys to your television with no problem and hide all the wires behind the entertainment center. Now, with your new TV wall mount, the only way to hide the wires is to run everything through the walls. If you are unsure about how to run your wires, consider calling a professional.

A compromise is to create shelves around your television to hold the additional equipment or use an existing piece of furniture to hide the equipment. You could consider drilling holes in the back of the furniture for the wires.

Hire a Professional

If you are not comfortable or confident about your handyman skills, call a professional.

Most electronic stores like Circuit City, HHGregg and Best Buy will offer TV wall mount installation when you buy your TV. Of course, it is at an extra cost, but they certify their work and if for some reason your mount fails and your television breaks, they will replace it.

Although this is probably the most expensive option, installation can cost from $100 to $700 depending on screen size and mounting options. A fixed wall mount is usually cheaper than a tilt where the TV is mounted to an arm that is then mounted to the wall, allowing the television a range of motion. However, this can be a useful option in a limited space.

There are many considerations to make before buying and mounting a new TV. Be confident your planning will pay off: your new TV will be just where you want it.

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