install a tv mount

How To Install a TV Wall Mount: From A Drywaller

If its your first time learning how to install a tv wall mount, it can be an anxiety-provoking task.  After all, if you do it wrong and finally hang the TV you will have the ultimate moment of truth.  Are the TV and the TV mount falling and smashing to the floor? I want to help and educate you before you begin so you can avoid that, so I’ll be diving into how walls are built.

Not many people know exactly how walls are built.  This is vital to understanding how a TV wall mount works.  If you get it right, it will work well and give you peace of mind that you won’t hear or see an unexpected smash on the floor.  

Before I get into installing a tv mount, I want to give you a quick background on who I am.  My main gig is installing drywall and doing drywall repairs.  I’m a contractor by day and a writer at night.  My goal is to educate homeowners and renters about topics that arise when it comes to their walls. Today I’m detailing the most important step to install a tv mount.

How To Install a TV Mount – How Does A TV Mount Work?

TV wall mounts are installed based on the same principle.  The strongest parts of the wall are called the studs.  The outside surface after the studs is done with drywall, joint compound, primer, and paint.  You never, ever, want to install a tv mount directly to drywall – even with drywall anchors.  They will not support the weight of a TV.  As heavy as drywall feels, it is not made to support the weight.  The weight of the TV will easily pull drywall anchors out of the wall, and you’ll be left with a broken TV and some drywall repairs. Learn about studs first!

What Is A Stud?
This is a common #dadjoke, but to keep things informative, a stud is a part of the wooden framing of a house.  Studs are always hung vertically when a wall is built.

I built some walls on a budget shed last year, you can see the wooden framing below.

how to install a tv wall mount

The studs are the wood you see going vertically (up and down) to support the walls and eventually the roof.  These are the strength of your walls.  Those are your target to install a TV wall mount. But how do you find the studs?

Finding The Studs To Install A TV Mount

Finding the studs can be done in two different ways.

1. Guessing – 5% chance of getting it right
2. Using a stud finder – 90% chance of getting it right

If you go with the guessing option, you will probably have to make about 10-20 holes in your wall to get it right.  If you go with this option and need tips on repairing, I’ve written a Drywall Repair How To Guide to help you through that. The best option is a stud finder.

A stud finder is the most accurate way to find the stud behind the drywall.  A stud finder is a tool that uses either a magnetic current or a small electric current to find studs behind the drywall.

If you want to get this right, here are two different ones to choose from:


How To Use A Stud Finder

Hold the stud finder against the wall, and hold the side button down.  Slowly move the stud finder left or right without letting go of the button until it beeps.  Mark that area it beeped with a pencil.  Most studs will measure 1.5” wide, older homes may have 2” wide studs. Some mounts may require two studs.

If you are using a tv mount that requires two studs, you will want to find a left and right stud on the area you want your TV installed.  Studs are installed either 16” apart, or 24” apart.

Single Stud TV Mounts

If you haven’t purchased a tv wall mount yet, there are different specs of tv mounts depending on the size and weight of your TV.

13” through 42” inch TVs

If you have a TV that ranges within this size, you will most likely only need a single stud wall mount.  The following TV wall mount below is rated for this size and up to 44llbs.

As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Double Stud TV Wall mounts

42” – 75” TV Wall mount

This product is a great option for large TVs.  Large TVs should have two studs to reinforce the strength and hold the weight of your TV.  Keep in mind, that this is only if you have studs that are 16” apart.

TV Wall mounts for 24” studs

The main difference between these two is whether or not you would like a TV Wall mount that also swivels.  A swivel will allow you to easily adjust the tv wall mount to angles. For a 24” tv wall mount that has a swivel:

For a 24” wall mount that does not have any purpose other than being secured to the wall:

Did You Learn How To Install A TV Mount?

Many people think that TV wall mounts are simply installed directly on the drywall.  Unfortunately, installing a tv wall mount directly to drywall is a disaster waiting to happen.  I went over the importance of studs and how to find them beyond the drywall.  It is the most vital step in installing a tv wall mount.  If this article helped you in any way, or if you have any questions about the article, feel free to leave a comment below!  I always try to be reachable to my readers.  Thank you for reading my guide here at Drywall Central.  Best of luck with your project!

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