HOW TO INSTALL AND MOUNT YOUR PLASMA TV YOURSELF PROFESSIONALLY
I decided to write this article to help people who have just bought their plasma or lcdtelevisions and need them professionally hung. I worked for an audio/video company for 2 years and I know that some of these “professional” installers can charge upwards of $600 to do a simple plasma hang. OUCH!!! The reason I say “professional” is that there are plenty of companies out there that charge a professional price for their services, but you don’t get professional results. This can be a real nightmare for the consumer attributing lots of headaches. I call these nightmares hack jobs. Anyway my goal here is to give the average consumer detailed instructions on how to “do it yourself” so to speak. It really isn’t very difficult and you can save yourself a ton of$$$$. For the average person, I would say this shouldn’t take much more than a couple of hours to complete. This may seem like a lot of work and very confusing, but it really isn’t. And if you are looking at the length of this article and thinking otherwise, just remember, this is a detailed instructional, very detailed. I tried to design it, so that it is as easy as possible to understand, and therefore I included lots of pictures.Ok, so the first thing I’m going to do here is give you a list of basic tools you will need to do the job yourself…….
A friend(unless you are an olympic bodybuilder and can lift your plasma tv all by yourself :)
A powered drill with nutdriver attachments
- A Level
- A pencil
- Tape measure
- Philips Head Screwdriver
- Mounting Bracket (There are different kinds so I will elaborate a little further down Pic 1B)
- Sheet rock saw (for cutting in mud rings to run cables inwall) http://www.amanatool.com/timberline/misc/1012.htm
- 2 Mud Rings (I will show you a picture and tell you which ones I use)http://www.twacomm.com/catalog/model_364525-01.htm
- Cables to hook your tv up (Cables depend on how you want to hook your plasma up and how many components you want to hook up to it. Cable box, dvd player, tuner, etc)
- Electrical Tape (To tape your cables together to fish them down the inside of your wall)
- Fish Tape (To tape your cables to, so that you can fish them inside your wall easier)
- Drill bit http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=122200-353-HCBG20&lpage=none
Ok now that you have all of the necessary tools I will begin to explain the process of hanging your plasma tv. If you are looking at this already and thinking it is impossible to do, IT’S NOT!!!! So stay with me here……..
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE AN ELECTRICAL OUTLET WHERE YOU ARE PUTTING THE TV. YOU REALLY SHOULD HAVE AN ELECTRICIAN PUT IN A CLOCK OUTLET UP AROUND WHERE YOU ARE GOING TO HANG YOUR TV.en5145b0032.gif A CLOCK OUTLET IS A RECESSED OUTLET NEEDED SO THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE THE POWER PLUG IN THE WAY WHEN YOU ARE TRYING TO HANG YOUR PLASMA. IF YOU DECIDE TO GO THIS ROUTE, MOUNT YOUR BRACKET FIRST AT THE DESIRED HEIGHT AND THEN HAVE THE ELECTRICIAN COME IN AND INSTALL A CLOCK OUTLET FOR YOU. MAKE SURE THE OUTLET CAN BE COVERED BY THE PLASMA WHEN YOU HANG IT. IF YOU DON’T WANT THE HASTLE OF HIRING AN ELECTRICIAN, THEN YOU CAN ALWAYS RUN THE POWER CORD FOR THE PLASMA INSIDE THE WALL, ALTHOUGH THOSE POWER CORDS ARE NOT RATED FOR INWALL USE AND I REALLY DON’T RECOMMEND IT. BUT IT’S UP TO YOU.
- Alright, First thing you want to do is take your plasma or lcd television out of the box, but leave the protective wrap on it for now. Place your tv on top of the box face down and expose the back of the tv from the protective wrapping.
- Next you want to install the mounting bracket to the back of the television. As I stated above there are different kinds of brackets for you to use so mounting can be different depending on what you decide to use. The first type of bracket you can use is a flush mount bracket. With this bracket your plasma will hang stationary and flush to your wall. The second is a tilting flush mount bracket. With this bracket your plasma will hang flush to your wall, but you will be able to tilt your plasma up or down depending on your viewing preferance. And finally the third option is called a cantilever bracket. This bracket can move in basically any direction. It can be left in a stationary position or it can be pulled away from the wall and tilted up or down or turned left or right.
A stationary flush mount bracket is the simplest to install and if you decide to use this type of bracket I suggest using a universal bracket. Every plasma has its own bracket that you can use for that particular tv, but they are sometimes a real pain in the ass to install, where as a universal bracket fits any plasma and is a whole lot simpler to use. If you decide to use a universal bracket I recommend using http://www.mountsandmore.com/Peerless-SF670-PE1074.html. It is one of the best and easiest brackets I’ve used.
(pics from TOP to BOTTOM) Universal stationary flush mount bracket, Tilting flush mount, and Cantilever bracket
If you decide to use a Cantilever bracket, be aware that they are a little more difficult to install and some plasmas or lcd televisions require an adaptor plate that needs to be used to install the Cantilever bracket properly. If you decide to use this type of bracket make sure you ask the salesman at the store you are purchasing it from to check and see if your specific television requires an adaptor plate.
Ok for simplicity sake I will explain how to install a basic stationary flush mount universal bracket. If you notice on the first picture above on the left, there are 3 parts to the bracket. The main part which is the big rectangular piece and 2 arms. The arms are what we are going to concentrate on first. The arms are very easy to install, if you notice, on the back of your television, there should be 4 screw holes evenly placed. You are going to take these screws out and use the screws provided with the mounting bracket.
Screw down the arms and make sure that the hooks of the arms point downwards towards the bottom of the plasma. Don’t tighten them too tight or you will crack the plastic on the back of the plasma.
Next you need to turn your attention to the main piece of the bracket. For this part you will need your stud finder, pencil, and tape measure. First thing you want to do is determine where the center of the wall is that you are hanging your plasma on. Have your friend take one end of the tape measure and walk it to the one edge of the wall, you go to the other. Read the measurement and divide that by 2. Now take the new measurement and make a light C with the pencil about the height you want to hang your plasma.
Now take your stud finder and try to find at least 2 studs that are in the vicinity of the C you just made. Studs are 16 inches apart from each other. Make light marks where the studs are located. When you locate the studs, have your friend hold the main bracket up, making sure to center it with the C on the wall. Put the level on top of it to make sure it is perfectly straight. Once it is, take the pencil and make marks on the wall inside the holes on the bracket.
You want to try and catch 2 studs in the wall with the bracket. In the event that the studs don’t line up with the bracket, you can use wall anchors. http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=8436-1469-LW-0141-WT&lpage=none. I have hung plasmas using just these, so believe me, they hold. But generally, try and catch at least one stud to insure a secure mounting.
Ok, once you have made all of your marks, take your drill and drill bit and make some small pilot holes through the studs where you are going to drive the bolts in. Doing this makes driving the bolts much easier and reduces any chance of driving the bolts in crooked or even worse, snapping them.
Once you have made your pilot holes, it’s time to mount the bracket. Again, have your friend hold the bracket up again, lining it up with the holes and marks you made. Grab the bolts that are provided with the mount and put the right size nut driver on your drill. Proceed to drill in the bolts and secure the mounting bracket to the wall.
OK YOU ARE ALMOST DONE!!!!! Now all you have to do is cut in your mud rings. When you do this, place the mud ring so that it is flat against the wall and trace it out on the wall. You want to align the mud rings so that they are in the same bay in the wall. One sideways right under the mounting bracket, and the other straight down about the height of your electrical outlet. Here is a picture to help you better understand what I mean.
Once you have done this all you have to do is fish the cables through these mud rings. You will need your fish tape, electrical tape and whatever cables you have to connect your plasma. Tape all of your cables together and tape them to the fish tape and snake them from the bottom mud ring up to the top mud ring.
After this is done, grab your friend and carry the plasma over to the bracket, making sure to plug in the power cord and all other cables(component cables, s-video, coax cable, etc)
Now lift the plasma up and hook it onto your mounting bracket on the wall. Make sure that both arms are securely hooked onto the bracket. After you make sure of this, step away and take a look at NEW PLASMA TELEVISION IN ALL ITS GLORY!!!! YOU ARE DONE!!!!
So how does it feel??? You just successfully installed your own Lcd television and saved yourself a bundle of $$$$$!!!! Now you can reap the rewards of all your hard work and show it off to all your friends and family and say I DID THIS MYSELF!!!! JUST MAKE SURE YOU BUY YOUR FRIEND A SIX PACK FOR HELPING YOU OUT. :)
Well, I’m just about done here so I hope this detailed instructional article was helpful to you. You can ask comments, suggestions, or questions and I will be happy to read them or help anyone out who has any further questions. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I will be posting more instructional articles on how to install inwall speakers, surround sound systems and all the different ways to hook up all your electronic components, as well as how to install a cantilever mounting bracket.
Thanks for taking the time to read my instructional article on how to properly install your plasmatelevision or lcd television.