This installation guide will cover several installation environments including:
Over the fireplace
Stone and brick
Recommended Tools and Hardware:
Quality Stud Finder
Ratchet Set or Ratchet attachment for drill (preferred)
Sheetrock Saw / Keyhole Saw
*If mounted above seated eye level we recommend a tilt mount
**Or if you want the ability to pivot your screen for different viewing areas, you need an articulating arm mount.
Your mount should come with all the necessary hardware for normal installation, but if this is a stone or brick installation refer to that section below for additional hardware requirements.
Other recommended parts for hidden wire installation:
2 Low voltage “old work” boxes (AKA “retrofit box”, or “D-Ring”)
*Single gang or double gang depending on the amount of wires you need to run.
2 Cover Plates – ideally with a large opening already in the center, but as these are hard to find you may have to buy a blank plate and drill your own hole. If this is the case make sure you buy the NYLON plate, use a very sharp hole saw bit and drill slowly.
**Normal plates will break if you try to drill them, only use Nylon for this**
***Also, be careful when selecting your plates as there are plates that look like they will work but the holes for the screws do not line up***
Additional tools may be necessary to send and receive the wires and cables through the wall. The professionals prefer Glow Rods (a skinny flexible rod used to send through the wall opening then attach cables and pull them back through the wall) But sometimes just using gravity and a coat hanger (metal, straightened and with a hook) will work too.
Cables: when determining the length of cables measure the linear distance through the wall and other spaces (attic, crawl space, basement) then add 6’ (3’ out of each wall opening)
First, we DO NOT recommend sending the power cord through the wall or using any kind of extension cord. (While this may never cause any harm, if it did happen to catch fire your insurance company most likely will not cover the damage)
We DO recommend using a certified solution called the Power Bridge, which you can buy at www.powerbridge.com. To implement this system you will need to run electrical wire (Romex) through the wall with your audio video cables to the equipment location. As long as you have an outlet for your equipment, you just make the connections on each end of your electrical wire and the system plugs in to your existing outlet to feed power to the flat screen TV. It’s a very professional system, and does not require any hard wiring to your electrical system, which means you can’t get shocked.
Step 1: Plan the installation
Draw out the exact location you want the flat screen TV to hang with dimensions
(eg. 6” above mantle, or 4’ from the floor to the center of the screen)
Check the surface for structural support: Use a stud finder to make sure there are sufficient studs, or if stone or brick refer to the appropriate section below for requirements.
Find your route for wiring: Refer to the wiring section below for help
*Make sure it is possible to hang the flat screen TV in this location, and get the wires where you want them to go.
Step 2: Prepare your Mount & Surface
Unpack the TV and place it upright where you can easily access the back.
Unpack the mount and find the included screws that match the back of your flat screen TV
Attach the mount arms to the back of the flat screen TV (Make sure you don’t attach them upside down. See the mount directions if you’re not sure.)
Now measure from the very bottom of the flat screen TV to the top of the groove or hook in the arm (where the arm will hang on the back plate) and add it to your drawing (this will be your reference to determine where the mount needs to go on the wall) You may want to place the back plate in the groove as it will hang to get a more accurate dimension.
Determine the distance from your first reference point (floor, ceiling, mantle) to the top of your back plate, and add this to your drawing.
Now with a pencil we want to lightly mark on the wall where the top of the bracket should go. (Naturally we should have a horizontal center located as well)
With a level draw a horizontal line about the length of the mount and centered in the space.
Step 3: Hanging the Mount – see special notes below for stone and concrete:
Use your stud finder and mark off the center of the studs along your line.
Again use the level, but this time, make a vertical line from each stud mark down to about the height of the back plate.
Now you can hold the back plate up to the wall with the top lip where the arms will hang lined up to your top line. Then move it left and right as needed to align the holes in the mount with your stud lines. Once it is in position, make sure it is still level and draw a line in the very center of the aligning holes to create “cross hairs”.
We’re now ready to drill the pilot holes. Find the right size drill bit just slightly smaller than the core of your lag bolt (when you hold the bit aligned lengthwise over the screw you should see all of the screw threads on either side). Then drill at the center of our cross hairs a perfectly straight hole. ***(The drill must be level and not at an angle in any direction, this is very important to keep the mount level)
Now hold your mount in place and screw it in with your ratchet, making sure to use any supplied washers. **DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN**
Congratulations, your mount is now in place. Skip ahead to step 4 to continue
There are two main types of stone, real and concrete (this is just concrete made to look like stone)
For concrete simply use appropriately rated concrete anchors (like the Red Hat threaded rod anchors, that use a separate threaded rod with nut and washer set)
For real stone you can not drill through it because it is too strong. Therefore you have to drill through the grout around the stone and use a threaded rod with a toggle bolt “wings” on the end. The toggle goes through the grout and the wood and/or sheetrock and opens to hold behind the wall. Then use a nut and washer set to fasten the mount. The difficult part is getting the holes in the mount to line up with the grout, but the threaded rod will give you a little flexibility if you have to drill it in at an angle. You also might need to use spacers between the stone and mount to keep it even.
The best way is to use the method above for stone with threaded rod through the grout, or in this case you can also go through the brick. (Just make sure you drill carefully so you don’t crack the bricks.
Step 4: Wiring
Plan and cut your access hole for your low voltage box behind the flat screen TV location (using the box as a template, be careful not to cut the hole to large). We recommend planning this to find the least visible location after the flat screen TV is hung.
**For stone and brick: you will need to either drill a large hole or remove a piece of brick or stone as needed. You will probably not be able to use a low voltage box or plate.
Next, cut your hole behind the equipment location.
If the equipment will be located directly below the flat screen TV this is the easiest to wire. Simply drop your wires down through the wall and pull them out of your lower hole.
If the installation is above a fireplace and the fireplace extends into the room, with the equipment located to either side, then your equipment access hole will be in the side of the fireplace. To fish your wires, you will need a long rod, or it is also possible to use your tape measure to send from one hole to the other and retrieve the wires.
If the fireplace extends outside of the house or into an adjacent room, this is more difficult. The easiest way if the fireplace chase is outside the house, is to just drill straight out the back of the house from your equipment location and run the wires in a conduit (PVC Pipe) either buried or across the house and into the fireplace chase. Then you can fish the wires from the hole outside in the side of the fireplace chase, to the hole behind the flat screen TV. The other way requires drilling a large hole from just beside the fireplace at an extreme angle back towards the fireplace into the open cavity. You will need to take your measurements carefully and study the wall ad it’s studs to accomplish this correctly. Once the hole is drilled you have to perform a kind of “blind surgery” as we like to call it to retrieve the cables from inside the cavity and pull them out through the hole. We normally send a glow rod with a small metal chain attached to the end down from the flat screen TV hole, then using a hook or a magnetized rod we retrieve the chain, tape on our cables and pull them back through. This can be very time-consuming, tedious, and frustrating, but very rewarding when you finally get your wires through.
If the equipment is further away on a different wall or in a different room, then you will need a space to run your wires, like a crawl space, attic, or accessible basement (unfinished or drop ceiling). Then from your space measure and find the exact locations where you want your wires to come out of the wall and drill a large hole in the bottom or top plate (wood 2x4) of the wall, for both locations (the flat screen TV wall, and the equipment wall) Then you should be able to run your wires and feed them up or down the wall accordingly and retrieve them from each access hole.
**Remember, gravity is your friend when wiring, Plan your fishing accordingly.
Install any power outlets or the Power Bridge system according to the instructions.
Now, install your low voltage boxes and plates, and you’re ready to hang the flat screen TV.
Step 5: Hang the flat screen TV
If the flat screen TV is over 30” you should probably have 2 people.
Take good note of your connections on the back of the flat screen TV (draw them or take a picture)
Connect the power cord to the wall.
Lift the TV onto the mount, and tighten any security screws, then make your connections.
Congratulations! You have completed the installation.