Contrary to popular belief, flat-screen TVs don't just levitate in front of the living room wall.
As TVs have gotten slimmer, lighter, and decidedly less cube-shaped, the ways we display them in our home have multiplied. Instead of plopping a television atop a pile of precariously stacked books, we can secure them to our walls, ceilings, or even a piece of furniture. Read on to learn the best TV mounts, based on your viewing needs.
Fixed mounts secure the screen parallel to the wall and offer no angle adjustments. Since they cling so close to the wall, often as little as an inch away, they're typically the most aesthetically pleasing style of mount. Make sure your eyes are level with the TV's lower border when seated to avoid a reduction in picture quality. If you're browsing cheap TV mounts, this is probably the most affordable.
If you want to hang your TV above a fireplace or higher up on a wall, this mount will tilt your TV vertically, providing a comfortable viewing angle that lines up with your gaze. Most tilt mounts offer around 5º–15° of vertical adjustment, making them some of the best TV mounts for reducing screen reflections and glare.
Extremely versatile, full motion TV wall mounts (sometimes called "articulating" mounts) have a swing arm that allows for enhanced horizontal and often vertical adjustment, and you can customize your TV viewing distance by extending the screen away from the wall. It can also deal with the continuously changing glare of a fickle sun.
If you're curious about wall mount TV shelf ideas, this is your go-to. Otherwise known as "platform mounts," these mounts fortify the traditional wall mount with shelves for Blu-ray players, cable boxes, gaming consoles, and DVD collections.
VESA refers to the four-hole attachment interface on the back of a TV display, along with the screws that help secure a mount to your TV. Smaller screens might have a VESA pattern size of 100mm x 100mm, whereas larger ones might have a pattern as big as 400mm x 400mm.
Check your TV's manual to find its specific VESA pattern size, then look for a mount that is its equal or larger—along with a list of compatible TV sizes and weights, all mounts will include their compatible VESA patterns. Most flat-panel TVs were designed with mounting in mind, but you should still always make sure a TV is VESA compliant before making mounting plans.
You're moving forward with one of our TV wall mount ideas, and now you want to install it.
Never mount a TV alone—having a friend or family member nearby ensures you won't be smothered by a falling flat panel. You'll always find directions on how to mount a TV in the box. They're included for a reason; don't neglect them.
Flat-panel TVs are fairly light, but you still need to anchor yours to a wall stud. Studs are far stronger than the drywall or plaster that surrounds them, and ensure a sure grip that's sure to last.
Your TV will then either slip onto the mount, or require screwing to an adapter plate. This is where having a friend nearby is most helpful.
The power cord and accessory cables that plug into the TV can look messy if they're left to dangle, so it's a good idea to gather them or, better yet, hide them from view. A variety of cable-management tools are available for this purpose.
Here's a quick installation video, plus a few more tips below: