TV wall mount buying guide: Everything you need to know

Find the perfect TV wall mount to class up your living room

Mounting a TV is a great idea — those thin panels look fabulous on the wall, and it saves space, too. Doing this yourself may seem daunting, but mounting a TV isn’t actually all that hard. It starts with picking the right kind of wall mount, and that’s surprisingly easy. In this this TV wall mount buying guide, we cover what you need to consider when shopping for the perfect mount.

The main things to keep in mind when picking out the right wall mount for your home is the material the wall is made of, your TV’s specifications, and the different mount types you’ll be choosing from.

What’s with your walls?

Almost all TV wall mounts are compatible with drywall and come with all the necessary hardware you need to install your mount, including bolts and drywall anchors. If you are installing your wall mount on a plaster or masonry surface, you’ll need some stronger hardware that won’t come in the wall mount box. (Not sure what type of material you have? Check out this helpful guide.) This may require a trip to the store to gather the necessary power tools and products. One other thought about location: We suggest you avoid mounting a TV over a fireplace if you can — check out this article for our thoughts on that controversial topic.

Just as most TV wall mounts are compatible with drywall, all TVs use a standard mounting pattern, called a VESA pattern. The name is an acronym for the Video Electronics Standards Association, the body that decided what that generic pattern is. Basically, it just means that whichever wall mount you choose will be easy to attach to your TV.

Size, weight, and flexibility

When looking at wall mounts online, they will most likely be rated by the screen size of the TV they support and the weight they can hold. It’s much more important to pay attention to how much weight a wall mount can hold. Different brands weigh different amounts even if the sizes of the TVs are the same. If you are looking at a TV wall mount online, check the product description to see more information about the maximum weight and screen size it can handle; you can also find this info on the wall mount’s box.

The next thing to consider is the flexibility you want your TV to have while mounted. If you want to be able to see your TV from other rooms, a good option is a pivoting wall mount. This will let you change the direction the TV is facing to optimize the picture on the screen, even if you aren’t sitting right in front of the TV. If you are mounting your TV above the average eye level (42 inches) you might want to invest in a TV wall mount that tilts down to improve picture quality. Fortunately, most mounts can tilt and pivot.

If the TV can be positioned at the ideal height and you don’t need to access the TV ports on a regular basis, a fixed mount will simplify the installation and the TV will be close to the wall, taking up less space. Consider a slim mount if this is the case: Many tout how close they can hang to the wall, for a more elegant overall appearance.

Lastly, if you are mounting your TV in the corner you will most likely need a specially designed corner mount. A fully articulating mount is necessary to secure the mounting plate to the wall and keep the TV extended at all times. There are a number of creative wall mounts on the market; keep an open mind and you might find something unusual — and perfect for you.

When selecting your TV wall mount, make sure you keep in mind the mount style you will need and pay special attention to the amount of weight the mount can hold. If you need help installing your new TV wall mount look at this guide. Once you have the wall mount installed and the TV hooked up all you need to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy your favorite show or movie.

This video tutorial featured the Cheetah Mounts APTMM2B, the VideoSecu ML531BE, and the Mounting Dream MD2380.