Q: I want to hang my flat-screen TV on the wall without any wires showing. How can I do that?
—Mark Christensen, Phoenix
Tom Silva replies: The first step is to buy a wall mount rated to hold your TV, so you'll need to know your set's weight and screen size. Then choose a mount type. Fixed, non-adjustable mounts hold a set tight against the wall but limit how high the TV can go. (The screen should be at eye level when you're seated.) With a tilt-swivel mount like the OmniMount installed here, the TV sits farther off the wall but rotates side to side up to 90 degrees and tilts up to 15 degrees. That allows you to put the screen higher on the wall than a fixed mount and still enjoy comfortable viewing.
Building codes don't permit TV power cords to be buried in the wall, so you'll want to use a system like the PowerBridge shown here. This two-piece receptacle kit comes wired to safely hide the cord and A/V cables behind the drywall and pick them up at the base of the wall near your signal and power source. For an even neater installation, run the cables through the hollow arms of the mount. Read on for steps to mounting a TV on a wall.
Mark The Studs
Find and mark a stud where you want the TV mounted. Measure to the left or right 16 inches and mark the center of the next stud. Using the template that comes with your mount—make sure the template is level—mark the position of four lag screws over two studs.
Install The Wall Mount
Drill pilot holes for the lag screws. Hold the mount up to the wall and position it over the holes. Install the lag bolts and washers with a socket wrench, but don't tighten them completely. Slide the mount left or right depending on where you want the TV, check for level, then tighten each screw, as shown.
Cut The Receptacle Hole
Determine the least-visible spot for the PowerBridge's upper receptacle box, then use a stud finder to make sure that you have a clear shot to the bottom of the stud bay. Place the receptacle template in this spot and trace around it. Use a drywall saw to cut out the wallboard along the template's outline.
Connect The Power
Locate the lower receptacle box within 6 feet of an outlet and repeat Step 3. Insert the upper box and snake the power cord down the wall. Use a screwdriver to twist the wall plate's tabs, locking them behind the drywall. At the lower hole, plug the male end of the power cord into the female end of the lower receptacle.
Insert The Cables
Back at the upper receptacle, fish the HDMI cable and any other cables through the box's rubber gasket. Leave enough slack to reach the TV at it's maximum extension and then some. Pull the cables through the hole near the base of the wall and through the lower receptacle's rubber gasket. Then attach the wall plate to the drywall, as in Step 4.
Mount The TV
Fasten the unattached half of the mount to the back of the TV. Have someone help you lift the TV and hold it steady while you bolt the two halves together. Tighten the nuts with a socket wrench. Plug the TV's power cord into the upper receptacle, then use the supplied extension cord to run power from an outlet to the bottom receptacle.