How to Build a Wall-Hung TV Cabinet

From our new Hammer It Out series: Outfit Dad's favorite TV-watching spot with this handsome storage piece fitted with bifold doors

A large flat-screen television is a must for the big game, but a large black blank space on your wall isn't quite so captivating during dinner parties. You could, of course, hide your mammoth monitor in the den or basement. Or you could install it front and center, and cleverly conceal it behind a handsome cabinet fitted with bifold doors, as we did here. With a simple frame and doors cut down from a single bifold closet door, this cabinet is easy to assemble and costs far less than its store-bought counterparts.

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Steps // How to Build a Wall-Hung TV Cabinet
1 ×

Display Coffee Table Overview

 
Step One // How to Build a Wall-Hung TV Cabinet

Display Coffee Table Overview

Display Coffee Table overview
Illustration by Doug Adams

How to Size Your TV Cabinet
Since televisions are measured on the diagonal, screen size doesn't tell you anything. So before you select a bifold door, first measure the actual width of your TV.

A bifold door consists of two panels joined by a bifold hinge. Doors are sold by width, including both panels, and come in stock sizes—typically 24, 30, or 36 inches. To find the right size for your TV, double the width of the door and compare it to the actual width of the TV. The doubled width of the door should be at least several inches wider than the TV.

For example, a 24-inch bifold door will create a cabinet approximately 48 inches wide (not counting ⅛-inch gaps between panels). Depending on the thickness of the TV's frame, that may fit up to a 46-inch TV; again, you have to measure. Larger TVs will likely require a 30- or 36-inch bifold door. At this size, make sure to choose a door with panels tall enough to cover the height of your TV.

CUT LIST
Bifold door Cut the two panels to equal height, leaving a rail at the top and bottom of each.

1x top and bottom Cut two to the width of the assembled doors plus ⅛inch for the gap between the two, and add 6 to 8 inches for an overhang on either side. Then rip the front and side edges at a 45-degree angle.

1x sides Cut two to the height of the cut doors plus ¼inch.

1x4 cleat Cut one to the inside width of the frame, then rip it in half with a 45-degree angle down its entire length.

1x4 crosspiece Cut one to the inside width of the frame.

 
2 ×

Mark the Bifold Door

 
Step Two // How to Build a Wall-Hung TV Cabinet

Mark the Bifold Door

marking the bifold doors before cutting them
Photo by Ryan Benyi

You'll cut the tall door in half to get two shorter ones that will go side by side to cover the horizontal TV. Remove the hinges and lay the door halves side by side and facedown. Using a combination square, mark the cut lines on the rails to create four equal-height panels with a rail at the top and bottom of each.

 
3 ×

Cut the Door Panels

 
Step Three // How to Build a Wall-Hung TV Cabinet

Cut the Door Panels

cutting the bifold doors with a circular saw
Photo by Ryan Benyi

Set your circular saw blade on the line and place a Speed Square next to the saw's shoe to get started on a true 90-degree bearing. Cut along the lines to create the four panels of equal height that will make two bifold doors.

 
4 ×

Attach the Hinges

 
Step Four // How to Build a Wall-Hung TV Cabinet

Attach the Hinges

installing hinges on the bifold doors with a drill/driver
Photo by Ryan Benyi

Hold two panels back-to-back and on edge, as shown. Mark the edges of the doors where the hinges will be installed so that the knuckles sit 4 inches in from the top and bottom. Drill pilot holes and screw the hinges in place. Repeat on the second door. Once the hinges are installed, you should have two bifold doors with the knuckles on the TV side of the doors.

 
5 ×

Cut the Frame Pieces

 
Step Five // How to Build a Wall-Hung TV Cabinet

Cut the Frame Pieces

cutting a frame piece with a miter saw
Photo by Ryan Benyi

Lay the doors flat on the work surface with a ⅛-inch gap between them, and measure the width. Add 1½ inches for the thickness of the two side boards (3/4-inch each) and, depending on the overall size and look you're going for, about 6 to 8 inches for an overhang on either side. Using a miter saw, cut the top and bottom frame pieces to length. Measure and cut the side pieces to the height of the bifold doors plus ¼ inch, to allow for a ⅛-inch gap at the top and bottom so that the doors can swing without binding.

 
6 ×

Bevel the Top and Bottom Pieces

 
Step Six // How to Build a Wall-Hung TV Cabinet

Bevel the Top and Bottom Pieces

cutting a bevel into the top board with a circular saw
Photo by Ryan Benyi

Position the frame's top board so that it hangs over the edge of a table and clamp it in place. Bevel the front edge with your circular saw set at a 45-degree angle, making sure to keep the cut as close to the front edge as possible. Repeat on the ends of the boards using your Speed Square as a fence. (Leave only the wall edge unbeveled.) Cut the frame's bottom board in the same way.

 
7 ×

Mark the Sides' Location

 
Step Seven // How to Build a Wall-Hung TV Cabinet

Mark the Sides' Location

marking the side's location onto the top board with combination square and a pencil
Photo by Ryan Benyi

Abut the top and bottom boards lengthwise. Using a tape measure, locate and mark their midpoint on the larger face, long point to long point. From the center to each side, measure half the distance of the doors' overall width from Step 5. Using a combination square, draw a line at each mark, then transfer it around to the inner face, where the sides will join.

 
8 ×

Assemble the Frame

 
Step Eight // How to Build a Wall-Hung TV Cabinet

Assemble the Frame

assembling the cabinet's frame
Photo by Ryan Benyi

Arrange the top and bottom boards so that their bevels angle inward toward the center of the frame and sandwich the frame's side boards. Line up the side boards' outside edges with the transferred lines from Step 7, and make sure all four sides of the rectangle are flush along the back. Now, using the lines on the outer faces as references, drill two evenly spaced pilot holes just inside the lines and sink 1½-inch screws through and into the side pieces.

 
9 ×

Make the Cleat

 
Step Nine // How to Build a Wall-Hung TV Cabinet

Make the Cleat

cutting the cleat with a circular saw
Photo by Ryan Benyi

With your circular saw set at a 45-degree angle, rip a 1x4 down the center so that you end up with two equal-width boards with mirrored bevels.

 
10 ×

Insert the Cleat and Crosspiece

 
Step Ten // How to Build a Wall-Hung TV Cabinet

Insert the Cleat and Crosspiece

attaching the cleat to the cabinet frame
Photo by Ryan Benyi

Position the cleat inside the frame, butting it against the underside of the top board and flush with the back edge of the frame. The sharp edge of the cleat should be at the back and facing down. That way, it will hook securely into the wedge created by the lower half of the cleat, mounted on the wall. Nail through the frame's sides and top and into the cleat to secure it. Position the 1x4 crosspiece against the frame's bottom piece between the sides, and secure it in the same way as the cleat.

 
11 ×

Attach the Doors

 
Step Eleven // How to Build a Wall-Hung TV Cabinet

Attach the Doors

attaching the bifold cabinet doors
Photo by Ryan Benyi

Measure from the face of the cleat to the front edge of the side board and cut eight spacer blocks to this size. With the frame lying on its back, stand the blocks on the cleat and crosspiece at each door-panel junction. Lay the doors in the frame so that the ends are flush with the sides. Center the doors top to bottom to get an equal gap above and below. Next, position the hinges an equal distance from the top and bottom of the doors, leaving about 4 inches at either end. Mark the edges of the doors and sides, drill pilot holes, then screw them in place.

 
12 ×

Attach the Magnets

 
Step Twelve // How to Build a Wall-Hung TV Cabinet

Attach the Magnets

installing the bifold cabinet door magnet catches
Photo by Ryan Benyi

Install the magnet's metal plates to the back of the center doors; fasten them at the top of the centermost stiles. Close the left bifold door and stick the left side of the magnet catch to its metal plate. Drive a screw through the right side of the catch into the top board. Open the left bifold and secure the opposite side of the magnet catch. If you have a particularly wide cabinet, install magnet catches where the door panels meet on each side.

 
 
 

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