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Wall Mounting a Plasma or LCD Flat Panel

Some Wall Mount Brackets:
40" to 70"
up to 60"
32" to 50"
37" to 60"
30" to 50"

40" to 70"
up to 60"
32" to 50"
37" to 60"
30" to 50"

This is not a universal guide to wall mounting your TV, but this may be helpful, especially
if the placement of your wall studs does not lend itself to proper mounting.

      In this example, we are installing the following bracket and flat screen television:

Wall Mount   Digicom Flush Wall Mount Model # DC-A660 (for TV's 37" to 80")

Aquos 52    Sharp Aquos LC52D64U 52-Inch 1080p LCD HDTV



The final wall-mounted installation is pictured above.
The cables are run through a Wiremold chair rail mounted vertically (sold at Home Depot).

Also shown are the wall-mounted front speakers of our 5.1 surround
system. The center channel speaker is mounted 1/2" away from the wall so the cables can pass behind it.


The studs in our house are not all evenly spaced, as shown in the diagram (due to the framing of the higher set of windows that are not shown). This is not the cause of our problem. Even if the studs were spaced at even 16" intervals, the relative placement makes it impossible to mount this bracket to the studs without modifying the bracket or the studs. Ideally, you want the center of the TV to line up with the empty space between two studs.

What happens when your TV wall mount bracket doesn't line up with your wall studs?

The picture on the left shows our desired TV location (centered between two windows). The "wall side" of the mounting bracket is shown to scale. There is literally no way to mount this bracket directly to the studs. Either the TV would be off-center, or the bracket would be off-center, causing the 90-pound TV to not be supported properly.

For this bracket, the two vertical supports (which are bolted to the wall studs) slide along the horizontal bars, allowing for some flexibility in placement, but not enough in this case.

There are two ways to solve this problem. The first is to cut out a large section of drywall and install horizontal cross braces (2x4s) between the studs, so you have something to bolt the bracket to. This requires two braces on each side of the center stud, for a total of 4 braces. If you are running cables through the wall to hide them, chances are you already have a lot of drywall work ahead of you, anyway, so this may be a more desirable solution.

If you prefer not to tear up the wall, then the solution on this page is a better choice, and it's easier and less time consuming than reinforcing the studs inside the wall. This method basically extends the bracket so it can be bolted to 3 adjacent wall studs. For our installation, we decided to use a "wiremold" cable raceway, running vertically, to hide our cables. Our walls are heavily textured, making drywall repair more difficult. Also, running the cables through the wall requires that you install an AC outlet directly behind the TV because the supplied AC cord should not be run inside of the wall. In our case, this would have required a great deal of additional drywall repair because we do not have any existing outlets below the TV mounting location.

Click on the images below to enlarge them.

Flat Bar

To solve our problem, we use two flat pieces of steel long enough to span across three wall studs. The original bracket will then mount to these bars, which are well-supported by all three studs.

We used mild steel flat bars from Home Depot, measuring 48" long x 1 1/4" wide by 1/8" thick. We only needed about 42" length , so we cut off the extra length (partially-cut bar is shown).


To get started, you need to know three things:
1. Your intended TV location.
2. How your bracket mounts to your TV (this can impact the location and spacing of the wall-facing part of the bracket).
3. The locations of your wall studs.

We used a pencil to draw all of this information right on the wall, using a large metal ruler and a level. Note the centers of the studs, and mark the locations for the six anchor bolts. For the Digicom bracket, the upper row of holes is exactly 5 1/2" inches above the lower row.

Anchor Holes

Your wall mount kit should be supplied with heavy duty wall anchors, made to screw directly into the wood studs. The Digicom bracket comes with 6 anchor screws, which is all we need. (Normally, you would use 3 anchor screws to attach the vertical bracket pieces to 2 wall studs. In our case, we are using the anchors to attach each horizontal bar to three wall studs.)

Mark the stud anchor locations on your flat bar and drill the holes.
The holes should be just large enough for the threads of the anchor screws to pass through.


Both flat bars are shown here. Note that there are 5 holes in each bar. The 2nd and 4th holes are used to bolt the Digicom bracket to the bars (these are the countersunk holes mentioned below).

Flat Bars

Here is a closer view.

Flat Bars

To mount the Digicom bracket to our bars, we use two sets of countersunk 1/4" bolts, with a length of 1/2" to 3/4". The heads of these bolts will be against the wall, with the threads protruding through the flat bars, facing out away from the wall. (You will also need lock washers and nuts for these bolts.)

The horizontal spacing of these bolts may depend on how the TV side of your bracket attaches to the TV. In our case, the bolt holes on the back of the TV are close together (7 1/8" apart), so we spaced the wall-side supports at a wider distance of 20" apart.

Carbide Burr

I did not have the proper bit for cutting the bevel (countersink) into the flat bar for the bolt heads. I improvised by using a 1/2" dome carbide burr on a die grinder.



Some views of our 1/4" bolt resting in the countersunk holes. If you are so inclinded, you can weld the bolt heads to the flat bar to hold them in place and prevent them from rotating. I did not bother doing this.
Abrasive Disk


You will probably want to paint these flat bars, starting with an etching, rust-blocking primer.

The bars are usually coated with oil and dirt when you buy them, so clean them with a degreaser.

An abrasive disk can help remove any surface oxidation and give the primer a better surface to adhere to. If you do this step, clean the bars once last time with a degreaser before using primer.

Anchor Drilling

Back to the wall...

Now that our holes are all drilled, use the bars as an exact template for drilling your stud anchor pilot holes, so that the anchors are sure to line up with the holes in your bars.

I used an etching (rust-proof) primer and white satin rust-resistant paint to match the wall.

Once the bars are painted, you can mount them to the wall. You can use masking tape on the back side of the bars to hold the 4 bracket bolts in place.


Here is a closer view, showing the threads of our 1/4" bolts facing outward, and the black anchor screws embedded into the wall studs.



Secure the vertical sections of the bracket to the bars using lockwashers and nuts.
TV Mount

Here we show the lower horizontal round bar inserted through the vertical "wall side" brackets, and the upper horizontal bar inserted through the vertical "TV side" brackets.

The "TV side" brackets bolt to the back of the TV. To hang the TV, simply lift the TV over and let it slide down so the TV brackets hook on to the lower horizontal bar.

TV Mount

Once the TV is mounted, two 6" flat pieces (not shown) lock the ends of the upper and lower horizontal round bars together. These are attached with 4 bolts, threaded into the ends of the bars. This makes it impossible to lift up on the TV or cause it to accidentally "un-hook" from the lower bar.

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