Simple TV and Speaker Wall Mounting Guide
There are people out there that are do’ers. You tell them something needs to get done, and they do it. I’m not those people. A project around here requires multiple visits to YouTube and probably more than one trip to a home improvement store. I’m okay with that. I know who I am. So when people ask about wall mounting a TV or speaker, I know they are coming from a place of vulnerability. They feel like they should know how to do this, but they don’t. And how could they? How often do you mount a TV or speaker in your life? Less than a handful. So it’s okay not to know exactly what to do.
Hit the Studs
When wall mounting a speaker or a TV, if possible you want to hit the studs. To hit a stud, you have to know where they are. Break out your trusty stud finder (no, it’s not a mirror) and get to work. For most speakers, a couple of bolts into a stud is all it takes to secure a speaker mount. Most weigh under 10lbs and some wood screws are all it takes.
At TV mount is a different story. Many of them have enough width in the wall portion that they can hit most studs. Remember, most walls are either 16″ or 24″ on center stud spacing. This means if you hit one stud, the next one will be either 16 or 24 inches away. But what if you can’t hit that second stud? What to do then?
Toggle Anchors Plus Studs
It’s simply ridiculous how much weight toggle anchors can hold. You’ll want to pay close attention to their weight rating and material usage (drywall, masonry, concrete). You’ll also want to make sure they can fit in your wall. But you can find toggle anchors that can hold upwards of 400lbs. That’s just crazy. So, depending on your wall, you may be able to use just the anchors and ignore the studs altogether.
That said, we wouldn’t. We always feel better if we can put a couple of screws into a stud (boy, somebody got sent here from their Google search and are extremely disappointed). When you are mounting a TV, hitting a stud is very important, less so with speakers. If you can’t hit a stud, drywall anchors should do fine.
Wood to Studs, Mount to Wood
If you really can’t hit a stud in your wall because of where you want to place your TV or speaker mount, you can use a common workaround. Grab a piece of scrap wood and mount it to the studs. Next, you install the mount on the wood. This will add some distance between the wall and the mount but it doesn’t have to be all that much. At 3/4″ piece of plywood will work or a couple of 2×4’s. If you paint them the same color as the wall, you’ll forget they are there.
The key is to securely attach the wood to the studs. Pre-drill your holes so that you don’t spit the wood. Use washers to spread the load. Then attach the mount to the wood. If you are hanging a heavy TV, you’ll probably want at least 2x4s. A lighter TV or a speaker mount should be fine with a thicker piece of plywood.
Any other solutions require more than a passing knowledge of drywall repair. The most extreme solution is to cut into the drywall. If you can’t hit a stud and really want a secure solution, you can cut out a piece of the drywall and add a side brace. If you don’t want a gaping hole, you’ll need to patch the drywall when you are done. If you could do that, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article. But we’d love to hear your wall mounting solutions for TVs and speakers. Let us know in the comments or on Facebook!