Q: I have two flat-screen TVs that I need to install. One TV will end up on our bedroom wall, and the other is to go above a living room fireplace. There’s a huge window there now. The TV is wider than both the window and the wood trim surrounding the window. Do you have any tips to share about how to get this right the first time?
A: In order to hang your flat-screen TV and still keep your window, you’ll need to build a box using 3/4-inch plywood and 1×2-inch boards that the TV bracket or French cleats will attach to. This little box will be attached securely to the flat window frame material that extends into the room.
The most important thing you can do is to read the installation instructions that came with both TVs. In almost all cases, they provide clear instructions about which hardware and fasteners to use. Don’t deviate from the instructions. Some even provide online videos to guide you through the job.
The TV in the bedroom should not be an issue at all. You’ll need a stud finder to locate the wall studs, because the fasteners for the TV brackets should attach to solid wood. There may be wall anchors that will work, but you’ll be much better off fastening the brackets to the studs.
For the box that needs to be made for the fireplace TV, everything you need can be purchased at a local home center. You’ll build a box that’s about 4 inches taller than the TV bracket. Ideally, you want the box to hide behind the TV — your goal is to create the illusion that your TV is floating in the air.
Fasten the 1x2s together using 1-5/8-inch drywall screws (or similar). Once you’ve determined the desired height of the TV from the floor (refer to the instructions), attach the frame to the inside of the window frame at that height.
Use the same type of screws to attach the box to the window frame, spacing the screws about 4 inches apart. Cut the plywood to match the size of the box and screw it to the frame. Space the screws every 8 inches.
When you use the recommended bolts to attach the TV bracket to the box you’ve built, your TV will be secure for a very long time.
Tim Carter has worked as a home-improvement professional for more than 30 years. To submit a question or to learn more, visit AsktheBuilder.com.