The importance of mounting TVs on a surface is evident when one has children, pets, or has experienced a recent earthquake. Mounting TVs give stability to the device, which reduces the chances of budging or falling from the surface.
However, we get nervous when there are so many metal bits, screws, and devices and the need to locate structural frames of walls. So, we have compiled a list of ways to do it completely without the studs.
It is difficult to create stable points that can withstand the load of the TV mounted on the surface, but it is not impossible. We can achieve this with the right equipment, anchors, and additional reinforcement to spread the load.
How to Mount a Tv Without Studs
Though it is possible, the general norm is to find the studs. Professionals recommend this process because the anchors and screws can latch onto the structural framework of the walls.
Studs reduce the load-bearing pressure on the walls and the chances of pieces falling off. This issue is especially pertinent to drywalls.
When we need to mount a Tv without studs, we need to create more stability using external anchors and additional mounting plates to spread the Tv’s load.
Measure the Height to Mount the TV
The general rule is 42 inches (average) from the floor. We can also measure the height of the TV itself, divide it by 2, and then subtract it to 42 inches, that how high the center of the TV screen must be from the floor.
For areas like gaming rooms or any other spaces where viewers will most likely be standing, the average height mark is around 57 to 60 inches. Remember, the height mark should be the center point of the TV, not the top or the bottom point.
We might have to make slight adjustments factoring in sofa height, the height of the person, etc. Remember that we are trying to place the TV at a height where it’s most comfortable. It doesn’t always have to be the 42- or 60-inch mark.
If there is still doubt, we recommend using TV mount height calculators. Just google it; tons of them will pop up.
Mark Pilot Drilling Holes
We recommend using the wall mount bracket itself to outline the hole sections on the wall. Make sure to use a level on the bracket to maintain perfect alignment.
Use a pencil to mark an outline of the holes from the bracket and drill the holes. The hole size will depend on the size of the screws/ anchors to be inserted on the wall.
Some companies also provide a template with the mount to make this process easier.
Attach the Vesa Bracket on the Tv
Follow the manufacturing installation guide for this step. TVs have 4 mounting holes on the back to attach the mount.
The distance between these holes is standardized in the TV industry. If you purchase the mount by yourself, buy it according to the VESA specification.
VESA: Standard that defines the pattern and dimension of the mounting holes on the back of TVs. The measurement is denoted in millimeters.
It is written as the horizontal distance from one hole to the another * the vertical distance from one hole to another
Use Anchors on the Drywall to Install Mounting Plate
Since we are not using studs, we will need something to pierce the wall and anchor back so that the screws do not come off the wall. They have some form of toggle inbuilt into them to clamp the backside of the wall. In some cases, it allows other screws to be inserted into it.
Please purchase anchors considering the following factors:
- Weight capability: The weight capability of the anchors used should exceed the weight of the TV
- Drive Systems: Read the specification and find what screws are compatible with the anchors. Most use a slotted or Phillips’s screw.
- Surface Compatibility: Check the packaging to see the anchor’s compatibility with the surface.
- Materials of the Anchor: These anchors are generally made from plastic, glass-filled nylon, metals like zinc, etc. The metal ones are sturdier but will damage the wall when you take them out. Nylon or plastic anchors have less load capacity but are more forgiving to the wall.
We have prepared a list of anchors which is applicable in this process.
Types of Anchors
Normal Plastic Dry Anchors: They look like hollow pellets. We drill a hole into the wall and insert these anchors into the hole. We do not drill the anchor through the wall; just place it in the hole. We then proceed to insert a screw on the hollow portion of the anchor.
The pellets will ribbon or spread out as you screw it in, making the screw snuggled up on the wall.
These anchors will comparatively create less damage on the wall if it’s ever taken out. The load-bearing capacity is generally around 69 to 79 pounds in drywall (might differ according to brands).
Self-Drilling Drywall Anchors: Think of these as Normal plastic anchors with grooves.
We drill in the glass field nylon anchor like a normal screw and then add a separate screw on its head and tighten it with a screwdriver.
The anchors generally make a pop sound when it’s screwed correctly. The load-bearing capacity is generally around 65 to 75 pounds.
Hallow Wall Anchors: These are fully metal anchors that ribbon or spread out at the back of the wall. These anchors are generally advertised with around 75 to 85 pounds load-bearing capacity.
Toggle Bolts: Think of this anchor as a hybrid of screw-type anchors and snap toggles without the snapping straps.
You screw it in the wall with the toggle facing forward with the pointy end. When we start screwing it in, the toggle clamps parallel to the wall.
These generally need bigger holes with roughly around 5/8-inch drill bit
Self-Tapping Toggle Anchors: These anchors are made so that when you drill it into the wall, the toggle will go in normally as a screw. When you use an additional screw on the anchor, the toggle on the backside of the wall will pop up. These anchors are generally advertised at around 75 to 85 pounds load-bearing capacity.
These anchors are generally advertised for 90 to 110 pounds range of load-bearing capacity.
Snap Toggle (Widely Used): Snap Toggles utilize a metal anchoring channel inserted at the back of the wall to provide stability. It also has a ratcheting strap with a locking cap in the front to lock the anchor into place. The general load-bearing capacity of snap toggles ranges around 238 pounds in drywall and around 800 pounds in concrete.
A= Metal Anchor
C= Plastic Cap
D= Rotator of Metal Anchor
B= Ratcheting Strap
The Cap can be pushed down the anchor to snuggly tighten it to the wall exposing the flange where a screw can be inserted and tightened.
Please consider factors like Screw specification for the toggle, screw length, needed clearance behind the wall, minimum and maximum drywall thickness.
The manufacturer will specify this information in the packaging. Please read through it and buy the ones that fit your needs.
Take your Snap toggle and make sure the Metal Anchor (Denote “A” in Figure) faces forward. Insert the toggle inside the hole.
Once the toggle is inserted into the hole, rotate the metal anchor so that it turns it is parallelly lined up and clamped to the back of the wall.
Pull the strap to snuggle up the anchor on the wall and push the Plastic Cap on the strap to lock it into place.
Snap the strap and rotator left to only expose the flange on the wall.
Additional Mounting Plate for Extra Reinforcement
Additional Mounting Plates are used for extra reinforcement to spread the load. These plates are especially applicable for narrow wall mounts. These wooden or plywood plates are first attached to the wall, and then the brackets are mounted on the wooden plates.
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E.g., For a small surface area, brackets like the cantilever have a full motion swivel feature. This might put unnecessary stress on the wall as the movement itself stresses different points at different angles. A wooden mounting plate below the bracket might do wonders as it will spread the load when in swivel.
Having said this, we still do not recommend TV mounts with swivel or full-motion capabilities for installation without studs.
Mount the TV on the Wall
We recommend having at least one other person while mounting the VESA bracket to the Wall mount bracket. Most mounts have a holder to mount the tv from the top and a screw-in system at the bottom to secure it.
This system might differ according to the Tv mount purchased. Follow manufacturing instructions for the securing procedure
Alternative: Use Studless Tv Wall Mounts
If drilling and anchoring are a hassle, we recommend using a Studless TV wall mount. We will have to nail these products on the wall instead of drilling and anchoring into them, the tradeoff being instead of the traditional four screws that we drill, there will be around 20 to 30 nailing points.
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Be sure to use a level to maintain the alignment during installation. The mounts also generally come with a spring lock in the middle to hold the device and spacers to create different tilt levels (generally 0 to 5 degrees) of the TV on the wall.
Please buy these products according to the VESA size and its load-bearing capacity. This information will be specified by the manufacturer while purchasing the product. Be sure to follow manufacturing instructions for locking the TVs into place
How to Mount Tv on Concrete/ Block Walls?
The process stated above for drywall will also apply to these types of walls. The only difference is in the types of anchors and drill bits used.
Normal drills aren’t recommended for concrete, bricks, and cement blocks. Please use a hammer or rotary hammer drill with masonry bits. These bits are different from wood or drywall bits.
The no of holes to drill depends on the type of mount purchased. The general rule for horizontal wall mounts is 4 to 6 holes to provide stability.
Buy concrete anchors or fasteners from local hardware stores in terms of anchors. The generally used types are wedge anchors, sleeve anchors, lead, and lag bolts. Please buy them according to their specified load-bearing capacity.