How to Hang and Hide a Flat Screen
Where and how should you hang that snazzy new television? Here's the lowdown.
Gone are the days of bulky, oh-so-heavy, picture tube monstrosities—thankfully replaced by sleek, flat panel screens offering gorgeous picture quality and hours of realistic viewing pleasure. So what to do with this glorious piece of technology?
Decide the locationYou likely have a spot in mind where you plan to hang your television. Make sure you have enough room for the screen you want and check out the handy chart below to learn the optimum viewing distance for specific screen sizes.
Contrary to what's popular, hanging the television above the fireplace isn't the best way to go because you'll have to crane your neck to watch (unless you have a sleek fireplace with the firebox set very low on the wall). Instead, select a location that allows you to view the screen at eye level when seated (typically about 42 to 45 inches at the center point).
Crutchfield Labs suggests these viewing distances:
Choose mounting hardwareYou'll find a variety of hardware options for mounting your flat screen on the wall. Select one that's designed to hold the size and weight of your television. You can also choose from hardware that's fixed or versions that tilt, swivel, or slide. For most televisions, it's best to secure the hardware to a wall stud (or two studs for screens weighing more than 80 pounds). Always follow the manufacturer's suggestions when installing the mount.
Minimize the lookThere are a number of ways to camouflage your flat screen or reduce its visual impact on a space.
Balance the look of the screen by hanging it with artwork that's larger or equally scaled. You can also purchase products designed to conceal the screen when it's not in use, such as artwork or mirrors that flip up or slide when you want to watch TV, or you may opt for a wall-hung cabinet with doors that open or slide.
For installation ease, make sure cable and electrical connections are close to your installation location. If you want wires hidden, have outlets relocated so they fall behind the screen once it's installed. A variety of cable management products and systems are also available to help conceal wires and cables.
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