Cost, Time, and Skills:
I spent $40 on this project, plus some leftover paint. I used a circular saw, power drill/driver, lag bolts, a cheap tv mount, and some paint. You’ll be lifting wood, and a tv, up high, so make sure you can do that lifting or have someone around to help. Step by step instructions are in the photo captions.
Last year we cancelled our cable. We started out with a deal that was super cheap. Then, over the years, the cable company kept increasing the rate until we were paying 80 bucks per month to watch tv. That’s lame. It’s not that we never watch tv. We watched it a lot when we had cable. We saw that as a problem, so we cancelled it and started reading books and doing projects a lot more. It’s been quite liberating.
However, we did run into a problem with having no cable this August. That problem was the Olympics. We really wanted to watch them, but didn’t want to pay for cable. We had purchased a refurbished HD antenna off of Amazon, but were unsuccessful hooking it up because our tv was analog. That’s when my wonderful wife suggested we purchase a new tv, one of those fancy flat jobs. So I went out and bought a 43″ plasma. I’ve always kinda wanted one of those. The Olympics came through swimmingly on our HD antenna and the price was $0.00 per month.
Since August, we’ve had the tv sitting on the same tired old table where the old tv had been sitting. Both Christy and I have wanted to mount it on the wall, in the corner above the outlet, but the cost of those metal mounting brackets kind of scared me. Some of those mounts run upwards of two hundred bucks. Plus there’s the fact that our walls are plaster and we’ve found the spacing of the studs in our crazy old walls to be less than reliable. This is a problem if your store-bought mount only allows for screws in certain standard spacings.
If you’ve looked into wall mounts for tvs, you’ve seen the three different types: flat, tilting, and fully articulated. Since we wanted our tv to be in the corner, we’d need to buy a fully articulated mount, bolt it to one wall, and move it into position in the corner. Of course, the fully articulated mounts are the most expensive. The ones in stores cost 200+ dollars, but there are ones online that are much much cheaper. I could have ordered a cheaper one online, but I want to feel the weight of something like this before I buy it. Since it’s holding my expensive tv, it had better be strong. I just didn’t want to order one online, so I decided to build one.
My first task was to find the studs running vertically in the walls. You can see in the first photograph above that I did some searching. Since the walls are plaster, you can’t use a stud finder. The plaster is applied to a series of thin boards which are attached to the studs. These thin boards are called lath and totally prevent the stud finder from finding the stud. With plaster walls, the best way I’ve found for finding studs is to use a very thin drill bit to drill a series of tiny holes. When you hit a stud, it’s much harder to drill down and you’ll pull back some wood chips along with the plaster. In the second photograph above, you can see where I marked a vertical line between two holes in a stud. This line roughly marks the center of the stud. You can fill in the other holes with spackle and paint over them, or you can leave them like I did. They’re behind a tv so nobody can see them. Right?
The third photo shows the base boards I bolted to the studs through the plaster. I cut two 18-inch sections of 2×4 with mitred ends (for looks, not required). I then drilled holes through the boards for 6-inch lag screws. I used a 3/4-inch drill bit to widen the hole on the top so that the washers and screw heads would be even or below the surface of the boards. This was important because I would be mounting other boards directly over the lag screws. I pre-drilled holes into the studs for the lag screws so that they would be easier to drive into the old wood. I used a level to make sure the base boards were perfectly vertical on the wall before I pre-drilled those holes. Even with pre-drilled holes, the screws heated up quite a bit as I fought them into the studs. I would highly recommend you twist one screw for a few turns, then move on to the other. Feel them with your fingers to make sure they’re not too hot. Let them cool for a while if you have to. If they overheat, you can twist the head off of the screw. . .and then you’re screwed.
If you look closely at the last couple of photos, you can see that the base boards are not the same distance from the corner on each wall. That’s because the studs were not evenly spaced from the corner. That made this next step a little tricky. I measured from the corner of the wall to the center of each base board, and then across the empty space from the center of one base board to the other. These three measurements make up a right triangle and allowed me to use a little trigonometry to find the mitre angles I needed to cut my stretcher boards. Remember that stuff? Sine. Cosine. Tangent. When am I ever going to use this crap again?
I cut the boards to the correct length with the correct angles using my mitre/chop saw, but you can use a hand saw and a mitre box if you’ve got one. I had to use a sander to correct the angles just a bit before I bolted the boards in place. I used 3-inch lag bolts to secure the two stretcher boards to the base boards, checking to make sure they were perfectly level along the way. Once they were up, I attached a cheap (20 dollar) tilting tv mount to the stretchers. My tv attached to that. You can see in the last photo that I screwed a thin board to the left wall. All of the cables run behind this board so it’s a clean install. I then used some leftover paint to paint the boards the same color as the walls and it’s all very clean.
We bought the marble-topped low dresser at an auction for 75 bucks and it’s got plenty of room to store whatever we need it to store. We moved the computer from under the desk to on top of the marble and hooked it up to the tv with a dvi to hdmi cable. That makes watching downloaded content much easier and impressive and makes editing photos in photoshop pretty awesome.
If you’ve got questions or comments, you can leave a comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading. -Robby
Very nice write up. How happy are you with it after a year or so?
Thanks, Chad. We’re very happy with this setup. It’s incredibly sturdy and, since the tv is there, you don’t notice it’s homemade out of wood. Just make sure it’s mounted to studs or the tv will come crashing down.
Did it! Great design, very quick and easy to install. Thanks for posting it!
Thanks, Courtney. We’re glad it worked for you. Any chance you could post a photo to our facebook page?
I love this idea and glad you saved me the time in the design. I just have a few comments… for those with just drywall, you don’t want 6″ lag screws. Why? 2×4’s in studs are 3-1/2″ long. Sheetrock is 1/2″. A stud is 1-1/2″ thick. If you countersink the screws to the wall, you’re going to screw into the outside of your siding (3.5+0.5+1 = 5″ which is much less than 6″). With Plaster, you may not have to worry about that as the lath and plaster may be 1″ thick (??). You may only need 4″ lag bolts though, but I agree to your reasons for “longer = better”. Something else you can use is a Forstner bit for the countersink; that leaves a flat bottom versus a 45-degree bottom, which should make the fastening stronger (flush versus beveled hole).
Great insights, Rob. Thanks for sharing.
1 1/2 stud 1/2 drywall 2×4 3 1/2 1/2 to 3/4 outside sheathing 1/8 for washer = 6 1/8 to 6 3/8 not going to come out side tho a 6 in lag is excessive still I don’t see it coming out the sideing ….
Cost, Time, and Skills: I spent $40 on this project, plus some leftover paint. I used a circular saw, power drill/driver, lag bolts, a cheap tv mount, … wamount.wordpress.com
If I have a wall I want to mount it to but dont have the studs located in an optimal way (see; none at all) do you think I could run 2 very long 2″x4″ from the floor to about a foot above the tv height as a way to distribute the weight?
Pingback: Who Can I Hire To Mount My Tv | Destroy4
Nice! how heavy would you say that would hold?
Thank you so much for this write up! I just got married and for a gift, my parents gave me a 55″ TV with mount, soundbar, and the works. It could only go in one corner of my living room. After looking at the mount, it wouldn’t extend nearly far enough to be able to let me mount it to the wall and extend it out so that it neatly would sit at a 45 degree angle to the corner. I made this ingenious brace out of a 2x4x8 (that was all of $2.50) from the local home improvement store, and I’m absolutely tickled pink about how the TV looks sitting in the corner of my living room! I used 3.5″ lag bolts in the studs and 3.5″ construction screws into the braces. I only have 2 holes in the drywall and I was able to hang from the brace (I weigh 230 lbs.) and it didn’t even budge! Now I have time to sit down and make a corner cabinet for under the TV to put my peripheral items (gaming systems, movies, etc.)
Pingback: How To Build A Tv Stand For A Flat Screen Tv – HomeMade Woodworkings
What angle did you use for the horizontal sections
It’s about 55 degrees. The angle was weird because of the stud locations, which were not equidistant from the corner on each wall.
totally overbuilt. given the weight of even plasma tv’s, this is a solution to a problem that does not exist.
Can you make it better? What would you suggest for a corner mounting situation like this?
Nice work. I like the way the wires are concealed and the idea of adding the tilt mount. Thanks for the ideas.