You’ve spent a small fortune on this new TV that promises the best viewing experience with all the latest mod cons, but you can’t help but think it looks a little sad standing on the unit below. Friends of yours have got their TV mounted on the wall, they said it was a simple bracket holding it in place, which makes sense, but how do you hide all the wires? The back of your TV already looks like a bird’s nest with the Sky box, games console and DVD player attached!
TV Wall Mount: how to hide cables in a stud wall
Most modern homes now use plasterboard sheets to construct internal walls that are attached to a timber frame, otherwise known as stud partitioning. This construction technique leaves a space in-between, which is sometimes filled with insulation to keep the room energy efficient. When wall mounting a TV, you can use this ‘gap’ to hide your cables within.
TV Wall Mounting: 12 Steps to hiding your cables
- Select where your TV wall bracket is to be hung
Ideally this is located next to a wall stud, not only for stability but you will also find it easier to pass the cables down at this point as the insulation will not be so packed in. (See our guide for the best height for wall mounting your TV)
- Confirm where media console and power source is being located.
This is typically in a unit below in order to keep it within the same stud segment therefore avoiding the need to navigate cables through timber partitions. For more complex set-ups I would suggest talking to an experienced installer who will have the tools and skills to position the cabling correctly without damaging your wall.
- Measure distance between two areas for cable length.
Standard cables are often not long enough as they do not allow for the media unit/power supply being too far away from the TV. Once you’ve measured the distance you will need to check your existing cables meet your requirements or purchase new ones to fit your needs. You don’t want excess cable as you’ll have to tuck that away to keep it neat, but on the other hand too short a cable will either leave you disconnected or difficult to manoeuvre into position. If the connection between the cable and device is awkward or under stress it’s unlikely to be secure therefore giving you higher risk of signal issues later on.Tip: Save yourself time in the future and feed yourself an extra HDMI cable or two behind the wall. That way if you add a console or want to link up your camera to show pictures you will not need to remove the whole TV.
- Identify best position to drill hole behind TV.
Next take a look at your bracket and identify the best space within the framework to position your hole so that it is hidden behind your TV but not trapped behind an element of the metal frame. If you fail to do this, you will need to remove the whole wall bracket when you want to add or remove a wire instead of just the TV.
- Draw around socket box onto plasterboard wall.
Using the socket box as a stencil draw around the box.
- Select the best position to cut your second hole behind unit or within built-in cupboard.
Similar to above, you want this to be hidden behind the unit or tucked out of the way in the cupboard. We would suggest looking at the back of your storage unit/cupboard and identifying the most direct route for the cable. Remember to place it high enough so that the wires that naturally sag below the plug will still be hidden. Mark the spot in pencil first and step back to make sure you’re happy rather than rushing in with the drill.
- Repeat Step 5 for the second hole.
- Double check cable length and hole positioning.
Did anyone else grow up being told ‘measure twice, cut once.’? Or did you learn the hard way ?Before you regret it 5 minutes later take the time to check everything over – you’ll only be kicking yourself afterwards if you get it wrong!
- Make the cut in the stud wall.
Using a 6 inch plasterboard saw carefully cut around the stencil. It is better to cut too small than too big, so stick within the lines to start off with. You can then trim it where required when fitting the socket box.
- Thread the wires through using a glow rod.
A glow rod is basically a hook on the end of a flexible but fairly study cord. (It’s called a glow rod as it glows in the dark and essentially you are fishing with it!) Put your cable in at the top hole, then fish the glow rod in from the bottom hole catching the cable on the hook and pulling it through. Do this with each of the cables, this could include: HDMI, Optical Cable, Power Cable, TV Aerial depending on your requirements and set up.
- Position socket boxes.
We tend to use these X but there are plenty others on the market. Using a socket box will leave you with a tidy finish and ensure that your plasterboard stays in tact. Without a frame the cabling will slowly wear away the plasterboard overtime making it unpresentable and likely leaving a mess on your floor .
- Connect appliancesWe’d advise you get spare set of hands for this step as you don’t want to drop your new TV while you fiddle around with the connections! Connect your wiring to the back of the TV and then wall mount the TV in place. Complete the circuits by connecting them to the power supplies and media/games devices at the bottom.With a bit of luck that should be it!
Not got a stud wall?
Check back in a few weeks and we’ll explain our best advice on making wall mounted TV’s presentable on solid walls.
Worried if you’ll make the wrong cut?
It’s not rocket science trying to hide cables behind a wall, but what can seem quite simple can take hours if you are inexperienced. If you are nervous at all about making a mess of your walls it may be cheaper to get an expert installer in rather than paying the price to repair the damage afterwards.