How to Choose the Right TV Wall Mount Bracket for your TV (and the Wall)

There are 3 Common Types of TV Wall Mounts for Flat Screen TVs

  1. Tilting Wall Mount
  2. Full-Motion Wall Mount (AKA – Articulating bracket / wall mount)
  3. Fixed / Low-Profile Wall Mount

Important Things to Consider When choosing a TV Wall Mount

  1. Maximum weight capacity wall mount can support
  2. VESA mount compatibility (4 x mounting screw holes on the back of the TV)
  3. Type of wall that you will be mounting your TV on. E.g. – Drywall with wooden studs, Drywall with metal studs, Concrete wall, Brick wall, Cinder-block, Plaster wall (Interior) & Plaster wall (Exterior).
  4. Orientation of the cable connections on back of the TV. Example: pointing sideways or downwards or backwards towards the wall.

What is VESA?

VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) standardized mounting patterns on the back of flat screen televisions & monitors. Most brands that manufacture flat screen TVs and monitors have adapted the VESA mounting pattern. VESA compliant televisions have 4 screw holes (2 towards the top & 2 towards the bottom) on the back of the TV to attach VESA compliant mounting bracket that matches your TV’s VESA mount pattern. So if your TV’s or monitor’s VESA mount compatibility is 400×400, it means the VESA screw holes on the back of the TV are 400mm horizontally apart and 400mm vertically apart. Based on the VESA mount specs of your TV/monitor, you need to use a mounting bracket that can accommodate the required VESA mount pattern. You can see the full VESA mount specs on all the TV wall mounts that we carry. Just look under “Additional Information” section of each product page.

VESA Mounting Pattern on Back of the TV
VESA Mounting Pattern on Back of the TV

Almost ALL flat screen televisions and monitors in the market are VESA mount compatible EXCEPT for SOME of Sony W6xx, W7xx & W8xx series model televisions. If you have one of those series models, you should look at the back of the TV and check to see if there are only 2 holes or 4 holes on the back of the TV for mounting. If there’s only 2 holes then you will need to purchase Sony’s VESA adapter kit separately to make your TV VESA compatible to be able to use with VESA mount bracket.

Comparison of Tilting vs Full-Motion vs Fixed Low-Profile TV Mounts

Tilting Wall Mounts

Pros and Cons of Tilting TV Wall Mounts

Example shown below is based on our SKU: 1287. This is our BEST Selling Tilting TV Wall Mount. This tilting wall mount features micro-adjustment for leveling the TV even AFTER it’s already installed on a wall.
Tilting TV Wall Mount
Tilting TV Wall Mount

Pros:

Tilting brackets have the highest compatibility without having to make any modifications for mounting any type of flat screen TV or monitor that’s VESA mount compatible.

  • Suitable for any type of flat or curved screen televisions; LCD, Plasma, LED & OLED
  • Suitable for any type of flat wall – Drywall & wooden studs, Drywall & metal studs, plaster (interior & exterior wall). concrete, brick, tiled wall & etc…
  • Wide wall plate – – Easy to center the TV wherever you want in most cases with Lateral Shift (ability to slide the TV left & right on the wall plate)
  • Most of the Tilting TV wall mounts we carry provide enough clearance from the back of the TV to the wall (from 2″ to 3.1″ of clearance depending on the model) to reach behind the TV for easy cable connection & management regardless of the orientation of the cable connection whether pointing sideways or downwards or facing backwards towards the wall.
  • You can tilt the TV down to get better viewing angle if your TV is mounted high above a fireplace. 
  • You can tilt the TV up (on most models we carry) in order to gain even more space to access the cable connections on the back of the TV if you ever need to change cabling without having to dismount your TV.
  • Extra Wide Wall Plate option available such as SKU: 1017 for mounting extra heavy televisions. Extra-wide wall plate allows you to reach up to 3 studs that are 16″ apart (up to maximum 32″) .
  • Ideal to use with component wall shelf, in order to hide all the left over cable slacks behind the TV so you don’t see any excess cables anywhere else for cleaner look & finish.
  • Easy to install and manage wires behind the TV

Cons:

  • Protrudes out little more than Super Slim / Low-profile TV wall mounts but that’s considerably a good trade-off for all the other benefits.
  • Does not swivel Left & Right



THE BEST Tilting Wall Mount for 70″ ~ 90″ TVs (HANDS DOWN)

We HIGHLY Recommend – Sanus Advanced Premium Tilt Wall Mount & here’s why;

  • Not only does it tilt the TV up & down but it also “Pops-Out” about 5.7″ which allows you to access behind the TV even easier. Pop-out feature is really helpful when trying to reach cables behind a huge 90″ TV for example. Also, helpful in situations where the power outlet is located in the center of the TV and  trying to reach to outlet to plug / unplug the power cord will be really difficult without the pop-out feature.
  • Super easy to tilt even for really heavy 90″ TVs.
  • Slight swivel left & right – Although, this mount is classified as a “Tilting” wall mount.
  • Large cut-out in the inner section of the wall plate which allows you to place the wall plate around an electrical outlet or a cable jack for example.
  • Micro-level adjustment – Allows you to adjust the TV level even AFTER it’s already mounted to a wall.
Based on our experience, this Sanus advanced premium Tilt wall mount is the BEST Tilting wall mount in the market. By the way, we’re not a huge advocate for Sanus mounts. There are some Sanus mounts that we HATE! And there are some Sanus mounts that we LOVE! Like this one. They really did a good job designing this one.
Sanus Advanced Premium Tilt TV Wall Mount - Easy Cable Access Behind the TV
Sanus Advanced Premium Tilt TV Wall Mount - Easy Cable Access Behind the TV
Sanus Advanced Premium Tilt TV Wall Mount - Large Cut-Out / Open Wall Plate Design
Sanus Advanced Premium Tilt TV Wall Mount - Large Cut-Out / Open Wall Plate Design
Sanus Advanced Premium Tilt TV Wall Mount - Level Adjustment of even AFTER it's already installed!
Sanus Advanced Premium Tilt TV Wall Mount - Level Adjustment of even AFTER it's already installed!

Full Motion TV Wall Mounts

Pros and Cons of Full Motion TV Wall Mounts

There are 2 kinds of Full Motion TV Wall Mounts.

  1. Single Stud Mounting Full Motion Wall Mount (for lighter TVs)
  2. Double Stud Mounting Full Motion Wall mount (for heavier TVs)

Example below is based on our SKU: 1281. As you can see, this particular articulating bracket designed to be mounted to a single stud for installing smaller size or lighter TVs.

Single Stud Mounting Full Motion Wall Mount
Single Stud Mounting Full Motion Wall Mount

Example below is based on our SKU: 1288 Full Motion Wall Mount. This wall mount is designed to be mounted onto 2 studs 16″ On-Center. This Double stud mount will obviously support more weight compared to single stud mount, hence ideal for installing larger & heavier TV’s. 

As you can see, the wall plate portion of this bracket is much narrower (which is normal for full motion mount) than the Tilt wall mount bracket shown above earlier. FYI: It’s not just this particular mount that has narrow wall plate. Most full motion mounts have narrow wall plates and are designed to be mounted to studs that are only 16″ apart on-center while only few models in the market allow farther stud spacing up to 24″ apart on-center.

Double Stud Mounting Full Motion Wall Mount
Double Stud Mounting Full Motion Wall Mount

Pros:

  • Ability to swivel left & right
  • Suitable for any type of flat or curved screen televisions; LCD, Plasma, LED & OLED
  • Ideal when mounting in a large room or in the corner of a room
  • Folds back against the wall when you don’t need your TV swiveled in an angle
  • Some models can swivel up to 180º.
  • Ability to Tilt down
  • Also Tilts up on most models we carry
  • Easy to get to the cable connections on the back of your TV by pulling your TV away from the wall
  • Also available in Slim / Low-Profile design – SKU: 1288

Cons:

The limitation that’s caused by the narrow wall plate design

  • Cannot mount the TV in your desired center position in most cases. It depends on where your studs are located. Because of that reason, it’s usually not ideal for narrow walls & over fireplace.
  • Usually, MOST Full motion mounts come in bulky design and sticks out more than other types of mounts.
  • Your studs need to be 16″ apart or up to 24″ apart (even though standard stud spacing is 16″ apart on-center but it’s not uncommon to see stud spacing wider than 16″ especially in the basements or where the wall meets another wall perpendicularly on the other side of the wall). There are very few articulating brackets that allow further stud spacing up to 24″.
  • Not suitable to mount heavy TV’s on drywall with metal studs & most plaster exterior walls in old homes / buildings.
  • Thinking of mounting your TV above fireplace? Being able to center your TV over fireplace depends on where the studs are located.

At the time of writing this article, there are still only a handful of full motion mounts that can support studs up to 24″ apart on-center. The ones we carry that can support 24″ apart stud spacing are;

If you are considering to install a full motion mount over fireplace, you should first check where the studs are located so you can find out whether or not your TV can be centered over the fireplace. Because the chances are very slim that your studs are in perfect places for your TV to be mounted centered over the fireplace.

Take a look at the illustration below to get a better idea.

Assume that you have a full motion bracket that supports stud spacing up to 16″ apart. In a perfect world, you might have studs in the wall that are in perfect locations in order to mount the TV centered to the fireplace.

For this to happen – First stud on the left from the center of the fireplace has to be exactly 8″ on-center and the first stud on the right from the center of the fireplace has to be 8″ on-center totaling 16″ apart on-center EXACTLY.  So in that case, you could have your TV mounted perfectly centered to the fireplace. LUCKY YOU!

But in the real world, this almost never happens… Go buy a lottery ticket if you’re this lucky.

Centering TV over fireplace with Full motion wall mount
Centering TV over fireplace with Full motion wall mount

Illustration below shows studs that are located irregularly which is pretty common above a fireplace. This turns out to be true at least 90% of the time (at least for us based on our decade of installation experience). 

TV wall mounted with full motion wall mount and Off-Centered over fireplace due to position of the studs
TV wall mounted with full motion wall mount and Off-Centered over fireplace due to position of the studs

Tip: Keep in mind that when you’re mounting your TV with a Full motion wall mount, you will need to use cables that are long enough to reach your components. Articulating brackets require extra slack to go around the entire length of the arm when fully extended and around all the pivoting points / joints of the arm(s) so that the arm(s) can move freely without pulling on any cables.

Fixed Low-Profile TV Wall Mounts

Pros and Cons of Fixed Low-Profile TV Wall Mounts

Pros:

  • Keeps your TV close to the wall (which can be also a con)
  • Suitable for any type of flat or curved screen televisions; LCD, Plasma, LED & OLED with cable inputs facing sideways or downwards
  • Suitable for any type of flat wall – Drywall & wooden studs, Drywall & metal studs, plaster (interior & exterior wall). concrete, brick, tiled wall & etc…
  • Wide Wall Plate – Easy to center the TV wherever you want in most cases with Lateral Shift (ability to slide the TV left & right on the wall plate)

Cons:

  • Keeps your TV close to the wall and therefore, you can’t easily change cables behind the TV without dismounting your TV first.
  • Cannot adjust viewing angle – Does NOT tilt or swivel
  • May not be suitable for TV’s that have cable connections facing backwards towards the wall as there won’t be enough clearance to plug the cables in to the back of your TV without damaging them. However, there are work-around methods such as using Right Angle connectors but you may not be able to easily find certain type of right angle connectors that you may need to use.
  • Difficult to hide excess cables behind the TV for wire concealment / management.
  • If you have a regular electrical outlet behind the TV, it will need to be recessed.

Slim / Low-Profile wall mount bracket is ideal for mounting a flat screen TV like the one shown below. As you can see, the TV below has cable connections pointing downwards & sideways. Therefore, you won’t have any issues connecting cables to the back of the TV .

TV with Cable connections facing sideways and downwards on back of the TV
TV with Cable connections facing sideways and downwards on back of the TV

Slim / Low-profile bracket may not be suitable if your TV has cable connections facing backwards towards the wall. If this is the case for you, then you could work-around this issue by using right angle connectors but you may not be able to easily find some of the right angle connectors that you may need to use. Alternatively, you could use spacers between the wall mount bracket and the TV to create more distance from the TV to the wall but that pretty much defeats the whole purpose of using a slim/low-profile bracket to begin with.

TV with cable connections facing back wards the wall
TV with cable connections facing back wards the wall
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