The new, flat-screen TVs are certainly more attractive than the old tube televisions of the last century that you could not place close to a wall. However, those new TVs usually have a multitude of cords and wires that detract from their appearance unless you devise a method of hiding them. Building your TV into the wall is the most aesthetically pleasing solution to the problem, and with some careful planning, the project is not difficult to accomplish.
You will need the following items:
· Stud finder
· Drill and bits
· Drywall knife
· Blue carpenter’s tape
· Tape measure
· Hammer and nails
· Wood screws
· Wood glue
· Two-by-four lumber
· Wall mount
· Paint or stain
· A/V cables at least 12 inches longer than your measurements indicate you need
Determine how high you want to position the TV and the best location in the room for it. Think carefully about that decision because the spot you choose will be your TV’s permanent location. If you or other family members wear bifocal or trifocal eyeglasses, experiment to find the best height for your TV. Sit in a comfortable position for watching TV, and ask someone to hold an object at different levels until you find the best height for viewing television. Purchase a tilt mount to hold your TV if you want to mount it higher than five feet from the floor.
Hollow drywall on an interior wall is the most suitable location for your TV because there will be insulation and possibly other wires in exterior walls, and cutting through brick or solid concrete walls is difficult.
Find the studs in your walls with a stud finder, and mark their locations with blue painter’s tape. There are normally 16 inches from the middle of a wood stud to the middle of the next one. Measure and mark the location for your TV, and allow space for several shelves to hold audio/visual equipment. Mark all lines evenly, and keep them straight by using a level.
Drill a few holes in the drywall at your proposed location, and look through them to check for wires or pipes that may be in the area. Cutting the holes at 45-degree-angles should keep the pieces from falling between the walls. Use those pieces to patch the wall if you determine that the location is not feasible for your TV, and repeat the previous steps on another area of the wall.
You can use a different method to check the area behind your wall if you prefer. Slowly run your stud finder up and down the wall between the studs, and it should reveal any obstructions that may be present.
Cut the drywall out along your marked lines if your chosen location is free of obstacles.
Cut your two-by-fours to fit between the studs in the walls, and measure and cut plywood for the frame back. Cut wood for the recessed box frame as well as for several shelves to accommodate extra audio/visual equipment.
Make a hole in the plywood for power outlets, and ask a qualified electrician to supply power to the frame’s back, installing an extra electrical outlet if necessary.
Use a level to position the shelves, measuring to ensure that all equipment will fit in the frame, and mark the positions. Apply wood glue to the shelf ends, and clamp them securely in place. Glue and clamp the top and bottom edge pieces of the frame, and nail all frame pieces and shelves before nailing the plywood into place.
Attach your wall mount to the structure according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Place the frame between the wall studs, and pull the wiring through the hole cut for it in the plywood. Ensure that the unit is level and flush with the wall before clamping the frame to the wall.
Secure the frame to the wall by screwing wood screws through the frame into the studs, and attach the power outlet to the unit’s back.
Make a plywood frame to surround the unit, ensuring that the border is large enough to conceal any gaps between the structure and the wall. Sand and stain or paint the frame, and nail it in place to complete the project.