You've spent a good amount of money purchasing a new television, and now you can't wait to host your next game day party or movie night with the whole family. Before you start making plans, of course, you need to mount the new unit to the wall. Considering that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that about 3,700 injuries occur each year, on average, due to televisions tipping over (via Newsweek), it's vital to do so properly in order to minimize risks.

In an exclusive interview with House Digest, Jeff Palla, the president of Mr. Handyman, a Neighborly company, offers steps to help you get this job done right. "Mounting a TV may not be the most challenging home improvement task," he says, "however, it is essential that it is done correctly. The goal is to ensure the TV is level and secured, and that all wires are hidden." To accomplish this, start with the basics, Palla suggests. "You will need to purchase a TV mount. Articulating mounts provide more full motion and swivel capabilities. You will also need a drill and drill bits, a stud finder, and a standalone level," he says. Once you assemble all the gear, follow his steps.

First considerations

What's most important is establishing the proper support for the unit. While this can change from one model to the next due to size and weight dimensions, Palla offers some tips that will help everyone. "First, locate a stud in the wall to ensure the TV will be securely mounted. Additionally, know the weight of your TV and how high you want it." You may want to take a few steps back, sit where you normally do, and consider the perfect spot for your TV.

Be sure to double check the instructions from the bracket manufacturer, too, for further guidance. Palla says, "Most TV mounts will come with step-by-step instructions or a general layout recommendation, [which] you can tape to the wall to follow once you know where the studs are." He also notes the importance of turning off the electricity because you'll eventually be drilling into the wall where there could be hidden electrical lines. Once you've taken those steps, you can go ahead and secure the bracket guide to the wall. 

Attach the brackets to the TV

With the bracket guide mounted to the wall, turn your attention to the TV itself. Per Palla, "The brackets will need to be mounted on the back of the TV." Flip the TV over and look for notches or areas where the brackets will attach. "Most mounts come with a variety of brackets and screws to offer versatility for different size TVs," he adds. Once you find the appropriate fitting for your TV, start to assemble everything. This will likely require placing the mount brackets on the back of the TV to align them with the pre-drilled holes found on most units. Then, tighten the screws into place.

To get a comprehensive, tight fit that's not going to slip, follow Palla's advice regarding proper use of the drill. "While attaching the brackets to the back of the TV, don't strip the screws, and set the limit on the drill to not over-tighten. Push up on the bracket while screwing in the mount and make sure it is secure," he says.

Final steps to take

You're almost ready to mount the TV at this point, and Palla shares some final tips. "Measure from the top of the bracket to the top of the TV. Find and mark your stud, then line up the mount with the mark. Make sure the bit is slightly smaller than the bolt or screw." That will help get you the most snug fit and add to the overall stability of the unit. To avoid the chance of dropping the TV and causing damage, Palla recommends enlisting the help of a friend when lifting the TV up onto the mounting brackets.

"Once you've drilled your first holes, you can attach the mount to the wall, making sure it's level before drilling in more bolts. Drill the remaining holes to tightly secure the mount, then tighten the bolts. Finally, place and screw the TV into the mount," he shares. Don't completely tighten each bolt as you go. Instead, get all of them into place and then tighten each one as needed to improve the alignment of the TV. With these tips, you can confidently have the knowledge you need to wall-mount a TV. After that, all that's left is to plug it in, connect it to your Wi-Fi, and enjoy the entertainment it provides.