How to Install a Flat Screen TV ( Plasma or LCD) on a Brick or Concrete Wall.

Brick wall and concrete wall installation can be easy.

I've had people asking me about installing their flat screen TV's on brick walls or concrete walls.  Putting a TV up on a stone surface is fairly easy but there are a few things you have to seriously think about before you start.

First of all realize that your cables will not be able to be hidden.  The exception to this is if you are constructing a home and can plan ahead on where you want your Flat Screen TV.  You can then have a conduit run through the wall to where you plan to mount your TV Screen.  A conduit is just a protective pipe that then makes it easy to pull a variety of wires through.  You can have this pipe built in to your brick ( the contractor will grumble, but it is possible) or if you are pouring concrete, you can have it set inside the wall and have the concrete poured around it.  This is how it is done in commercial buildings.  The great thing about using a conduit is that it is easy to change wires if you add or change equipment.  The bad thing is that once it is there, it is there.  You can't move it over a few inches.  So plan ahead and seriously consider doing a mockup as I suggested on my installation page.

Another problem with mounting a flat screen TV onto a solid wall is what sound system to choose.  A lot of Plasma TV's and LCD TV's are just display units.  They either don't have any speakers or have token speakers.  What good is it to have a high definition tv and have little tiny speakers that will eventually drive you crazy?  You will not get great sound from little speakers.  If you are planning to use your Plasma TV for watching movies or DVD concerts, you will soon be disappointed in the sound.  There are good quality speakers that easily mount onto brick or concrete walls.  You will have to decide what to do about the cables.  To get proper sound you have to mount the speakers on either side and underneath the flat panel TV.  Extra speakers can be positioned in the side and back of the room for surround sound.  And a subwoofer can be hidden just about anywhere.  This might be a great time to use the new wireless speakers.  Various companies are coming out with wireless speakers.  And if you are a Mac fan, Apple's new TV feature might have you considering using all Apple components.

If you plan to use standard speakers with cables  on brick you can set the speakers along the mortar lines.  If you are industrious you can grind out the mortar and glue in the cable and then add a top coat with a high adhesive mix.  If you are less industrious you can glue the cable along the mortar line and then get your paint store to mix up an identical colour.  With a good quality ribbon cable and some grit in the paint, you will barely see it. 

The same goes for installing cable on a concrete wall.  The best and easiest solution is to get a paintable ribbon cable and colour match it to the wall.  If you have a concrete wall that has been covered with wallboard ( gyprock) you can cut out a channel and then fill it over and repaint.

Another great idea for dealing with the cables running from your speakers and Flat screen TV is to cover them with a custom made metal channel.  Even if you feed all the speaker wires to the TV, you still have to get them and the signal cable and the power cord down to the floor.  A metal channel can hide them all and look  clean and professional.  Any local metal shop will have the large bending machines necessary to do this.  Look under "plumbing and heating" in the directory.  Get them to make a channel ( it will look like a speed bump) and make sure to have it large enough to fit all your cables and also to have flat edges to glue to the wall.  The edges can either curl in or flare out.  It is your choice.  You can then either spray paint it yourself, or take it to an autobody shop for a professional job.  ( If you paint it yourself, make sure to clean and prime the metal.  Use paint thinner "varsol" to clean it.)

 

Mounting the Flat Screen brackets to brick or concrete walls is the easiest part of the job.  Just follow the guidlines I gave you before in my How to Install  a Plasma or LCD TV article, and mark the hole locations using the mounting bracket as a template.  Take a masonry bit and drill a hole.  Then take  plastic anchors and insert them into the holes.  A #8 plastic anchor in gyprock will hold 45 lbs.  In brick or concrete it will hold 325 lbs.  If you are like me and want to make doubly sure, you can add some adhesive to the anchor when you insert it.

Special Note:  Thanks for your feedback.  I've been asked about where to place the drill holes for anchoring your flat screen TV brackets in brick walls.    Answer: I feel more comfortable in holes drilled into brick.  Brick is more solid than the mortar.  Also the mortar can vary in quality and strength.  Why take a chance?

Don't forget...I'm a real person.  Feel free to send my your questions and comments..and perhaps things you want me to research for you.

 

I'll add more info if I think of it.  Thanks for your comments and good luck with it all!

Colin