DEAR MIKE: I want to install a bulky wall-mounted television set in my den. What trick is involved to make sure the set doesn't fall? -- Bob B.
DEAR BOB: The only trick is getting your wife to leave you alone long enough so you can watch football -- ha, ha.
Seriously, though, wall-mounting a television is pretty straightforward. I'd say a 27-inch set is about the largest you can install, but check with the manufacturer for size and weight restrictions.
Next, decide where you want the set mounted. The mount has an arm that swings from side to side and the tray that the television sits on has a swivel and can be tilted. If you plan on mounting it high on the wall, plan on leaving at least three inches between the top of the set and the ceiling.
I'll assume that your wall has wood studs. Once you've selected the location, use a stud finder to pinpoint the center of the stud. Hold the wall bracket against the wall and, using a level, make sure the bracket is perfectly vertical. Mark the location of the holes in the bracket onto the wall. Pre-drill the holes according to the manufacturer's instructions, and secure the bracket with the screws.
Insert the snap bushings into both the top and bottom holes of the wall bracket. These prevent the support arm from getting scratched and will minimize any play inside the bracket.
Slip the support arm into the bracket from the bottom. The support arm is held in place by a retaining pin. Most manufacturers have a retaining seat that slips over the arm, and then you stick in the pin. The pin sits nicely inside the seat and keeps the support arm from slipping out of the bracket.
Attach the television tray to the support arm. A swivel cup sits on top of the support arm and the tray is mounted to the swivel cup. This allows the tray to not only move from side to side, but to tilt downward at a 5- to 10-degree angle allowing you to see the entire screen if the set is mounted high on the wall.
Gently place the television on the tray and adjust the arm until you're satisfied with its position. The wall mount comes with a strap to hold the set in position. This strap is very important because a television falling several feet to the floor is likely to cause significant damage, not to mention some missed replays.
The most important step, however, is the test run. Grab a cold drink, kick back in your recliner and turn on the game. If you fall asleep within an hour, you can declare the job a success.