Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Helloooooo! I've been silent for a bit - apologies. I have been traveling to Ann Arbor weekly for work which really has me pooped lately. But a post on our TV mounting project is long overdue, so here's at least the start of it. For those of you who may not care at all how we did it, here's the end product: OooooooooooOoOoOoOOOOOoooooooo! Check out how sleek and thin and practically frameless it is! This baby also came with free 3D glasses which work surprisingly well. And after the month+ with the new TV, I must say I'm really enjoying it. The room feels bigger and cleaner, and the actual TV is great too. While I didn't quite capture it well, here's what the before looked like (but ignore the wall mount back there.. photo was taken in progress rather than before like I should have):
Now I know you're dying to read all about how we did it, right?? Well here we go.

The whole process began with cleaning up that wall. I had previously hung pictures where the TV was going to go, so it was time to patch up those nail holes and repaint: Then it was time to get down to business. We had the TV, the PowerBridge Total Solution for some professional cable management, and a wall mount.
Starting with the PowerBridge, we pulled the kit apart to see what we were working with:
Incase it's not clear from the photos, the point of the PowerBridge is to create a safe "bridge" between the wall-mounted TV and the media stand below, allowing power and cables to run down the wall. One set (power in) is installed at the bottom, and the other set (power out) is installed behind where the TV will go. Here are all the cables we were working with. I can't comment here - this was all Adam.
Great. But now where exactly is the TV being mounted?  

Phase 1: Hang that wall mount!
It was time to pull out the TV and do some measuring:
Because we are super fancy, we made a life-size TV template out of a CB2 catalog to see where we actually want it to hang on the wall.

Yeah, that looks good. I say we're done now!! No not really. Little did we know how much work was ahead of us. Moving on.  Applying the measurement from above, we measured on our CB2 TV template where the actual wall mount would sit, and marked that on the wall:

Once that height was marked, we did some stud finding to figure out where to drill. Luckily for us, the studs seemed pretty well centered in the space we wanted:
The + is where to drill, the dot to the left was our original mark (see, so close!), and the marks below are our guess to how wide the stud is.

And this is where things took a turn. I went ahead to drill into that stud, and surprise! We have metal studs. Yes, metal studs.  Remember when I was installing my bathroom light and mentioned a mystery metal plate instead of a stud in my wall? Well that was the first hint, but it took one more try for this fun fact to sink in.

So then this project begged the question, can you wall-mount a TV on metal studs? The answer, after a bit of research, seemed to be yes. But we would need some new hardware rather than the wood screws we had originally pulled out. (Please note a lot of freaking out happened and about 2 hours lapsed between the previous photo and this one.) The solution was toggles! Pushing ahead slowly, we got one of the 4 corners of the wall mount secured to the wall. This required drilling huuuuge holes into that hollow metal stud so the toggle would fit through. It was a bit unnerving but seemed to work okay once we got the hang of it.
With one corner set, we made sure the mount was level (no crooked TV watching here!) and located the next stud:
And then drilled the other 3 holes, pushed some more toggles into the wall, and made sure we were still level:
And then we tugged on the mount some to see if it felt secure, or if the wall was going to come down. We felt okay about it, so it was time to cut some holes in the wall!

Phase 2: Cut some holes! (and install the PowerBridge and fight with lots of cables)
The PowerBridge is a pretty cool kit, and well thought-out. It comes with these templates you can trace to make sure you are cutting holes in the right places and the right sizes. We started with the bottom (power in), which would hide behind the media stand when we're done: (Note: If you ever end up doing this, cut on or just outside the lines. I initially cut just inside the lines and had to redo it later.) Then it was time for the top (power out), which would sit nicely inside the mounting frame, also spaced evenly between the studs. To make sure we were aligned vertically, I hung an extra washer on the end of some thread. Yay gravity.

Then more hole cutting!  At the hardware store, the guys suggested we get a proper drywall saw.  We said we were going to use a serrated kitchen knife. They laughed at us. We actually ended up using a Leatherman saw, which worked quite well. Basically I drilled 4 holes in the corners, then connected the dots:

Next it was time to feed the cables down the wall. The guys at the hardware store also recommended we use a snake. We didn't want to spend $30 on that and said we could do it ourselves. They laughed at us again (not to our faces but I'm sure they did when we left). We thought we would be smart and bundle the cables together:
In theory this should work, but I think we had too many cables. With all the bulk, they weren't coming down the wall easily. So Adam fed them in from the top one at a time, and I reached in the bottom to grab them, and after not too long we had this going on: Referring back to the complete set, you can see how the wires will feed through the smaller rectangle on the right, and the power source will run along the left through the blue junction boxes:
Time to connect the power! One annoying part was the in-wall power wire wasn't stripped. No big deal.  Once we did that ourselves, we ran that wire down the wall through the left-hand hole:

Then we installed the junction boxes, which have these cool levers which flip out to secure them in the wall:
And then it was time to connect the in-wall wire to the top power out panel (easy instructions right on the panel): Looking good! And then an easy repeat for the bottom power in: Before moving on, we wanted to make sure our electrical handiwork was functional. Time for a test light! Success! We labeled some HDMI cables to make things easier on us for later:
And finally it was time for the exciting part...  

Phase 3: Mount that TV!
Okay so this is where we got depressed again. We laid out the TV and went to attach the mounting brackets, only to discover that the screws provided were too short. Sadface.
At this point it was around 8pm on Sunday and no local hardware stores were open. Bigger sadface. So we put the old TV back on the stand and covered up all the work we had done (this is where that photo way up top came from):
It worked out okay though because someone came to buy the TV the next day, and it being properly displayed probably helped. With new screws in hand, we could finally finish! (Note: they provided M8 screws in a 16mm length, but we needed 22mm or 25mm.)

{day 2} With new screws and washers in hand, we finally got those brackets attached:
Then we veeerrryyy carefully hung the TV on the mount and hooked up the cables. This took some finesse since the TV is mounted so close to the wall, leaving very little wiggle room for the cables.
But after lots of fussing and a final dramatic reveal moment, we were done!! Yay!!! Looking good, and so worth it. (You may also notice our robot is holding the cash from the sale of the old TV. He's baller like that.)

And with that, I bring this long-overdue post to an end. I will probably have more comments to add later, but for now I need to focus on packing up to head back home to Boston tomorrow, and then Orlando on Saturday!  More projects and posts to come...


  1. very helpful pics!
    did you have a problem with the power cord fitting in the powerbridge outlet? I hear the new Samsung flat power cords don't fit and you need the special version of the powerbridge for this but your pics show the regular powerbridge.

    1. Sorry for the late response! Ours fit fine with the regular version. Of course it doesn't lay completely flat, but no concern of it coming unplugged. I think the main thing to keep an eye on is where all the cords have to go (where they come out of the wall vs. where they go on the tv) - it took a bit of adjusting to get everything to lay flat.

  2. Very well explained Amelia. How did the robot spend the money? ;)

    Thank you!
    John B.

  3. Very nice information. We will have ours installed by a professional but it's good to know what the work involves. Congratulations to you for doing it yourself. I am impressed :-)

  4. Amelia, great post. Where did you get the TV Mount?