Solved! How High Should I Mount My TV on the Wall?
Factors like room size, TV size, furniture placement, and even your family members' heights all factor in to where you should hang your TV. This guide will help you determine how high to mount a TV in any room of the house.
Q: I’m eager to try out my new flat screen television on movie night, but I’m much less excited about getting it up on the wall. How high should I mount my TV? Do you have any advice for physically mounting the TV at the appropriate height?
A: How high to mount a TV is a question that dogs binge-watchers and cinephiles alike. Position the TV too high or low, and you’ll force yourself and guests to crane your neck or slump your shoulders to take in the on-screen action. The ongoing discomfort aside, a misplaced TV can also be a pain to remove and reinstall at another height, which is why it’s in your best interest to get its position—and the mounting itself—right the first time.
TV manufacturers and home entertainment enthusiasts alike recommend mounting a flat-screen at eye level for optimal viewing, but the optimal TV height for you can depend on the height of the viewer, the size of the TV, which room it is in, the position in which you plan to watch the TV, and whether any wall obstructions stand in your way.
If you are wondering how high should a TV be mounted in your home, read on to find out how to create the best viewing experience possible.
The optimal TV height depends on one critical measurement.
When figuring out the ideal height to hang a TV, most experts use the center point of the TV as the main reference point for hanging height. This helps eliminate worrying about a lot of the variables around the range of TV sizes. Unless you are hanging a TV just for one person to use, making sure the center of the TV is at a comfortable viewing height for most users is a typical goal.
Considering how the heights of household members vary, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to an ideal TV mounting height. Use an average of household member heights, then measure the distance from the floor to the average eye level when sitting. This is the center point for mounting a television.
While the general rule of using the center point is an easy way to bypass dealing with the TV’s measurements, the assumption is that the viewer will sit a reasonable distance away from the screen. Still, many are used to modern American TVs that are a bit oversized for the rooms they occupy and the expert recommendations may sound odd. For example, experts recommend sitting about 10 feet away from a 75-inch TV. For larger TVs, like 65-inch or 75-inch TVs, it can be uncomfortable to view the TV if it is too close, no matter how high or low it is hung.
To take the guesswork and math out of figuring out mounting height, an online TV mounting height calculator can help determine the ideal viewing height and distance.
Watching height will also play a large part in determining how high to hang a TV on a wall.
Not every room has chairs that are the same height. For example, an open floor plan with counter-height bar stools, a sofa, and bar-height stools provides a challenge for hanging a TV. Counter-height bar stools are higher off the ground than sofa seats—anywhere from 24 to 29 inches to reach the counter. Bar stools have taller sitting heights at 29 to 33 inches off of the ground.
One approach is using the average of all sitting heights, or focusing on the most used height when watching TV. Another method is hanging the TV at the average standing height, if it is viewed more often while standing. This may be the case in a game room where other equipment (e.g. a pool table or foosball table) occupies the main focus of the room and the TV is mounted to a nearby wall to watch while you wait your turn. It also applies in home gyms, where you’d be watching TV while on a treadmill or while using other gym equipment.
Be mindful of the size of the room and the space that you have to work with.
It might not be possible to mount a TV at the ideal height if that would cause it to run into an existing appliance, structural element, or piece of furniture. Simply position the TV as close to viewing eye level as possible while leaving some clearance between the obstruction and the TV.
Above shelves or an entertainment center, an appropriate amount of clearance might be 4 to 6 inches—about the same distance you’d hang a mirror above a dresser. For rooms where children play, it’s usually best to mount the TV high enough so it is out of reach.
If you are thinking about mounting a TV above a fireplace, though, it’s important to make sure that there are noncombustible barriers between the fireplace and the TV. Without the proper clearances and materials around a wood stove or fireplace, heat-related damage to the screen and more severe danger can occur.
Before hanging a TV over a fireplace or other wood-burning appliance, make sure the local building regulations were followed for installation. Plus, leave at least a clearance of 6 to 12 inches from the top of the mantel to the bottom of the TV with a noncombustible barrier surrounding the entire wood-burning appliance to minimize the risk of damage. Mounting a TV any distance above a fireplace may void the warranty on the TV, so read the fine print before you do so.
If you install a TV at a higher-than-usual height, you may also want to install hardware that allows you to adjust the TV’s viewing angle.
When considering how high to hang TV, remember that you shouldn’t ever position your television so high that it requires viewers to tilt their heads up more than 35 degrees from eye level in order to see the top of the TV screen, according to standards laid out by the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers. Now, that’s not typically a problem for a TV at eye level, but screens mounted in a game room or well above a wall obstruction may run into neck-strain issues.
Fortunately, tilting a television down—effectively lowering the top of the television screen—can help you get away with positioning it higher than eye level without causing discomfort or neck strain over an extended period of time. This requires upgrading from a basic low-profile mount (which is stationary) to one of two other types of TV wall mounts: a tilting wall mount, which can move up or down, or full-motion mount, which can swivel in all directions.
Keep in mind that successful TV wall mount installation depends on using mounting hardware that is sized appropriately for the weight and size of the TV and is appropriate for the type of wall (block wall, stud wall, or plaster-and-lath wall).
Outline the TV’s proposed location on the wall before you break out your tools.
Before mounting a TV, it’s important to run the proposed mounting height by your household members. Use tape and paper to mark out the area on the wall where you plan to mount the TV, then gather the family around to look at the area on the wall and notice how everyone is tilting their heads. This will help confirm that the height selected is the right one for your household before you start making holes in the wall.
After the height is confirmed, the best way to mount a TV is to measure twice and mount once. With the right type of wall mount kit, a few basic tools, and attention to detail, you can mount your TV at precisely the right height on the wall for your needs.
Follow these tips to determine the best height at which to hang a flat-screen TV:
- Screw the two mounting arms (vertical brackets) from the mounting kit to the back of the TV. Then secure the mounting arms to the provided wall plate as if completing the wall mount assembly.
- Measure the mounting center height up the wall from three horizontal locations and mark the spots with a pencil. This is where the centerline of the TV will hit.
- Divide the height of your TV by two. Measure and mark this distance above the center mounting mark—this is where the top of the TV will hit. Measure and mark the same distance below the center mounting mark—there is where the bottom of the TV will hit.
- Mark an outline of the TV shape onto the wall using painter’s tape and do the same around the four corners of the wall mounting plate. (You will see a small box within a larger box when this exercise is through.)
- Check your outlines with a level to make sure you’re satisfied with the way the TV will appear. Then proceed to grab a stud finder and toolbox to finish mounting your flat screen TV.
Mounting a new TV is an exciting project, but deciding where to mount it on a wall can be intimidating. Your TV is a heavy and expensive item, and getting it right is important. Deciding on the mounting height depends on a few factors, and the most critical is the viewer’s viewing height. Using the right hardware that is sized appropriately for the weight of the TV and taking into consideration the type of wall upon which you’ll mount the TV are also important to the success of this project.