If you’ve recently invested in a wall mount for your TV, you may have realized that unsightly cables and wires detract from the clean and polished look that a wall-mounted TV can offer. Fortunately, there are a variety of techniques and products available to help you hide cables and achieve a tidy and organized home entertainment setup. In this article, we’ll explore why cable hiding is important, what you need to get started, and step-by-step instructions for installing your wall mount and hiding your cables.
Why It’s Important to Hide Your Cables
Whether you’re a stickler for a clean and organized interior or you simply want to prevent the tripping hazards that cables and wires can pose, hiding your cables is an important step in optimizing your home entertainment setup. A cluttered and disorganized space can be distracting and take away from your overall viewing experience. Additionally, hiding cables can help minimize the risk of damage or interference to your devices, and improve the aesthetic appeal of your living space.
Another reason why it’s important to hide your cables is to prevent them from becoming a chew toy for your pets. Dogs and cats are notorious for chewing on cables, which can not only damage your devices but also pose a safety hazard to your furry friends. By hiding your cables, you can keep them out of reach and prevent any potential accidents.
Furthermore, hiding your cables can also make it easier to clean your living space. Cables and wires can accumulate dust and dirt, which can be difficult to clean if they are tangled and exposed. By hiding your cables, you can easily wipe down surfaces and keep your living space looking clean and tidy.
What You Need to Get Started
Before you can begin hiding your cables, you’ll need to round up a few essential tools and materials. These may include:
- A wall mount designed for your TV
- Mounting hardware (screws, anchors, etc.)
- A stud finder
- A drill and drill bits
- A level
- Cable hiding products (such as a raceway or cord covers)
- Basic tools (such as a screwdriver)
It’s important to double-check that the wall mount you choose is compatible with your TV’s size and weight, and that you have all necessary hardware and tools on hand before beginning. Additionally, you may want to consider investing in a cable management system, such as a cable tie or Velcro strap, to help keep your cords organized and tangle-free.
Another important consideration when hiding your cables is the placement of your outlets. If your outlets are located in inconvenient spots, you may need to invest in extension cords or relocate your outlets to make cable hiding easier. It’s also important to ensure that your cables have enough slack to reach their intended destinations without being stretched too tightly, which can cause damage to the cables or the devices they’re connected to.
Tips for Choosing the Right Wall Mount for Your TV
Choosing the right wall mount for your TV can help ensure a safe and secure installation, as well as provide the flexibility to adjust the angle and position of your screen. When selecting a mount, consider factors such as the size and weight of your TV, the amount of space you have available, and the amount of adjustability you desire. There are three main types of wall mounts:
- Fixed mounts, which hold your TV in a stationary position
- Tilting mounts, which allow you to adjust the angle of your TV (typically up and down)
- Full-motion mounts, which provide the greatest flexibility and enable you to adjust the angle and position of your TV in all directions
Be sure to carefully read the specifications and installation instructions for your chosen mount, and consider consulting with a professional installer if you have any questions or concerns.
Finding the Best Location for Your TV and Cables
Before you begin the installation process, you’ll need to determine the best location for your TV and cables. Consider factors such as the size and layout of your room, the height of your viewing area, and the placement of nearby outlets and devices. Once you’ve chosen your ideal location, use a stud finder to locate the studs in your wall and mark them with a pencil or masking tape.
Measuring and Marking Your Wall for the Mount
Once you’ve determined the best location for your TV and marked the studs in your wall, it’s time to measure and mark the location for your mount. Follow these steps:
- Measure the height of your TV and find the center point
- Mark the center point on the wall at the desired viewing height
- Hold your wall mount against the wall and use a level to ensure it is straight
- Mark the location of the mounting holes on the wall
Double-check your measurements and markings before proceeding to the next step.
Preparing Your Wall for the Mounting Process
Now that you’ve marked the location of your mount, it’s time to prepare your wall for the installation process. Use a drill to create pilot holes in the center of each marked spot, being careful not to drill too deep or wide. Next, attach the mounting plate to the wall using the provided screws and anchors, making sure to secure it firmly to the studs.
Installing Your Wall Mount: A Step-by-Step Guide
Now it’s time to install your wall mount. Follow these steps:
- Attach the mounting bracket to your TV
- Carefully align the bracket with the mounting plate on the wall, ensuring that the holes align with the screws
- Attach the bracket to the mounting plate using the provided screws
- Double-check the position of your TV and make any necessary adjustments
Be sure to follow the specific instructions for your chosen wall mount and TV, as different models may require different installation techniques.
Hiding Your Cables Behind the Wall: Pros and Cons
One popular method of hiding your cables is to conceal them behind the wall. While this can provide a clean and seamless look, it does require some additional effort and may not be feasible for all setups. Consider these pros and cons before attempting to hide your cables behind the wall:
- Pros: Clean and seamless appearance, no visible wires or cords
- Cons: Requires cutting holes in the wall, may not be possible with certain wall types, may require professional installation
Hiding Your Cables with a Raceway: Pros and Cons
Another option for hiding your cables is to use a raceway, or cable cover, to conceal them along the surface of your wall. This can be a more straightforward and affordable method, but may not provide as seamless a look as concealing the cables behind the wall. Consider these pros and cons before choosing a raceway:
- Pros: Easy to install, affordable, can hide multiple cables at once
- Cons: May be visible depending on placement, may not provide as clean a look as concealing behind the wall
Using Cord Covers to Hide Your Cables: Pros and Cons
Cord covers are another popular option for hiding cables from view. These plastic covers come in a variety of colors and finishes to blend seamlessly with your wall, and can be easily attached with adhesive strips. Consider these pros and cons before choosing cord covers:
- Pros: Easy to install, affordable, can be painted or matched to your wall color
- Cons: May be visible depending on placement, may not be suitable for thicker cables or multiple wires
How to Connect Your Devices Once the Mount is Installed
Now that your TV is mounted and your cables are hidden, it’s time to connect your devices. Follow these steps:
- Identify the ports on your TV and devices
- Connect the HDMI, audio, and other cables from your devices to the corresponding ports on your TV
- Plug in your power cables and turn on your devices
- Select the appropriate input on your TV to begin enjoying your devices
Be sure to follow the specific instructions for each of your devices, and consider using a cable tie or Velcro strap to keep your cords organized and free from tangles.
Testing and Adjusting Your TV and Cable Setup
Once your devices are connected, you’ll want to double-check that everything is functioning properly and make any necessary adjustments. Here are some things to consider:
- Check the picture and sound quality of your TV
- Adjust the viewing angle and position of your TV if needed
- Ensure that your devices are communicating properly with your TV
- If you notice any issues, consult your device manuals or seek professional assistance
Troubleshooting Common Issues with Cable Hiding Techniques
Even with the best planning and preparation, you may encounter issues when attempting to hide your cables. Here are some common issues and their potential solutions:
- Cables are too thick to fit through the raceway or cord covers: Consider using a cable tie or Velcro strap to bundle thinner cables together, or opt for a larger-size raceway or cover
- Cables are not long enough to reach your devices: Consider investing in longer cables or using a cable extender
- You accidentally drilled into a non-stud location in your wall: Use patching compound or filler to cover the holes and re-drill in the correct location
- You didn’t measure correctly for your mounting location: Remove the wall mount and re-measure and mark the correct location before re-installing
Maintaining a Clean and Organized Look for Your Home Entertainment Setup
Once your cables are hidden and your devices are up and running, it’s important to maintain a clean and organized look for your home entertainment setup. Here are some tips:
- Use a cable tie or Velcro strap to keep your cords organized and tangle-free
- Regularly dust your TV and devices to prevent buildup
- Consider investing in a media center or storage unit to keep all of your devices and accessories in one place
- Minimize the number of devices and cables you have to prevent clutter
Top Products to Help You Hide Cables Like a Pro
There are a variety of products available to help you hide cables for a polished and professional look. Some of our favorite options include:
- Legrand Wiremold CordMate Cord Cover Kit – a flexible and affordable option for concealing cables along the surface of your wall
- OmniMount OE220 Low-Profile Tilting TV Wall Mount – a sleek and durable wall mount with easy installation and tilt adjustability
- Cable Matters Adjustable Cable Ties – a versatile and reusable solution for keeping your cables organized and tidy
Be sure to do your research and select products that are compatible with your TV and devices, and that fit your specific needs.
With the right tools, products, and techniques, hiding your cables can be a straightforward and effective way to achieve a clean and polished home entertainment setup. Follow these steps and tips to ensure a safe and secure installation, and enjoy a clutter-free viewing experience for years to come!