With the growth and accessibility of flatscreen televisions, more people are turning to television mounts. These allow for greater customizability in viewing angles and positions, save space, and generally look better.
While most people keep their TVs indoors, those with extra entertaining space in their backyard have the option of mounting a TV outside. Outdoor TV installation can seem straightforward, but it comes with its challenges. Read on to learn how to mount a TV outside.
What to Keep in Mind
Before you even gather your tools and mounting kit, here are some things that you need to consider.
An All-Weather Television
First, decide which TV you are going to mount outside, such as a standard TV or an all-weather TV. Either are great options when mounting a TV outside, it all depends on your preferences.
If you go with a standard TV, decide whether you will need a cabinet or cover to shield against potential outdoor hazards. On the other hand, all weather TV’s shield against extreme temperatures, humidity, and precipitation.
An Outdoor Mount
Along with your TV, make sure your actual mount is rated for outdoor use. A regular indoor mount, while initially sturdy, can succumb to temperature fluctuations and moisture. This can easily lead to rust, which can look bad and eventually cause the entire system to fall apart. All-weather TVs also tend to be heavier than their indoor counterpart and can be too much weight for a regular mount to carry. Finally, though a low-profile TV mount may work inside, outside, you’ll want one that allows you to adjust the viewing angle for glare.
Thankfully, you can find an outdoor TV mount to withstand the outdoors and carry heavier TVs. These are coated to protect against rust and provide greater durability against any sort of warping.
As mentioned, even with an outdoor TV, try to take necessary precautions to protect it from the elements, particularly heat. If you don’t want to go the route of a cabinet enclosure for your TV, make sure that it is placed in an area that does not get direct sunlight, like under a porch, gazebo, or patio.
This can get tricky based on the installation method and material. An existing wall is the most common choice as it gives you a sturdy structure that should not require extra fastenings.
If you don’t have a suitable wall or can’t find the right angle, you can go the post-mounted route, requiring some extra work and construction on your part. This involves building a frame for your TV cabinet and installing a post or pole that attaches to the frame.
If you have an overhang, you can also go with a ceiling mount using a ceiling pole bracket. The higher placement is usually more ideal for larger groups, so if you host gatherings, a ceiling mount may be the way to go. However, keep in mind that a ceiling-mounted TV is not recommended for areas that see heavy wind because our TV can catch that wind and potentially fall.
Don’t Forget the Cables
Of course, none of this means anything if you don’t have the right cables or anywhere to plug them in. Much like anything else outside, your cables need to endure the elements. Don’t expect to use your typical wires and cables outdoors and see the same effects. At best, the cables will wear down and stop working correctly, but at worst, stripped or frayed cables can be a hazard that puts you and anyone else in danger. Use cables that are specifically tested and rated for outdoor use.
It’s also worth considering how you plan to get the cables from a power source and cable box to the TV. You may find an outdoor outlet, but you otherwise may need to trail an extension cord from inside to the TV. Depending on how much trouble that could be, it might be worth installing a new outlet that is easily accessible outdoors.
Steps for Installing an Outdoor TV Mount
With all of the above in mind, you can begin the process of installing your mount. These steps are for a wall mounted TV. These are the general steps, so you may experience some small nuanced differences with your installation.
Step 1: Drill the holes for the bracket.
Using a pencil or a marker, mark the holes for where you plan to attach the wall mount bracket. Drill the holes, making sure that you get deep enough for the anchors and screws without going too deep to go through the other side of the wall.
Step 2: Install the anchors.
Insert the anchors with a hammer or rubber mallet. Avoid using too much brute force as you may crack the wall or damage the anchor. Be gentle, using just enough force to get the anchors into the holes.
Step 3: Mount the bracket.
This step can vary based on the brand and type of wall mount that you use, but most wall brackets use a bolt-mounting system for extra strength and weight bearing. Use a wrench to secure the mounting bracket to the wall using the included lag bolts.
Step 4: Manage your cables.
Before putting your TV in place, start arranging your cables and determining the best way to keep them organized. At a minimum, you will need a power cable. If you have a smart TV and plan only to stream your media, it should be easy enough to connect to your home’s WiFi. If you plan to watch live TV through your provider, you need to figure out how to connect your TV to your cable box, which could mean drilling into your house or using a lot of cable.
While you can ultimately manage your cables later, it’s worth organizing your wires at least a little without the TV in your way.
Step 5: Mount your TV.
Secure the wall bracket to the bracket you’ve attached to your TV. Depending on the type of mount, you may need to use extra bolts and nuts. Follow the instructions included with your mounting kit.
The steps to mounting your TV outside are relatively simple and as straightforward as mounting a TV inside. However, with more variables in the outdoors like direct sunlight, moisture, and weatherproof TV weight, it’s worth considering the technical details of the outdoor TV installation process before you start drilling anything in. For more mounting advice, like how to attach a TV mount to an RV wall, head over to our blog!