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I need to mount my 55" TV to the left of the studs. Can I do this simply by running a couple 2x4s off the studs, and then connecting the mount to the 2x4s? While I imagine this can be done for lighter items, I want to make sure it will work with the heavy mount + TV.

Here's an image of what I'm talking about. The black rectangles are the studs, the tan ones are the 2x4s, and the red dots are where the bolts for the mount will go into the 2x4s.

enter image description here

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

This should be OK, but I would recommend attaching the 2x4s to studs on both sides of the TV, not just the right side as you've shown. You don't want the weight of the TV to pull the 2x4s away from the wall on the left side. A 55" TV is going to be heavy and the eccentricity caused by the spacing of the wood and the bracket will cause it to pull away.

Personally I would probably use a single piece of plywood — it will have a lower profile and will provide plenty of opportunities for getting strong fasteners into the studs. But 2x4s will be cheap (or free, if you've got some lying around), are easy to cut, and should work fine.

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Agreed about the plywood if you are going on top of the wall (if opening up the wall then just brace with 2x4's). A piece that small you can probably get for free as scrap from a home improvement store. – Steven Dec 24 '12 at 6:09
I'm going on top of the wall. How thick should the plywood be? And I do have a third stud to work with, so I'll be sure to attach the plywood to that one as well. – maxedison Dec 24 '12 at 18:04
@maxedison: I would do 3/4" plywood. You want it to be thick enough to get good screw strength. Although one of the advantages of plywood is you can probably use many more screws. My TV bracket has a ton of holes that can be screwed through. For a big TV, I'd say use as many as you can. – Henry Jackson Dec 27 '12 at 14:26

I encourage you to use plywood. Half inch thick plywood would be fine, provided (1) it's also fastened to the stud left of the TV and (2) the TV mount is fastened to the plywood with bolts, not wood screws. That means either the plywood is spaced out from the wall to give room for the bolt head or nut, or else you counter-sink the holes on the wall side of the plywood and use flat-head machine screws to fasten it to the TV mount.

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T-nuts could be used instead and would not require any gap or countersinking. – Craig Dec 26 '12 at 22:24

I would use plywood and paint it to match the wall. But - if you drill your own holes in the mount, can't you hit at least two studs no matter where you put it?

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Had the same issue, used 2x4s I had laying around, went overkill and bolted them into three studs, that TV is not going anywhere.

It does space the TV away from the wall a little, but I do not mind, it gives better access to the cabling and I have speakers on either side anyway. In a nod to aesthetics, I did paint the boards to match.

Be sure to drill pilot holes through the 2x4s and into the studs first and of course use a level.

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I don't see a problem with this as long as you use 4 large lag screws in each 2x4. It will never go anywhere.

Also if you don't want your TV to stick out quite this far then you could probably use 1x4 instead.

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It is my feeling that using 1x4s, which would presumably be just pine, will not offer a decent enough thickness and robustness to accept screws or lag bolts to hold the TV beacket in place with any safety margin. – Michael Karas Dec 25 '12 at 5:20

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