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I am trying to mount my 55" TV to the wall in our basement. It is an old (~1930) semi-detached house and I am a mounting it to the shared wall. As best as I can figure out, we have 1.5" drywall mounted to 1x2" wood studs (1" thick, 16" apart) on top of the concrete block wall. This means I have to drill through 1.5" of drywall and 1" of stud just to get to the concrete. I can't tell if the studs are fixed to the concrete.

What is the best way to mount this TV? It's a tilting mount.

Thanks

  • Are you suggesting they used two or three sheets of drywall? That would be an odd thing to do unless they covered up old paneling, wallpaper,etc. Perhaps what you have is drywall on top of plaster? – noybman Mar 1 '18 at 3:53
  • I think you're probably right. The "newer" interior walls just have 1/2" drywall on 2x4 studs. I think they put drywall over the old wall. I've just gone through it with an awl - there seemed to be uniform resistance until I got 1.5" through. – Roddy Davey Mar 1 '18 at 4:17
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    if the mount spans two of your furring strips you should be ok to just screw into the wood. – agentp Mar 1 '18 at 11:51
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I don't think it's safe to assume the firing strips (what you are calling studs) were installed in such a way to properly hang a TV. Unless you know for certain otherwise, you shouldn't mount the TV to the firing strips.

I think you have three options.

  1. Find a fastener that can go all the way through your bracket, stud and drywall, and anchor in to the concrete block. Is your concrete block hollow? If so, you can get pre-packaged toggle bolts that are that long.

    PROS: Minimal damage to drywall.

    CONS: You need to be able to drill a fairly large hole in the block very deep. If you don't have a powerful enough hammer drill or appropriate bits, this can get pricey.

  2. Remove the drywall down to the concrete and firing strips, and install plywood. Use easy to install fasteners like concrete screws (Tapcons) to mount the plywood to the concrete, through the firing strips. And then put drywall over the plywood to get the wall back to the correct thickness. Mount the TV bracket to the plywood using lag bolts.

    PROS: Easy to do, comparatively. A regular drill can handle this, but a hammer drill would be better.

    CONS: Messy and time consuming. Large drywall repair job when you take the TV down.

  3. Use a spade bit or Forstner to drill a large hole in the drywall down to the firing strips. Then use concrete screws (Tapcons) to securely fasten the firing strips to the concrete block. Your TV bracket can then be screwed using lag bolts directly to the firing strips.

    PROS: Minimal damage to drywall. You might be able to do this without a hammer drill.

    CONS: You have to use exactly the right lag screw. Too long and the screw will hit the concrete before it's holding the bracket tightly; too short and you risk pull-out.

  • Is electrical wiring or water pipes between the drywall and the concrete block wall? What about inside the concrete block wall? – Jim Stewart Mar 1 '18 at 18:16
  • Inside the concrete wall? Unlikely, considering this is a basement. There might be electrical between the drywall and the concrete, but that should be obvious: verticals will likely be above outlets and switches, and horizontals will be at approximately the same level as the switches or outlets. – longneck Mar 1 '18 at 18:24
  • If using tapcons I suppose you could get long ones and just drill a tapcon-sized hole through all the layers. – agentp Mar 1 '18 at 19:45
  • Good point. I thought Tapcons maxed out a 3 inches, which is not enough to guarantee the 1 inch minimum embedment required by Tapcon. But they do make them all the way up to 9 inches, apparently. – longneck Mar 1 '18 at 20:13
  • Thanks for the great responses. Now I'm considering either: 1. Using 1/4x4" Tapcons (the longest I can find at home depot) to mount through the drywall (1.5"), furring (~1") and into the concrete block (1+"). 2. Removing the drywall around the mount and mounting a 2x8 or plywood to the concrete. I'm not sure if I would patch the drywall over this or just mount directly to wood. The basement was finished 7-8 years ago but it was a pretty cheap job so this TV will probably hang on the wall until we renovate the room anyway. Only electrical is one foot off the floor. No plumbing. – Roddy Davey Mar 1 '18 at 20:39
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I would use the studs to mount the tv, going through the drywall and then into the block wall without hitting a stud may collapse or break the sheetrock when tightened. With a large footprint tv the bracket should span several studs. If you find the studs do not provide a well centered tv you can put up a piece of ply wood that spans several studs then mount the tv to the plywood and the plywood will be hidden behind the tv. I used a larger sheet of plywood than my big tv and put trim around it and painted the plywood and trim to look like an accent frame around the tv, I have gotten quite a few positive comments about how it looks.

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