How to Float a TV Stand

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Installing a TV in your home is a matter of providing room for comfortable viewing while also maximizing space around the TV stand. Wall mounts place TVs out of the way but fail to offer any form of media storage. As an alternative, you can float your TV stand with cantilever wall brackets. This will provide a wall-mounted shelf for storing media or installing devices, such as video game systems, DVD players and cable boxes, that doubles as a stand for your TV. The only limitation to this type of stand is the collective weight of the devices that will use it for support.

Things You'll Need

  • Bathroom scale
  • TV stand
  • Stud finder
  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter's level
  • Electric drill with screwdriver bit
  • Cantilever brackets
  • Check the owner's manual for your TV to determine its weight, which will be listed in the specifications section.

  • Place any media or electronic devices that you plan to store in the TV stand on the stand's shelves or in its drawers.

  • Stand on a bathroom scale and note your weight. Lift the TV stand and its contents carefully and note the weight displayed on the scale. Subtract your own weight to determine the weight of the stand and its contents.

  • Place a stud finder against the wall near the location where you want to float the TV stand. Mark the stud locations with a pencil and measure the distance between the studs. Measure the width of the TV stand and divide it by the space between the studs to determine how many brackets you will need. For example, if the wall studs are spaced 16 inches apart and the TV stand is 35 inches wide, you'll be able to use three brackets. However, if the TV stand is just 30 inches wide, you'll only be able to use two.

  • Select the necessary number of cantilever wall brackets with ratings that add up to the total weight of the TV and the fully-loaded TV stand. For example, if the TV weighs 40 pounds and the full TV stand weighs 20 pounds, you can use two brackets rated for at least 30 pounds apiece.

  • Screw the brackets into the wall directly over the stud locations. Measure the height of each bracket from the floor to make sure you install them all at the same height. Place a carpenter's level on each bracket to ensure it's even before attaching it to the wall. Use the screws provided with the brackets and an electric drill with a screwdriver bit to sink the screws until their heads are tightly against the brackets.

  • Empty out the TV stand and place it on top of the brackets, with a 1-inch space between the stand and the wall. Check the position of the stand with a tape measure and adjust it until it's centered over the brackets.

  • Screw the TV stand into the brackets from below with the smaller screws provided with the brackets.

Tips & Warnings

  • Test the floating TV stand by placing a scale below the bracket and standing on it. Press down against the center of the stand until the scale drops by the weight of your TV. If the stand begins to shift or the screws start pulling out of the wall, they were not installed properly in the studs and need to be replaced.
  • Don't attempt to store additional items in your TV stand or replace your TV with a larger, heavier model, unless the weight is still within the rating of the brackets. To account for a larger TV in the future, select brackets that can hold significantly more weight than your current TV and stand require.
  • Photo Credit Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images
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