Renter-friendly TV Mounting Tips for Those Who Are Moving out, Moving in, and Everything in Between
Whether you’ve recently moved in or have been living in your apartment for a few years, making a rental your own requires some creativity. Projects like hanging artwork, painting walls, and upgrading hardware could cost you your security deposit and cause you to pay a hefty price for some small improvements. Luckily, with a little elbow grease and a plan, any rental can be transformed into a more permanent-feeling space.
One of the biggest questions that hangs over a renter's head is whether or not they can mount a tv on the wall. Many leases prohibit renters from drilling holes in the wall, so it goes without saying that drilling into the drywall for a tv bracket would be very hard to cover up when it comes time to move.
The obvious way around this obstacle is to find a renter-friendly tv mount — one that doesn’t require any drilling or placement on a wall. But if you’re working with limited space, placing your tv on a tabletop might not be an option! If you’re curious about how to mount a tv in your apartment, we’ve got some tips for you renters out there.
Why Mount a TV in a Rental Unit?
According to the Census Bureau and Pew Research Center, there are 20 million rental properties in the United States. A majority of rentals are apartments, located in a complex or a large building with multiple units, but some landlords opt to rent out a single home, leasing individual rooms or floors.
Regardless of the set up, the average size of an apartment is 882 square feet and the smallest apartments in the country are located in Seattle, Chicago, and New York. So it should come as no surprise that renters look to their walls for space-saving solutions when it comes to larger items like tvs, shelves, and media cabinets.
Mounting your flat screen on the wall also frees up tabletop space that’s essential for other storage in a small rental. Placing a large item, like a tv, on the wall, makes tabletops and countertops available for game consoles, a book collection, lamps, plants, and organizers to keep miscellaneous items tidy. But if you’re nervous about drilling into the wall, we don’t blame you. Consider an apartment-friendly tv mount, instead.
Best Renter-Friendly TV Mounts
Even if you are hesitant to drill a hole for a wall mount, if you fill the hole and paint over it before you move out, you could easily walk away with your security deposit and piece of mind. If you aren’t ready to take the plunge and drill into your walls, there are other options for apartment-friendly mounts that don’t require any drilling.
Pillar Standing TV Mount
Some retailers offer furniture options that mimic the space-saving solution of mounting your tv. For instance, Wayfair’s Allejah tv Stand offers a sturdy, freestanding tv mount that eliminates the need for a bulky entertainment console.
You can adjust the height of this pillar tv stand to achieve the right viewing experience, and at just 26” at its base, this pillar stand is a great, low-profile way to hang a tv without making holes.
Corner TV Stands & Consoles
Renters can also utilize each square foot of their apartment with corner-storage solutions. The Banaz Corner tv Stand from Wayfair tucks a 55” flat screen tv seamlessly into any corner while also offering cabinet space to tuck away game consoles and electronics, and exposed shelves for displaying your favorite décor items like books, a tabletop clock, or photos.
No Stud TV Wall Mount
If after reviewing furniture options, the best space-saving option is still to mount your tv on the wall in your apartment, you can try the No Stud tv Wall Mount from Amazon to free up tabletop and floor space in your rental. This option allows renters to hang a tv without drilling because this bracket is secured into place with nails and comes with a foam backing to protect the wall behind.
Once you nail the No Stud tv Wall Mount into place and you install the counter piece to the back of your tv, your flat screen locks into the bracket to seamlessly hang on the wall. When you’re ready to move, taking the tv off the wall is as easy as lifting the flat screen out of the locking mechanism and filling the nail holes with a little bit of spackling.
How to Mount a TV in an Apartment
If the no stud solution and furniture options won’t suffice, you’ll have to take extreme care to safely mount your tv into an apartment wall without causing unnecessary damage. Creating drill holes is much more permanent than a small hole created with a hammer and nail, so it’s important to create a plan and follow tv mounting best practices before going forward with installation.
What You’ll Need:
- An awl
- #2 Phillips screwdriver
- Electric drill
- Drill bit
- A set of Allen wrenches
- Bubble level
- Stud finder
- Open end/box end wrench
- Socket wrench
Step 1. Check with your landlord.
The first step is to check with your landlord. As unpleasant as it may be, giving your landlord a heads up will go a long way. If something should happen during the installation process, you won’t have to send an email after something has gone wrong.
Start by asking about the building’s policy on tv mounting. If it’s a strict no, you may have to use the no stud solution or squeeze your flat screen onto a tabletop. You can also ask neighbors how they went about hanging their tv without making holes or, if they did make holes in the process, how do they intend to cover them up?
On the other hand, your landlord may agree to let you mount your tv in your apartment as long as you pay to have any damage fixed. In which case, you can reassure your landlord that any holes will be patched by asking what color paint they used in the room. That way, you can keep a sample size of the paint color handy when it’s time to move.
Step 2. Find the right location.
We’ve talked extensively about finding the right location for a tv. Whether that involves choosing the right height for tv-viewing or creating a focal point in an open floor plan, before you start drilling, hammering, or placing your apartment-friendly tv mount in the tv room, you need to first pick the right wall.
If you’re still having difficulty visualizing where to put your tv, you can easily create an outline on the wall in a way that won’t cause damage to the paint or drywall. Measure the dimensions of your tv and mark them on the wall with a pencil. Then, take a roll of painter’s tape and create the outline of your tv. If you need to adjust, you can simply pull up the painter’s tape and try again.
Step 3. Locate any studs in the wall.
Once you’ve determined the right location for your tv, it’s time to locate studs. You can of course hang your tv without studs using strong mollies, but a more renter-friendly method that is less damaging to the wall is to secure your wall mount into studs.
The most efficient way to find studs in the wall is to use a stud finder. These can easily be purchased at your local hardware store or online. Once you have your stud finder, hold it to the wall you wish to use to display the tv. If the stud finder beeps while scanning the wall, this indicates there’s a stud under the drywall.
You can also test by knocking lightly along the wall with your knuckles to hear for any hollow spots — these are spots to avoid. Once you’ve confirmed you’ve found studs, mark the stud’s center with a pencil.
Step 4. Make sure your measurements are level.
You may need a partner for this step. Once you’ve indicated where your pilot holes will go, have a friend or family member hold the bracket’s slats over the marks. Place your bubble level on top of the bracket and ensure it sits level. If not, you may need to adjust one of the pilot holes slightly up or down so your tv sits straight.
It’s important to verify this before drilling because once you start creating holes, it can be very difficult to troubleshoot without causing additional damage to the wall. And — as all renters know — pristine walls mean a happy landlord when it comes time to move out.
Step 5. Mark & drill your pilot holes.
To properly mount a tv in your apartment, you’ll have to create drill holes that are the correct size for your tv mount. Typically, a ¼” drill will work, but this can vary depending on the unique specs of your tv mount.
As the saying goes in sewing, “measure twice and cut once”. Remeasure your tv, the bracket and mount, and double check that the drill hole marks you’ve made on the wall line up with your tv mount’s slats. When all of your measurements look correct, drill your holes into the studs.
For tv mounting advice, always confer with the tv mount instruction manual or customer care line for the mount you decided to use. If you’re buying a MantelMount tv mount, you can always consult our FAQ for tv mounting tips, or call our customer service team with any questions that come up as you get ready to install your wall mount.
Step 6. Attach your bracket to the wall & your tv to the bracket.
Clear the drill dust out of your freshly-made pilot holes, add washers to the end of your screws, and secure the bracket to the wall through the bracket slats. Attach the tv mounting plate to the back of the tv and, with a partner, line up the tv mount with the bracket on the wall according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you rent, there’s no need to feel discouraged about working within the limitations of your lease. There are plenty of ways to make your temporary living situation feel more like a permanent home. And be sure to check out MantelMount’s word-class tv mounts and tv accessories, if you’re in the market for a new flat screen mount.