So you picked out the perfect spot on your wall to mount your shiny new flat screen TV. Now comes the critical decision – what size bolts do you need to securely hang the TV mount? Choosing the wrong bolts can lead to a wobbly mount or even catastrophic failure.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about selecting the proper mounting bolt size and type for your television.
Table of Contents
Why Proper Bolt Size Matters
You may be tempted to just grab any standard bolts from the hardware store for your TV installation. However, using the wrong bolts can cause a number of problems:
- Insufficient weight support – Smaller bolts may shear or pull out under the load of your TV, causing it to crash down.
- Uneven weight distribution – Mixed bolt sizes lead to some taking more load than others, resulting in crooked hanging.
- Damage to the wall or mount – Oversized bolts can split the studs or enlarge the mount holes, compromising the installation.
In short, the proper bolt size helps evenly distribute the TV’s weight to ensure a safe and secure mounting.
TV Mounting Bolt Types
Before getting into sizes, let’s review the main types of bolts used for TV wall mounts:
The most common. They screw into wood studs with a large threaded portion to hold firmly. Provides excellent pull-out strength.
Also called mollies. They expand inside drywall or plaster using pressure to grip tightly. Best for hollow walls.
Hardened sleeves drill into concrete to create the anchor point for the threads. Ideal for concrete or brick mounts.
Spring-loaded wings collapse to fit through a hole then expand on the other side to grip. Used to mount to hollow drywall or plaster.
We’ll refer back to these types as we discuss ideal sizing next.
Factors for Determining Proper Bolt Size
Selecting the right bolt size depends primarily on these key factors:
TV Size and Weight
The larger and heavier the TV, the larger diameter bolts required. Bolt size charts are based on TV weight capacities.
Drywall, plaster, wood, brick and concrete have different recommended bolt sizes and types for maximum holding strength.
More closely spaced bolts can get away with slightly smaller sizes, while widely spaced mounts need larger diameters.
High quality stainless steel or alloy bolts can support more weight in smaller diameters than cheap hardware bolts.
With those factors in mind, let’s look at general sizing guidelines.
Recommended Bolt Sizes by TV Size
Here are the typical bolt diameters used for various television sizes:
- 32-43″ TVs – M8 or 5/16″ bolts
- 46-55″ TVs – M8, 3/8″ or M10 bolts
- 60-65″ TVs – M10, 7/16″ or 1/2″ bolts
- 70-80″ TVs – 5/8″ lag bolts or M12 bolts
- 85″+ TVs – 5/8″ or 3/4″ lag bolts
However, you should always consult your specific TV mount’s manual for manufacturer bolt sizing recommendations based on maximum load capacity and spacing.
Now let’s look at ideal bolt sizes for different wall materials.
Best Bolt Size for Wood Studs
For mounting into wood studs, lag screws are ideal as they thread deeply into the wood for maximum holding strength. Recommended lag bolt sizes include:
- 2×4 studs – 5/16″ or 3/8″ lags
- 2×6 studs – 1/2″ lags
- Solid wood – 1/2″ to 5/8″ lags
Use the largest diameter lag bolt that will fully sink into the stud to distribute weight across the wood grain.
Best Bolt Size for Drywall or Plaster
For hollow drywall anchors, size appropriately for the TV weight:
- 32-55” TVs – M6 or 1/4″ anchors
- 60-75” TVs – M8 or 3/8” anchors
- 80-100” TVs – M10 or 1/2” anchors
Use toggle bolts for greater strength. When fastening into the underlying stud, match lag screw sizing above.
Best Bolts for Concrete or Brick
Concrete call for hardened anchors like:
- 32-43” TVs – M6 or 1/4” anchors
- 46-65” TVs – M8 or 3/8” anchors
- 70-100” TVs – M10 or 1/2” anchors
Use sleeve anchors or epoxy anchors for strongest grip in concrete or brick.
Pro Tips for TV Mounting Bolts
Here are a few extra tips from our professional TV mounting technicians:
- Tighten lag bolts so the threads fully engage but do not strip out the holes.
- Always use manufacturer recommended bolt sizes for your specific TV and mount.
- Stainless steel hardware resists corrosion and has greater shear strength.
- Reducing washers or spacers allow using larger bolts in oversized holes.
- Use lock washers, thread lockers, or double nuts to prevent loosening.
Get Professional TV Mounting in Dallas, Texas
We hope this guide gives you some best practices for selecting the right bolt sizes and types for securely mounting your television. However, improper installation can be dangerous – instead, have our fully licensed, bonded and insured TV mounting technicians handle it for you!
We Mount TV serves Dallas, Plano, Irving, Frisco, and all North Texas with expert TV wall mounting services. Contact us today for your free estimate! Our TV pros will determine the perfect mounting location, select commercial grade mounts and hardware, and securely fasten your TV using industry best practices. Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed!