TV’s have changed massively in the last decade or so. Instead of a big square box sitting on a floor unit, we now have 40, 50 even 60 inch – or bigger – flat screen televisions that, as often as not, the customer wants fitted on the wall. Wall hanging TVs makes a lot of sense as it frees up floor space and the TV can be positioned in the most comfortable viewing position, especially if using a swing or cantilever mounting.
However this trend has brought about its own series of considerations for the installer, the most important being that of ensuring a safe and secure fixing for the bracket. The last thing the customer wants is for the bracket to come away from the wall and see their TV smashed on the floor.
Unless the TV is small and fairly light, it is likely that you will be looking at mounting it on an external or solid inside wall. These will be constructed out of bricks or blocks and until recently will have had a plaster skim as a final finish. These walls don’t present too much of a problem as a good quality fixing should easily support the weight of the television and the bracket.
However, in many more recently built houses – and extensions for that matter – you are likely to encounter a dot and dab or dry lined wall which is where a solid masonry wall has been faced with plasterboard, typically supported on blobs of adhesive (hence the phrase dot and dab). This style of wall has become popular as the plasterboard makes an excellent, easy to achieve, surface to the wall, ready to accept a final skim and paint or paper finish.
The difficulty here is there is the void between the plasterboard and the solid wall behind, meaning that the some of the weight is being supported by the plasterboard alone. Even if you are using a flush mounting bracket or plate and the load is vertical – i.e. running in parallel with the face of the wall – the plasterboard is still not strong enough to take this weight and it often gives way into the void, compromising the integrity of the fixing.
This issue is compounded the further out from the wall the load is placed, on a swinging arm or cantilever mounting for example. Here the force is acting away from the wall and works like a lever trying to pull the fixing out of the wall. You can experience this force for yourself if you wish… fill a bucket of water and hold it with a straight arm down by your side – pretty easy to do, right? Now extend your arm straight out from your shoulder and feel the difference! Same bucket, same weight but an entirely different challenge.
If the plasterboard is already struggling to support more weight than it is capable of, this extra force can cause the screw to bend or have the fixing fail completely as shown above.
The way to eliminate the possibility of your wall fixings failing is to choose a fixing which bridges the void between the plasterboard and the masonry and so transfers the load directly to the solid masonry behind. This means the fixing is not reliant on the strength of the plasterboard.
This can be achieved in a number of ways but the simplest and quickest is by using products such as Corefix, which uses a unique, patented plastic expandable plug into which a metal sleeve is inserted that bridges the void. The bracket or plate can then be screwed into the fixing in the normal way. These are easily capable of supporting even the largest TVs. Corefix for example, has been independently tested and certified to a vertical safe working load of 90kg using just four fixings and in-house tests have securely supported 250kg!
Corefix requires no special tools and provides a quick, cost effective and reliable solution to the question of how to safely fix wall mounted TVs to a dot and dab wall.