Author Topic: Wall mounting a TV on a weird exterior wall  (Read 9540 times)

MsPeacock

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Wall mounting a TV on a weird exterior wall
« on: January 14, 2015, 06:17:25 AM »
I have been stumped on this one for a while. My house was built in the 1950s. The exterior walls are brick (outside), cement block, some sort of furring strips (maybe 1/2' or 1" deep) and then drywall. I tried to hang a small decorative cabinet last year and ended up putting it on an interior wall because I couldn't work out a way to have any weight hanging on the exterior wall. The various dry wall hanging devices (mollies? Things of assorted sizes designed for hanging up heavy stuff on drywall) didn't work because there wasn't enough room for them to open in the small space between the drywall and the cement blocks. I ended up drilling a variety of holes all over the wall in an attempt to find a way to hang the cabinet, and then giving up. Fortunately I am really good at patching and painting drywall :)

I would really like to move the TV up from the basement because I am shutting off cable, the basement is freezing, I would like to watch streaming videos w/ my kids sometimes, etc. The only place to put the TV is on an exterior wall (actually over the fireplace - so there might be additional challenges associated w/ whatever is behind the dry wall there). I would like to avoid paying someone $200+ to hang up the TV, and I am reasonable handy (in that I can use tools). However, this is beyond my skills and knowledge level and I don't really have anyone with more experience to ask. Any pointers on how to go about this particular task?

Many thanks in advance!

GizmoTX

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Re: Wall mounting a TV on a weird exterior wall
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2015, 07:04:17 AM »
Does the fireplace have a mantle? Many flat-screen TVs can be placed on narrow "feet" if the mantle is deep enough.

Greg

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Re: Wall mounting a TV on a weird exterior wall
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2015, 08:57:06 AM »
This kind of lightweight shell/partition framing drives me nuts. 

I would suggest if you really want to install it over the fireplace, to rebuild that small area of wall with structural framing, or at least blocking.  Remove the drywall at least as large as the mounting bracket is, to the next "stud".  Install 2x6 blocking behind the existing framing, filling the gap with 3/4" or 1" material as needed (the thickness of the thin framing) so it's solid.  If your screen has a mounting bracket use it as a guide to determine what's needed for blacking and framing. 

While you have the wall open, you can run power and data/signal cable to an outlet box that the screen will cover.

Reinstall the drywall and paint and you'll have done yourself a great favor!

GuitarStv

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Re: Wall mounting a TV on a weird exterior wall
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2015, 09:46:31 AM »
Drill through the furring strips with a regular hand drill, then use a rotary hammer to drill into the concrete block.  Attach the mounting bracket with tapcon or similar concrete screws.

Jack

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Re: Wall mounting a TV on a weird exterior wall
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2015, 10:06:42 AM »
Drill through the furring strips with a regular hand drill, then use a rotary hammer to drill into the concrete block.  Attach the mounting bracket with tapcon or similar concrete screws.

Or do that and use toggle bolts, but use the big toggle bolts designed to open in the void in the concrete block, not the little ones designed to open behind drywall.

By the way, in addition to toggle-bolt type drywall hangers, they also make screw-type drywall hangers (a metal screw inside a larger, plastic screw). That would probably work too and not be deep enough for the concrete block to interfere, but you'd have to pay attention to the rating to make sure they were strong enough to hold up the TV.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Wall mounting a TV on a weird exterior wall
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2015, 10:12:56 AM »
You might want to go in through the furring strips so that when you attached the stand you don't squeeze the space in between the drywall and the concrete blocks. You still might get some nail pops, though.

Le0

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Re: Wall mounting a TV on a weird exterior wall
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2015, 10:25:00 AM »
Drill through the furring strips with a regular hand drill, then use a rotary hammer to drill into the concrete block.  Attach the mounting bracket with tapcon or similar concrete screws.

I would add. If there is not insulation. Cut the drywall away (a small square) and use tapcon's to mount a bracket or a thick board to the blocks. Then mount the tv on that.

Spork

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Re: Wall mounting a TV on a weird exterior wall
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2015, 10:27:50 AM »

When you say there wasn't enough room to open... were you really using molly bolts (these things) or were you using toggle bolts (these things)?

I would think you could find a true molly bolt in the right length that would work.  Since they open by compression instead of by pushing them through and springing flat... They might actually work.

(But yeah, the suggestions that say rip out the drywall and put something sturdy behind would be more sturdy.)

MsPeacock

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Re: Wall mounting a TV on a weird exterior wall
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2015, 02:17:05 PM »
I have tried both molly and toggle bolts, as well as various other hangy-uppy-dohickies from Home Depot - the space between the drywall and concrete block is really narrow - so either the bolt couldn't open and/or it hit the cement block and didn't work correctly. I did not try drilling into/through the concrete - which would take a really long screw (I'm guessing 4" long or something). I would prefer to avoid pulling down a lot of drywall to accomplish this project - which is sort of on the back burner anyhow. I had a wall taken out last year and the mess from the dust made me crazy (being a neat freak). There is a mantle, happily w/ an electrical plug already in it (not sure why a 1950s house has this - for a clock?) but it is not deep enough to hold the TV. Additionally I have two young boys and would prefer the TV to be firmly attached to the wall.

Spork

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Re: Wall mounting a TV on a weird exterior wall
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2015, 02:30:11 PM »

I think I understand.

What if you drilled the backing cinder block just enough that a real molly bolt would seat completely?  Then when you tighten down the screw, it would deform itself and draw itself back into the void.

MsPeacock

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Re: Wall mounting a TV on a weird exterior wall
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2015, 05:52:34 PM »
Spork - I could try that. I wonder if I would have to drill a very wide hole to allow room for the bolt to open... Hmmm. The replies have given me food for thought. Some weekend I will be adequately bored and short of projects and may drill some more holes to see what I can figure out.

Spork

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Re: Wall mounting a TV on a weird exterior wall
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2015, 08:24:12 AM »
Spork - I could try that. I wonder if I would have to drill a very wide hole to allow room for the bolt to open... Hmmm. The replies have given me food for thought. Some weekend I will be adequately bored and short of projects and may drill some more holes to see what I can figure out.
I wouldn't think so (if I am picturing it correctly -- but be skeptical about that.).

I think you want the bolt to open between the drywall and the cinder block. 

If you want to experiment... just get a right-sized molly bolt and hold it with pliers or a clamp (i.e -- don't poke it into the wall) and screw the interior screw down so you can visualize how much space it needs to open.

Greg

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Re: Wall mounting a TV on a weird exterior wall
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2015, 09:08:39 AM »
Alternative idea: attach a large 3/4" plywood sheet (larger than the screen even, painted to match wall) to the thin framing, and then attach the screen or mounting bracket to that.  Most of the load on the fasteners will be loaded in shear, and spreading the load should do wonders.