TV Install Charlottesville VA, Virginia

TV Install in Charlottesville VA- with drywall cutting and repair

AVS has installed hundreds of TVs.  We can install yours.  In this post we’ll discuss installing cables behind drywall and through studs.  How does one do this?  What’s involved?  Drywall repair?  Cost?  And Painting…

AVS has installed hundreds of TVs-  Flat Panels LEDs, LCDs and Plasma TVs throughout the years.  The requirements, codes, and safety issues have evolved and changed over the years for installing TVs.  Here’s a little helpful information you’ll need to know.  We’ll talk about drywall cutting and repair in this blog.   Hiding cables behind drywall and studs isn’t complicated but there are some details one should be aware of.  Here they are:

1 Have a plan: Below is a picture of how we mapped out TV and speaker placement.  It’s cliche’ but true:  measure twice and cut once.

2 Have a cable and wiring plan: Most modern TVs, surround and audio systems have more cables than you think.   In the picture below there are multiple cables going from the TV area to the future AV rack on the right.  Cables used in this setup: (2) 25′ HDMI cables  form TV to AV cabinet.  You need 2 in case one goes bad.  (3) Cat-5  Cat-5 serves many purposes- direct internet access, control with remotes and HDMI baluns.  (2) Coaxial cable.  Coax is used for antenna into the TV or various cable box requirements.  (1) Optical Audio.  Optical takes all TV sounds and sends to AV cabinet AV receiver.  (5)  14/2 speaker wire- This is used for the 5.1 surround system installed in the walls of the room.  Another cable we could have wired here but didn’t for space considerations was a line of 12/2 Romex AC cable.  This would be used to plug the TV into the master surge protector at the AV cabinet.

3 Drywall Cutting: Drywall cutting is the most labor intensive part of the whole process.  You’ll need  a good drywall knife- and sometimes a jigsaw or sawsall.  When you cut drywall to place cables be sure to label  all pieces so the drywall repair/paint professional can easily identify them.  (see our #s on the pic of wall below)

4 Cutting through wooden studs is also labor intensive.  AVS uses jigsaws, sawsall or paddle bits on a drill to cut out studs.  In the photo below you can see that we only cut 1/2 way into the stud.  It’s not a good idea to cut all the way through ANY stud.  This weakens the integrity of the wall or area you’re working on.

5 Cleaning & Safety Drywall and stud cutting is best done by a professional- like AVS- but if you’re Gung-Ho and have some experience, just go slow, use some elbow grease and clean up your mess as you go along.  We recommend putting down a drop cloth and having a wetdry vac handy when cutting.  Oh- and yeah- you’ll create a lot of dust, so cover anything you don’t want a nice powdery sheen of drywall on.  It’s messy, but drywall dust tastes good and has lots of protein 🙂

6 Drywall Repair and painting  is a specialized skill.  Anybody can cut drywall and studs but repairing it requires talent – THAT MOST AV companies do NOT have.  Good ones (like AVS) will hire out a dedicated professional to repair and paint the drywall.  Pro painter/drywall guys will  make it smooth, unnoticeable and match the paint- Like it NEVER happened.  Check out this pic  !! below!!  Another thing to remember- you’ve just installed a dozen cables behind that new drywall- DO NOT pierce your new cables with drywall screws.  You and or the pro drywall guys needs to remember this. >>>>>>> Contact AVS if you’d like a list of local drywall /paint repair guys.<<<<<<<<<<<

7  Drywall and paint repair cost-  This job was @ $1300.00  for the whole thing. (There were several other locations not shown in this post that also needed work.)  Most drywall repair requires several visits, for drywall, spackling mud and paint to adhere, dry and set.  This takes time- and labor and cost.  Expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $2000 for professional drywall repair.  Most guys will give you a quote before doing the work.  We sent the images shown here to our drywall repair professional and he sent us a quote in a few days.

Thanks for hanging out with us today!!!   While we’re here below are a few more TV installation tips:

Safety: Mounting and Electrical Safety is the the number one priority when hanging/installing a TV.

Hanging Safety: Today’s TVs are super light so it has become easier and safer (in general) to hang most TVs.  The light weight means that there’s a larger margin for error (if you do it yourself) relative to mounts, studs, bolts, screws and latches.  We recommend of course you just hire AVS  because AVS tolerates 0-zero margin of error even with these new light TVs.  Here’s what it takes:  1. A professional tilt, flush or articulating arm  Mount (We use STRONG ™ mounts) 2. Professional weight tolerant bolts/screws (like tapcons) 3. Proper stud (wood or metal) location, drilling and mounting.  AVS likes to get a solid tight grip with at least 6 to eight bolts/screws into the studs or rock or brick for flush or tilt mounts. Even more for Articulating arm mounts.

Tilt Mount Television Installation

Electrical Safety: Virginia code dictates that no consumer TV AC lines can go in walls.  This means that the AC cord that comes with your TV is NOT to be used for in wall purposes.  It isn’t rated for heat, rat or rodent chewing, or long term wall burial.  You need to use Romex 12/3 AC wire and a code AC extension kit.  An AC extension kit makes it so you don’t have to hire an electrician or do extensive AC work to get AC to your TV (with hidden wires).  AC Extension kits  generally cost around $100 to $150 dollars.  We use this one by SnapAV:

AC in wall extension kit for wall TVs

AV Cable Pass Through Plates:  AV cables are a little easier to run than AC extension kit.  AVS usually uses 12′ cables and pass through plates. We don’t like wall connectors because we find that this adds another level of possible disconnect, error and/or quality.  We like to connect your DVD or Cable box directly to your hanging TV via 1 cable.  AVS uses pass through plates (1 behind TV and 1 below TV or near component shelf) like these:

av cable plate for passing through cables

AV Cables:  You can overboard with cables, prices, and technical specs. Most people don’t need an $80 dollar 6′ Monster cable.  AVS thinks this is a total ripoff.  Just get a good cable with this years specs and you’ll probably do fine.  If you plan on using the cable (hdmi) for internet or 3D- sure get a more expensive one. You don’t need gold plated HDMI under any circumstance.  AVS 6′ cables cost $19.  AVS 12′ cables cost $29.  Never had an issue with them.  Here’s a pic of our cables manufacture:

Binary HDMI specs cable

Is it pretty? A few more tips:   Make sure to use a level when mounting the TV.  Make sure you measure for horizontal and vertical distances- dependent upon how and where you want the TV to be located.  Use pencil when marking on walls and have an eraser nearby to get rid of any extra marks. Use blue painters tape to mark off where you want the TV- to see if it works, before you do anything.  Have a vacuum nearby.  Place a painters drop cloth or furniture blanket below the work area.  have all your tools on the blanket.

AVS hopes this helps you to get a better understanding of how to install a flat panel TV.  It’s not brain surgery but it does take a little time, effort and patience. AND- we can do all of it for you.

We would love to hear from you…

Please call or email us ! We’ll happily answer any questions about your audio visual needs or dreams.

Call us:   Email Us:

(434) 973-9269     jeff@cvilleav.com

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