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CREATE YOUR LIFE
Photo: Lindsey Ellefson/Lifehacker
I’m here today to make the case for a unique space-saving technique I have employed in my apartment for two years: Mount your TV to the ceiling. Do it. You don’t need a bulky entertainment center taking up valuable wall space; your TV can simply float above your head, and look cool doing it. (But don’t tell Reddit, which will lambast you for placing your set above eye level. Live for yourself, not for the approval of mean people online.)
What you need to mount your TV from the ceiling
To get that “doctor’s office waiting room” look at home, you will need:
- A ceiling mount (here’s the one I have, which cost about $28)
- An under-shelf wire basket like this one
- A drill
- Four to six hefty toggle bolts
- About 10 hole straps
- A bunch of screws (I’m very technical)
The key to success
Follow the mounting instructions that come with your mount, and make sure you secure it well into a joist. I hired a pro for this step because I wasn’t sure of my ability to nail into a joist as well as I can a wall beam, but if you think you can do it, just make sure you follow the instructions carefully so you don’t end up tearing through your ceiling (and breaking your flatscreen).
“Buy a ceiling mount for your TV and install it” isn’t a hack, though. The hack comes in my storage solution, which is what the wire basket is for. Get the kind that can slide under a shelf, with one open side, and be sure it’s wide enough to hold whatever you need near the TV, like a video game console, streaming box, or DVD player. Remove the wires that would otherwise hold the basket under a shelf with a wire cutter and you’ll be left with a box that is open on one side and at the top.
Position the basket near the television and mark out four to six spots at the corners and in between where you will support it once it is hanging. Hold the hole straps up to the ceiling so they go around the top wires of the basket at your chosen support points and mark on the ceiling where the screws will go. For each hole strap, use one toggle bolt and one regular screw. I recommend putting the toggle bolts on the interior of the basket so it’s held up securely while you screw in the other sides. Your extra hole straps can be used to secure your wires along the ceiling and down the wall. (Here’s a handy guide for hiding wires.) Stuff your gaming console or whatever else you need in the basket and you’re good to go.
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The benefit of this setup is, to me, clear as day: You get your walls back and don’t need a bunch of shelving to hold your TV. The only thing to be wary of is if you have a low ceiling or someone in your household is super tall, but it’s not much more cumbersome than a ceiling fan or hanging light fixture you have to step around.
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