An articulating TV mount lets you tilt and swivel your TV for a better view. Discover what to look for and if they are the best wall mount for your room.
Some TV wall mounts provide much greater movement flexibility than fixed wall brackets.
These mounts are called articulating TV wall mounts, and they are the most popular type of mounts because you can use them in many different situations.
This article covers all you need to know about articulating mounts and the advantages and disadvantages of using them.
If you want to know more about the other types of mount, you should check out choosing the best TV wall mount, where you will learn about the different types of wall brackets and what you need to know before buying any mount.
So, why should you buy an articulating wall mount?
Table of Contents
- Articulating Wall Mount Comparison Table
- What is an Articulating TV Mount?
- Different Types of Motion
- Different Size Mounts
- Installing a Mount
- Installing the Cables
- Advantages and Disadvantages of Articulating Wall Mounts
- Other Considerations Before Buying an Articulating Wall Mount
- Frequently Asked Questions
Articulating Wall Mount Comparison Table
- TV Sizes: 26-55 Inch
- Max Weight: 77 lbs
- VESA: 75x75 to 400x400
FOR SMALL TVs
- TV Sizes: 13-42 Inch
- Max Weight: 44 lbs
- VESA: 75x75 to 200x200
What is an Articulating TV Mount?
An articulating TV mount lets you move the TV away from the wall and even tilt and swivel the screen.
The actual type and amount of movement will vary between models, so you need to be clear about what you want from your wall mount.
Do you need it to pull out from the wall – and retract when you aren’t using it?
Does it need to swivel it to either side so you can point the TV at different viewing positions in the room?
Should it tilt the TV up or down to avoid reflections or adjust for a change in your seating position?
There are several different names given to this type of wall mount.
As well as an articulating mount, you may see references to pivot, full motion or a TV swivel mount.
All these wall brackets are similar in that they allow you to alter the position of your TV screen. The difference will be in the exact type of movement they allow.
You can see an example of an articulating wall mount with the Pipishell PISF1 full motion small TV mount pictured here:
The swingarm allows you to pull the TV away from the wall, and the bracket that connects to the TV will let you twist the TV left/right or up/down.
Compared to wall mounts with more restricted movement, the main disadvantage of articulating mounts is cost.
They will generally be a more expensive option, so you will need to decide how necessary the extra movement is.
Also, the smaller articulating wall mounts won’t suit the giant TV screens you can buy these days.
A huge TV screen may need a fixed or tilt TV mount – or a very robust fully articulating model.
Different Types of Motion
The correct adjustable TV wall mount for a particular room will vary.
What is right for one room may not be suitable for another.
The choice will come down to the location and requirements of your room, rather than being dependent on a particular model or type of TV.
As mentioned previously, articulating mounts come in various styles and have multiple names.
However, the different names tend to reflect the type of movement you will get.
The terms swivel and pivot imply that the bracket will allow some side-to-side movement, which can be very useful if you often change the viewing position around the room.
For example, you may like to watch the TV while sitting at your table while eating – and then need to change the viewing position when you sit down later to watch a movie.
Whereas, if the mount mentions tilting, you can use this to angle the TV down if it is installed high in the room or avoid sunlight from the windows at certain times of the day.
The popular Mounting Dream MD2413-MX full motion wall mount is suitable for small to medium-size TVs.
It extends 16.7-inches from the wall, has 20° of tilt and swivels +/- 90°.
Some cheaper brackets will simply move from side to side from a single fixed pivot.
Others will have an extending arm that allows you to pull the TV away from the wall for increased viewing flexibility.
In this case, the TV can also be pushed back against the wall when not in use.
The main takeaway is to consider the type of movement you want to achieve in your room.
Once you know what you want, it’s easier to narrow down which wall mount does what you need.
Different Size Mounts
An adjustable TV wall mount comes in many shapes and sizes, and there are many models for all TV sizes.
There are simple swivel wall mounts for smaller TVs that allow basic movement.
While the larger, full motion wall mounts are the best that you can buy with a range of movement available.
Fully articulating brackets are the most expensive type you can buy, but you will be getting the most versatile type of wall mount.
This type of wall mount will allow the TV to be stored flat against the wall when not in use, but the TV can then be pulled away from the wall and placed in almost any viewing position you could wish for.
You can see an example below with the USX XML008-K full motion wall mount for large TVs.
This large articulating mount is suitable for big screens from 47 to 84-inches. You can turn the TV 90° to the left or right – and it has a tilt range of 5° up and 15° down.
A mount like this will offer the full range of positions for multiple viewing positions.
These large models are pretty heavy and often require two or three people to install.
The ability to vary the viewing angle can be beneficial in some circumstances – especially if the TV is installed in a large room.
A big room can have several possible viewing positions, so a mount with multiple articulating options can be very helpful.
In smaller rooms, it is much less likely that there will be a need to vary the viewing angle or position.
So you may not need a wall mount with quite so many options.
Installing a Mount
The bigger full motion TV mounting brackets are probably the most difficult to install compared to the other types.
For these, you should always think about employing the services of a professional unless you are incredibly confident in your DIY abilities.
These brackets can be quite large and heavy and must be installed on a suitable wall.
You will be fine if you have a concrete or brick wall, although you will need the correct drills and fixings.
But, for a drywall or plasterboard wall, you must have suitable wall studs to attach the bracket to.
A wall stud finder can prove very useful in this case.
If you would like to install the TV yourself, check out the guide on how to put a tv mount on the wall.
Mounting Your TV in a Corner
Another advantage of articulating mounts is that they are great for installing a TV in the corner of a room.
A fixed wall bracket requires a large, flat wall surface in front of your viewing position, restricting where you can hang the TV.
Basically, they aren’t suitable for installing in corners.
However, with articulating wall mounts, you can retract the TV into the corner when not in use and pull it out to the correct position when you need to watch it.
Using a Ceiling TV Mount
Another alternative for installing your TV in a corner is to get a ceiling TV mount. A ceiling mount can allow you to install your TV nearer to the corner of a room – or close to a wall if a wall mount isn’t convenient in a particular location. However, you do need to make sure that you have a suitable ceiling joist in the right place.
Installing the Cables
Installing cables is much easier with articulating mounts because it is simple to move the TV away from the wall to allow more room to work.
However, this can also create its own problems.
If you move the TV in various positions, you must ensure enough cable length to cope with this movement.
Plus, keeping the cabling neat is more challenging than with a fixed wall mount.
Some higher-end models have cable management features, making life easier and hiding the wires.
But, you are much more likely to damage cables with articulating wall mounts due to the constant movement, which can pull on the connectors and twist the wires.
To help with this, always use the available cable management and consider securing the wires to the bracket to avoid unnecessary movement.
You will still need to allow some slack when you move the screen.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Articulating Wall Mounts
- allows greater flexibility of movement away from the wall and side-to-side
- can be pushed back to the wall when not in use
- allows installation in the corner of rooms
- easy to install and replace cables
- more expensive than flat and tilting wall mounts
- not as discrete as flat wall mounts
- increases wear and tear on cabling unless properly installed
Other Considerations Before Buying an Articulating Wall Mount
Once you have decided on the best articulating wall mount for your room, you need to match it with your TV.
So, before buying a wall bracket, check that it will support these things:
- Type of wall: you should check that the mount is suitable for your wall type. Most mounts will be fine with concrete, brick and wall studs, but you must check first.
- Your TVs weight: check the maximum weight limit of the mount
- VESA specification: will the mount fit the mounting holes on the back of your TV?
- Screen size: what is the recommended screen size for the mount? This is more important with articulating mounts because a big screen can restrict the amount of movement from side to side.
Don’t forget to go through this checklist before purchasing.
Articulating TV wall mounts allow you to alter the position of your TV, which can be crucial if you have a large room and change your viewing position.
You can also use these mounts to avoid glare from room lighting and nearby windows.
But, if you always watch from the same position and have suitable wall space, fixed mounts are cheaper and more discrete.
So, in many cases, a fixed or simple tilting bracket will be fine for many people.
You just need to decide if the extra cost is worth it for the advantages of an articulating wall mount.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you can find the answers here if you have more questions.
How to Install an Articulating TV Wall Mount?
The basic procedure for installing an articulating TV wall mount is to attach the brackets to the back of the TV, install the plate on the wall and then hook the TV on the wall plate. You must check the installation instructions to ensure you are installing it on a suitable wall type.
How to Buy an Articulating TV Wall Mount?
Before buying an articulating TV wall mount, you must consider what type of movement you need. Some mounts will extend the TV away from the wall, others will swivel side to side, and some will tilt up or down. Once you know the movement you require, you need to find a mount that will support the weight of your TV.
What Is the Difference Between a Swivel and Articulating TV Mount?
There isn’t much difference between a swivel and articulating TV mount, and they generally refer to the same thing. You would expect an articulating mount to move a TV from side to side, up/down and forward/back. However, a TV swivel mount explicitly refers to moving the TV from one side to another.
About Home Cinema Guide
Paul started the Home Cinema Guide to help less-experienced users get the most out of today's audio-visual technology. He has worked as a sound, lighting and audio-visual engineer for around 20 years. At home, he has spent more time than is probably healthy installing, configuring, testing, de-rigging, fixing, tweaking, re-installing again (and sometimes using) various pieces of hi-fi and home cinema equipment. You can find out more here.
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