So you ordered a fancy articulating TV wall mount online and it showed up with no screws included. No problem – can’t you just use any common screws from the hardware store to assemble and mount it?
We generally advise against using random generic screws for TV mounts. While many mounting screws are somewhat universal, there are important nuances in selecting the proper screws for maximum safety and security.
In this guide, we’ll overview when standard screws can work for TV mounts and when you should opt for specialized mounting hardware.
Table of Contents
Why Random Screws Aren’t Recommended
While that bag of assorted wood screws in your toolbox may seem tempting, there are a few reasons why screw selection for your TV mount matters:
Strength – Not all screws are made equal. Weak ones could snap under the load of a heavy TV causing it to rip out of the wall.
Fit – Generic screw lengths and diameters may not fit the mount and wall correctly, leading to instability.
Appearance – Mismatched screws can detract from the clean look of a wall-mounted TV installation.
Corrosion – Low quality screws can corrode over time leading to loosening and failure.
So while you may be able to force generic screws to work, taking time to select the optimal fasteners ensures a safer and better looking installation.
When are Mounting Screws Interchangeable?
While we recommend using the hardware included with your TV mount kit, in certain cases, universal screws can substitute just fine:
- Assembling mount components together
- Attaching mount arms to the TV bracket
- Mounting small or light TVs
For these applications, general screws in the right lengths and threads can securely fit the bill in most cases.
However, when it comes to actually fastening the mount to the wall itself, specialized mounting screws are highly recommended. Let’s look closer at wall fastener options.
Screw Types for Wall Mounting
Here are the common screw varieties used to anchor flat screen TV mounts to various wall materials:
Lag Screws – Threaded wood screws that twist deeply into studs. Ideal for mounting to wooden stud walls.
Concrete Screws – Hardened steel drill tips that bore into concrete and masonry materials. Used for concrete, brick, and stone walls.
Drywall Screws – Special fine threads grip onto drywall without tearing the paper face. Help secure mounts to hollow drywall.
Toggle Bolts – Spring-loaded toggles compress to fit through holes then expand on the other side to grip tightly. Often used on drywall.
Now that we’ve covered the main screw and anchor types, let’s look at some best practices for selecting TV mounting hardware.
Match Screw Size to Mount and TV
One universal rule – always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific TV mount model. The manual or product page will specify:
- Recommended screw sizes and types
- Ideal screw placement and spacing
- Required pilot hole sizing if pre-drilling
This ensures you use the proper screws anticipated for the mount’s load capacity and design.
As a general guideline for wall mounting:
- Small TVs up to 40” use M4, M5 or #8 screws
- Medium TVs 40”-55” use M6, M8 or #10 screws
- Large TVs 60”+ use M8, M10 or 3/8” screws or lags
Use larger diameter screws for heavier TVs and fully loading the mount’s articulation arms.
Use Proper Wall Anchors
While screwing directly into studs is ideal, using anchors in drywall and masonry is often necessary.
For drywall, specialized hollow wall anchors like toggle bolts grip better than standard screws. For concrete and brick, concrete screw anchors prove most secure.
Using suitable anchors for the wall material also allows you to use the optimal screw size to fill the anchor properly for maximum holding strength.
Use Stainless Steel or Coated Hardware
Look for high quality stainless steel or coated screws and bolts for TV mounting. They resist rust and corrosion far better than cheap hardware grade fasteners. This maintains integrity over the long term.
Stainless lags, concrete bolts, and toggle anchors are ideal investments for securely mounting your valuable TV for years to come.
Let the Pros Handle It!
While we hope these TV mounting screw tips help guide your project, you may wish to leave it to experienced pros. Our fully licensed installers have mounted thousands of TVs and can select and install the optimal hardware for your setup.
Other benefits of a pro TV mount include:
- Perfectly positioning the mount on the wall
- Concealing & organizing cables for clean install
- Precisely leveling your TV
- Tuning settings and connecting devices
- Lifetime support on all our work
For the ultimate peace of mind, contact our professional TV mounting service today for a free estimate!