I happened to be mounting an LCD TV in my sons’ bedroom recently. It’s a fairly small and inexpensive 32-inch display, mainly because the kiddos are 7 months old and they probably don’t need a 65-inch 1080p Kuro to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse from their cribs.
A small display like this isn’t tearing out studs with sheer mass, but mounting it does have its unique issues. Being fairly narrow at just over 31 inches wide, there’s not a ton of horizontal play to get the display centered in its desired location while still catching a pair of studs. Even with 16-inch on-center studs, I ran up against an odd placement where I could only catch a single stud.
Luckily, Moen (the kitchen and bathroom fixtures people) recently released its SecureMount solution. Drawing on developments made for mounting hand-rails for the handicapped and elderly, the SecureMount increases the surface area exposed to the rear of the drywall by roughly six times. This increased surface area, aided by the laws of physics, allows for mounting displays up to 150 pounds with a single stud or no studs at all.
In practice, my install couldn’t have gone any easier. I was able to hit a single stud on the left side, but needed the SecureMount on the right side. After loosely securing the left-top corner, I marked my mount points and drilled holes with a 1-1/4-inch spade bit. I then slid the guide track into place and, using the guide tool, inserted and pivoted the business end SecureMount. After a soft tug to tighten on the ratcheting guide rails, the mount point was ready to be hung on.
I’ve done similar jobs with conventional ratcheting toggles in the past. After once over-tightening a toggle that promptly pulled through as I mounted the load (luckily just a wood shelf), I’ve never had much faith in them. The lack of sufficient surface area makes it easy to pull through inadvertently. More dangerous than an immediate failure is a partial compromise that doesn’t make itself known until much later, possibly leading an in-use failure of much more catastrophic proportions. The Moen SecureMount’s increased surface area minimizes this risk, and the larger installation hole made me more comfortable that I might spot a compromise in the drywall that could be missed with a traditional ratcheting toggle.
Back in January our sister publication CE Pro gave the Moen SecureMount our BEST Award for accessories, and after using one in a practical application, I can see why. These are available directly from Moen at the retail price of $15.95/pair, but you can contact Vanco International, the exclusive national distributor, to find your regional distributor.
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Stephen Hopkins is chief technology editor for EH Publishing. He writes product reviews, features, and focuses heavily on 3D TV, iPhone and iPad apps, and digital content.