When you're viewing a movie or binge-watching your favorite series, you want the experience to be as realistic and enveloping as possible. If you've ever craned your neck to view a screen that's too high or struggled to look at low screens, you'll know how much TV screen placement can come between you and the action.
Learning how high to mount your TV or other type of screen is the first step toward comfortable, immersive viewing. As with other things, you'll find that there is a general rule that can be applied to most, but not all, situations. For ideal screen placement, you can take the additional step of finetuning screen height to your own situation.
Basic Placement Height for Most TV Screens
It's easy to quickly determine and place your TV screen if you're happy to go with common recommendations. These guidelines apply to wall-mounted screens of any size up to 85 inches diagonal.
The optimal TV screen height that applies to most screens and settings is 42 inches high, measured from the floor to the center of the screen.
As the screen increases in size, the distance between the bottom edge of the screen and the floor shrinks. So, it's good to be mindful of this in terms of larger screens and for viewing distance.
How to Mark Optimal Height of a TV on a Wall
Once you know the height that you'd like to mount the TV on the wall, you'll need to mark this on the wall.
Use the standard 42-inch center height recommendation and measure upward from the floor to the bottom edge of the TV screen.
|Screen Class (Diagonal)||Screen Height||Distance: Floor to Bottom of Screen|
|43-inch||22 inches||31 inches|
|50-inch||25-1/2 inches||29 inches|
|60-inch||30-1/2 inches||27 inches|
|75-inch||40 inches||22 inches|
|85-inch||43 inches||20 inches|
Another method is to measure the actual eye level of users and match that to the center of the screen.
- Run one strip of low-stick painter's tape from one corner of the screen to its opposite diagonal corner.
- Run a second strip of tape across the two remaining corners. The intersection of the two strips is the center of the screen.
- Have a family member or friend representative of the average height of viewers of your screen sit facing the screen.
- From behind the viewer, set up a laser level facing the wall. The beam should cross the back of the viewer's head at the approximate level of that person's eyes. For safety, the beam should remain behind the viewer and the viewer should never look at it.
- On the wall, raise or lower the TV screen until the laser line and the center of the screen meet.
Never look into a laser line. Laser levels can permanently damage your eyes.
Fine-Tuning TV Screen Height and Placement
Going beyond the blanket recommendations for TV screen height, it's possible to fine-tune height and placement for specific rooms and viewers.
The 42-inch standard for screen placement height is based on the assumption that viewers will be seated 15 to 20 inches above floor level on a couch. Rooms styled as home bars may have higher seats in the 28- to 30-inch range. If most of the viewers will be seated at a bar, you may want to raise the screen height by 1 or even 2 feet.
Number of Viewers
Commercial theaters with a large number of people raise the screen level so that everyone can see. The same idea applies to home viewing. If lots of people will frequently be watching, you may want to raise the screen's center to 50 inches or even more, even if this is above eye-level for some viewers.
Type of Viewers
Taller or shorter viewers have different eye levels. A room that's used primarily by adults watching sports should have a TV mounted at 42 inches center or higher. A room used mostly by kids or by viewers who like using the floor more than the couch should have a TV mounted at 42 inches or lower.
Obstacles may determine the height of the TV screen more than viewer preferences. Fireplace mantels that are 50 or 60 inches high dictate high TV placement. If you mount the TV above a TV stand or console, you will want the TV to be well above the height of the surface.
Size and Type of Screen
A 150-inch diagonal projection screen has a 74-inch-high viewing area and its total height is 84 inches. Fitting a screen of that size in a room with a conventional 8-foot-high ceiling leaves just 12 inches of room: 6 inches on top, 6 inches on the bottom.
Even a more conventional 100-inch screen has an overall height of 66 inches, leaving only 30 inches to be split between the top and the bottom.
Things to consider before mounting the TV on the wall. (n.d.). Samsung Electronics America.
OSHA technical manual (OTM) - Section III: Chapter 6 | Occupational safety and health administration. (n.d.). Occupational Safety and Health Administration.