brick + TV
November 28, 2010 8:47 PM   Subscribe

TV mounted to brick, part deux

Previously (not me, but otherwise similar. outcome: mount into the brick).

Our twist: the wall is certainly decorative. It's Tuscan course, thin, 18-inch-long brick with a finished band top and bottom above a rustic center.

The logic of drilling the brick is well taken. But as the brick is non-structural, and therefore may even lack form-holding studs behind it, is it even a good idea to try? TV is about 40 inches, a couple years old, and probably between 50 and 70 lbs.
posted by mwhybark to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A pic would help here. Also, it would be good to know the thickness of the brick.

You either want to affix the mount to the brick, or drill through the brick and affix the mount to the wall behind the brick. It is hard to say which course of action is better without the above input.

Keep us posted!
posted by milqman at 9:25 PM on November 28, 2010

Response by poster: How would a pic help? I'm puzzled by the need. Also, of what, the wall itself, the brickwork, the TV...

There may not be a wall behind the brick. It encloses the back of what was once the exterior of the home's chimney. We don't know what's behind the 'new' brick: it could be empty space, a stud frame, or the old chimney brick.

the previous question seems to indicate that the methodology is to drill all the way though the brick itself, not the mortar. This is my intention. The question is, then, "can a non-structural brick wall with no rear studs support a frontally-mounted weight of seventy pounds with four or more anchor-through mount points?"

The anchors suggested elsewhere are self-expanding, that is, similar to a spring-loaded butterfly bolt.
posted by mwhybark at 12:56 AM on November 29, 2010

Best answer: I wouldn't hang a TV from thin, decorative brick. Mounting to brick requires something holding the brick in place. A standard brick of, perhaps, 4 inches of depth has enough mortar holding it in place that it won't pull out if something is mounted to it. If the brick is decorative, then it is likely that there are studs, or a wall, that the brick is mounted to. I think determining the composition of the wall is necessary. This may require a carpenter, a stud finder, exploratory holes behind the baseboard, or a view of the top of the wall from the attic.
posted by llc at 2:19 AM on November 29, 2010

Best answer: In contrast to some other advice here and in the previous thread, I would first drill through the mortar. This for two reasons.

If there's nothing behind the wall, then you have not yet ruined your nice brick work. A drill hole in mortar is easy to re-point or hide, as opposed to holes or cracks in brickwork as a result of drilling.

[To avoid having your drill 'walk' on you too much, choose your spot carefully and make sure you've adopted a firm, well balanced stance. If the mortar isn't too old, if your masonry bit isn't too blunt, and if you use the 'hammer drill' function on your drill, you should get a decent result] (/pedantic/)

If on the other you find some sort of support behind the brickwork, then you're golden. You should use a nice, long six or seven inch plug and have plenty of piece of mind. Examine the dust on your drill bit carefully to see what kind of stuff is behind the brickwork.

What if there's nothing behind the decorative brickwork? In that case, one would need more information, like the brick depth, quality of the mortar/ pointing, and the amount of empty space behind the decorative wall, before deciding upon the next course of action. Are the bricks real bricks or the ones that are sawn in half?
posted by rudster at 3:39 AM on November 29, 2010

I don't have much to tell you about the brick that you're hoping to mount into, but I've had a TV mount installed into a very old chimney in my house. I'd like to chime in with some comments about the bolts that I used . These are not the wimpy butterfly bolts that you use to hang pictures on the wall. Mine were pretty thick (1/2") and long (6"). To install them, you drill the hole, put the bolt into the hole and then hit the end with a hammer. This causes a pin inside to expand the end inside the wall. Then you complete the installation by tightening a nut on the end. It was something similar to this, but a bit different.

I got mine from a professional chimney repair person who helped me with the installation. I would recommend hiring a professional, since they know more about the brick and they are insured for the work that they do. If your TV falls down in a week because the anchor bolts pulled out they will pay for the replacement.
posted by kookywon at 11:31 AM on November 29, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks all. Kookywon, yes, that is the anchor style I intend to use if I can't get a stud and decide to proceed.

rudster, llc, the brick is, in fact, thin and decorative. the bricks appear to be about an inch deep; so the brick dimensions are about 1x3x18. They look almost like tiles; not so much sawn in half as made with a flat back and rusticated front.

In looking at the way they are laid, I think there must be at least framing and possibly framing and drywall behind the brick. So I will be waving a studfinder over the brick. A testhole trough the mortar sounds like a good idea. I think, in fact, if I am now mounting to studs it may be best in the end to drill through the mortar for the actual mountpoints.

I'm thinking expansion bolts are still the best option for fasteners, if I can determine what the orientation of the studs are.
posted by mwhybark at 11:48 AM on November 30, 2010

Response by poster: also, fwiw, given the thinness of the brick, if I can't get a stud I imagine I will not proceed with a wall mount there.
posted by mwhybark at 11:49 AM on November 30, 2010

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