The last time I reviewed a TV wall mount in this pages, I seriously thought (hoped) it would be the very last time I reviewed a mount in these pages. Because, really, what else is there to say about mounts? They bolt to the wall. That’s five words. Some of them have fancy swiveling counterweight mechanisms and such, and that’s all well and fine, but I might be able to squeeze another couple of sentences out of even the most sophisticated mounting system, at best.
The beauty of the Installation Friendly TV Cleat Mount is that, for all its simplicity, it’s no simpler than it needs to be.
But then furniture designer Anthony Lozano sent me a sample of his new TV Cleat Mount a few months back, and I changed my mind. What is there to say about the TV Cleat Mount? Honestly, not much. Conjure in your mind the simplest TV wall mount you can imagine. Now simplify it by at least 50 percent. No, seriously, you’re still overthinking this. The TV Cleat Mount consists of an aluminum wall cleat (a flat plank of metal that has been bent into what looks like a checkmark when viewed on end), two TV cleats (which bolt into the upper VESA mounting holes of the TV to be mounted), and an assortment of screws and bolts and drill bits and drivers.
Installation is a matter of bolting the wall cleat to the wall, the TV cleats to the TV, grunting a little, and congratulating yourself on a job well done. And really, there’s not much more to say about the process. It’s so simple, you’ll scratch your head and wonder why someone else didn’t think of it first.
Actually, someone else did. This is pretty much the exact same cleat mounting system that museums have been using to hang the largest and most treasured paintings for practically forever, redesigned for use with TVs.
So, what’s left to say? How about the incredible amount of design ingenuity that went into concocting such a simple mounting system? Because I’ve tried other simple mounts recently–the ones that consist of basically a metal cord that hangs on the wall and two cups that attach to the TV, and which probably work fine for itty bitty LED TVs. But an attempt to hang my 50-inch, 60-pound Panasonic plasma with such a system resulted in two hands full of falling plasma and a floor full of busted sheetrock.
The beauty of the Installation Friendly TV Cleat Mount is that, for all its simplicity, it’s no simpler than it needs to be. It hangs onto that 50-inch plasma like a champ, but would work just as well (the exact same SKU, mind you) for much smaller TVs, down to 32 inches. And it’s rated for any flat panel up to 55 inches (although I strongly suspect it could handle more).
It’s also designed such that, even if your studs aren’t centered exactly where you want the TV, there’s plenty of wiggle room to maneuver the set right where you want it. In lifting and repositioning my plasma, it struck me that the amount of grip provided by the Velcro on the wall cleat and TV cleats–and the force required to separate the two–feels pretty much exactly perfect. I mentioned this to Anthony in an offhand manner when he called to ask me for first impressions, and I could practically hear him grinning over the phone. As it turns out, he and his team put a lot of thought and a lot of work into tinkering with the width of the wall cleats (thereby changing the amount of Velcro-on-Velcro action that results from the mounting process), until it was wide enough to be secure, but not so wide that it wouldn’t disengage with a good solid lift. The little things like that, which will probably go unnoticed by most, make all the difference in the world.
Speaking of the world, the TV Cleat Mount is made right here in our corner of it. You’d expect something this simple (and inexpensive) to be manufactured overseas, but it’s designed and built in the USA. (Well, the People’s Republic of California, but close enough.) That’s actually kind of a big deal, as I discovered when the bolts included with my pre-retail package weren’t long enough to reach into the ridiculous VESA-hole recesses of Samsung’s new 3D LED TVs. I called Anthony and told him as much, and the next day a box arrived with a new (retail) Cleat Mount System, complete with long-enough bolts. Try that with a company that relies on offshore manufacturing.
As of right now, Anthony doesn’t have a distribution system for his TV Cleat Mount, but he does give nice discounts off the $55.89 MSRP if you order directly in bulk (starting at 20 percent off for a box of 10, all the way up to 50 percent off for a full pallet of 240). He also has a really neat on-wall Wiring Solution for those tricky installs where you can’t run the wires behind the wall. But for not having much to say, I seem to have used up my allotted word count, so you’ll have to look into that one yourself.
The Installation Friendly TV Cleat Mount is simplicity at its best—a non-tilting, nonmotorized TV wall mount boiled down to its absolute essence. For such a simple apparatus, it’s incredibly strong and flexible, though.
• For all 32- to 55-inch flatpanel TVs up to 600mm
VESA width • Rated for 60 pounds maximum
• Hardware included for walls with wood or metal studs with 14” to 24” oncenter spacing
• Rubber wall spacer included