Updated April 26, 2021
After searching for unique TV wall ideas I couldn’t find anything that was quite right so I came up with my own design and built it with bleached barn wood.
We have had several different homes in the last 15 years and I have installed about 12 wall-mounted TVs. It’s usually a frustrating task but it is fun to see the results.
Most of the time I’ll go for the modern minimalistic look and install the mounting bracket on a plain wall and hide wires in the wall. I’ll put an electrical outlet behind the TV, feed the HDMI, cable and audio wires down the wall and out to a cabinet at the bottom with all the components etc. Once you decide on the position, you just go ahead and do it, there’s not much else to it.
This time I wanted to try something different, partly because it’s a very large (18′ wide x 20′ high) wall that would dwarf almost any TV. After searching around for some inspiration, I never really found the exact solution that I thought would work. I did see some designs with elements that I liked so I spent some time thinking it out and mocking it up in Photoshop.
I decided that I wanted to build a large floating wall or at least the effect of a floating wall to mount the TV on. Choosing what material to use to build the wall out of was key to deciding the overall design.
I love natural looking woods and really like a lot of the farmhouse decor styles so when I found this bleached barn wood at Home Depot, I was hooked. I knew quickly how the design should look and how big it should be. Everything else I considered after that just seemed lame. When that happens I know I can’t go in any other direction.
After spending quite a bit of time in those first steps, the design came together pretty fast except I struggled a bit on figuring out how to attach it to the wall.
How to attach a floating wall to the existing wall.
I started to get all kinds of complex ideas in my head and using expensive latch mechanisms but when that happens to me, I always stop and think – how can this be done really simple. Then I get excited when I figure out that simple solution. Simple is almost always a better solution and usually much cheaper and easier to execute.
There were several criteria to consider. First I wanted to the wall to have a floating affect. That basically meant meant that the sides would be inset so you don’t really see the sides from a front view. It was also important to be able to easily detach the panel from the wall in case I need to access the wiring in the back.
Dealing with the wiring aspect is much easier than when you try to bury the wires behind drywall. It’s a whole other thing because all you have to do is put holes in the panel behind the TV. Then feed the wires through the hole and hang a power bar that plugs it into the wall. I did of course have to make sure that an outlet was positioned behind the wall.
Then it suddenly came to me. I could just mount 4 blocks of wood onto the drywall and then just use screws from the side going in to those blocks. It turned out that I only needed 4 screws to to this, so if I need to access the wiring in the back, I just have to take out 4 screws and slide the wall out. I was excited about the simplicity and how easy it would be to execute.
The TV Wall Plan
Now that I had the solution to attach the floating wall to the existing wall, the next decision to make was to determine a good size for this floating tv wall. I had a 52″ inch flat screen tv and a sound bar to go underneath it. The TVs actual width is about 48″ wide (52″ is the diagonal dimension). I decided that 6 feet wide would be a good width and 7 feet for the height. I used painters tape to outline those dimensions on the drywall. The proportions looked nice with the TV allowing a nice vertical position for viewing and it would provide a fantastic feature to this enormous blank wall.
In order to make the design really pop I also wanted to add some lighting to it so I planned on building a small valance box at the top where I would put 3 under cabinet light that would provide a nice dimmable spotlight effect over the TV.
It felt good so I proceeded with my plan and it was time to go shopping to get the materials.
Materials to Build the Floating TV Wall
Here is the list of materials used to build the floating wall (all purchased at Home Depot):
You will need a large clear area to layout the wall on the floor. You could keep all the boards the same length and have solid rows but I decided to give the barn boards a brickwork pattern. I made all the lengths 6 ft. wide, then I laid the boards face down and marked the backs to cut them at random widths so each row would have 2 pieces to give it that staggered brick pattern.
I numbered each piece so I wouldn’t get them mixed up. After cutting each piece with a Skil Saw I put the puzzle back together and put boards over the seems and put 1 ½” screws in to hold the boards in place.
Then I made a frame on the back using the 1 x 4″ barn boards. The frame is inset 8 inches from all sides. This is what provides the floating effect and the TV wall will look like it is standing 4 inches away for the existing wall. Glue the frame to the boards and use lots of screws. They are all coming from the back so the front will have no visible screw holes.
Stand the wall up and put it into the desired position against the wall. Looks awesome right? Don’t admire it too much and forget that it’s not attached. It will fall hard.
You should have somebody hold it up for you or find an object that will. Then put a pencil marks on the wall and the frame that are 12 inches from the top and bottom of the frame on the back. Do this on both sides so you have 4 pencil marks. Lay the TV wall down on the floor again.
Now cut 4 pieces of 2×4″ that are about 4″ long. Drill 2 holes diagonally on each of these and using good wall anchors, secure these blocks to the drywall that are 1 inch to the right of the pencil marks on the left and 1 inch to the left of the pencil marks on the right side. This is so that the blocks will be on the inside of the frame when you move the wall back into position.
Put the TV wall back up and slide into position. The secure it to the wall by putting one screw into the side frame at the spot you pencil marked so that the screws go into the blocks you just installed. It should be nice and solid.
Now you just have to build the small valance at the top and put the lights in.
Attach a 1″ x 4″ piece on the top of the wall so it sticks out from the front. Then attach another one to that to create the front face. Then cut 2 small blocks and put them on the sides.
Once you have the light valance built, get your TV wall bracket and position it where you want it. Then drill a 1 inch hole near the top and middle of the bracket. This is where you will feed the wires through.
Mount your sound bar, Cable receiver, Apple TV or any other components with brackets behind the TV. Get everything wired and test to make sure they are working. If you mounted the TV, I would suggest taking it off again. Then move the wall back into position, secure it with screws on the side frame.
Mount the TV onto the bracket and your job is done. Enjoy your beautiful Barn board TV Entertainment feature wall.
Below are some of the ideas I came across while looking for inspiration: