DIY : How to build a support to rest your soundbar atop your TV with
There is nothing like a quick DIY project that can save you money and knock out a neat idea around the house. A question that recently came in challenged us to figure out how one could install a soundbar across the top of a TV regardless of if it hung on the wall or was sitting on its stand. The solution for a setup like this may sound only fit for a very limited crowd, but the idea makes sense, especially if you are trying to minimize your footprint. So, let’s give it a shot!
There are actually some solutions out there via places like Amazon who have all sorts of stuff to satisfy your needs with. Most of them however are for hanging the soundbar below the TV (but attached). There are some we found for storing it on top of your TV, but they were pricey (and we’re talking $30-$40 in a few cases) and in one case not really meant for a soundbar but a cable box instead (which can still work). Some of which simply balanced on top of the TV (sketchy).
Not only will making it yourself be cheaper (in some cases), but you get the self satisfaction of knowing you knocked it out with your own hands. The solution should run you around $10-$12 assuming you don’t shop at an over-priced hardware store, and that you already have the tools in the garage.
What you’ll need
- Some kind of circular/miter saw solution and a blade for cutting thin metal (the tool)
- A single flat bar around 34-inches or greater in length, with plenty of screw holes running down, and holes that will fit the VESA screws on the back of your TV. Here is an example via Home Depot.
- Two (sometimes in packs of 4 or more) metal corner braces. Here is an example of a 3″ solution via Home Depot.
- Four bolts that fit the VESA holes on the back of your TV, typically 1″-1.25″ in length. You can get 4 washers as well if you like as well (optional)
- Four smaller bolts and nuts, and 8 washers. These will fit between the holes, for attaching the corner braces to the bar with.
- (optional) Something to create a non-sleep surface with. You can do this using liquid rubber, a thin sheet of foam from a place like Michaels (arts and craft store) or little rubber feet.
What to do
- Start by measuring the VESA holes on the back of your TV. Most TVs offer VESA mount holes on the back so that you can mount the TV to the wall. Your best bet would be to find a bunch of bolts you might have around the house to see which size fits your specific model. If you find the size, you will need 4 of them and preferably 1″ to 1.25″ in length. Confirm the depth by screwing a screw all the way into one of the holes. Be careful not to apply too much pressure as it only needs to be finger tight (anything more can damage the TV). If you don’t have the right ones, you can obtain them from your local hardware store.
- Measure the distance from the bottom most VESA hole to the top of your TV. Add an extra few inches for any margin of error while your putting things together later. Now times that distance by two.
- Determine/measure the distance between the back of the TV and the back corner of the TV’s bezel. This will tell you what size corner braces you will need.
- Go hit your local hardware store and find the bar, corner braces and all the nuts and bolts.
- Make sure bar is 2x the distance you measured from bottom hole to top of TV plus a few inches. However, if you find a bar that is the perfect distance for the measurement, then buy two, else buy the 2x length one and you will cut it. Also make sure it isn’t super flimsy (this is meant for support after all).
- Make sure the corner braces aren’t too long. A little short is fine, but just the right distance between the back of the TV and the back edge of the bezel is best.
- Make sure the four bolts and nuts for the bar/braces are half the size of the holes, and that the washers are larger than the holes. This gives you some wiggle room later.
- Now if you bought the one large bar, use a saw with a blade capable of cutting thin metal, to create to pieces the size you measured.
- Attach a corner brace to one side of each bar, making sure the 90 degree transition will flatten out as close as possible to the top of the TV’s bezel. If the corner brace reaches the bezel, this will be good as it can rest against the back of it for extra support, else don’t worry. Use the four smaller nuts and bolts as well as the washers to make this happen. This is why you wanted them bolts to be smaller than the hole so you have some wiggle room in case you just barely meet both holes on each. If you only bolted one hole, it won’t be as stable. However, if you wind up only being able to bolt a single hole on each, you can compensate with tape or something to make sure the braces can’t spin.
- Attach the assembled bars to the back of the TV using the four screws for the VESA holes.
- If you are mounting the TV to a wall, then include the wall mounting hardware (start with these bars, then place the wall mount bars over them, and then screw it in). If you go this route, make sure corner braces are on the side of the bar facing the TV so they don’t get in the way of the wall mount bars.
- (Optional) Apply the non-slip solution to the top of the corner braces. This will help prevent the soundbar from sliding around or scratching.
If any of this sounds confusing, just look at the following pictures. We put it all together ourselves to make sure it was possible. The end result was near perfect! We were only able to hit two out of the four VESA holes with the bar in our scenario, so we compensated with two large washers to secure the bottom sections with (we just threw a quick fix at it). The soundbar stays put just fine, and looks great. In the original question that triggered all of this, the Blitzwolf soundbar we recently reviewed a few months ago was used as an example (since it doesn’t have any native mounting support). So we also made sure to use it in our test build as well, matching it to a 40-inch TV.
Of course, you could add to this all you want to increase the stability of it. You can install an extra bar running across the two as a cross-brace, you could increase the coverage area that your soundbar is sitting on, paint everything black so it blends into the back of the TV, and so forth. You can go to town all you want and even pass the pricing of the ones online (only yours would be far more stable in that case).
In the end, it all comes down to your imagination (and your local hardware store).