how-to TV-Unit-Front

Published on January 24th, 2014 | by Chase DeLuca & Ryan Marshall


TV Storage Unit with Integrated Reinforced Television Mount


This hack will reinforce your EXPEDIT TV storage unit with 2x4s, so that it can directly support the weight of a rear-mounted TV.

We live in a rented house, and didn’t want to put giant holes in the wall to mount our 10-year-old 100lb Plasma TV. We bought this TV Storage Unit because the pictures showed a TV floating on a black backboard, and foolishly thought it could support our TV. As it turns out, Ikea expects you to mount your TV to the wall AROUND the furniture.

So the basic premise of our hack was to bring the wall TO the TV Unit, by attaching 2x4s directly to the back.

TV-Unit-Back TV-Unit-Back-bolts TV-Unit-Back-l-brackets TV-Unit-Front-bare

Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 pieces of 2×4, each cut to 58.5″ long.
- Bolts, nuts, and washers, to attach the TV mount to the unit. We used four 3″ 3/8″ bolts, 4 washers, and 4 bolts. (You won’t need these if you use the simple instructions. But we recommend them).
- Between 4 and 8 L-brackets, for attaching the 2×4 to the TV Unit. (We should have bought 8, but made it work with only 4, by using the EXPEDITs included earthquake brackets at the bottom)
- Drywall and Wood screws to attach the L-Brackets to the TV Unit and Wood. Drywall screws are better for Ikea’s particleboard, while wood screws are good for, well, wood.
- A TV Wall Mount and all necessary hardware for your TV
- A power drill, and bits for drilling holes through wood and the particle board

Simple Instructions:
1) Attach the 2x4s to the TV Unit using the L-brackets and screws at both the top and bottom of the unit. Make sure the 2x4s are close enough together to be hidden by the black backboard.
2) Position the backboard in front of the 2x4s.
3) Attach your TV mount by drilling through the particle board and 2x4s, just as you would a regular wall.

More Complicated Instructions
Rather than just drill through the backboard into the 2x4s, we created carefully-aligned holes in both the 2x4s and the backboard, then attached bolts through it all, for extra strength.

1) Attach the L-brackets to the TV Unit, at both the top and bottom. Don’t actually screw into the 2×4 Wood, though (it’s easier to drill the holes for the bolts if the wood isn’t attached). Just get everything nice and tight so that you know exactly where the 2x4s are going to be, and that they won’t shift later (important for keeping the mount level). Make sure the 2x4s are close enough together to be hidden by the black backboard.

2) Measure, Measure, and Measure again! To get your TV to end up right where you want it, you’ll need to reverse-engineer the position of the mounting bolts. Each TV Mount is different, and each person’s preference is different, so this is up to you. My advice is simply that you measure and run your numbers several times to be sure.

3) Mark your holes on the back of the 2x4s, and drill appropriately-sized holes straight through the wood (appropriately-sized for your bolts).

4) Now attach the wood to the L-brackets using wood screws. Make sure everything’s good and tight, and not going anywhere.

5) Position the backboard where you want it. Use a pencil to mark THROUGH the 2×4 holes, where to drill the bolt holes in the backboard.

6) Take the backboard out, and drill its holes. I recommend drilling TINY pilot holes through the back first (where you made your marks). Then use these pilot holes to drill your larger bolt holes, so that you get them exactly right, and so that you can drill the large holes from the front and keep everything looking pretty.

7) Position the backboard back where you want it; line up the holes.

8) Attach the TV Wall Mount using bolts that go through the mount, backboard, and 2x4s. Secure with washers and nuts.

9) Attach your TV to the Wall Mount.

Voila! Your giant, heavy TV is now attached to the beautiful, and now heavily-reinforced Ikea TV Unit!

Now just put some stuff in the bottom cubbies, and it will hide the remainder of the exposed 2x4s.

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8 Responses to TV Storage Unit with Integrated Reinforced Television Mount

  1. Vix says:

    I am thinking about buying this unit but would like to use a tv mount that allows the tv to move can this be done? Or is it better if the tv is flat because of the weight?

  2. Rylan says:

    Another way of doing this, without messing with 2x4s, is what I have written below.

    I recently purchased this exact tv stand. I used snap toggles to hang the uppleva fixed wall mount for 37 to 55 in tvs. I mounted it directly to the center post. Just follow the directions on the snap toggle package and you shouldn’t have any issues mounting a tv bracket directly to the units middle post. You can get snap toggles at Lows for sure. I imagine they could be found at most hardware stores.They come with the bolts required for them to be mounted. You will also need a 1/2 inch drill bit to place the holes in the middle post that you put the snap toggles through. The snap toggles are rated to hold over 200lbs in drywall, they more than work for this project. Happy building.

  3. Jason says:

    Hate to rain on your parade but this shelf is designed to hold over 50 pounds. Reading this made me have a mild heart attack but when you say “Ikea expects you to mount your TV to the wall AROUND the furniture” I guess you mean “Ikea expects you to mount your tv on the backboard unless you have an antiquated and heavy as hell tv”.

  4. iris says:

    Thanks for this article! We successfully/approximately followed your instructions recently, and our final results are up here: ‘Ikea Hack – Mounting Your TV to the LAPPLAND/EXPEDIT’. ‘Looks so much better than sitting on the shelf!

  5. Arlene says:

    The backboard is about 1/2 inch into the tv unit. Did you push the backboard back up against the wood so they would screw directly together, or leave a gap? We were just about to do this when my husband noticed the gap and we don’t see it mentioned anywhere in this set of hack instructions. Thanks :)

    • Chase says:

      @Arlene: Yes! We pushed the backboard up against the wood, and didn’t leave any gap. The backboard ends up being mostly for looks, and is held in place by the bolts of the TV mount. When you’re done, the dowel-holes where the backboard was supposed to be attached at the top and bottom of the unit remain exposed, but in our experience they’re nearly impossible to notice.

  6. Chase says:

    Yeah, if you had a light 20lb TV, you could probably get away with it. 50lbs would make me nervous… it’s only being held in place by a 1/2 screw in flimsy particleboard. 100lbs plus a heavy-duty wall mount was out of the question.

  7. Gus says:

    The website says that the back panel is reinforced to support the weight of a tv…..maybe not a 100lbs plasma but maybe a newer LCD?

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