How to Hang a Projector Screen

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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The number one perk of having a projector is that it is better than a TV in terms of cost, image size, and picture quality. So now that you have joined the bandwagon, we’ll show you how to hang a projector screen for the best viewing experience.

Considerations to Make Before You Hang Your Projector Screen

Before you hang your projector screen, there are a few considerations you need to make. They include:

1. Hanging From the Ceiling, Wall, or Outdoors

You may mount your projector screen from the ceiling, wall, or outside. If your projector screen is too heavy, consider mounting it from the ceiling and not the wall. Another alternative would be to place the wall mounting bracket close to the ceiling.

2.Hanging From a Drywall

Hanging a projector screen from a drywall may also not be safe. If the screen size is large (more than 60 pounds), you might need to screw sturdy ceiling joists and wall mounting brackets. You may still need to drill wooden supports and ceiling plates to safely hoist the projector screen.

3. Using Ceiling Plates

Ceiling plates also help maintain a minimalist ambiance, as the screen can be kept out of sight. The projector screen slides up and down the ceiling plate at the tap of a button.

4. White Sheets as an Alternative

Using white sheets as projector screens also works. The fabric should be high quality and without wrinkles. A thick, opaque sheet is best. If you paint your wall white to function as the projector screen, you can obtain the necessary materials and tools from the local hardware store.

people sitting in front of a white sheet projector screen showing motion pictures

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5. Projector Screen Placement

As you determine the right spot for your projector screen, ensure the location is not in direct light; the room should have ambient light spread in all directions. Avoid using the projector screen as a curtain for your windows or blinds because the screen material might not withstand the sunlight.

6. Projector Placement

Your projector placement also matters while setting up; it should neither be too close nor too far. The projector should be placed directly ahead of the screen without tilting. Of course, it should be close to the power outlet.

Steps to Hanging a Projector Screen

Hanging projector screens should be easy. You can convert it into a fun DIY process that will save you on costs that would have been spent on a contractor’s services for the installation job. The steps are as follows:

Step 1: Taking Measurements

A hanging projector screen should be accessible to everyone and from every angle. Projectors presently have some of the best viewing distances and angles in the market. These measurements should be accurate to ensure the most appropriate height. The room size also matters to ensure the viewing distance and throw ratio are proportional.

    1. Eye line distance

First, measure the distance from the floor to your eye when seated. Assume you already have your hanging projector screen, or if it is mounted on the wall. You should clearly tell where you will see the screen best from a sitting position. Typically, your eye line, which is the distance from the floor to your eye, is between 42 and 48 inches.

Knowing this distance is important so you can divide your screen size. At least a third of the screen should be the same length as the eye line. The remaining two-thirds will be used as the watch screen.

family sitting in the forest on deck chairs with  their little daughter and watching movie on projector

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    1. Throw Distance

Read your projector’s instruction manual to know what specifics to ensure, such as the throw distance. The throw distance is the space between the projector screen and the projector.

Setting up the projector screen at the appropriate height may also be daunting. Online calculators help you calculate the throw distance and ratio depending on the brand you are using.

The farther the projector is from the screen, the larger the image size. Knowing that this distance is proportional is key in determining the best location for your projector screen. You may use your projector’s zoom feature to ensure the image fits the screen, but having it set at the best distance will give you a better edge.

descriptive image explaining throw distance and throw ratio

    1. Throw Ratio

Here is where another important term comes in: throw ratio. It is the width of the image displayed on the screen as a proportion of the throw distance. So, for example, if your projector’s throw ratio is 2.0 and the image width is 7.5 feet, you should ensure the throw distance is 15 feet.

Some projectors are short-throw in that they will be mounted 1 or 2 feet from the screen—these work best for screens being mounted from walls or limited spaces.

    1. Vertical Lens Shift

Some projectors will allow you to change the height of the image (either up or down). This is called the vertical lens shift. Moving the projector to different heights before installing it will give you an accurate height.

Both vertical and horizontal lens shift help to correct image resolution. Using the keystone correcting feature on your projector may reduce the resolution.

Step 2: Installation

Now that you have all your measurements figured out, it’s time to install your projector screen from the ceiling. Since this is a DIY project, you will need suspended ceiling kits. The kit contains main runners, wires, cross tees, and all other necessary parts. It can be found at any local hardware store.

wall mounting brackets

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Always go for the highest quality when purchasing the items you need for installation. Durability stumps over cost every time.

    1. Setting up the Projector Screen

You will need to ensure the projector screen is well-fitted to be installed from the ceiling or the wall. The steps are as follows:

    1. Clean the ceiling or wall and ensure a clear working surface.

    1. Install the mounting brackets onto the projector screen.

    1. Fix the screen on the brackets firmly.

    1. Hanging the Projector Screen From the Ceiling

You will need a ladder if you hang the screen from the ceiling. Have someone else nearby in case of an accident, and to make it easier to pass tools to you. Follow other safety instructions to keep yourself and everyone around you safe.

proector screen attached to wall hanging from ceiling in restaurant-type setting

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Once up, use a stud finder to identify where the ceiling joists are. Finding the ceiling joints connected to the wood above drywall ceilings provides more stability.

Next, place the brackets on the ceiling joists centrally to ensure sturdiness. Using a pencil, mark the points where the screws will pass through the brackets. Drill holes vertically so that the screws enter in a straight position.

Securely fix the bracket to the ceiling stud using eyebolt screws. The benefit of using eyebolt screws is that they provide increased stability and anchorage.

Repeat the procedure for the other side of the bracket. Then fix the projector screen to the brackets firmly. You can use bracket extensions to bring the screen lower or higher if the need arises.

    1. Mounting the Projector Screen on the Wall

Assuming you have the right measurements, you can decide the most appropriate height for wall mounts. Mounting from the wall may be easier than from the ceiling because all you need is to set the mounting brackets correctly.

projector screen attached to wall in living room

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Using a stud finder, go over the drywall and mark where it beeps. The identified part of the stud wall will be used to fix the wall mounts. Ensure that the marks are parallel to the ceiling so that projection will be clear.

The next step is to drill holes into the wall where the eyebolt screws will be. They will secure the mounting brackets that will hold the screen. Ensure the screen is secure and will not drift to the side or fall off.

You may hide the projector wires using cable tunnels or tucking them down behind crown molding. Roaming wires may not be a pretty sight to behold. Besides, they may be generally distractive.

    1. Setting up the Projector Screen Outside

You may want to set up your projector screen outdoors for the perfect night out. It might be difficult to watch clear images during the day due to excess light from the sun, but during the night, the viewing experience only gets better.

projector screen set outdoors at night in front of a couch

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It would be best if you had a portable projector which you’ll move to your garden or preferred outdoors. It should have a decent sound system and a reliable battery that will only sometimes rely on the main power source.

Selecting the best spot to fix your projector screen is the next step. Next, consider the fence or the wall. The installation process is similar to hanging from the ceiling or wall.

Ensure that the screen is projected firmly due to vagaries of nature such as wind or rain. Also, it should not be too low so pets can play with it. Another alternative is to include screen weighing always to keep the screen firm.

Picture a ship’s sails. They are made of lightweight material and will move at the slightest force. Therefore, having weights or staking them to the ground is critical.

Key Takeaways

family enjoying movie playing on projector screen

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Instruction manuals may be tough to decipher sometimes. While the language may be quite easy to follow, the stereotype that manuals are difficult may cloud perception remains. We do not claim to be an exception.

hang projector screen in living room

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Therefore, to make things easier, we have compiled this section of the main takeaways from our article. We hope that this list is complete.

    • Hang projector screens can either be from the ceiling, wall, or outdoors.

    • You will need to purchase tools and items from the hardware store, such as suspended ceiling kits, wall paints, white sheets, hooks, bolts, and wall mounting brackets.

    • Take measurements of the eye line distance, throw distance, throw ratio, screen size, and screen height.

    • The projector screen should be placed at a good viewing angle and viewing distance.

    • The projector screen should be firm and well-supported.

Again, read your projector’s manual. It holds valuable information that could save you time.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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