Building a recessed wall entertainment center

Updated February 21, 2017

Recessed walls are functional and decorative solutions for entertainment centres. Building a recessed wall entertainment centre allows you to enjoy a home theatre display without having your entertainment centre become the focal point of the room. Recessed wall entertainment centres are particularly useful for small apartments or TV rooms that serve dual purposes as sitting or dining rooms.

Measure the recessed wall area in your room. Write down length, height and depth measurements. Measure the distance between the recessed wall and the sitting area where your chairs will be situation, or where you plan to watch TV. Ensure that you have the proper amount of distance between your TV and couches or viewing area by multiplying the diagonal width of your TV screen by one and one-half to three. For example, if your TV's diagonal screen width is 50 inches, place your couches 75 to 150 inches, or 6 1/2 to 12 feet, away.

Examine the wall that you will recess for the entertainment centre. Use a stud finder to locate studs in the wall. Be sure to cut around, and not through, the studs; this will ensure that you do not damage the structural integrity of your wall. Consult an electrician to determine where the wiring runs in your wall. It is imperative that any wires are not disrupted while recessing the wall.

Measure a space that is three inches larger on all sides than the total size of all electronics (e.g., television, DVD player, audio equipment) and furniture (if applicable) that will house the home theatre equipment. Use a reciprocal or circular saw to cut out the area, being careful not to damage any existing wiring in the area.

Knock out the drywall. The depth of the recessed wall will be determined by measuring the deepest electronic and adding six inches to this depth.

Measure the opening. Purchase and custom cut appropriately-sized pieces of plywood to create a top, bottom, back and sides for the recessed wall. Nail the plywood pieces to the exposed wood studs. Consult an electrician to re-route wiring to the space, if necessary, and obtain the electrician's help in creating an electrical socket at the back of the wall to provide electricity for the electronics. Alternative to creating a new outlet, running power cords from the recessed space to the nearest outlet is another option. Please note that this would detract from the seamless and "hidden" effect of the recessed space.

Evaluation whether or not any additional space above of below the area for the TV needs to also be cut out (e.g., to accommodate any electronics you may add to your entertainment system in the future). Follow the above steps to create this additional recessed space, if applicable.

Nail plywood boards into place. Purchase drywall and cut pieces to match the measurements of your space. Nail drywall to the wood with a hammer and drywall nails. Choose a colour of paint that matches your style and preferences and paint the drywall. Read the back of the paint can to determine the appropriate amount of time that you must allow the paint to dry before placing the TV inside of the space. Recognise that this drying step could take up to one day. Place the TV and accompanying devices, or furniture, into the space once the paint has dried.


If you want to add a brand new TV to this project, measure the space you have available on the wall for the TV and take these measurements to your local home theatre or electronics store. Investigate the various LCD or plasma TV screen and projector screen televisions available. You may also consider adding cabinet doors to the recessed wall system you have just created.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Stud finder
  • Plywood
  • Drywall
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Paint
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