DIY Network

Creating a Home Theater

This DIY Basic will provide tips on creating a home theater.

More in Home Improvement

Watch an Overview Video

Gather Your Materials and Tools

Materials and Tools:

two rows of 3 or 4 media seats
graph paper or computer software
measuring tape
2x4s
3/4-inch plywood
2 1/2- and 1 1/2-inch wood screws
3-inch angle irons
3/8- x 4-inch carriage bolts
3/8-inch nuts
carpet
tacks
hammer
power drill
wrenches
screwdriver
circular saw
carpenter's level

Draw a Floor Plan

Media seating and controlled lighting can turn an ordinary TV room into a real theater.

Draw floor plan on graph paper or with computer software. For two rows of seats, you’ll need 16 feet or more of floor space. First row of seating should be floor level at least 6 feet from screen wall; allow 32 inches for depth of seats. Second row is raised level; make it deep enough to accommodate seats plus 34 inches for access and legroom, at least 66 inches total.

Raised level should be 6 inches high. Allow space for center aisle, if necessary.

Build the Platform

Build flat frame of 2x6s the dimensions of second-row platform.

Attach cross supports on 16-inch centers along length and width of frame.

Reinforce corners with angle irons.

Cover top with 3/4-inch plywood with screws on 6-inch centers.

Tip: Construction adhesive will keep platform from squeaking.

Cover platform with carpet.

Install the Media Seats

For authentic theater effect, paint walls black.

Install first row of media seats on floor and second row on platform. Think about sets of three or four seats fastened together.

Tips: Media seats with cup holders and/or consoles with storage will eliminate need for side tables. Media seats with built-in ground lighting will eliminate need for low-voltage lighting on platform.

Install the Lights and TV

Install remote-controlled dimmers on lights to adjust lights without leaving your seat.

Hang giant-screen TV with surround-sound system.

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