This is an easy project. The mount actually comes with decent directions, but many Amazon readers complained that the directions were difficult to follow. Since this is a project that many beginners take on, I'll describe the installation process as simply and vividly as possible. There will be many pictures. And I'll do my best to describe workarounds to help you avoid purchasing or borrowing extra tools.
Basically, my goal is to point friends and family to this 'ible rather than getting roped into doing the project for them. I'd also like to address the needs of the guy who shared the following review. (Holla atcha boy, Jeffrey S. Binford.)
The install instructions were the worst I have ever seen in my entire life. There were extra parts not even listed in the manual, the holes were drilled in the wrong spot, the washers were too small...
This shouldn't take more than an hour and a half. That includes enough time to make two egregious mistakes and one small snafu. Not that you would, but this is a DIY time estimate, and nobody ever believes those. A beginner can easily do this inside of an hour.
Step 1: Tools and Parts
Wall Mount & Television
These are rather important.
You will need to mark your holes. Pencils are good for making erasable marks.
Depending on your wall situation, you may need something special. If your walls are drywall over 2x4s, you'll be fine with any type of drill. If your walls are concrete block or masonry, you might need a hammer drill with a special bit.
Phillips head screwdriver
The one with a pointy cross-looking tip. You'll probably want to drive the screws into your television set by hand. The RPMs from the drill are really hard to control, and you may end up cracking the plastic. The actual mount frame is a little bit fiddly, so you'll want to affix your screws with as much precision and control as possible.
This is part of finding a stud. You'll gently hammer a few exploratory nails into the drywall to determine where the stud is. In order to protect my walls in the process of pulling the nails, I wrapped the head of my hammer with a rubber band.
There is a free level included in the kit. You are, of course, free to use your smartphone or a fancy level if you've got one.
In order to mount the television, you will want to attach it to the frame behind your wall. Drywall isn't strong enough to hold the weight of a television. There are many tools with which you can find studs, but I prefer to use a powerful magnet to find the fasteners in the 2x4s behind the wall. You can make your own by wrapping a strong magnet in masking tape and sliding it across the wall until it sticks to a ferrous fastener behind the drywall. They also sell electronic ones.
The lag bolts that affix the mount to the studs are not slotted. You'll need a wrench to drive them into the stud. I used a socket wrench, but you can use a crescent wrench. You may also use a spanner. For the socket wrench, I used a 10mm and a 1/2 inch socket. (Seriously, you'll be fine with an adjustable crescent wrench here. Don't panic about the tools I used. But you can borrow a socket wrench set at no charge from auto repair stores like O'Reilly's if you really want to use it.)
As part of the stud-finding process, you may want to use a couple of thin nails. You'll stick these into the walls as you try to determine the center of a stud like a nurse trying to find a vein. Finish nails or brads work well. So do the nails that come in picture-hanging kits.