“It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”
You’ve probably heard that phrase used on the playing field, at work and in school. We think it applies pretty well to an aspect of your television concealment you may not have thought about yet: the lid. It’s an unassuming yet vital part of how the finish of your furniture looks after your lift kit is installed.
We’re going to spend a few minutes talking about the two types of lids you can add to your lift, as well as mods you can apply to get just the right finish you want.
Lid Style #1: The Floating Lid
This style of lid is our most popular. The floating lid is basically what happens when your pro cuts out an opening in your countertop, does the finish work on that piece of countertop and then reattaches that piece to the top of your lift.
So, when the lift descends back down into its concealment, the lid is perfectly cut to fit back into your countertop with ease.
When the lid is back in its home position (flush with the countertop around it), there’s a little space between the counter and the perimeter of the lid. That’s what’s known as a “reveal” … it’s really the only thing that reveals you have a Nexus 21 lift tucked away below the surface.
The reveal is usually about 1/8” thick – that, in most cases, is the width of the saw you or your pro will use to cut the lid out from the counter.
For clients with wood countertops, cabinetmakers usually have the savvy to cut that reveal in half by adding a thin strip of wood around the entire perimeter of the opening. To learn more about the incredible precision that the lift system allows, we talked with Nexus 21 Director of International Sales Ryan Kosterow.
“Cabinetmakers can create a 1/16” reveal because our lifts come down in exactly the same place every single time,” Ryan said. “Other companies cannot offer a floating lid option because their lifts aren’t as precise as ours when they lower, so the floating lid is a huge point of difference for us.”
Laminate and Beveling
Another common finishing touch is using laminate around the edges of the lid. It’s a nice feature because these edges typically get roughed up by the saw blade used to cut the lid. Laying laminate over these saw marks really rounds out the finished, professional look of concealment.
Adding a beveled edge is also a mod we see some of our clients using. In this case, the person cutting out the lid drops the saw blade in at an angle, making the top of the lid a little wider than the bottom.
Beveled or non-beveled, the floating lid always stays above your TV whether it’s stored in your cabinetry/furniture or its fully elevated.
One advantage of this lid style is that you can place picture frames and other decorative pieces on top of the lid. Our lifts are equipped with Soft Start and Soft Stop technology, which means the valuables sitting on your lid won’t be in jeopardy of falling because of jarring movements.
Watch this video to see a great example of a floating lid on a Nexus 21 lift versus a cheap imported lift.
Lid Style #2: The Hinged Lid
Our hinged lids offer you something a little different. Some of our clients prefer to “hide” their lid behind their TV rather than keeping the lid floating above the TV at all times.
To accomplish this look, two things happen. First, you or your professional will cut out the lid and then attach it to the counter with a hinge or hinges. The question here is, “How does the lift open the hinge without clanking it open or making it fall backwards?”
Curved Brackets Make It Happen
This is where the second innovation comes in: our curved hinged-lid brackets. These brackets are made from steel and lined with felt. The curved section of the brackets protrude from the back of your lift. As the TV rises up, those felt lined brackets gently push against the hinged lid and cause it to slowly open up. However, the lid doesn’t open so much that it falls backward.
When your lift descends, the process reverses and the lid slowly closes until its flush with the countertop around it.
Getting it Just Right
The specs we provide with your concealment system show you (or your pro) how to space everything out so the lid is always resting against the felt that lines those brackets.
The measurements here are very specific, which is why Marketing Manager Chris Hargrave pointed out clients receive detailed specs to help them get the geometry right.
“We have detailed dimensional diagrams for both lid styles for every lift,” Chris said. “I would say Both lid styles are very simple for a cabinetmaker to understand. Our instructions are thorough and step-by-step.”
The Safety Factor: What We’ve Designed to Protect Hands and Fingers
Nexus 21 lifts come with several different safety measures to ensure that your kids’ hands don’t get pinched under a descending lid.
If you choose a floating lid for your concealment system, you’ll notice that the lid resets on top of the TV via a pair of tapered pins that extend out from the bottom of the lid and fit into a pair of holes (also known as “nests”) drilled into the platform on which the lid rests.
When someone gets his or her hand under the lid, the lid actually breaks away vertically from the lift because it’s not screwed or anchored into the lift. But because the pins fit pretty snugly into their nests, they restrict lateral movement, which means you don’t have to worry about the lid shifting forward to back or side-to-side.
The breakaway feature isn’t included with hinged lids. Because the hinged lids close slowly and gently, any hands or fingers that get caught under the lid will only feel the pressure of the lid’s weight. The descent of the lid is only powered by gravity, so it stops its closing arc as soon as it bumps up against an obstruction.
Floating or Hinged: Which One Are You Using?
Each of these lifts has their own unique features that can be easily integrated into nearly any countertop or furniture setup. Which lid have you used with your concealment and what made you choose it? Let us know in the comments section below.