How To Build A Home Theater Seating Platform (Easy DIY Process)

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By searching this question on the web, I am fully confident that you are serious to take the home theater experience to the next level and that you are curious about how to build the seating platform.

At A Glance: The home theater seating platform consists of two parts one is the home theater Riser platform and the second is a set of nice theater seats. The rising platform can be purchased or can be built by you or hire a contractor to build it.

You can also eliminate the need for a riser.  All of these methods are discussed in this article.  Read more.

Let’s dive deep into the building of the home theater sitting platform.

The Seating Platform Consists Of

  1. A home theater riser platform
  2. A set of seats

When And Why Theater Riser Is Needed?

Look when your family size is greater than the front row seats of home theater then you must consider a home theater riser.  Due to this riser, anyone from any row of seats can watch the movie and can enjoy it equally.  If your audience can accommodate in a single row then you don’t need a riser.

Just look into the illustration below to tell you why you need it.

Do you want to know the sweet spot for viewing the display for the best experience? Well! Then read my this guide about the best distance to sit from the screen.

Before Riser

You can see everyone in the second and third rows is frustrated, they can’t watch the screen properly because the projector’s screen is covered by the heads of the first-row audience.

This will affect the movie experience for them very badly.  If I were one of those people, I will stop watching movies in the home theater again if I repeatedly get a position in the second and third row. 

 Home theater is meant to be enjoyed by everyone in the family because after that you can call it a home theater. It is for everyone in the home to enjoy it.

After Riser

why theater riser is needed for a home theater

Home theater rises are built for the second and third-row that lifts the seats of those rows a little from the first row.

 It depends on the size of your family to add steps to the riser.

Now the frustrated folks in the second and third-row will be happy because no one is there to cover the screen for them, their seats are on the higher end.

You will also need the best receiver and projector for the best watching experience. Read my these guides for best receiver and best short throw projector

1. Here I Have 4 Ways For You To Get The Riser First

As we have discussed that the platform consists of a riser and seats.

  • DIY Method
  • Buy a Readymade
  • Hire A Carpenter
  • Buy higher seats

The second part will be to buy seats

Don't forget to know about my Fomula below for the best viewing angle for the second row.

1# DIY Method

Whenever there are more than one rows of home theater seating you will have to construct a riser platform to lift the seats in the second or third room. 

How High Should The Riser Be?

Well, it depends on the distance from the screen and the height of the First row. It depends on your seating but normally a lift of 8 to 17 inches will be good. 

But to precisely find that value to make yourself confident about it then follow our theater riser formula in the calculator section.

Calculate the riser height

home theater riser height calculator

There is a simple formula for riser height calculation that will erase all the guesswork during and even before the construction. 

By following this formula the second and third-row audience will clearly see the whole screen of the home theater. 

Alert: The formula was difficult for the users to follow that’s why I created an app that does the calculations for you. Check it here Home Theater Riser Calculator on homelytainment. Then comeback to follow this DIY guide.

To make the result of this formula successful you will assume the same height of the audience in both rows.

 You will adjust the values for shorter and taller people if you want to involve them as an audience.

You should follow the theater riser height value precisely otherwise it will be difficult for the back audience to see the full screen.

Pro Tip: kids can be seated in the front row and parents can sit in the back row.  It will adjust the height problem automatically and also the parents will have their privacy during the movie.

Riser Plans Construction And Installation

Let’s understand it step-by-step through illustration.  I love illustrations because they are easy to understand. 

 First, we will have to attach four planks of wood through nails and make a rectangle to create the base. You should first measure your seats and keep the riser length accordingly.

Now the basic structure of the theater riser is complete.

You can add more steps if you need more height for the riser.  But I am ok without the step as long as I can step on it without any difficulty because it is easy to construct. 

Now install planks of the wood between this rectangle.  These planks will be joists and will support the subfloor.  Leave empty spaces between each set of planks.  This empty space will be used for insulation.

You can also fish speaker wires in this riser for a cleaner room. Know more tips like these from my 15 creative ways to hide home theater speaker wires

Riser Insulation Treatment

When the whole riser is completed, but the insulation is not done right then your movie experience will not be as good as you expected. 

You will experience echo problems in the movie.  It will be really annoying when you feel the vibration under your seat whenever the sound base is higher.

This is the only drawback of the riser that is bad for the movie experience. But don’t worry we can insulate the riser completely. 

Now get insulation material online to stuff it in those empty spaces in the riser.  Now, whenever a sound enters the riser the insulation material will observe it and will eliminate the echo problems. It will also erase the sound vibration in the riser.

Now a layer of vinyl or gym mat on the top of the insulation will help to observe vibration even more.  It is optional but can help to enhance the experience more.

This will also help in the soundproofing theater room and stop the sound reverberation. Read my this guide to completely soundproof the theater room and kill sound reverberation in it by acoustic panels installation.

Subfloor Installation

Now place the Subfloor on top of the joist and on the outer frame of the base structure.

Attached to the joist and the outer frame through nails or screws

Many experts will suggest two layers of subfloor. The second should be layered opposite to the first one. But it is not necessary because a single subfloor layer will do the work.

Riser Carpeting For Awesome Decoration

No one likes seeing a rough wood structure inside the home theater, Only if that is made up of premium wood, or is polished well.

As we have installed a subfloor and usually subfloors are made up of plywood and which is not premium wood. That’s why we will need to carpet it at the end to make everything look good. To make it even better it will be a nice idea to find a carpet for the riser in a matching color to the home theater floor carpet.

This carpet will give one nice touch to the home theater.

2# How To Buy A Readymade Riser & How Much Will It Cost?

You can also buy the riser online but some are costly and some are cheap.

You can find an affordable riser for at least $80.  These risers are carpeted already.  So it will be a good deal if you find them in matching color.

Many people are not comfortable building their own riser or not comfortable with nails and hammers. For them buying a riser will be a nice idea.

There are risers that are built into the seating but these types of risers are expensive.  This is a set of home theater seats that are taller than the front row because the riser is fitted in them.

 With more price, they come with more facilities and give a nice touch to your home theater.  They come with mobile and glass holders and a lighting system is built into them.

3# Hire A Carpenter Locally Or On Craigslist For Building A Riser For You

You can find a contractor to build a home riser for you. 

 In this way, you will have to pay even lesser than buying a riser. 

 You can discuss the concept of your riser with the contractor, so they can tell you if it is possible or not and how much it will cost you.

 You can even find good ideas on Pinterest and show them to your contractor. 

4# Get Higher Seats Than The Front Row Seats

 This section is for you if you are not interested in the DIY process or in hiring a contractor to construct the riser for you.

To completely eliminate the need for a riser you can also buy higher seats than the front row.  Now you don’t have to buy a riser or constructed one. 

 You can follow the riser formula above for buying seats for the second row too.  Because now you will precisely know to buy which height of seats for the second row.

2. Now, Getting A Set Of Seats For The Riser To Complete The Seating Platform

 Now you need a beautiful set of theater seats for the riser.

 There are a variety of options available for home theater seating. 

  1.  You can buy a normal seat with a soft cushion.
  2.  You can buy a couch for yourself.
  3.  You can even go and buy high-end theater seating for yourself. 
  4. I have talked about this theater seating concept of holders for your mobile and glass. These high-end seating come with a built-in woofer and lighting system. Some even come with massage facilities.
  5.  You can also consider bean bag chairs for a cozier and more comfortable experience.

 There are many alternatives available for your theater setting to consider.  You can also come up with your own idea for the seating.

Did you get something out of this DIY Home theater guide? Hold On We Have Something Exciting To Share.

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What Is Stadium Seating In A Home Theater?

Stadium seating is just like a theatre riser, but it is for more than 3 rows.

The Theatre riser consists of single to two steps while stadium seats consist of 3 to many steps. 

 In the home theater, you really don’t need Stadium seating as a theater riser will help.

In-home theater the viewers are usually from 2 to 6 in number.  This amount of audience doesn’t need Stadium seating but a single-step theater riser.

Helpful Resources For The FAQs To Read More

  1. Indulge in the discussion on reddit about DIY home theater risers. Read the responses to get a few tips from them. Read more here about it on the HGTV
This article was first posted on
Ayaan Khan
Ayaan Khan

I'm Ayaan khan, a freelancer and a Computer Science degree holder from P.E.S. College. After my degree, I started an internship with my father in his home theater showroom. After working for a month I realized that this is the best job in the world for me and it could be turned into a passion. Fast forward to when my internship ended, I joined my father as a full-time home theater equipment tester. I test new equipment and approve it before it can be installed in the customer's house. I love to test equipment and sometimes love to install it by myself in the customer's theater room. I have the right experience and knowledge to learn from my articles. In my Free time I write & answer questions here on AVSFORUM. Every Article on Homelytainment is curated according to Homelytainment's Editorial Policy and Sponsorship Policy. If you have any questions for me. Reach out to my email (Support(AT)

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