Should You Mount a TV Above a Fireplace?

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For every person, tv is one of the things to buy for a new house no matter the size. But once you buy it, the main problem comes with the appropriate place to mount it for a perfect viewing experience. 

Mounting a TV above a fireplace is not something new. You can see lots of homeowners doing that in their homes and even offices. But have you ever thought about the possible implications of mounting your television set over an open fire? Mounting your TV above a fireplace is both bad and good. 

It’s good because it saves you space, but it can cause damage to your television set as well as health problems. If you’re thinking of mounting your TV above the fireplace, you should know that certain aspects need to be considered before doing so. Read below to understand.

Is it Okay to Mount a TV above a Fireplace?

Mounting a TV above a fireplace is more of a viewing experience and user comfort than with the damage to the electronics. In some cases, the fire might become hot enough and surpass the safe temperature range of your equipment’s internal electronics and the lower part of the casing.

Pros of Mounting a TV Over a Fireplace

Creates a complete Entertainment and Lounging Area

The main pro for mounting a TV above a fireplace is the all-in-one experience it provides. By mounting the TV directly above the fireplace, you are creating an entertainment and lounging area all in one. This can be great when you have guests over and want to create a space where they can gather and watch television together while enjoying the aesthetics of crackling fire.

Saves Space

Having television and fireplace streamlined in one place can also be great for tight space. Mounting the TV above the fireplace eliminates the need for a separate television stand, which can take up precious square footage in your home. 

Great Focal Point

When you mount your TV above the fireplace, it becomes the room’s main focal point. First and foremost, people will notice the fireplace; however, after spending time in your home, they’ll begin to appreciate all of the hard work that went into creating an entertaining space.

Cons of Mounting a TV Over a Fireplace

Uncomfortable Viewing Angle

You may need to adjust your viewing angle to see your screen if it’s not at eye level. Viewing distance will also be somewhat restricted. You don’t want to feel like you’re inside an interrogation room

TV May be at Risk of Irreparable Damage

If you cannot heat the fireplace properly, your television may be at risk of becoming damaged. The heat from the fireplace can cause the TV screen to warp over time, ruining the viewing experience.

It Might be Difficult to Hide Cords and Cables

Connecting your TV to a power supply or a media hub can become a challenge. You may need to build a custom wire-management system for your entertainment area to hide the cords and cables from view.

Why Mounting a TV Over a Fireplace is a Bad Idea

Heat is Not Great for Electronics

It’s advisable not to mount a TV above a fireplace because electronics and heat don’t mix. And the area above the fireplace is often larger than other wall surfaces in your home. When TVs and other devices are exposed to high temperatures, they become susceptible to mechanical failure, which can also sustain lasting damages to inner components. 

The damage looks much greater for TVs installed above wood-burning fireplaces. In this case, your TV could accumulate buildup from the particles distributed by the smoke emitted by the burning wood. Even if you store your TV inside an entertainment cabinet, a sooty film can build up on the screen over time.

For example, a gas fireplace can generate 20,000 to 35,000 British thermal heat units per hour. This means that it will take approximately 15,000 BTUs per hour to heat an entire 1,400 square foot house during winter. Excess heating can also lead to the development of phenols, pyroligneous acid, wood vinegar, and other caustic compounds due to the combustion of the shorting circuits.

You can Mount a TV above an Electric Fireplace

When it comes to electric fireplaces, you have a few different mounting options. Because they don’t produce any heat, you can mount your TV above them without worries. In fact, this is a popular way to set up electric fireplaces because it allows you to enjoy the flames without worrying about any safety hazards.

To ensure the wall above an electric fireplace is safe, perform a thermometer test to ensure your wall doesn’t get warm. Natural gas fireplaces are also cooler to the touch than wood-burning fireplaces. If you have a natural gas fireplace, you should use a mantel to hide the flames and make it look more like a traditional fireplace.

TV Height and Viewing Angles Can be Difficult to Get Right

The height of a fireplace mantel can interfere with your home entertainment setup and overall enjoyment. This is a primary concern you need to consider before installing a TV above your fireplace. If you’ve ever had to sit in the front row of a movie theater, then you are probably left with eye strain, neck pain, and even headaches from looking up at the screen. 

This same effect can occur if you’re watching a TV mounted above a fireplace. The most comfortable viewing of television should be when the bottom of the TV is at eye level. The best angle to watch TV is at the eye angle when you’re sitting down. This way, you can relax without having to strain your neck when looking up for an extended period.

How do you factor in the screen size equation? This depends on personal preference but makes sure the screen is in the correct position to help reduce eye strain and create a better viewing experience for your guests. A lack of focus on what you’re watching can also be a problem caused by being forced to look up when watching TV. 

While a full motion articulating wall mount can help to angle the screen downward, you’ll still be forced to tip your head back when watching TV.

Mounting and Wiring Might be a Challenge

If the screen is raised above the fireplace, that needs to be factored into the equation. A good rule of thumb for mounting a TV above a fireplace is that you want to have 12″ above your line of sight. This distance can vary based on eye level and the size of the TV. If increasing the height, make sure it’s done in proportion.

Also, if opting for a flat-screen TV above the mantel, make sure it’s at least 18″ away from the edge to avoid corner image distortion. If mounted too close, corners will appear smaller than the center of the screen, which can be annoying.

Dancing Flames May Distract from the Cinematic Experience

Despite the beautiful and gentle flames it can be, having a fireplace directly underneath your TV can be distracting for some viewers. This issue is debatable, but it all trickles down to your opinion.

Make sure you find a balance and identify what works best for you and your guests. Note that many people prefer quiet, romantic movies while flames dance beneath the screen as it can not only complement but enhance the cinematic experience. If you value premium picture quality, then a fireplace underneath the TV isn’t conducive for a cinematic experience.

When is Mounting a TV above a Fireplace Acceptable

While there are potential drawbacks of mounting a TV above a fireplace, if you follow the right recommendations and choose the right technology with proper installation conditions, you can enjoy the benefits of both entertainment features.

Make Sure Your Fireplace Has a Cool-Touch Feature

One of the key things to consider before mounting a TV above a fireplace is whether or not your fireplace has a cool-touch feature. If it doesn’t, you run the risk of the television overheating and potentially causing a fire.

Cables and Outlines are Already Available

Many homes already have wiring in place for this project. So if you have this set up in your space, it’s likely that all you’ll need is a new TV mount and some additional cables.

If You Have a Tight Space

When you’re looking to maximize your small living room and bring in as many functions as possible, mounting your TV above your fireplace is a great way to do it. This will free up fireplace wall space for other bookcases, furniture, and wall art. Just be sure to factor in the height of your fireplace when deciding where to mount your flat-screen TV. You don’t want it to be so high that the top of the screen is an eyesore.

Fireplace Spaces to Mount a TV

Mounting TV above Brick Fireplace

If your fireplace is made of brick, you’ll need a special type of mount that can accommodate the uneven surface. There are a number of these specialty mounts on the market, or you could hire a professional installer to help with the installation. Many homeowners are surprised by how easy it is to hide wiring when mounting a TV above a brick fireplace.

Mounting TV above Brick Fireplace
Image credit: https://blog.puls.com/

Mounting a TV on a Stone Fireplace

If you have that stunning stone fireplace, such as marble, you’ll need the amount that can be attached to the wall behind. You should choose a mount with enough flexibility to accommodate the spacing between stones and other irregularities on the surface.

Mounting a TV on a Stone Fireplace
Image credit: https://homeaffluence.com/

Mounting a TV Over a Wood Burning Fireplace

Wood fireplaces emit more smoke than any other alternative, so consider your mount options carefully. If your fireplace is open, you can use a traditional wall mount. If your fireplace is enclosed, you might need to use a special mount that hangs down from the ceiling and attaches to the back of the TV. If you’re concerned about your TV, move away from a traditional wood fireplace to a gas unit.

Mounting a TV Over a Wood Burning Fireplace
Image credit: https://thehometheaterdiy.com/

Mounting a TV above a Gas Fireplace

Mounting your TV above the gas fireplace seems more straightforward than other alternatives. There are many different design styles available to suit your tastes.

Mounting a TV above a Gas Fireplace
Image credit: https://southcharlotteservices.org/

Final Thought on Mounting a TV Above a Fireplace

So, should you mount a TV above a fireplace? Yes, with the right professional help and correct measurements, you can mount your TV above the fireplace. Also, think creatively when figuring out the right spot for your large screen TV, and make sure you have your TV mounted with a warranty to enjoy a dream fireplace.

 

 

Kristina Perrin

Kristina Perrin

Kristina is a stay-at-home-mom and an expert chef. When she's not cooking or experimenting with new recipes, you can find her writing about her favorite kitchen appliances on Kitchen Infinity blog.

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