Televisions and fireplaces often serve as the focal point in many living rooms.
It’s understandable why one would want to mount their television over the fireplace – it’s a great space saver and brings together two central elements of the room.
But this setup could also spell trouble for your precious flat-screen.
Heat from the fireplace can cause significant damage to your television, potentially shortening its lifespan or even causing it to malfunction.
Some experts advise keeping your television as far away from the fireplace as possible, but that might not always be feasible, especially if you’re working with limited wall space.
So, what can you do to protect your television from the heat of your fireplace? Here are five strategies to consider.
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1. Install a Mantle or Projection Above Your Existing Fireplace
One of the most effective ways to prevent excess heat from reaching your TV is by installing a mantel or projection above your fireplace.
According to hearthnhome.com, this protrusion should extend at least 2.5 inches from the wall to effectively block the heat.
A mantel isn’t just functional; it can also serve as an aesthetic addition to your room.
This structure, which extends from the wall above the fireplace, can be decorated to match the rest of your interior decor, making it a stylish and practical investment.
2. Consider Alternative TV Placements
If the heat from your fireplace is simply too high, you might want to consider placing your TV somewhere else.
There are several alternatives to mounting your TV over the fireplace, such as using stands, tables, or other sections of the wall that are further from the heat source.
Another option is to place your TV in a corner of the room.
This allows you to keep a safe distance from the fireplace while still ensuring that all your furniture is facing in the same direction for optimal viewing.
3. Determine Your TV’s Heat Tolerance
Before you decide on a spot for your TV, it’s crucial to understand its heat tolerance.
You can usually find this information in the instruction manual that came with your television or by contacting their customer service.
Once you know the maximum operating temperature for your TV, you can measure the wall’s heat where you plan to install the TV.
If the temperature exceeds the recommended limit, you might have to reconsider your plans or find ways to reduce the heat.
4. Keep a Safe Distance Between the Fireplace and the TV
The distance between your fireplace and TV plays a significant role in protecting your electronic device from heat damage.
A minimum clearance of 20 inches with a mantel is generally recommended. Also, allow at least 7-8 inches of space from the top of the mantel to the bottom of your TV.
Besides safety considerations, the height at which you mount your TV also impacts your viewing comfort.
Placing it too high might cause you to tilt your head upward when watching, leading to potential neck strain. Therefore, try to hang your TV no more than 65 inches off the ground.
5. Consult a Professional If Necessary
If you’re unsure about safely mounting your TV above the fireplace, don’t hesitate to consult a professional.
A qualified contractor can assess your fireplace’s heat output and recommend suitable solutions to protect your TV. However, remember to vet your contractor properly to ensure their advice is reliable and trustworthy.
5 Crucial Things to Consider Before Hanging a TV Over a Fireplace
Mounting a TV over a fireplace does more than save space; it creates a dual focal point that enhances the aesthetics of your room.
However, before you proceed with this arrangement, there are some crucial factors you need to consider.
1. Check the Surface Temperature
If you plan to enjoy a cozy fire while watching TV, ensure the surface where you intend to hang your TV doesn’t exceed the temperatures specified in your TV’s technical specifications.
Excessive heat can compromise your TV’s lifespan and potentially void its warranty.
To check the surface temperature, use a thermometer taped to the wall or fireplace face when a fire is blazing in the hearth.
If it exceeds the recommended temperature, you might need to rethink your TV-over-fireplace idea.
2. Test the Viewing Angle
The viewing height is another critical factor to consider when mounting a TV. Ideally, the television should be at the eye level of seated viewers.
Unfortunately, this might not be possible over a fireplace, especially if you have a high mantel.
You can test the viewing angle by taping a paper template the size of your TV to your preferred location.
If staring at the template for a while causes neck strain, you may need to rethink your placement or invest in a mounting system that allows you to tilt the TV for better viewing angles.
3. Understand the Risks of Neck Strain
Placing your TV too high above the fireplace might lead to uncomfortable viewing angles, resulting in neck strain over time.
If you can’t lower the TV, consider a tilting mount that can adjust the screen’s angle to your viewing position. Ensure that the tilt doesn’t expose the TV to more heat from the fireplace.
4. Monitor the Temperature
Even after taking all these precautions, it’s essential to keep an eye on the temperature around your TV, especially when the fireplace is in use.
Heat-sensing handles or digital thermometers can help monitor the temperature and alert you if it’s getting dangerously high for your TV.
5. Keep Your TV’s Hardware Safe from Overheating
Remember that the heat from the fireplace can affect not just your TV but also other related hardware like cables and digital boxes.
Ensure these components are well insulated or placed away from the heat source to prevent damage.
Properly Mounting a Large TV Over a Small Fireplace: Step-by-Step Guide
If you’ve decided to go ahead with mounting your TV over the fireplace, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you do it safely and effectively.
Choosing the Right TV Mount for Over the Mantel
The first step is choosing the right mount for your TV. It should be sturdy enough to hold your TV’s weight and adjustable to allow you to change the viewing angle as needed.
A tilting mount can be particularly useful if the TV will be mounted higher than eye level.
Preparing for Installation
Once you have the right mount, locate the wall studs using a stud finder. This is where you’ll secure the TV mount for maximum stability.
Assess the surface material of your wall as well – whether it’s brick, stone, or drywall – as this will determine the type of screws or anchors you’ll need for installation.
Step-by-Step Guide to Mounting a TV Above a Fireplace
Begin by positioning the TV mount correctly on the wall, ensuring it’s level and at an ideal height for viewing. Secure the mount to the wall using the appropriate hardware.
Once the mount is secure, attach the TV to the mount following the manufacturer’s instructions. Remember to double-check all connections for safety.
Ensuring Safety and Comfort While Watching TV
After installing the TV, consider installing a mantel to help deflect heat and smoke away from the device. Additionally, adjust the height and angle of the TV for optimal viewing comfort.
Keep in mind that watching TV at an awkward angle can lead to neck strain over time.
After installing your TV above the fireplace, monitor the temperature regularly to ensure it doesn’t exceed your TV’s heat tolerance.
Use heat-sensing handles or a thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature near your TV, especially when the fireplace is in use.
FAQs about TVs over Fireplaces
Can your TV be bigger than your fireplace?
Yes, but it might look visually unbalanced. A larger TV might also be closer to the heat source and therefore more susceptible to heat damage.
What size TV looks good over a fireplace?
This largely depends on the size of your fireplace and the distance from your viewing area. As a rough guide, a 55-65-inch TV usually works well above a fireplace.
How high should a 55-inch TV be mounted above a fireplace?
The bottom of the TV should ideally be 7-8 inches above the mantel. However, this might need to be adjusted depending on the heat from your fireplace and your viewing comfort.
Can a TV be bigger than a mantel?
Yes, but like a TV bigger than the fireplace, it might look visually unbalanced.
In conclusion, while mounting a TV over a fireplace can save space and create a visually pleasing setup, it requires careful planning and execution to protect your television from potential heat damage.
Always consider the heat output of your fireplace, the heat tolerance of your TV, and the viewing comfort when deciding on this setup. And when in doubt, consult a professional to avoid costly mistakes.