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Why Your TV Should Never Be Mounted Over a Fireplace

Keep your fireplace going without it going out on you.

Can a tv be mounted over a fireplace? You have probably come across this question or wondered about it yourself. There is no dispute that fireplaces can be the most attractive pieces in a room, especially fireplaces in Toronto we provide, and adding TVs with similarly stunning designs can make them eye-catching. That is why such mountings have become more popular recently, with most people focusing on saving floor space and capitalizing on the potential dual entertainment when the pieces are together.

However, is it OK to put a TV above a gas fireplace? No. Putting TVs over fireplaces has many downsides and impending serious issues that can cost you a lot of money over time. The best option is to compare all the considerations to establish whether the upsides outweigh the downsides.

Why you shouldn’t mount a TV above a fireplace

Such placement is not trendy

Many modern homes have a TV mounting space above the fireplace, but that does not make it a stylish idea. Most design experts are against the idea because it reduces the attraction of the fireplace. You end up with a black rectangular box that does not add any visual appeal to the room when you are not watching. You can change that by buying a TV that doubles as an art piece to maintain the beauty of a fireplace. It does not matter whether you have a TV bigger than the fireplace – the aesthetics become compromised when the TV is off. Additionally, watching the screen with the flames on can be distracting – both present a good view, meaning you must divide your attention between the flickering flames and the ongoing program or show.

Multipurpose screens are costlier and not too many. Only a few renowned brands make them, and the models are also limited. The popular ones, The Serif and The Frame from Samsung, can improve your viewing experience by allowing you to change the screen to imitate the fireplace appearance of any artwork you like.

Higher chances of damage by soot and heat

Smoke or heat do not go well with electronics, yet they are mandatory byproducts when using a fireplace. Placing your TV in line with direct heat shortens its lifespan and increases the chances of breakdowns. You interfere with the value you could get from the TV by mounting it above the fireplace. Soot from the fireplace is even worse because the damage does not happen instantly. The film coating will cover the TV progressively, and you will not notice until it is too late. You incur more losses when the damage happens after the warranty period elapses.

Note: Not seeing soot or smoke when you turn on the fireplace does not mean it is not there. The units emit minimal amounts of particulates that become destructive when combined with the heat from the TV set. Case in point – wood stoves produce enough heat to melt a candle from a few feet away.

The potential damage from heat and smoke is the main reason most experts discourage homeowners from having a fireplace TV wall. Remember, electronic devices require a specific temperature range to function efficiently and reliably. Exposing them to higher temperatures can cause sensitive internal components to degrade sooner. Conductive materials could interfere with the circuitry, rendering your unit useless.

Improper viewing angle

Contrary to popular opinion, mounting a TV above the fireplace does not provide the best viewing experience. The chances of your neck becoming sore from straining to watch images above your eye level are high. Most people do not have a problem with such a setup, but you could still experience discomfort. 

Craning your neck for long periods naturally causes stiffness and can lead to complications like headaches with time. Experts in ergonomics agree that sitting in unnatural positions can have long-lasting effects. When you lift your head for an extended time, the neck muscles do not function properly.

The angle may not be a noticeable problem if the fireplace is low or you recline your seat. Having the fireplace and TV at a distance reduces strain and related complications. However, you could still trigger pain if you had neck issues before, even if you watch at a distance from a reclining position. Having the TV at a lower angle allows you to watch from a natural viewpoint that keeps your muscles relaxed and less prone to injury.

Off-axis picturization

The market has too many LCD and LED TVs that do not provide the best viewing angle when placed higher. LCD screens have tiny windows that shut and open to allow the seepage of the backlight to form an image. That minimizes the viewing angle – moving left, right, or up creates a distorted view because you do not see the light. That is why pictures look worse on LCD monitors if you are not viewing them directly.

The best solution is to have the TV at a direct viewing angle. Other countermeasures for such a problem include investing in mounting brackets that allow you to tilt the screen if you cannot avoid having a fireplace below the TV. That may cost more than having the TV on a flat wall, but it improves the entertainment quality. Alternatively, you can buy an OLED TV, especially the top brands, to enjoy versatile viewing angles.

Should you put a tv over the fireplace?

Getting the best TV matters little if the placement is wrong. The only way to ensure you enjoy your big screen is by mounting it correctly at the right angle – not over the fireplace. However, if you still want to proceed with the installation, the following tips can mitigate some downsides.

Ascertaining wall has the right temperature

Test the level of heat in the walls when the fireplace is on before mounting your TV. Ensure it meets the recommendations by the TV manufacturer to reduce the chances of damage. You can determine the temperature by placing a thermometer on the wall as you use the fireplace.

You can also test the viewing angle before completing the permanent installation. The best-case scenario is to have the screen at eye level, which is impossible with a mantle beneath. Test your comfort level at that angle and confirm whether you can stay with it for a long time. If not, consider a mounting system that allows you to change the inclination. Avoid buying a TV larger than the fireplace – the fireplace should be more sizeable.

Consider all the mounting methods

The mounting option you choose should be suitable for the TV weight, wall height, and screen size to ensure safety and reduce the chances of strain. For instance, if you have drywall, you must identify the wall stud location to attach the mounting system. Try to follow the instructions of the TV maker to avoid nulling the warranty. 

You should ensure the TV is at the right height. You can place it on one side, especially if you have a gas fireplace, to make it viewable from any part of the room. Ensure the bottom part is a maximum of 24 inches from the ground.

Positioning cables and wires

Prioritize the position of cables and power outlets. Figure out a way to manage them beforehand and not as an afterthought. Consult an electrician if you do not have electrical outlets closer. They can install electrical receptacles instead or help you determine how to hide the components using the bridge system. The final option is to paint the cables and wires the same colour as the walls to keep them less conspicuous.

Does a TV above a fireplace look good?

Not really. A large black screen on a wall is not visually attractive. You can change that by integrating other artistic components like a recessed wall or accordion-style doors. You can also consider installing a panel that you can hide or bring out, depending on whether or not you are watching. Ensure the TV frames and surrounding components match the interior décor in the room.

Can a tv be above a fireplace?

Yes. But it is not advisable, and you should ensure it is perfectly balanced and does not diminish the aesthetics. You must balance the two units to ensure they do not offset each other. You can use surrounding features to reduce the appearance of the differences and create a seamless flow.

Does TV over a fireplace have pros and cons?

Yes, as explained above. Putting your TV above the fireplace is not the safest, most convenient, or most stylish solution. The disadvantages outweigh the benefits, but the above tips can help you reduce the cons. The Fireplace Store is also available to assist however we can.

Should you put a TV over the fireplace?

Experts are against mounting your TV above the fireplace for the above reasons – the risks outweigh the potential benefits. You can try other placement options that will enable you to enjoy uninterrupted viewing while reducing the possibility of your screen getting damaged.

TV above a fireplace, yes, or no? Such positioning is not the best idea. Consider all the significant factors, including location and height, and how they influence picture quality before making such a decision.

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