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Can You Mount A TV Above A Fireplace?

By Lawrence Macmillan October 25, 2021

Little things sound as good as watching a film on the sofa, relaxing in the warmth of a cozy fire. Due to space issues in the home, many people place their televisions above their fireplace.

But is this safe to do so? Will your TV become damaged from the heat coming from the fireplace?

You'll find the answer in this article, as well as some exemptions that allow for a TV above a fireplace.

Should You Mount A TV Above A Fireplace?

Mounting a TV above a fireplace is possible, but isn’t the safest idea. You should always try to mount your TV in another area.

Several issues could occur, including damaged electronics, poor viewing experience, and a general lack of comfort. Flames from the fireplace can be hot enough to damage your TV’s casing.

Why You Shouldn’t Mount A TV Above A Fireplace

Interferes With Optimum Viewing Height and Angle

Depending on your TV’s model, there is an optimum height, angle, and distance you should sit away from the screen. Generally, the middle of the screen should sit at eye level when you are sitting down.

If you place a fireplace below your TV, its height will be too tall. You will have to crane your neck higher to see the images.

Now that 4K TVs are on the market, the ideal viewing angle has changed. You can watch standard HD TVs from 83 inches away. As 4K TVs have a larger number of pixels, the minimum distance guidelines have decreased to 39 inches.

As the distance changes, the optimum viewing angle changes as well. There are some TVs with wall mounts that can angle the screen downwards, but you will still need to raise your head to see the screen properly. This can cause neck and shoulder pain in the long run.

The TV Might Not Fit

Most fireplace mantles can range from 50 to 60 inches, which is almost 5 feet in height.

The average ceiling ranges from 7 ½ feet to 8 feet tall, so a fireplace can take up the majority of space. This doesn’t leave a lot of room for your TV.

Even if you can squeeze one in, there won’t be enough space around it to look aesthetically pleasing.

Flames Are Distracting

There’s arguably nothing worse than being distracted from watching a film. The right environment for watching TV involves quiet, low light levels, and a peaceful environment.

Flickering flames can distract you from enjoying your film. The crackling sounds can also interfere with the TV’s audio.

Rather than adding to the cinematic experience, a fireplace under your television could disturb your quality TV time.

Wood Fires Can Harm Your TV

Real wood fires can be pleasing to look at. The crackling sounds, warm flames, and light smoke can add to your home’s atmosphere. However, these qualities can harm your TV, especially when it’s mounted right above your fireplace.

Wood fires can reach very high temperatures which are hot enough to start chimney fires. Heat rises, so any heat that doesn’t escape through the chimney will rise above the fireplace.

Electronics operate better at lower temperatures. Excess heat can make certain materials degrade, or cause short circuits within the TV.

It’s also difficult to know whether the heat is too hot for your TV. Heat spreads easily, so the temperature above your fireplace will be different from the top of your TV.

It’s Not Stylish

Fireplaces can add to a room’s character. Televisions, on the other hand, can take away from your planned aesthetic.

This isn’t a huge problem if a TV is placed away from your fireplace. However, If it’s placed above the mantel, that ugly floating square can make your fireplace look less beautiful.

When You Can Mount A TV Above A Fireplace

Electrical Necessities Are Placed There

Living spaces often have compartments that are built for a TV. These nooks may also have a cable TV jack and an Ethernet cable.

Though Wifi TVs don’t require any wires, an Ethernet cable can be more reliable, offering slightly faster Internet. This is why some people still prefer to hook their TV up to their Ethernet cable.

If your home has a hollow space above the fireplace with all the necessary electronics, this will be the best place for your TV.

Short On Space

Homes vary in size. Smaller homes may not have the space needed to separate a TV and mantel. Sometimes placing a TV above a fireplace leaves extra room for home decor.

You can fit in bookcases, art, or furniture. Small living rooms have little space, but mounting a TV above the fireplace might free up some room.

You Don’t Have A Wood Fireplace

As home fireplaces have developed, they have become considerably cooler. Wood fires aren’t as common anymore, fewer and fewer are built each day.

Natural gas fireplaces don’t give out as much heat as hot wood fires. You can also find gel fireplaces that are cooler than both wood and gas fireplaces.

What To Do If You Want To Mount A TV Above A Fireplace

Even if you don’t want to put a TV above your fireplace, space restrictions, decor styles, and day-to-day life can change your plans.

If you’re planning on mounting a TV above your fireplace, or have one installed already, there are some things you can do to avoid any issues.

Lower the heat. Excess heat can damage your television, so try to keep the temperature lower when it's not needed. Installing a mantel can reduce the amount of heat that rises. You can also find blowers that direct the heat away from your TV.

Sit further back. This changes the viewing angle. You won’t need to lay your head back to see the TV.

Don’t use your TV and fireplace at the same time. The brightness and flames coming from the fire can distract you from what you are watching. Your pupils may try to adjust to both the light from the TV and the fire, which can strain your eyes over time.

Opt for an OLED TV. OLED TVs are thin, offer great picture quality, and can be viewed from many angles. Do be careful with these, as heat and smoke can still damage the electronics.


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