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Mounting a TV Above a Fireplace

Are you creating a cosy space to spend your evenings? If so, you’re perhaps wondering about mounting a TV above your fireplace.

Mounting your TV to a wall helps to save space, as well as keeping your room looking tidy and free from clutter. By placing it above your fireplace, you can create a central focal point in your room and a snug place for your household to gather.

The desire to create a space-saving, attractive fireplace in our living rooms is one reason for the huge popularity of media walls. Building a media wall with a built-in electric fire and a wall-mounted TV replicates the traditional fireplace as the heart of the home.

With some careful planning and in the right circumstances, it’s possible to create a similar setup with a wood-burning stove. But due to the heat intensity of a log burner, it’s not recommended to mount a TV above a stove in all cases. Your wood-burning stove installer will be able to advise whether it’s feasible in your home.

If you can mount a TV above your fireplace, it brings a lot of benefits. Let’s look at those in more detail.

Reasons to Mount Your TV Above Your Fireplace

We’ve already touched on some of the main reasons to mount your TV above your fireplace but there are many others. Here are some of the top benefits of being able to put your TV above your fire.

Saving space

It wasn’t very long ago that all TVs were so big and heavy that they needed their own piece of furniture to sit on. With slim, modern TVs there is no need to give up so much floor space. Mounting a TV above a fireplace gives you more space to devote to other things in your room. More seating, extra storage or a desk — whatever is best for your lifestyle.

Clean looks

Mounting your TV above your fireplace instantly makes your living room look tidier. With less space being occupied, no wires running across the floor and all your main appliances in one place, it creates a calmer, cleaner aesthetic. That means a more attractive room and a more relaxing environment in which to unwind.

Focal point

The fireplace was traditionally the focal point of our living spaces. With the advent of television — and the decline of chimney breasts in new build properties — our TV sets gradually took over. As Joey once observed in the sitcom Friends: “You don't own a TV? What's all your furniture pointed at?”

By mounting a TV above your fire, you can combine old and new to create a focal point for warmth, conversation and, yes, watching TV.

Better viewing experience

Putting your TV on the wall above the fire means you can place it in a position and at a height that makes it easiest for you and others to enjoy watching it in comfort. By placing it in a central location, you can give better views of the screen to friends and family sitting around the room, rather than having the TV stuck in a corner.

When Can You Put a TV Above a Fireplace?

There are many circumstances in which it's beneficial to put a TV above a fireplace — and others in which it would be harmful or wouldn’t make sense to install a TV above a fireplace.

Here are some of the key considerations when deciding if you can put a TV above your fireplace.

1. Heat Exposure

You can’t put a TV above a fireplace if heat from the fire will damage the television. If the TV is mounted in an appropriate place or not in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines, the heat from a fireplace could cause it to warp or break completely.

This won’t be a factor if you install an electric fireplace with a front-facing heater. But if you have an open fireplace or an appliance that creates intense heat by burning fuel, such as a wood-burning stove, you will only be able to put a TV above your fireplace in very specific circumstances. This is likely to involve some or all of the following factors:

  • You have an existing chimney breast in which to house the flue
  • You have a stove or fire door that will stop direct heat, smoke and soot from reaching your TV
  • You’re able to inset or recess your fire within the fireplace
  • You’re able to use a heat shield to deflect some of the heat away from the TV

If you have any doubts, the best option is to check your TV’s maximum operating temperature, and then check the temperature above your fireplace when it’s in use.

2. Viewing Angle

It only makes sense to mount a TV above a fireplace if that’s going to give you a good viewing angle when you’re sitting in your favourite spot. Ideally, you’ll want the TV to be around eye level when you’re in your seat, so the closer your sofa is to the fireplace the lower the TV should be.

If the viewing angle wouldn’t be quite right with the TV over your fire, you could mount it using a tilting, swivelling or extendable wall bracket. That way, you can adjust the position of the TV when it’s in use.

3. Distance from Fireplace

When mounting a TV above your fireplace, you need to make sure there’s a suitable distance between the two appliances. To find the right distance between a TV and fireplace you will need to check:

  • The TV manufacturer’s guidelines for safe distances to heat sources
  • The fireplace manufacturer’s guidelines for safe distances to electrical items

Following these guidelines and maintaining adequate clearance between your TV and fireplace will help you to stay safe by avoiding any fire risks, while also preventing damage to your TV.

4. Ambient Light and Glare

Your decision to mount your TV over your fire might also be impacted by light, glare and reflections in your room. Depending on the location of lamps, windows and other light sources in relation to your fireplace, you might get glare on the TV screen if it’s placed above the fireplace.

You can stop reflections from spoiling your viewing experience by:

  • Choosing a TV with an anti-glare screen
  • Adjusting the room lighting to stop the glare
  • Using a tilting or swivelling TV bracket to angle the screen away from the light

5. Aesthetics and Room Layout

You will only want to put your TV above your fire if that suits the look and layout of your room. The first step is to consider how the TV placement will impact the overall look of the room, making sure it complements the design and doesn’t dominate the space.

Secondly, you will need to think about how the logistics and infrastructure of mounting a TV will impact the aesthetics of your room. This will include planning for cable management to keep the TV wires hidden and the overall installation tidy.

6. Structural Integrity

Is your wall strong enough to support your television? The latest TVs are much lighter than older models so this is less of an issue than it would have been a few years ago.

Still, it’s important to check:

  • You’re using an appropriate mounting bracket and screws for the type of wall and the weight of the TV
  • You’re mounting to timber studs — not plasterboard or other cladding — if you’re building a media wall
  • The screws aren’t so long that they go through the masonry and create a hole in the flue, which could allow smoke into the room, if you’re mounting to a chimney breast

7. Fireplace Usage

How and how often you use the fireplace you’re installing a TV above is another key factor. Firstly, what sort of fireplace is it? Wood-burning stoves, electric fireplaces, gas fires and open fires all have different heat outputs and safety requirements. How will the temperature that the area around the fire reaches impact a TV?

Secondly, how often would the fireplace be used? If you’re planning to frequently use an appliance that gets up to very high temperatures, you might need to take extra precautions to protect the TV.

8. Ventilation

If you’re mounting a TV within a recess, such as above a media wall fire, check the TV manual to find out how much space you need to leave around it. The TV will require adequate ventilation to stop it overheating, so consult the manufacturer’s guidelines to make sure you’re allowing enough airflow for the TV to maintain an acceptable temperature.

9. Access to Ports and Controls

When your TV is mounted above a fireplace and especially if it’s mounted within a recess, it can be difficult to access the inputs, outputs and ports at the back of the appliance. It’s best to plan for easy access when mounting your TV so you can easily connect or disconnect devices and make any adjustments.

The simplest way to achieve this is to mount your TV on an extendable bracket. That way, you can simply extend the bracket to move the TV out of its recess and away from the wall to access the ports.

10. Acoustics

Wall mounting your TV above a fireplace might impact the sound quality, especially if the built-in TV speakers end up being partly concealed within a recess.

To overcome this, you could consider installing a soundbar or external speakers to enhance audio performance and ensure the sound from the TV comes directly into the room. These audio devices could be recessed within or mounted to the wall, or installed elsewhere in the room.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find the perfect fireplace for your wall-mounted TV.

If you’re ready to build a media wall or mount a TV on your wall, see our full range of wood-burning stoves, multi-fuel stoves and electric fires to find the right option for your fireplace.

Explore our Electric Fires.

Next article How to Build a Media Wall With a Fireplace

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