Truth be told, mounting a TV above the fireplace may not be the best idea. There is no denying that lots of people love to place their TV sets right on top of the fireplace. And why not, after all, the TV and the fireplace do look amazing that way.
Why Mount A TV Above a Fireplace?
Well, apart from the good looks, some layouts of the living area leave you little to no choice other than to hang the TV above the fireplace. A good number of homes will have the space above the fireplace recessed and fitted with a socket and ports for Ethernet indicating that the layout assumed that the occupant of the house should hang their TV on that designated spot.
At times, the occupant of the house barely has another place to hang their TV set other than above the fireplace because there simply may not be any other suitable space available. The decision to place a TV over the fireplace comes easy to many because it is very cozy to watch your favorite programs while enjoying the warmth of the flames and the cozy ambiance of a fireplace.
It also could be that the decision is oftentimes influenced by the comfort that the configuration brings. From an interior design point of view, one could argue that the fireplace is a focal point of the room, as such: it makes sense to place the entertainment center or TV set above the fireplace to further accentuate the focus in that specific section of the house.
So, as we delve further into this post, it’s important to clarify the argument here is not whether the TV set looks good above the fireplace, it does! That is settled. The bone of contention is whether it is a good idea to place the TV set above the fireplace. From a safety point of view, we are saying that it might not be not, especially if it is above a wood-fueled fireplace.
Why Avoid Above Fireplace TV Mounting
For the simple reason that you could potentially damage your TV by causing it to overheat.
To help put this point into perspective, let’s take a brief trip down memory lane. Do you remember the CRT TVs? Yes, the ones that had a protruding back. Cathode ray tube televisions produced very little heat in comparison to today’s bigger TV sets. A CRT TV set from the past depending on size and current drew anywhere from 60 to140 watts producing minimal heat.
While flat-screen plasma TV screens are no longer in production, a few from the past can still be found in the second-hand markets, such units draw as much as 300 watts producing plenty of heat. A 50” LED TV set on the market today draws about 100 watts producing a fair amount of heat. If you own a Sony LCD or an LG 4K LED you can expect the heat produced to be in the range of 32- 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
The above-mentioned TV sets are comfortable within that temperature because they come equipped with vents to help the unit dispel excess heat and keep the temperature within the said threshold. Any additional heat beyond the TV’s threshold is potentially harmful.
A wood-fueled fireplace lots of heat. If for some reason the heat dispensed by the unit fails to make its way up the flue, onto the chimney, and finally be deposited outside, guess what; it descends back into the fireplace and starts rising above the fireplace mantle and directly to your TV set area.
In such a case, the TV will be exposed to more heat than it is designed to handle. If the heat does not do the damage, often enough the smoke will. That’s why we argue that placing a TV set over the fireplace may not be such a great idea especially if your fireplace is fueled by wood.
Are There Cases Where Above Fireplace TV Placement Might Work?
If the heat aspect of a fireplace can be mitigated and significantly decreased then chances of TV set placed over the fireplace overheating are also diminished. Which may explain why such a configuration may prove not to be such an insane idea after all. That’s where electronic and gas fireplaces come in to save the day.
Gas-powered fireplaces are capable of producing high temperatures to heat a room, but the vents and fans can be placed on the front or side of the unit to help blow the warm air into the room as opposed to it moving upwards directly at your television set. As such the safety of placing a TV set on top of a fireplace is greatly enhanced.
Electric fireplaces arguably make the best case in terms of safety when it comes to placing a TV set right above them. These units can be used to display the flames and the unit’s heater can be turned on separately to work in tandem with the flames or can be turned off at will even as you enjoy the flames alone.
Furthermore, the vents and air fans are strategically placed to ensure that the heat is dispensed into the room instead of it making its way upwards to raise the temperature of your TV set to alarming levels.
Some electronic fireplace models no matter the size are so well-designed that hanging a TV set above the fireplace requires zero clearance as no danger whatsoever is posed. With such safe fireplace options, you have nothing to worry about when it comes to mounting your TV above a fireplace.
For wood and gas-powered fireplaces, you will need a relatively large clearance space between the fireplace mantel and TV set. It may be a good idea to consider using a full motion articulating wall mount that can help angle the screen downward for better viewing comfort because of the distance.
Alternatively, you can install an electric fireplace that will significantly reduce the clearance space or eliminate it for better viewing angles and enhance comfort.
It Is a Matter of Preference
Depending on the fireplace type, mounting a TV set above your fireplace may not be the best idea. However, choosing a particular type of fireplace makes the configuration safer. Alternatively, you can mitigate the heat and improve viewing angles by using a high-quality motion articulating TV wall mount.