Having a TV Mounted Above a Fireplace
Having a TV mounted above a fireplace can be an attractive design choice for many homes as it can free up floor and wall space and create a stylish, minimalist look. However, several factors must be considered before mounting your television above the fireplace.
Heat and Ventilation
One of the biggest concerns with installing a TV above a fireplace is the amount of heat that can be generated from the fireplace. Most TVs, including LED and LCD TVs, cannot withstand prolonged exposure to temperatures above 35°C. Heat from a fire can also damage delicate electronic components and warp plastic parts, leading to the TV’s premature failure.
- Before Mounting: Check the manufacturer’s operating temperature range. Ensure enough ventilation and air circulation to keep the ambient temperature within acceptable levels. A mantel can help deflect some heat if it is deep enough. Strategic placement of fans to direct airflow away from the TV may also help.
Smoke and Soot
Along with heat, smoke and soot from the chimney can damage a TV over time. Smoke particles can discolour the screen and seep into crevices. Soot and grease buildup will gradually dirty the TV’s exterior.
- Prevention: Ensure the damper is closed when the fireplace is not in use. Have the chimney cleaned annually or more frequently if needed. Position the TV at least 12 inches above the mantel to allow smoke to pass underneath.
Glare and Reflections
Fireplaces are frequently situated across from windows and light sources. This can cause problematic glare, reflections, and brightness on the TV screen.
- Solutions: Opt for an anti-reflective screen cover to reduce glare, or consider placing the TV at an angle. Keep blinds and curtains closed when viewing. Dim lighting around the TV also cuts down on disruptive reflections.
Weight and Mounting
Larger TVs weigh more and require sturdy mounting brackets anchored into the wall studs or masonry chimney.
- Note: Most TV mounts are designed to hold up to 50 lbs, but heavier models may require reinforcements. A professional installer can determine the proper hardware and weight capacity needed. The TV should be securely fastened to the mount as well.
Viewing Angle and Height
The TV should be at eye level when seated, typically 42-48 inches from the floor to the centre of the screen.
- Mounting Tips: An extendable mount that allows the TV to pull out and angle down when being watched can improve the viewing position. Tilting mounts also help adjust the screen angle.
Heat Protection Accessories
- Shields: Installing a heat shield on the mantle can help block infrared heat rays and protect mounting brackets. Heat-resistant TV shields can also be mounted behind or on top of units susceptible to heat damage.
- Insulation: Thermal insulation sheets placed between the TV and wall absorb and dissipate heat.
Cracking and Discoloration
Extreme heat from the fireplace can cause cracking, discolouration and distortion of plastic display cases and bezels.
- Recommendation: Use common sense and switch off the TV when hot fires are burning. Avoid displaying artwork or collectables above the mantel that could also degrade from heat exposure.
If heat and smoke issues are a significant concern:
- Swivel Arm: Consider mounting the TV on a swivel arm to allow moving it away from the fireplace when in use.
- Positioning: Another option is to position the television above or to the side of the fireplace instead of directly over it.
- Alternative Locations: Look for alternative wall locations away from the fireplace for ideal protection and viewing. However, ensure cables and connections are not visible if your TV is located near the floor or in lower wall positions.
In Conclusion: Proper mounting, ventilation, and preventative measures can safely enhance your viewing experience and interior design by locating your TV over the fireplace. Just be mindful of the special considerations involved before deciding on this placement. With attention to heat, glare, and viewing angle, your TV and fireplace can coexist while looking visually impressive.