Everything You Need To Know About Mounting A TV Over Fireplace Wall

Installing a TV over the Fireplace

Your living room will not look complete without a TV mounted above the fireplace — it just creates a special aesthetic and doubles your viewing pleasure. The fireplace and TV usually compete for the position of being the focal point of a lounge room, so if you can have them both in one place, that makes it so much better. Everyone loves to cosy up and watch TV above a fireplace, especially in the darker and colder months where that hot air is a must. On top of that, if you do not have enough space in your living room and your furniture is already perfectly positioned, mounting a TV might be the best solution for you. 

However, placing a TV over the fireplace poses unique challenges to many homeowners, and if you don't do it correctly, you could end up wasting your time and resources and potentially damage the surrounding areas. 

Depending on what your wall is made of, you could experience additional challenges as well. You will need some tools and there is a method you need to follow while trying to mount a TV over the fireplace. Regardless of the difficulties, we have compiled a guide on how to safely and effectively place a television over your fireplace. 

TV Mounted Over Fireplace - is it possible?

TV mounted above Fireplace with TV wall mount

The advent of slim, lightweight, flat-screen television sets has solved the conundrum of television versus fireplace focal points. Now you can have both! Hanging a sophisticated TV above a fireplace will amplify the aesthetics of any living room. It's like having your very own cosy movie theater at home.

If you have very little room in your house, you most likely want to save space and mounting a flat-screen TV above the fireplace may be the ideal option. By freeing up space, you do not need to worry and you can focus on arranging your living room furniture and decorations instead. 

Perfectly positioning your couch to both your fireplace and the TV placement will provide you, your family and guests with the entertainment center of your dreams. It is certainly possible to mount a TV over the fireplace, but you need to first consider a few factors. For instance, you might need to drill a hole into the wall if it is made of brick before you mount the TV. You may even have to deal with an uneven surface. This guide will provide you with all the important guidelines regarding mounting a TV over your fireplace.

Use The Right Sized Anchor For Your Setup

We cannot recommend the right size for your fireplace as every fireplace setup is unique. However, you will need to use several right-sized anchors; in most cases, 4 inches works perfectly. Remember that a TV is a heavy object and your wall might not be as sturdy as a 2x4 wall. 

Remember you are not bolting the TV to your chimney but to a single wall. Additionally, this project demands more than just your standard drill. Here are a few tools that you will most likely need for your project: 

  • Dry shop vacuum 
  • High-impact drill and bits
  • A hammer drill
  • Anchors

While mounting, gather all the necessary tools and store them nearby, so you don't need to run around to get them. 

Make Sure The Temperature Does Not Exceed 38°C

The ideal fireplace for mounting a flat-screen TV must produce minimal heat and feature a deep blower and strong mantel. In any case, we highly recommend doing a thermometer test. Here is how you should go about it: 

  • Tape a thermometer in the middle (approximately) of the area where you want to hang your TV. 
  • Start your fireplace and let it burn for a few hours.
  • Examine the thermometer and check the temperature.

If the temperature exceeds 38°C, the heat is too high to place your TV over the fireplace. If it is below that, you can safely mount the TV above your fireplace, but you still need to consider some factors which have been underlined in this guide. 

Flat Screen TV and Heat- a bad combination?

TVs and other electronics do not usually mix well with heat. When considering mounting a TV over the fireplace, you need to understand which fireplaces are most likely to be a safety hazard.

The safest option is to use a bioethanol fireplace. The next are electric fireplaces. However, gas fireplaces and wood burning fireplaces can also do.

If you use a TV mount with a wood burning fireplace or gas fireplace, which are designed to produce heat in larger amounts, you need to make sure that the TV is recessed into the fireplace construction board and is properly protected from the heat. The purpose of putting the TV into a recess is to deflect heat away from the screen of the TV.

An Electric Fireplace Is Safer Than A Gas Fireplace

On the other hand, you are most likely to be mounting TVs over an electric fireplace than a gas fireplace as there is less heat generated and they tend to create more ambience. However, to ensure the safety of electric fireplaces, do the thermometer test mentioned above. Similarly, electric fireplaces are safer than wood burning fireplaces.

Fireplace Surrounds and TV Mounts

Next, consider what your fireplace surround is made of and other materials that surround your fireplace, where you plan to secure the mounting brackets. For instance, if there is brick or stone, you will need to drill a hole into it to secure your mounting bracket and hang your TV. 

Whereas, if you own a masonry fireplace surround, you will also need to drill a hole for the hardware, mounting brackets and your TV. However refrain from using anchors or screws that are too long, as they can potentially damage your chimney box and you could end up losing thousands of pounds if your chimney is damaged.

When dealing with a stone or brick fireplace surround, always be extra careful when you place the TV over the fireplace. If you are unsure, you can always consult with a professional. 

Fireplace Safety and Mounting a TV

Along with the factors mentioned above, you need to consider other fireplace safety issues involved when mounting a flat screen TV over a fireplace. If you install a TV improperly, it can fall off, get damaged or cause injuries. It is particularly hazardous if you have small children or pets in your home. 

Check The Weight

You must ensure that the mount's maximum weight capacity is slightly higher than your TV’s total weight. If you exceed your mount’s full capacity, you will increase the likelihood of it falling over and causing damage. 

Consider Using Straps

For additional security, you should also consider using straps. They provide an extra layer of protection in case your television sets loose and tips over.  

Mounting Too High Can Cause Neck Strain

A constant complaint about a mounted TV screen is that it causes neck pain to viewers. If you have ever been seated in the front row of a cinema, you will know what it feels like to experience neck pain. Similarly, if your TV is mounted too high above the fireplace, you could have a similar experience. 

The ideal position for viewing is when the bottom third of the TV screen is positioned at eye level. If the TV screen is not mounted at eye level, anyone watching upright for more than 30 minutes will experience a sore neck, and if this occurs daily for long periods of time, it could potentially lead to other health problems such as strain to your deep neck stabilizers. 

Therefore, you should avoid mounting too high and ensure that it is mounted at eye level.

Be Careful with the Viewing Angle 

If the viewing angle is more than 30 degrees from the horizontal, an LED or LCD large TV screen can be cumbersome to view. If you are watching TV from an armchair, beanbag or sofa, you will be viewing the mounted TV from an angle. As the angle increases, the picture quality will decrease. 

For the best picture quality, ensure that it does not exceed 15 degrees. However, keep in mind that it is a bad idea to buy a swivelling mount (also called a full motion mount). While a full motion mount can adjust the viewing angle according to your seating position, it is not a good idea for an over-the-fireplace TV. A full motion mount can lack stability and be a hazard.

The Best of Both Worlds

So, you have successfully mounted your TV over the fireplace and want to simultaneously watch a film while enjoying the crackling fire? You can absolutely enjoy watching TV and watch the flames dance in your fireplace at the same time! After all, that is the whole point of a TV over the fireplace, right? Although electronics/TV wires and heat do not always mix, as long as you follow all our steps and precautions (like the thermometer test) and make sure that there is sufficient insulation for the wiring that gets located behind the wall and adjacent to the chimney, there should be no damage to your TV.

Thermal Insulation

Installing a TV over the Fireplace

If you have not built the fireplace yet, we highly recommend you opt for Vitcas Fireplace Construction Boards. These fireplace refractory panels possess maximum thermal resistance and offer an optimal platform for thermal insulation and mechanical stability for fireplaces and their surroundings. They can be cut easily with traditional woodworking tools and they are ideal for constructing a new fireplace or in fireplaces with no pre-existing chimney breast. They can provide resistance up to 1100oC and offer you peace of mind while hanging your TV over a fireplace.

These fire-resistant boards should be prepped and sealed securely with Vitcas Board Primer and Board Adhesive. Next, you can use Vitcas HB60 Hydraulic Bonded Adhesive with structurally reinforced Fiberglass Mesh. Finally, you can plaster with Heat Resistant Plaster for a smooth finish. 

Consulting a Professional 

Even if you are very skilled with DIY projects, mounting a TV over the fireplace can be challenging. Even if you can install it properly, you may have some concerns. In that case, you should double check with a professional installer. They can provide you with a smooth and clean installation or simply offer helpful suggestions regarding mounting a TV over your fireplace. 

I Do Not Want to Mount a TV above a Fireplace: What should I do?

If, for whatever reason, you have decided against fireplace mounting- what do you do then? Well you could always consider a projector TV. It is certainly an easier option than mounting TVs, albeit less impressive. Though a projector is more safe than installing a full motion mount.

Many people associate projector TVs with sub-par, shaky and blurry image quality but projector technology has come a very long way. They conveniently attach to a ceiling and most come with remote-controlled opening and closing capabilities. 

That is not all; you can also conceal the projector box when not in use, and these days, projectors work well even in well-lit rooms, which was not always the case. Lastly, projectors are not a costly affair, so you should consider them if decide not to mount a TV over your fireplace. 

Conclusion 

Mounting a TV above the fireplace might offer you the very best of aesthetics and viewing pleasure, but that does not necessarily always mean that what works in someone else's home is also the best idea for you. 

You must remember that every house has a different setup and a one size fits all approach does not work. As illustrated in this guide, when you mount a TV over your fireplace, you need to consider a long list of factors.

Before you try to mount a TV above the fireplace, regardless of your expertise with DIY projects, it is always a great idea to consult with a professional to ensure that you carry out the project in a way which brings the best possible result without any damage. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can Fireplace Heat Damage Void My TV’s Warranty?

Always read your warranty's fine print before you decide on mounting a TV over the fireplace. Most modern LED and LCD TVs these days come with very sophisticated components and many manufacturers will refuse to repair them if there is damage accrued while trying to mount. If there is any damage resulting from fireplace heat, you will need to consult a technician. 

What Height Should the Television Be Above the Fireplace?

If you are mounting a TV above your fireplace, always make sure that the TV above a fireplace deep mantel is at a distance of 12 inches minimum to prevent soot and excess heat from damaging your TV. Do not directly hang your TV above a fireplace because that could result in heat damage. For additional safety, ensure you close the fireplace doors.

However, if your fireplace is only for decorative purposes and you do not plan on using it, you can directly hang the TV above a fireplace mantel for your viewing pleasure, since there will be no heat emanating from it anyway. 

Can You Hang a TV Wall Mount Without Studs?

It is possible to hang your TV mount over a portion of your surround surface with no studs, but it is not recommended. In most cases, your fireplace wall will have studs and they will secure your TV and offer optimal protection. There are other securing methods but they are more complex and they are best used as the next best option. 

While hanging a TV over the fireplace, you must always strive for optimum protection and security. If your TV tips over or falls off, it will most likely incur a lot of damage and can even cause injuries if there are people around.

In our shop you can buy materials for the construction or maintenance of fireplaces and free-standing stoves.

8 February 2018
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