Should you place a TV over a fireplace? Is it safe to place a TV over a fireplace? The answer may be surprising to you considering the popularity of this design trend since TV models became more versatile with placement. It’s become more common to walk inside a home to find a TV hanging over the fireplace. All the furniture usually surrounds and faces the two focal points, creating a welcoming atmosphere that promises both warmth and entertainment to everyone. Unfortunately, this setup is not without its drawbacks.
Installing a TV over the Fireplace: Reasons to Avoid this Design Choice
Heat and Moisture are Bad for Electronics
Perhaps the top reason to avoid installing a television or speaker over the fireplace is the amount of heat and moisture that can be generated by gas, wood-burning and alcohol fireplaces – the main byproduct is water vapor! There are low temperature tolerance levels for a TV as the device is trying to vent out the heat generated from the running electronic components inside. Yet when you factor in additional heat from an outside source, the electronic components don't have a chance to cool down, causing them to deteriorate faster. Also, TV manufacturers will void the warranty due to this placement even if you have the TV over a gas fireplace.
For wood fireplaces that generate smoke, a TV will develop a hazy film on the surface. Additionally, that soot is also getting into the inside of the electronic unit as it will cover the components like insulation, preventing them from dissipating the generated heat.
Installing a mantel or a ledge to help deflect the heat and humidity away from the TV or electronics is strongly recommended even if the TV is recessed back into the wall (though that will help).
Uncomfortable Viewing Angles
For homes that have small living rooms, or for tiny apartments (like those in NYC), mounting a TV over the fireplace can cause neck soreness and aches as people have to crane their heads up to look at the screen for hours on end. Most flat screen and LCD televisions offer the best viewing angle when they are at eye level. The only way to see the TV comfortably would be to push the furniture farther back, which isn't possible in most rooms. Unless the TV is meant to be viewed in the room while standing it’s better to find an alternative solution than live with a sore neck or an expensive TV you can’t enjoy watching.
Alternatives to Mounting TV’s over Fireplaces
Before televisions the fireplace was the center of the home – the one feature rooms were built around to focus on. With the birth of TV the focus changed and designers have been struggling to reconcile this conundrum – can you have two centers of the home (or room)? The ideal way to solve this challenge is placing the fireplace and TV on the same horizontal plane at eye level when seated. The fireplace and TV can be side by side or one on a wall and one in a corner, creating separate vignettes in the same space. The goal is to view both at eye level in a comfortable way. This may not always be possible in every space and mounting the TV above the fireplace may make the most sense.
Ready to Explore Custom Ventless Fireplace Options for Your Home?
Regardless of the size of your home, our HearthCabinet custom ventless fireplaces can be tailor-made to fit comfortably in your living room, under your TV or almost anywhere you would prefer. Our team of fireplace professionals and engineers will work with you in crafting your ideal fireplace so you can keep your family and guests entertained and warm at the same time.
We also provide spec sheets to help you plan your HearthCabinet Ventless Fireplace around your TV or electronics – see our Standard model pages for PDF spec sheets.
Contact us today to learn more about our custom ventless fireplace options.