Flat-screen televisions have given homeowners a number of fantastic new decorating options that just weren’t possible with bulky old televisions. Mounting TVs on the wall is not only a great way to save a little space but also to help ensure that your television’s placement doesn’t interfere with the rest of your decor. It’s become common to hang televisions above fireplaces, as doing so feels like utilizing a natural focal point of most rooms. Figuring how to do so, though, requires a little more guidance than you might expect. Fortunately, this guide will help to show you exactly how to get the job done right.
How to Mount a TV Above The Fireplace
Mounting your television over your fireplace requires first taking some time to think about the material on which you want to mount the television. For most homeowners, that means figuring out whether the spot on which they are going to mount the television is traditional (covered with stone or brick) or if the construction is drywall. Each of these scenarios does require slightly different steps, so make sure that you know where you’re mounting your television before you get started.
Drilling in Drywall
If you own a more modern home, there’s a good chance that the area above your fireplace is constructed with drywall. This is actually a fairly lucky break for those who want to mount a TV over a fireplace, as doing so poses fewer challenges than trying to mount television over brick or stone.
The best way to mount a television to drywall is to grab a television mounting kit from a local store or online. You’ll be able to attach the television to the kit and mount the kit directly to the wall without causing any problems. Mounting the kit is fairly straightforward – grab your stud finder to find the studs, then use your drill to drive the requisite screws (usually four) into the stud so that you have a stable place to hang your television. If you do it right, the job shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to finish up.
Mounting on Stone or Brick
If you have an older home, there’s a good chance that you are going to end up mounting your television on stone or brick. This can seem a little scary, as you’re not only looking at drilling into a surface that feels a little less familiar but you’re also going to be dealing with the potential issue of stability. While it’d be nice to say that there’s never a problem when drilling into stone or brick, the truth is that you’ll quickly find that user error could be your worst enemy.
The good news is that it’s fairly easy to drill into stone or brick as long as you have the right tools. You’ll largely be mounting your television in the same way you would on drywall, with one major caveat – you absolutely have to make sure that you are drilling into either the stone or the brick rather than the mortar. If you drill into a mortar, you’re going to set your television up for a fall in the future. Make sure that you clearly mark where you need to drill so that you don’t accidentally drill in a spot that’s going to lead to costly damage.
The Problems with Mounting a TV Over The Fireplace
While mounting a television over your fireplace isn’t necessarily mechanically difficult, it’s still a fairly contentious choice. There are people who will argue that this is a great use of space, while others might argue that there are some significant problems with doing so. It’s always good to look at the downsides to making this choice before deciding to make this decision.
One of the big reasons that many avoid mounting their televisions above their fireplaces is simple ergonomics. If you mount a television up higher, you’re going to have to crane your neck to see the image. While this might not seem like a pressing issue when you first mount your television, you’ll eventually notice that your neck and shoulders get a bit sore when you’re watching television. Prolonged viewing can make it difficult for you to watch television comfortably and might even cause some permanent issues with your neck.
The good news is that you can largely eliminate this problem in two ways. The first, of course, is distance – the farther away from the television from where you are seated, the less you have to crane your neck. If you must stay up close, you’ll want to buy a full-motion television mount so that you can angle the television downward. This will not only improve the ergonomics of watching your television while it is mounted but will also help you to reduce any glare that might result from the television’s placement.
Heat damage is also a very pressing concern. As one might imagine, it’s not usually a very good idea to mix sensitive electronics and high heat. While this isn’t going to be a problem for those who have strictly decorative fireplaces and more adaptable faux fireplace alternatives, any active fireplace is going to cause damage to your television over time. If your television does get damaged from the heat, you’ll have to pay for a replacement yourself as most manufacturers aren’t going to honor their warranties when they find out about the heat damage.
The best way to get around this problem is to ensure that the spot where your television sits won’t go over one hundred degrees. This is actually easier than you might think – start your fireplace and get it as hot as possible, then let it run at its highest heat for several hours. Once it’s good and hot, you can use an infrared thermometer to check the spot where your television would be hanging. If it goes over one hundred degrees, you’ll need to rethink whether or not you really want to hang your television in that spot.
Why It’s Popular
With those downsides in mind, it might be difficult to see why hanging your television over your fireplace is so popular. In reality, this is a popular choice because the area over your fireplace is almost certainly a spot that doesn’t see much major use but that is still a focal point of your room. Many designers note that utilizing this blank space allows them to not only keep their televisions out of the way of other design elements, but it helps to eliminate the need for any kind of bulky furniture on which you would normally sit your television.
At the end of the day, choosing to mount your television over a fireplace is a personal choice (and may work better with some other options and alternatives to wood-burning fireplaces). As long as you can mount the television securely and space won’t get too hot, making this choice is one that has to do more with your personal sense of style than any objective problems. Make sure to look for a good amount and don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles for watching television; doing so could make your new television more placement not only more efficient but also more comfortable.