With the introduction of flat screen televisions, the traditional entertainment center is slowly becoming a thing of the past. These sleek screens are now commonly being installed directly to the wall, eliminating the need for bulky cabinets and TV stands. And, many folks have opted to mount their TVs directly over their fireplaces. While this can be a great way to reinforce the focal point in a room, keeping all eyes on the fireplace, it may not always be a good option. If you are planning to install your TV over your fireplace, read on for some things to consider before you move forward with the project.
Before you ditch the entertainment cabinet and move your TV to the wall above your fireplace, take a good look at the size of your room and the height at which the TV will be installed. Sit down in your furniture and gaze at the space above the fireplace – the place you envision that your TV will soon be mounted. Now, take note of how you feel. Are you looking up and straining your neck just to view the TV? If so, you may end up feeling as though you are sitting in the front row at the movie theater – not always a comfortable place to be. Ideally, you should be viewing your television at nearly eye-level, as this allows you to sit in the most comfortable position.
If your room is large, and you can back your furniture away from the fireplace enough, you may be able to install your television above the fireplace with no problem. The further you sit from the TV, the lower your viewing angle…and the more comfortable you will be.
Consider, too, the function of the room in which your TV is located. In a family room, for example, with a bar and other entertaining spaces, perhaps mounting the television over the fireplace would be ideal, as it will allow it to be viewed from all locations in the room. Folks playing pool or sitting a the bar won’t miss a thing during the big game. In a smaller living room or den, however, where the TV does not need to be viewed from a distance, having it mounted above the fireplace may not be the best approach.
Be sure that you understand viewing recommendations for your television, as well. Depending on the size of the screen and the resolution, the optimum viewing distance and angle will be different. Consult your owner’s manual or local electronics dealer to ensure you mount the TV at the best location for optimum viewing.
Fireplaces, obviously, give off heat. This same heat that you enjoy during a cold winter evening can also pose a problem for any electronics mounted above the fireplace. Depending upon the size of the mantle (and whether you even have a mantle!), fireplace and television manufacturers can offer recommendations for the minimum distance between the firebox and the television. Take a look at this minimum distance to be sure you can meet or exceed it before you proceed with a TV installation over the fireplace. To ignore this piece of information can mean major damage to your TV.
Installing your TV over the fireplace may also make it more prominent in the room than you would like it to be. Unless you plan to hide it behind a piece of art or a mirror, which can certainly be done, it will become the “art” over the fireplace; you will have little room to add accessories or artwork above the fireplace.
To minimize the TV, should you decide to install it above your fireplace, pay attention to the proportion of the TV relative to the space you have and to the fireplace. Don’t go too large or too small, and if you don’t have room to install it at the right right (where a painting would be hung) it may be best to find a better place for your TV.
Remember, even if you choose to install your television over your fireplace, you will likely still have various electronic components to deal with. Whether you have a cable or satellite TV box, a DVR or a DVD player, you likely have some number of components required to operate your entertainment system. These components can be moved to a closet nearby, or they can be contained in a smaller entertainment stand near the TV. For the cleanest look, any wiring should be run behind the wall’s surface by a professional.
So, what if after you have looked at these tips, you’ve determined that mounting your TV over the fireplace is not a great idea for your home? Consider mounting the TV NEXT to the fireplace instead. This gives you a clean look, but at a more appropriate height and safely away from the heat of the fireplace.
In some homes, installing a television above the fireplace is the very best option. For others, it’s a trend that should be skipped. Either way, be sure you look at all the issues before moving ahead on any changes to your TV’s location.Pin It