Mounting a TV over a fireplace is surprisingly a delicate issue. Some people are vastly opposed to doing it, and some experts even claim its destructive to your TV. However, there are several other experts that claim no harm, no foul – and it’s perfectly fine to mount a TV over a fireplace in your living room.
So what are your options for mounting a TV by or on a fireplace? What are the step-by-step instructions?
In this article, we will examine everything you need to know to mount a TV over a fireplace, as well as examine both perspectives of this somewhat controversial issue.
The Debate Over the TV & Fireplace Mount
There is little debate that mounting a TV over a brick fireplace is tricky. Regardless, the place to mount your TV is becoming increasingly common in the United States, particularly in the Midwest and northern states.
It does make sense from the angle that you want to face a cozy fireplace while also being distracted by some cheap entertainment on the TV. But are there logistical concerns about mounting a TV to a fireplace? Can the intense heat generated from a fireplace become damaging to prized electronics that generally cost hundreds of dollars?
While some people claim that mounting a TV to a fireplace can damage the electronics because of the high volume of heat the reality is there’s really no evidence to back this claim, only speculation.
Electronics are usually advised to sit at room temperature. While the fireplace is a place that absorbs a ton of heat, there is also the mantle and brick designed to prevent too much of it from penetrating your home. Consequently, though mounting a TV directly to a fireplace is maybe not the most practical solution, there are no long-term effects yet from TVs that demonstrate it directly damages the unit.
At the end of the day you have to make a conscious decision. Some living spaces offer very little room elsewhere to hang the TV. So it may come down to a lack of choices. Or maybe you want to jump on this latest TV trend? While the heat and smoke generated from a fireplace is not ideal for electronics, there are also no immediate threats that the TV will self-destruct either.
Considering Neck Strain
Another hot topic of debate about mounting TVs on fireplaces is whether it causes harm to your body. It may sound silly but think about the elevated position you’ll hang a TV from a fireplace while you are seated. You’ll likely strain your neck close to what it feels like to sit in the front row at a movie theater.
The good news is there are ways to avoid the dilemma. Though it’s impossible to mount a TV on a fireplace and not have to elevate your point of view to a degree; you can substantially reduce the neck strain by investing in a mount that points the screen downward toward the viewer.
Full motion TV mounts are the best way to counter a horrible viewing angle by nature. The ability to pull down the screen can reduce craning your neck, and hopefully soreness later on in the night – while also getting the best possible viewing angle.
Buying a TV Mount for a Fireplace
The important search term if shopping online or in-person is: full motion TV mount. There are also mounts on the market that swing horizontally but that’s not really what you need for a fireplace.
The high viewing angle requires a full motion mount that has tilt capability as well as articulation. The vertical adjustments on the mount can allow you to watch TV at a more pleasing viewing angle, then pull the TV back up when not in use to take up less space by the fireplace.
How to Mount a TV to Your Fireplace
So after considering your options have you determined that you still want the TV on your fireplace? There is no shame is designing your living space how you want it!
Now that you know it would be foolish to install a TV to a fireplace without a full motion mount the first step is to buy a new one. Most mounts are sold with all the hardware you need to complete installation. All you’ll need are some general work tools.
Then, determine what type of material you are mounting the TV on the wall to. If the location is the fireplace, you likely have a couple of options: the brick, or drywall.
Drywall TV Mounts
Newer homes with fireplaces are generally not as sophisticated. Instead of having brick or some type of stone going up the chimney, it is simply drywall above the mantle.
If that’s the case and you are directly installing into the drywall then you’ll want a screw gun. The studs on drywall are usually made of 2×4 pieces of wood. You have the option of mounting the TV directly to the studs (use an electronic stud finder to locate the studs through the drywall), or you can incorporate furring strips.*
If you want to have the TV over the fireplace there is little doubt that mounting it to drywall (if possible) is the easiest solution.
*NOTE: Mounting the TV to studs is also a good option for if you want to run the wiring to the TV from inside the wall. The studs will present more space while furring strips are very narrow, and difficult to manage cables through it.
TV Mounts to Brick & Stone
Brick fireplaces look amazing from the interior though they pose more technical challenges if you wish to mount a TV to it. The goal here is to prevent the TV from crashing to the ground due to an unstable mount.
Therefore, the most important step is to make sure you drill into the actual brick or stone, and not the mortar. Mortar is not strong enough to support the weight of a TV, even as lightweight as they are produced these days.
Aside from staying clear of mortar, the installation isn’t too complicated so long as you make sure you have the right equipment to drill into the brick and the mount is level.
Mounting TVs Over Fireplaces Is a Growing Trend
Though there is some concern that remains that you shouldn’t mount a TV to or above a fireplace – we don’t agree. The invention of full motion TV mounts has made it much easier to look at a screen from an elevated angle.
Furthermore, we don’t know if we buy into the concern that placing a TV that close to the fireplace will rapidly destroy the electronics. Most people don’t go long anymore before buying a new TV to upgrade the viewing size or technology. So the bottom line is you’ll probably want to replace the TV before any harmful heat or soot does the job for you.
Mounting a TV to a fireplace is not incredibly difficult, and there are plenty of visual tutorials on YouTube if you are a complete newbie and need step-by-step guidance for installing a new TV wall mount.
If part of your living room remodeling involves upgrading or updating your fireplace, turn to Vertical Chimney Care for all your fireplace needs. Whether it’s an annual cleaning or installing a new gas insert, contact us for any of our services.