American homes are shrinking. One recent survey found that home sizes reduced almost 2% between March 2021 and 2022.
In fact, the same study shows that home size has been trending downward in the US for a while. This is evidenced by the rise of the tiny house movement and RV and van living.
With more miniature interiors comes the need to find creative furniture and appliance placement solutions. For example, what if you crave the coziness of a fireplace but don’t want to comprise the size of your flatscreen TV?
Thankfully, TV-mounted fireplaces are a thing, so long as you take some precautions regarding fireplace selection and installation. Read on to find out what those are.
What Are TV-Mounted Fireplaces?
Essentially, the name says it all. A TV-mounted fireplace is a fireplace that has a TV attached to the wall above it. People might choose to do this for many reasons, but the number one reason is space.
There is little free wall space in the living room of a small condo or studio apartment, so mounting the TV above the fireplace makes sense.
A palatial residential home could boast a large open-plan living area with a central column-style fireplace and no other walls near the living room. In this instance, the most appropriate place for the TV to go is above the fireplace.
An adventurous soul might have an electric fireplace in their RV or bus. With little to no wall space available in such cramped (but typically beautifully designed) quarters, above this fireplace, the TV goes!
The key is ensuring you find the best TV-mounted fireplace for your needs. In particular, a type of fireplace that won’t damage your TV.
Tips for Safely Installing a TV-Mounted Fireplace
Maybe you’re installing a residential fireplace into a new build. Perhaps you’re trying to find out how to put a TV on top of a fireplace. Either way, you must understand a few best practices before attempting this clever home design concept.
Choose the Right Type of Fireplace
The most important thing to consider from the get-go is whether or not the fireplace you’ve chosen (or already have) is suitable for TV mounting.
Electric fireplaces are the best option for this space-saving decor choice. Though they look like a real fireplace, they put out little to no heat. Some are even cool to the touch!
This means that they are arguably the best choice for a television-fireplace combo.
Gas and especially wood-burning fireplaces put out a significant amount of heat. That doesn’t mean you can’t mount a TV above them, but you do have to be more careful regarding how and where you install the TV.
Check the Temperature and Distance
Stick a thermometer to the wall at the lowest point you want your TV to sit above the fireplace. Turn on your fireplace and watch the temperature rise.
If it exceeds the maximum heat level recommended by TV manufacturers, you either have to move your TV higher until you reach a cool spot or abandon your project altogether.
The distance you have (or need) between your TV and the top of your fireplace is dictated by the heat your fireplace gives off—as we mentioned above—and the height of your ceiling.
In homes with short ceilings and a gas or wood-burning fireplace, you may not have enough room to put a TV on top of a fireplace. Homeowners with electric fireplaces or taller ceilings typically have more flexibility.
Choose the Right TV Mount
Once you’ve determined your situation is safe for TV-above-fireplace mounting, it’s time to look into the hardware—the TV mount.
First, test your viewing angle by sitting on your couch opposite your TV. Are you straining your neck? Can you see the TV from various places in the room?
If you answer no to either of these questions, consider buying a swiveling and tilting mount. This will allow you to move the TV around, out from the wall, and angle it up and down as needed. Just make sure the mount doesn’t allow you to pull the TV down too close to the fireplace, especially if you’re mounting it with a gas or wood-burning fireplace.
There are ultra-sturdy mounts explicitly designed for fireplace mantle mounting. Look for those online or ask your fireplace installer if they use them.
Benefits and Downsides of a TV-Mounted Fireplace
Mounting a TV above a fireplace is a style decision not to be taken lightly. While the placement is generally safe, some serious safety concerns must be considered. Weigh the pros and cons before deciding if this decor option is right for you.
Some pros include:
- A solution for limited wall space
- If your fireplace is electric, you already have outlets available
- Frees up floor space
- You have a common focal point
- Creates a sense of coziness
Some cons include:
- Soot, smoke, and heat can negatively affect the TV
- The viewing angle might not work
- The fire could be a distraction
- You may have to mount a smaller than the desired TV
If unsure, spend time browsing fireplace products online to see if any seem suitable for your needs and speak to a fireplace supplier about your idea to get their professional opinion.
TV Over Fireplace: The Solution You’ve Been Seeking
TV-mounted fireplaces are an excellent solution for people renovating, building, or living in more compact houses.
From small-footprint single-family homes to condos and even tiny homes, a TV-mounted fireplace allows you to stay warm, stay entertained, and keep the romantic atmosphere of a roaring fire. Of course, you must remember the caveats when choosing this type of fireplace: electric is best (or mount the TV higher if you prefer gas), and invest in sturdy hardware and professional installation.
Are you looking for the perfect fireplace for your new build or home renovation? Dreifuss Fireplaces have been helping American stay warm since 1876. We specialize in gas, electric, and wood-burning fireplaces and fireplace installation and service. Contact our team to discuss your fireplace needs today.