Fireplaces and large televisions are in constant competition over being your living room’s key point of focus. Because of this, often times a homeowner will mount the television above the fireplace, so that each object is positioned in a manner that can be appreciated from the same angles. Seating in some rooms can be tricky enough without having to worry about whether the sofa should face the fireplace or that nice smart tv you just purchased.
For those reasons, you might be tempted to have your television installed above your fireplace. But is this the best idea? Let’s take a look at why experts maintain that you should avoid this at all costs.
You can’t safely set your television on the fireplace mantle and expect it to stay in place, assuming the mantle shelf is average in size. It’s likely your fireplace mantle shelf is too narrow for your television’s supports. Mounting it is going to be the only way to keep it secure, but it’s not an easy task. It is highly unlikely that the wall above your fireplace is made with basic drywall over studs. Rather, it’ll more than likely be brick, or a layer of finishing material set over the brick.
Getting your brackets mounted into brick will require a hammer drill, a special bit, and a lot of patience. And once the television is mounted, you’ll then be tasked with running the power cord, ethernet line, and HDMI cable to the set. While not impossible, doing all of this in a tidy manner while still maintaining a proper aesthetic can be really tricky.
Less than optimal viewing
According to Upgraded Home, the average fireplace mantle is 54″ high. Mount a television one foot above it, and your gaze will be looking at a moving picture that begins 66″ off the floor. No matter how high your sofa is from the ground, you will always be looking up (way up) to see the images on your television. This is not only uncomfortable, but it also keeps you from enjoying the full effect of many styles of television.
Microsoft News tells us that most newer televisions are LCD. These types of units are best viewed with the eyes looking at them from a straight ahead. A few degrees deviation from the zero/180 axis will distort the images and colors.
Damage to your television
Even though the price of televisions have decreased over the last two decades, they can still set you back a decent amount of cash. With an investment that might set you back upwards of $1,000 (or more), you’ll probably want to be careful how you treat it. Having it properly mounted will keep it secure to the wall and prevent damage from falling, of course. But mounting your television above a working fireplace can create other issues that you should be aware of.
Heat will pose a risk to the electronics within your television. Over time, higher temperatures will begin to degrade fragile components (via Digital Trends). Certain materials will also interact with the heat in a way that will cause metal whiskers to grow on them, which will lead to electrical shorts.
Like heat, soot will also damage your television. Soot will rise with the higher temperature and be drawn into your set. The accumulation of this soot will damage the electronics, greatly lessening the life of your television.
With the above in mind, it’s best to find a different spot for your family’s television. While you’re deciding where to place it, consider a spot that will put the set as close to eye level (when seated) as possible, and well away from a working fireplace.