Mounting Your TV Above the Fireplace? Pros vs. Cons


Mounting a TV above a fireplace is a popular choice for many homeowners looking to free up floor and wall space. However, there are both pros and cons to consider before deciding if it’s the right option for your home. This comprehensive guide examines the key factors to weigh when mounting your TV above the fireplace.

Pros of Mounting a TV Above the Fireplace

Maximizes Wall Space

One of the biggest pros of mounting your TV above the fireplace is that it frees up wall space on other walls in your living room or family room. This creates flexibility to use the other walls for furniture placement, art, mirrors, etc. Without a TV occupying prime wall real estate, you have more freedom over your room’s layout and design.

Creates a Focal Point

Positioning the TV above the fireplace draws eyes towards that part of the room. This creates a strong focal point in your living space. It combines two major elements—the television and fireplace—into one striking feature that immediately grabs attention.

Improves Aesthetics

Mounting over the mantel results in a streamlined, built-in look for your TV. You avoid having a black screen dominating the wall when not in use. It appears more integrated as part of the whole fireplace display. This can increase the room’s visual appeal.

Allows Flexible Viewing Angles

Instaling a tilting wall mount enables you to adjust the TV viewing angle. This accommodates seating in various parts of the room, allowing people to see the screen from chairs, couches and the floor. The flexibility creates a better viewing experience.

Provides Quick Access to Cables

With the open space underneath the fireplace, cables can be run neatly through the cavity into the TV box itself. This hides unsightly wires from view for a cleaner look. Accessing the cables for adjustments is also straightforward.

Cons of Mounting a TV Above the Fireplace

Heat from Fireplace

One of the biggest downsides is the heat generated by the fireplace affecting the TV. Excessive heat exposure can damage LED/LCD screens. This can lead to failed components and reduced TV lifespan over time. Turning the TV on before igniting a fire is recommended.

Difficult Installation

Safely running cables inside the wall and mounting on the hard surface of a stone/brick fireplace makes installation more challenging. Hiring a professional is often required, increasing overall costs. The right mounting brackets and tools are also needed to handle the weight.

Impact on TV Viewing Angle

The raised height of most mantels results in a viewing angle that is too high for comfortable TV watching. This forces you to look up and can cause neck strain. Proper tilt adjustments on the mount can help, but may not eliminate issues.

Increased Risk of Neck Strain

In addition to the sharper viewing angle, the flames and shifting brightness below the screen can make prolonged watching uncomfortable. Looking down at the bright fire and then back up at the TV strains your eyes and neck more quickly.

Higher Mounting Costs

You’ll need a long extension arm articulated mount rated for the TV’s size to extend it far enough away from the heat. This more heavy-duty mount costs $200+ in most cases, increasing the total installation price.

Limits TV Size

The amount of weight the wall above the fireplace can support is limited, especially on masonry fireplaces. This restriction caps the maximum TV size you can install. Going too big risks the mount and TV falling.

Key Factors to Consider When Mounting a TV Above a Fireplace

Fireplace Usage Frequency

If you use your fireplace daily in cold months, the constant heat exposure could reduce your TV’s lifespan. Minimal use like ambiance fires a few times a month reduces this risk. If concerned, mainly operate the fireplace when the TV is off.

Fireplace Mantel Height

Standard heights range from 4-5 feet above the floor. The higher the mantel, the more you’ll be looking up at the TV. Have a qualified installer determine the ideal mounting height for your room’s layout.

Viewing Distance from TV

Measure the approximate distance from your typical seating to the fireplace. This impacts the necessary TV size and whether viewing angles will be comfortable. Aim for 8-12 feet if possible.

TV Size

Bigger is not always better above a fireplace. Stick to the maximum weight load recommended for your mounting bracket and wall to avoid safety hazards. Most experts suggest a 50 inch TV or smaller.

Ambient Room Lighting

Factor in light sources like windows and lamps. Too much light on the screen washes out the picture. Your seating position also affects potential glare issues. Controlling the lighting helps optimize viewing.

TV Model and Display Type

LED and OLED screens are thinner and lighter than older plasma models. This expands mounting options. Curved TVs usually don’t work above fireplaces. Pick a TV suited for higher placement that tilts down.

Ventilation Needs

Heat and moisture released by the fire must adequately vent out through the chimney flue. Ensure the mounted TV does not obstruct the flue opening at the top of the firebox. Proper ventilation remains critical.

Purpose of the Room

If the room is mainly used for extended TV viewing like home theater, above the fireplace is likely not ideal. But for more casual viewing in living rooms and dens, the raised position may suffice.

Expert Installation

Don’t attempt mounting a TV above a fireplace without hiring a professional installer. Safety issues, wiring complexity and finding studs require experience. Get several quotes and check references before picking a company.

Future Changes

Think about potential remodeling plans down the road before deciding on fireplace installation. If you may change the fireplace style, paint, tile or mantel design, hold off on above fireplace mounting.

Mounting Your TV Above the Fireplace? Pros vs. Cons

When weighing the pros and cons, mounting your TV above the fireplace offers some great benefits but also comes with compromises to consider carefully. The raised viewing angle is not ideal for binge-watching movies and shows. Frequent fireplace use increases potential heat damage risks over time as well.

However, for mainly casual viewing in living rooms and dens, it can maximize wall space in a stylish, seamless way. Having an expert handle the installation also mitigates many of the challenges. Proper mounting height, distance and tilting can minimize neck strain issues. With large enough clearance from heat and ventilation, modern TVs can hold up well to occasional use.

Overall, mounting above a fireplace works best for homeowners who want the elegant, minimalist look and frequently enjoy a cozy fire but only casually watch TV in that room. It likely won’t satisfy more devoted TV enthusiasts focused on ideal viewing comfort. Carefully examining your needs, room use and future plans helps determine if it’s the right choice for your home.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mounting a TV Above the Fireplace

Is it bad to mount a TV above a fireplace?

It’s not necessarily bad, but does come with some drawbacks. The raised height usually creates a suboptimal viewing angle. The heat and soot generated can also damage the TV over time. With proper precautions and limited fireplace use, these issues can be minimized.

How high should a TV be mounted above a fireplace?

Ideally, the center of the TV screen should be no higher than 42 inches off the floor. This helps maintain a direct line of sight for comfortable viewing. You may need to mount the bracket higher to accommodate mantel height and install a dropdown mount.

What is the best mount for a fireplace TV?

Look for an articulating arm mount rated for your TV’s size. It should extend 20-24 inches to get the screen far enough away from the heat. Full motion adjustability is best to angle the screen downwards. A mount that tilts, swivels and pivots optimizes viewing.

Can you mount a TV above a gas fireplace?

Yes, as long as you follow safety guidelines. Keep the TV several feet from the heat and ensure adequate ventilation. Cooling fans directed away from the fireplace can also help maintain lower temperatures around the TV. Avoid prolonged use of the fireplace when watching TV.

Should TV be centered over fireplace?

Not necessarily. Centering places the screen further into the heat zone. Mounting it slightly off-center and using an extension arm to move the TV safely away from direct heat is better. The exact location depends on your mantel, existing ventilation and other factors.

Is it better to mount a TV beside or above a fireplace?

Adjacent wall mounting is often better to allow an ideal screen height and distance from the heat. But mounting over the fireplace is preferred by many for aesthetics and space savings. Consider your usage, room layout and viewing needs.

How do you hide TV wires above fireplace?

Feed cables through wire hiding kits along the inside edges of the wall framing. Paintable plastic covers are available to run cables down behind the drywall to conceal wires. Use grommets in the mantle to hide small gaps for power cords.


Determining if mounting your TV above the fireplace is worthwhile requires carefully weighing the pros and cons for your specific home. The raised viewing angle and heat exposure compromises may be dealbreakers for home theater enthusiasts. But for light TV watching in rooms focused on design over optimal viewing, the placement can maximize space with an integrated look that highlights your living area beautifully. Get professional help installing and take measures to protect your TV, and it can be an effective solution in the right setting.