Mounting a TV above a fireplace has almost become a standard option in many Canadian homes. So now you’ve been to a friend’s house and saw that they installed a flat-screen TV above the fireplace and now you may be considering doing that too.
After all, doesn’t it make so much sense to install your TV there? Doesn’t a TV on top of the fireplace look great?
There are several good reasons to do it. And, as always, a few reasons not to.
Let’s have a closer look.
There can be no arguing about this fact: A TV on top of a fireplace does look awesome. Even though fireplaces, historically speaking, predate TV sets by many centuries (and the TVs that can be wall-mounted, even longer), the two just seem like they were made for each other.
If you plan on living in that place for a long time, you get to enjoy it so much more. And you are in the process of selling your property, it will show better and may result in a faster sale (fingers crossed).
You will free up a lot of space previously taken up by the TV and the cabinets. For people who live in a palace, that may not be a significant factor. However, for the rest of us, “normal” folks who appreciate and cherish every square foot conquered away from the “jungle”, this can be rather handy.
Keep in mind that you want to wall-mount not just the TV set but also all the gadgets that it’s plugged into. Your cable receiver, your Internet box, and your game console, can all be raise and put on what we call a “floating” shelf. Or maybe the mantle is big enough to hold it all. Just know that there are options.
If it’s a rec or entertainment room, people helping themselves to a drink or playing at the pool table will be able to see the TV from pretty much everywhere. The key question is, are you enjoying your TV while standing up most of the time? If the answer is yes, then putting it on top of the fireplace is an easy decision to make. And if not, you may be placing it too high to make watching it convenient and enjoyable but there are still options.
That last, and, potentially, the most important reason, is that now both your TV and the cables will be away from the reach of pets and children (however grown up those children are). Of course, you don’t want your TV to be meddled with, or worse, broken. Even more importantly, you don’t want anyone to hurt themselves.
With this four reasons out of the way, let’s look at…
If your TV is new and carries a balance of manufacturer’s warranty, please review the conditions of that warranty. There may be provisions for installing your TV near a heat source like a fireplace. These are less common these days as installing TVs on top of fireplaces is such a common thing to do now. However, it doesn’t hurt to read their little booklet to make sure you won’t lose the warranty.
A TV is designed to operate within a certain temperature range, when the air around it is not too cold and not too hot. However, it’s not as much the heat that is the problem. It’s the swings of temperature that may cause your electronics to malfunction and give up prematurely.
If it’s an older wood-burning fireplace, it produces tiny particles of ash that that get inside the plastic shell of the TV set and form a layer of sediment on and around HDMI posts and interface connectors. When the temperature changes, excessive moisture in the air condensates on your electronics, and that ash acts as a conductor for electrical charge. You may experience all kinds of bad things from signal distortion to having your TV “fry” when you turn it on.
That said, the new TV sets are somewhat less susceptible to these issues than the older TVs were. And all the good things we discussed above may still outweigh the possible negatives for you.
Installing the TV on the wall above the fireplace, you may be placing it too high for someone to watch it comfortably from a sofa or a chair without straining their neck. Sometimes it is better to mount the TV on the wall next to the fireplace at a proper height, if the room layout and design agree with that. In other cases, you can consider using a pull-down wall mount. It’s a most expensive option there is, however, that’ll give you the ultimate flexibility with how and from where you watch your TV.
Our TV installation consultants will be happy to review your room layout, the type and the structure of the fireplace, and provide you with a plan that addresses some or all of these issues. Call us today for a free TV installation consultation at (647) 360-2300.