Can You Hang a TV Over a Fireplace? Here Are 5 Things to Consider

Mounting a television above a fireplace can double your viewing pleasure, but the modern media application might not work in every setting.

The advent of lightweight, flat-screen televisions has opened up many more opportunities for where you can place a TV. Hanging a flat-screen over a fireplace mantel or on a brick fireplace's face results in a dual-purpose entertainment center that becomes a room's visual centerpiece. The TV-hearth partnership frees up valuable floor space and allows you to focus furniture arrangements toward a single wall. But as with many high-tech design treatments, this pairing presents a few challenges. High temperatures from the fire, mounting techniques, and wire management are essential factors to think through before hanging a TV above your fireplace. Consider the following to determine if this configuration is a practical choice for your home.

TV hanging over fireplace in decorated living room

BHG / Marisa Kikis

1. Check the Temperature Before You Hang a TV Over a Fireplace

You may be planning to burn a fire while watching TV. If so, the place you'll be hanging your TV mustn't exceed the recommended temperatures noted on the unit's technical specifications. Too much heat adversely affects a TV's lifespan and creates a situation that could void product warranties. To check the surface temperature, tape a thermometer onto the wall or fireplace face when a fire's blazing in the hearth. If the temperature is higher than recommended, you might want to forgo the TV-over-fireplace idea. If you decide to go ahead with the plan, understand that you won't be able to watch flickering flames and TV programs at the same time.

2. Test the Viewing Angle

Consider the viewing height when placing a television. Ideally, televisions should be set at the eye level of seated viewers. Still, unless you have a very low mantel, this placement probably won't be possible above a fireplace. You can double-check the angle by taping a paper template the size of your TV in the preferred location. Sit in your favorite chair and stare at the template for a while; if you experience neck strain, consider placing the TV somewhere else. Otherwise, invest in a mounting system that lets you tilt the TV to improve viewing angles.

Living room with rug, fireplace, and coffee table
David A Land

3. Choose a Safe Method for Mounting the TV Above the Fireplace

There are several mounting methods and systems that allow you to easily place and hang flat-screen TVs above a fireplace. Select a mounting system that suits your TV's weight and size to ensure the unit stays safely secured to the wall. If the area above your fireplace is drywall, you'll likely need to attach the mounting system to a wall stud, so check the stud location before you begin. Be sure to follow all manufacturer instructions carefully to avoid damage to your TV or the wall. If you have a deep mantel, consider placing your TV on a stand.

4. Determine How to Manage Wires and Cables

Consider power sources and how you'll manage electrical wires, cable systems, and sound equipment. If there's no power source nearby, you might need to call an electrician to install electrical receptacles. Consider hiding wires and cables using a bridge system ($70, The Home Depot) that carries wiring behind the wall surface. You can also purchase cable channels ($21, The Home Depot) that run along the wall and cover small bundles of cords. These can typically be painted to match your wall color for a more discreet look. Because a TV above a fireplace will become the room's focal point, you'll want to hide as much technological clutter as possible to integrate the technology into your decor.

living room with fireplace, tv, and patterned rug
Michael Partenio

5. Consider TV Integration Ideas

To minimize the appearance of a large black screen:

  • Try setting the television into a wall recess or behind a pair of accordion-style folding doors.
  • For a more high-tech solution, add a mechanized panel that rises and falls to hide and expose the screen with the touch of a remote-control button.
  • If possible, choose TV frames, cabinet doors, and mechanized panels that mirror finishes and materials already in the room to create a cohesive scene.

You can also consider other options that camouflage the TV, including motorized artwork that rolls up or mirrored panels that disappear when the TV is turned on. Bookcases that frame the fireplace will add a decorative touch.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can You Place a TV on a Mantel?

    A mantel is not a good place to situate a TV, unless you have one custom built to the right size. The minimum width needed for a TV to sit safely on a shelf (or mantel) is 10 inches, and most ready-to-install mantels are too narrow, with the average being 7 inches deep.

  • How far above the fireplace should the TV be?

    Ideally, a TV is hung so the center is between 60 and 68 inches above the ground. Depending on the size of your fireplace and whether you have a mantel, a TV should be hung between 4 and 12 inches above the fireplace.

  • Does it matter whether your fireplace is wood-burning?

    If you have a wood-burning fireplace, it's not an ideal situation for mounting a TV. Any heat or smoke that drifts out and up can damage the TV. If you must hang a TV over a wood-burning fireplace, install a mantel below it to deflect any escaping fumes or warmth. Or build an alcove or enclosure around it for added protection. 

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles