Your TV really shouldn’t be over the fireplace


Putting your television above a fireplace is a big no-no.

John Fedele / Getty Images


Brett Pearce / CNET

Mounting a television above a fireplace seems like the most logical place. It’s out of the way, looks pretty, and is often the most convenient place to put it in a room. However, such a placement poses serious problems.

If you only plan to watch this TV occasionally, this is probably not a problem. But if it’s your primary TV that you’re going to be watching for hours on end every day, be sure to read all of the potential issues mentioned below.

Read more: TV prices at their highest for nine years, but there are still some good TV Offers This Holiday Season

If you are considering mounting above the chimney, I guess you have already thought about how you are going to make the power and signal work (HDMI or wireless) to the TV, and how you mount it to brick / stone / whatever. These are problems too, but easily repairable. There are more important issues, however.

Now playing:
Check this out:

Why a TV should never be mounted over a fireplace


Viewing Angle: Yes, a TV over a fireplace is too high

Have you ever sat in the front row of a movie theater? Some people like it; most do not. That neck pain that you have while looking at the screen? Imagine this every time you watch TV. Most people find it uncomfortable to watch something for long periods of time. Worse yet, it may seem good at first, but then you develop a neck problem later on.

Unsurprisingly, one of the first results of Google’s autocomplete after “TV on fireplace …” is “too high”. This is not an uncommon problem.


Imagine how much your head would have to tilt back to watch this TV from those seats.

Mint Images / Getty Images

Of course, this will not be a problem in some rooms. Perhaps the fireplace is low, you may be lying down to watch TV, you may be far enough away that you are barely looking at it “upstairs”. But if you have ever had neck problems, often related to work, this aspect is something to consider as it could make such an injury worse.

Most of us would much prefer to look lightly down to a TV. This is a much more natural position (similar to what is recommended by OSHA for monitors). Ideally, you should be able to maintain a neutral / relaxed neck position for watching your TV, which will vary depending on your couch / sitting position and so on.

Your TV will be off-axis


Mounting a television above a fireplace is almost always a bad idea.

Chris Heinonen / Geoff Morrison

Almost all televisions on the market today are LCD screens. There are high end models from LG, Sony and Vizio which are OLED, but if not, whatever the trade name, it is an LCD screen.

Most LCD screens look noticeably worse if you don’t look at them directly. Even the few degrees below their center line, as if you were sitting on a sofa watching TV, can make the picture profoundly different from what it looks like straight down the axis.

It’s fairly easy to repair, although you’ll need some specific equipment. Some wall mount brackets allow you to pivot the TV downward, so that it is directly facing the seating area. Keep an eye out for models that do. Hanging the TV flat on the wall (the cheapest solution) can make your TV look worse.

Heat and soot damage to your TV

There is nothing worse for an electronic product than heat (OK, maybe water or kicking could be worse, but you get my point). Increasing the operating temperature of the TV can shorten what should be a lively and reliable lifespan.

Worse, soot from the fire can get into the bowels of the TV, doing nothing good. Worse, the damage will be slow and over time, not right away, so the TV will likely fail sooner than it would otherwise, but still beyond the term of your warranty. .


There is no better seat in this house, at least for watching TV.

Cavan Images / Getty Images

It will not be a problem for everyone. If you don’t or can’t use your fireplace, that won’t be a problem. A gas fireplace might not have soot, but if the wall above is hot to the touch, that heat will heat up your TV as well.

At the end of the line

While stylish and popular, mounting a TV over a fireplace is probably not the best option for you or your TV. Placement is a big deal, and the location and height of the TV can be big factors when it comes to picture quality.

For more TV tips and tricks, check out our recommendations for TV picture settings to change, why is it usually not a good idea to increase the sharpness control of your TV, and the best time to buy a TV. More, a fix for muffled TV dialogue and 7 solutions to hide ugly TV wires.

Update, September 2021: This article was first published in 2012, but has been updated with new links and information.

In addition to covering television and other display technology, Geoff organizes photo tours of museums and cool places around the world, including nuclear submarines, massive aircraft carriers, medieval castles, cemeteries. planes and more.

You can follow his exploits on Instagram and his travel video series on YouTube. He’s also written a bestselling sci-fi novel about city-sized submarines, as well as a sequel.


Comments are closed.