Outdoor entertaining is a popular trend that has taken the home improvement industry by storm! Having all the right elements to create a comfortable and posh design for backyard living has quickly found its way to the top of many a wishlist. Here at Fireside Expressions, we have plenty of expertise in fire and water features, as well as a pretty good handle on how to outline a functional and enjoyable layout for all of your alfresco needs so we'd like to delve more into the enjoyment factor of having an indoor or outdoor fireplace. For many of our customers, this means answering the ever-disputable question: "Can I mount my flat screen television over my fireplace?"
If you are going to take in a movie or your favorite sitcom while the fire is going, there are some things that we really have to talk about. Fireside Expressions does not recommend mixing fire and electronics. We prefer to keep these two factors more than a safe distance apart. We also understand that many people may see things from a different point of view. Readers are adamantly cautioned to use their best judgment and check with both your television and fireplace manufacturers for questions related to this matter. While we cannot be held liable for any damages that may occur from mounting a TV over a fireplace, we do want to advise you of some safety precautions.
It is inevitable that the living area, whether indoors or out, has changed over the years to serve a dual purpose. Sure, we enjoy the company of friends and loved ones gathered close for lively conversations and companionship. Often, we retreat to our family room to cheer on our favorite football team or enjoy a pulse-pounding, nail-biting action flick. Many of us have decided to get the best of both worlds and blend the warmth and ambiance of the hearth with our beloved flat screen TV. This highly sought-after arrangement has become the typical entertainment center for many homes. This harmonious relationship also frees up a lot of floor space and really enhances the visual appeal of your niche. This is not to say that homeowners haven't come across some challenges to make these two elements mesh.
It goes without saying that any fireplace generates heat. Too much warmth can affect electronics with a vengeance. In the potential case where a TV is damaged in this way, the warranty may be null and void. We recommend testing the temperature that is given off from your hearth. Simply tape a thermometer to the wall where you are planning on mounting your flat screen for a few minutes while the flames are dancing below. If the reading is higher than the recommended maximum that your TV can tolerate, you may want to reconsider this design concept.
Wood burning fireplaces would a better choice when it comes to the concern of fireplace heat causing damage to your electronics. Compared to a gas burning option, most of the high temperatures from a wood fire will escape via the chimney and are less likely to reach your TV.
Many electronics manufacturers do not recommend placing a TV directly over your fireplace. For gas-burning options, you may want to consider recessing your TV into the wall. Another idea would be to include additional height and a heat shield between your flat screen and the fire. Consider a steel mantel shelf for a safe and stylish means of accomplishing this measure.
Always thoroughly read your fireplace owner's manual. It should specify exactly how much clearance you need between your hearth and any combustible materials. Follow this same requirement when mounting your flat screen television.
You'll want to take this matter into consideration if you're thinking about mounting your flat screen above your mantel. Normally, televisions are placed so that they are within eye level of seated viewers. Unless you have a low profile fireplace, this feat may not be possible. Take a piece of cardboard or poster-size paper and create a template of your TV, then tape it to the appropriate location. Have a seat and stare at the template for awhile. If you start to notice some neck discomfort, you'll want to rethink the placement of your flat screen. Some viewing heights are less of an issue when you mount your TV a distance from your seating arrangements.
MOUNTING SYSTEMS & INSTALLATION
Always make sure that you select a system that will support the full dimensions and weight of your TV! Some mounts will allow you to safely tilt your flat screen so that you can view it from a better angle. Don't forget to consider power cords - how will you hide them so that your entertainment area doesn't appear cluttered and messy? Additionally, will you be adding surround sound equipment, cable systems, or other devices? You may want to consider the distance to the nearest power source, as well as the number of electrical receptacles. We recommend employing the eyes and incredible thought process of a certified electrician to install your electronics. Sometimes, these seemingly "simple" connections can get overwhelming a lot easier than we imagine!
Fireside Expressions wants our customers to take every safety precaution necessary, and consider other avenues to the electronics-hearth relationship. Remember: always follow your television and fireplace manufacturers' directions.