Installing the television above the fireplace is one of today's hottest trends in home decor, integrating entertainment with the warmth and ambience of the fire
Advance planning will help offer the most comfortable viewing arrangement while preventing damage to your expensive tv.
Before considering this installation, we advise that you place a poster board, newspaper template or other facsimile of a flat screen tv above your fireplace; sit down and look at it for several minutes. Is this viewing height going to be comfortable for your seating arrangement? Unless your seating is a comfortable distance away or your furniture reclines, you may find that a tv mounted at this height might not offer comfortable viewing. Tilting tv mounts can help, but in general you may suffer neck strain if the bottom of the tv is higher than your eye level when seated.
FIRST, CONSIDER TEMPERATURE
Flat screen televisions will list their safe operating temperatures, which usually are up to about 100 degrees - check tv manufacturer's instructions for exact information. Operating the tv in hot environments will greatly reduce the lifespan of your television and usually will void your tv warranty.
If you're installing a tv above a fireplace that's already in place (versus new construction), you'll need to know how much heat is produced by your wood or gas burning fireplace before installing the tv. (Electric fireplaces generally don't produce
enough radiant heat to cause temperature problems). Warm air from the fireplace generally rises right up toward the
|About VENT FREE Fireplaces
We DO NOT recommend installing a television above a vent-free gas fireplace. Heat and gas fumes/soot particulates can damage the television!
intended tv location, so this step is important! Grab a reliable thermometer, tape it to the wall at the height above your fireplace where you intend to install your tv. Light your fireplace, allowing time for the fire to reach its highest temperature. For a gas fireplace this will probably be about 15-30 minutes; for a wood fireplace it may take an hour or more.
Allow the fire to burn for at least an hour at high temperature while monitoring the temperature readings on the thermometer. Keep in mind that heat rises from the fireplace front AND may also radiate through the wall above the fireplace as the bricks and/or framing and sheetrock begin to warm. If the temperature reaches 100 degrees or more when the fire is burning, you'll either have to relocate the tv or resolve not to use the tv when the fire is burning. If the wall temperature exceeds 115 degrees when the fire is burning, simply don't put the tv above the fireplace because the tv can be damaged even when it isn't being used.
SECOND, CONSIDER THE POWER CORD
You're going to hate seeing the AV cable and power cord stretch up the wall to your television, so it may be time to call in an electrician to install and hide the wires. If you're a confident do-it-yourselfer and you have access to the wall behind television, you may be able to install the cords and cables from a room behind your television, particularly if your fireplace is a gas burning model and the fireplace is not located on an exterior wall.
If your fireplace facing wall is brick then you can purchase a wire cover to hide the cord and cables that extends from the tv to the mantel.
Next, try and remove the mantel. Mantels are usually installed by attaching a "hanger board" to the face wall above the fireplace, then the mantel is attached to the hanger board. Check for caulking or paint that may have been used to close gaps between the shelf board and side legs of the mantel and the wall to which it was attached; break this seal by scoring then cutting with a razor knife. After breaking this seal, your mantel will lift off the hanger board easily in most cases. Since mantel installation methods vary, make sure and check for nails that may have been used to secure the mantel and remove them if you find any. Most mantels have hollow areas behind them where power cords can be tucked in and hidden. You may need to notch wood (particularly in the top of the shelf and on the side legs) to provide a space for the power cord to enter and exit the mantel. With any luck, you have an electric outlet relatively close to your mantel, so plug in the cord. Again, you can use a power cord cover extending from the mantel leg to the wall outlet, or have an electrician install a hidden outlet for you.
After making certain that your mantel is removeable and that the mantel design will make it practical to run cables and power cord to hide them, consider how you will mount your tv to the wall above the fireplace. If the wall is sheet rock, use the appropriate wall anchor fixtures to penetrate the studs. If the wall is brick, make sure to use masonry anchors.
Pay strict attention to using the right mounting bracket for your tv, and the right wall anchors to handle the weight! If the tv falls then it can very seriously injure anyone in the vicinity.