TV Placement

wu343July 1, 2012

We are working with our cabinet maker to develop some bookshelves to flank a fireplace in the Great Room. I was going to have him put the TV beside the fireplace, but am concerned about how we would arrange furniture for optimal viewing. I was planning to wall mount it on an articulating bracket so it can be pointed towards the viewer. We decided not to put it over the gas fireplace, but now I am thinking about reconsidering. This will be our main television.

Does anyone have experience with a TV over the fireplace?

Can it really cause neck and eye strain from being mounted to high?

Will it get to hot up there for the TV?

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I have watched TV on several fireplace-mounted TVs. In some scenarios, it is totally fine, in others I found it to be uncomfortably high. The smaller the room (thus the closer you're sitting to it), the lower it has to be to seem reasonable. I'm having a hard time getting a sense of the scale in your picture, but if you're talking about putting it over the mantle, that looks pretty high too me. Or maybe the fireplace is very small? If that's a normal sized fireplace, I don't think I'd want my TV way up above the mantle.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 12:00AM
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This is new construction so we can set the mantle height wherever we want. The room is about 18'x14' and the fireplace is on the 18' wall. I would guess we will be sitting about 8-10' back from the television.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 12:12AM
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We have your drawn layout. The couch faces the fireplace. We have a loveseat opposite the TV - ie on the other side of the room.

When we have guests and watch TV, we use the articulating bracket.

It isn't an ideal solution but it keeps the fireplace front and center and tucks the TV out of the way.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 5:54AM
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Ours is a similar layout as yours and david cary's and we have our TV on the left hand side of the fp. Our TV slides out on a tray and can be pushed in behind closed doors when not in use. It can be seen from all seats in the room with the exception of the chair that flanks the fireplace on the opposite side of the TV. There have been several threads on this subject with lots of pictures as well as pros and cons of your options for TV placement but I didn't find the links.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 7:06AM
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I am wrestling with this issue, to balance the TV and the fireplace. Comfortable viewing of the TV above the fireplace is dependent on the height of the TV and its distance from where you are sitting. Try to replicate your design in your present home and see how it feels. From a wall, measure the proposed distance, then mark several spots on the wall at various heights. Sit in a chair and see how it feels to look at those heights. I did that in our great room and realized that anything much above standard TV-stand height is not what we want. My sister's TV is mounted above the mantle in a smallish room and it isn't comfortable to me. She says she usually watches TV with her head leaning back on the couch so it works for her. I think it is a personal decision and sometimes it is the only solution so you learn to live with it.

The building code addresses how much distance must be between the fireplace and combustible materials so be sure the design is to code. As far as the heat affecting the TV, perhaps your cabinet maker could advise? Or perhaps an audio-video website with a forum?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 12:39PM
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The ComfortVu motorized TV mount was designed for this exact purpose; it automatically carries the TV forward 22 inches (clearing the mantel) and lowers it 29 inches. Its capacity is up to 200 pounds and up to 90-inch TV's. The ComfortVu costs more than other motorized mounts, but they're developing a factory direct purchase plan that will greatly reduce the cost. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: ComfortVu's Website

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 2:23PM
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Thanks for sharing KarenLee. Given the number of threads I seen here on this forum about TVs over the fireplace, If that thing works as advertized, I'd say it is an invention whose time has come.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 2:38PM
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It is really about comfort & while angled or swiveled mounts can be used, will it:

1) Make your viewing ridiculous wit that things swung so low?
2) Will you be able to turn on your fire place while watching TV wit that mount above? Most likely not.
3) Optimum viewing level is your eyes dead center in the middle of the screen. Will your head be tilted way too high even with TV angled? Most likely.

The guys will all tell you that mounting over a fireplace is not optimal.

Base on my experience, it is okay - just not as comfortable as it could be with no fire (glare was my problem) & head still tilted up.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 3:04PM
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Here is a link to another thread I started in this topic.

Our house is very contemporary, and we are putting in a landscape fireplace with a low mantel, so while the TV will be slighly higher than it would on in the OP's photo, it won't be so high as to cause neck strain.

Currently we have our TV over a relatively low mantle, I believe the bottom of the TV is about 42" off the ground. We have it on a bracket that tilts down and we haven't ever been bothered by the height.

Personally, I don't like the asymetry of having the TV being beside the fireplace on the same wall.

Here is a link that might be useful: Corner fireplace or over TV

    Bookmark   July 12, 2012 at 3:49PM
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I am starting to think that putting our TV above the fireplace may be a better solution. It will solve a lot of issues with furniture placement and we will be able to see it clearly from the kitchen. I still have some concerns about others complaining about neck and eye strain with the TV mounted too high. This is a difficult decision.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 12:19AM
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It really is something that works for some people, and not others. I was pretty uncertain about putting it above our fireplace when we remodeled. I finally relented but refused to have the wire built in until I had live with it for awhile. I fully expect it to not work, but really it has been fantastic, though only because our mantle isn't high!

One thing you'll need to do to make it work well is ensure your mantel is not too high. When you figure out the height can you put your TV anywhere of a similar height to get an idea of what

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 1:03AM
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I'm a audio/video-phile & the HDTV has to be mounted in the correct position - seated & eye level - to make me happy.

But if you are standing in the kitchen or watching TV from varied & elevated viewing angles, then placing a TV over the fireplace shouldn't be a problem.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 2:40AM
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Go with over the fire place, I set 10ft back from ours and have never had eye neck strain. And it will just flat out look better

    Bookmark   July 15, 2012 at 7:51AM
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Agreed (over the fireplace). May not be optimal viewing angle if you are an audio/videophile (which we are not)but it works for us and will be visible from kitchen area as well.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 12:35AM
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