Where would you put TV in great room?

nevildevOctober 13, 2013

Does anyone have any suggestions where to put the TV and furniture in this great room? We're debating either above the fireplace, in a corner (windows could end up being blocked), or on the opposite wall of the fireplace. The fireplace will be burning most nights in the winter (wood burner with fan) so I'm concerned about the heat + electronics. Thanks for any advice.

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Sophie Wheeler

That's not a room designed for a TV. Perhaps you can have a den elsewhere? Or redesign it?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 9:48AM
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Since you're burning real wood often, I wouldn't put over FP. One of the windows on the FP wall needs to be removed so you'll have a place for the TV.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 10:24AM
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What kind of furniture will you be putting in the room? You don't want to block your fireplace if you use another wall.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 12:09PM
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We had a similar issue and ended up removing the window next to the fireplace. We had enough windows in the room so removing them was not a concern for us. In your case since the great room is 25' feet long on the fireplace wall. You could still have them may move them/reduce their size a little.

If you do place it on the opposite wall of the fireplace then how would you have the furniture placement so you face both the fireplace and TV?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 12:38PM
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How many people will be watching TV? Do you plan to use it more at night? Do you lie down on the sofa, when you watch TV? My husband does :)

Maybe something like this? Comfy chairs by the fire and a small sofa on each side. Off the breakfast room, I'd have a coffee table in front of sofa...other side maybe a nice ottoman. So very similar layout, but not too 'matchy-matchy'. (LOL) The TV (opposite the fireplace) could be viewed by at least four people at a time...if they plan to sit back in the corner of the loveseat. I think that's cozy...but it depends on how you use the space. From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 1:45PM
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I had a couple of pics in my idea book on houzz that had windows flanking the fireplace plus a TV beside it. Are you early enough that you could adjust the window sizes or is it too late for that? Hopefully these will be helpful for you even if they are giving you the 'no way' do I want that vibe. At least you can narrow down your search.

Traditional Living

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 1:59PM
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Basically what Autumn.4 said... you could use clerestory windows and have cabinets below. You need not even use clerestory units on both sides if you didn't mind having an asymmetric look... you could have a low bench/seat on one side. Here's what I am talking about:

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 2:10PM
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I would move the fireplace to the center of one of the 15 ft walls while you are in the planning stages. Then put the tv where the plan shows the fireplace at present.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 9:31PM
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We have a Heatilator woodburning fireplace and put our 55" TV above it. Our mantel is solid Oak and there was a minimum distance above the fireplace we had to follow but I have saw this done many times in my area. You do look slightly upwards to the TV but it is not a problem at all for our family. We weren't quite finished with the cabinetry in this photo. With the new TV's you can view really clearly from a pretty severe side angle. Our Heatilator firelplace has doors that close tightly and not much heat escapes to go upward towards the TV...with an open fireplace I would have a bit more concern but your fireplace should have all specs for mounting mantel.

This post was edited by LOTO on Sun, Oct 13, 13 at 22:07

    Bookmark   October 13, 2013 at 9:57PM
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Unfortunately we're beyond the planning process so won't be able to move the fireplace, but we may be able to take out or change the window sizes somewhat.
Furniture was either going to be two couches or a couch and a recliner, two end tables, coffee table, a computer desk, and a shelf mostly for toys. We definitely don't want to block the fireplace and were hoping for a solution that would allow us to both watch TV (4 people) comfortably and enjoy the fireplace, so having the TV on the opposite wall of the fireplace wouldn't work. Also, it would be ideal to have an open path for the kids to run / play without breaking anything. Neither of us are overly crazy about the TV over the fireplace, but some of the examples you have put in here look great, so we may end up doing it. Thank you for the ideas!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 7:17AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

It looks to me like you could have the TV opposite the fp and have 2 sofas parallel to each other, pulled closer to the middle in a conversational cluster with a single coffee table in the middle, and leave the window walls to the other purposes...make one a reading area, make the other the computer/desk area. Then, while sitting or laying on the sofas, you can look one way to the fp and the other to TV. Just keep the sofa backs on the lower side so they don't create a visual barrier in the middle of the room.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 9:24AM
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I don't like a TV above the FP, because it means craning your neck to see the TV. We have one TV on a 2'-tall cabinet, another on a 3'-tall cabinet, and both are very comfortable for watching.

I would put the TV on one side of the fireplace, with a small window above, or put the TV in the corner.

My Mom has a FP in her smallish family room, on the east wall. There is a love seat on the west wall with a recliner angled next to it, a recliner in front of the FP facing south, and the TV is on the SW corner of the room. Only the love seat faces the FP straight on - but in my experience (living in the house for 30 years), we spend a lot more time looking at the TV than the FP.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 9:50AM
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We have TVs over the fireplace. If you are within 10ft, you have neck issues, but beyond that it's fine. And our fireplace is a woodburner, we've not had issues with a fire and TV working together yet. Make sure you get a power outlet and whatever HDMI/Cat5e wiring from the TV location to the cable/sat box during roughins.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 3:14PM
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Putting TV above an fireplace creates an awkward viewing angle. Ours is not above fireplace but I still find it too high (sore neck). Eye level would be much better.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2013 at 3:21PM
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I don't understand how people can so categorically state that putting a TV over the fireplace causes neck or viewing issues.

If you don't personally LIKE the look, then fine. :) But that is a separate issue.

However, I can say that with enough room, you can indeed very comfortably view a TV over a fireplace.

I've lived with a TV over my fireplace for over a year. Zero neck issues. Zero viewing issues. And I love the set-up because my living room has a ton of windows and I didn't want to eliminate or block any of them.

I'm guessing our chairs are 16' or so from the TV. I'm sure if we were right on top of it, then we would be too close. But with 16 feet, and the tv is on a swivel and angled downward....it works wonderfully for us.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 10:52AM
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deleting duplicate. Sorry folks!

This post was edited by patriceny on Tue, Oct 15, 13 at 10:54

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 10:53AM
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"I don't understand how people can so categorically state that putting a TV over the fireplace causes neck or viewing issues. "

Because TVs are designed to be viewed at eye level.
So, unless you are giants....

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 11:33AM
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Hi LuAnn - nope, I'm definitely not a giant. I'm actually more toward smurf-sized. :)

But my tv over my fireplace doesn't bother me in the least. Zero neck or viewing issues in over a year with it up there.

I resisted putting it up there too. In theory I'd rather have it somewhere else. If the chairs are too close, then yes I'm sure it would be uncomfortable. I reluctantly agreed to try it.....and it turned out to be the best option.

So if people have an aesthetic beef with the placement, fine. I'm not the style police. ;) But it cracks me up to read categorical statements that putting a tv over a fireplace won't work....particularly when such categorical statements are preceded by other statements from people claiming to have such a set up and that it works fine for them.

All I'm saying is that it can indeed be done comfortably. I wouldn't try it in a 10' deep room - but with enough depth and a downward tilt, it works fine. For me anyway.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 1:10PM
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The room the OP shows is 16' wide, with the fireplace coming into the room. Unless the OP puts a sofa on the wall opposite the FP (which is a walkway), folks will be sitting more like 10 - 12 feet from the TV.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 1:26PM
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patriceny....my exact thoughts and I almost posted the same thing yesterday.
I am sitting here comfortably with my laptop viewing my 55" Samsung that is over the fireplace and I am at a slight angle and it is 108" from my eyes to the center of the TV...no neck or viewing problems at all and everyone in our home loves the location of the TV.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 2:37PM
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"I don't understand how people can so categorically state that putting a TV over the fireplace causes neck or viewing issues. "

Ergonomically speaking, it's best to have the TV at eye level. The reason is that, there is a lot more muscles on the back of one's neck than in the front, so it's easier to look down (with the muscles on the back of his/her neck supporting his/her head) than look up.

Of course, one doesn't need to follow any ergonomic guidelines. On the positive side, if one does get a sore neck, he/she can think of it as an alert (time to turn off the TV, and go outside or read a book).

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 7:33PM
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I'm just posting to agree with patriceny and LOTO. I always feel like the "categorical" statements are from people who haven't really lived with that set up and are mostly speculating. Regardless, the tv over a fireplace CAN work and shouldn't be instantly discounted.

We also have a TV over a fireplace w/ a sofa about 13-14 ft back. There is no issue at all. The TV at that height also makes it especially viewable from the connected kitchen, which we like. If the TV was lower, I wouldn't be able to see it while cooking. (Yes, I cook while watching football.)

I will say, though, that if someone needs to sit completely upright (as opposed to lounging back on the couch,) they might not like our set up. For people who lounge, recline, etc., I can't imagine it being a problem.

(I also have a TV in the upper corner of my gym. I watch it while doing cardio, which means I am looking up the entire time. That has never bothered me at all.)

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 9:28PM
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There is a subset of people who hate TVs over fireplaces.

There is another subset of people who HAVE TVs over fireplaces and like it.

Until I started hanging out here, I was blissfully ignorant of this raging debate. It ranks right up there with "shoes or no shoes in the house", and "subway tiles - timeless or overdone".

I love first world problems. :)

Since I fall into the "I have it and I like it" camp, I'm here to convert the masses......

Ok, so I'm kidding about that.

But I am serious (sort-of) that I will challenge the " it can't be done comfortably" statements. Several people here have posted that they have this exact set-up and it works well for them.

I like the look. It combines two focal points into one location. In theory, I'd love to have a room that could handle two focal points - but the reality is that with all the windows and doorways in my living room, this was by far the best option.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 9:27AM
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If there were not flat screens, we would not even be debating this. Everyone would find a place for the TV that was not over the fireplace.
Funny that some cannot do this now....

I agree, patriceny.... first world problem. :-)

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 10:36AM
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You can't put that TV above your head! Stupid Football Stadiums putting their TVs above my head, my neck hurts just thinking about all those poor fans at the game. Why didn't some Architect search GardenWeb to find out putting a TV up that high causes neck strain? I think we've got a second class action suit against the NFL on our hands!

As I said, 10 ft and in is a little close for mounting above your seating height, but further out is no problem. In fact, when I'm in a recliner, laid back, it's much easier to see the TV above our fireplace than at my in-laws where the TV is in a cabinet at floor height.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 3:41PM
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I still like the TV opposite the fireplace. I saw that in someone's log home...and it was great! You didn't see the TV when you came in and the furniture was set up for conversation. But, easy to see the TV from all locations, once you're in the room. Just an idea :) From Kitchen plans

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 6:52PM
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Placing both a TV and a fireplace in the same room is a puzzle many of us have struggled with as evidenced by the frequent threads on this topic. We were going to put the TV beside the fireplace in our home (which is not workable with your windows), but have elected to have one of those pop-up TV consoles. We will wire under the floor for the unit. Essentially our TV will be across from the fireplace (well almost) and the pop-up TV console will be discretely positioned behind a love seat. I am not sure if that might give you another option. It does take care of the competing focal point problem. I can post a floor plan if that is any help.

In your case, I would try, where possible, to not have all your furniture backing to the adjoining rooms. It is nice to have some seating facing directly or sideways towards the adjoining room so those seated don't all have their backs to the adjoining rooms. I wonder if you could place your TV on the adjacent wall to the fireplace or even the corner (sort of where Lavender shows a couch).

Best of luck,


    Bookmark   October 17, 2013 at 6:23PM
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