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Fireplace over TV � type of fireplace?

Posted by buildiva22 (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 14, 12 at 15:16

Greetings!

We are planning to put TV directly above fireplace in our new build. While we have the same setting right now but we feel that our TV is too high, we have a relatively small family room now though. We are still in the researching stage and learning about different types of fireplace (gas, wood, electric). I have come across quite many gas fireplace designs that are wider and shorter so I think those may work better with a TV above. I would assume wood fireplace boxes are more or less the same size? So now I wonder if we should just focus on finding a gas fireplace for this reason. Also wondering if there is any difference between a ventless gas fireplace with a glass front and those without for our purpose as well. What are your experiences? Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Fireplace over TV � type of fireplace?

Just chiming in to strongly suggest that if you decide to get a gas fireplace, get a DIRECT VENT instead of a VENT FREE (ventless) fireplace. Yes the Direct Vent fireplace will have a sheet of glass over the fire while the Ventless will not. BUT, and this is important, if ventless fireplaces are not properly installed and maintained, they can expel poisonous combustion gasses into your home. See the link below to a short article that explains the difference between the two types and, without hype, delves into the pros/cons.

As for TV over the fireplace, the optimal viewing height for a TV is with the center of the screen at eye level when you're seated in your favorite viewing chair. For me that would mean that any fireplace beneath the TV would have to be awfully short and mounted at floor level. No raised hearth at all! You can mount the TV a little bit higher if you tilt it downward.

Someone recently posted an image of a very short wide direct vent gas fireplace that would probably work well with a TV mounted over it. But most people that do the TV over fireplace thing wind up with the TV too high.

A lot of the people I know have their TVs mounted above a fireplace and those with big screen TVs seem to just love throwing super bowl parties and sweet16 basketball parties. I guess maybe they get used to watch TV with their heads tilted back but I invariably wind up getting a crick in my neck watching the game. I have yet to attend one of these functions that I didn't find myself wishing mid-way thru that DH And I had just stayed home and watched the game on our own TV that is properly mounted at the right height for viewing.

Here is a link that might be useful: Direct Vent versus Vent Free gas fireplaces


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RE: Fireplace over TV � type of fireplace?

I posted something slightly similar a couple weeks ago when I was trying to decide who to set up our own room and we are will have our TV over our fireplace. It is actually set up the same way in our current home, and as your mantle is only 3'6" of the ground and we don't have a raised hearth it works quite well. My DH does complain that he has to tilt our LCD screen down to get the perfect viewing angle though!

Below is a link where I posted some of my inspiration photos, though I don't know enough about fireplaces to know if these are direct vent or vent free.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fireplace inspiration


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RE: Fireplace over TV � type of fireplace?

I just learned about a Rumford fireplace (not a brand name- a design named after the guy who invented it in the 1700s.) It looks really interesting and we're considering using it in our build. You might want to check it out for yourself!


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RE: Fireplace over TV � type of fireplace?

We have our tv over the fireplace and we did not do a raised hearth. (I didn't want a raised hearth - had it in our old house and wanted a change.)

We have a gas fireplace that is ventless. It is on the smaller side. We used a smaller mantle (4" deep cedar) and we kept the TV at a good height. My head doesn't tilt back to watch tv - I feel like I'm not tilting any more than if I'd mounted it on top of the media cabinets next to the fireplace. Let me know if you want me to post a photo.


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RE: Fireplace over TV � type of fireplace?

downsy I would love to see photos. I am planning to do the same set up and have concerns about the TV height.


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RE: Fireplace over TV � type of fireplace?

I'm attaching 2 photos - ones a little closer. We could have put our mantle a little lower and the tv would have been a bit lower too. But we felt this looked balanced in the room with the higher ceilings. We don't feel like we're looking up and getting a sore neck!
Photobucket

Photobucket


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RE: Fireplace over TV � type of fireplace?

Without even considering the ergonomics of the situation (which are vitally important!) I'm just not fond of the visual black hole above another visual black hole from a design standpoint. Black adds a lot of perceived mass and weight to a space and has to be considered very carefully from in your overall design. You just can't plop a TV above a fireplace and expect it to look right unless it's designed to look "right". You would need to use black in a big way as an accent color for the rest of the room in order to make it feel integrated and spread the heavyness out, or else plan on some type of masking camoflauge like a sliding picture or mirror to conceal it. And that is in addition to using a decorative fireplace screen (NOT in black) that modifies the lower black hole, of course.


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RE: Fireplace over TV � type of fireplace?

GreenDesigns, I can appreciate your point of view, but it is subjective. Many designers plan TVs over fireplaces and they look fantastic when properly planned out, which doesn't need to include a lot of black accents.

In an ideal set up I would love to have a room where the fireplace and TV were on entirely separate walls, but that often doesn't work, and from my own perspective having the TV and fireplace on the same wall but not stacked creates an asymmetry that I personally don't like. That said, I can see why other people prefer that design and I wouldn't try to talk anyone out of it.

Here are some TV over the fireplace inspiration photos:







At first I considered different solutions as well, however I've decided the TV over the fireplace is my preference when compared to the TV being in a cabinet next to the fireplace, or the TV being on a console table with the fireplace in the corner.

TV in cabinet next to fireplace - the furniture is always off center. This may good in a room (like a formal living room) where the TV is seldom turned on, but in a family room where the TV is on for a couple hours most evenings it isn't my preference.

Fireplace in corner - I don't like the loss of symmetry and needing to use a console table. I suppose built in cabnitry would be possible, but again, I really appreciatte symmetry in design.


Though, if I could put the fireplace on a different wall altogether I may do something like this:


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RE: Fireplace over TV � type of fireplace?

I'm one of the proponents of the tv over the fireplace. If I hadn't just plunged forth doing it in our last house I would question it, but our necks were never strained and none of our kids ever complained about it, either - we just never even thought about it and it wasn't tilted down, either. Different strokes...

That said, I do try to keep the tv on the low-ish side. And be aware, if you have a wood-burning fireplace, code pushes the mantle up something like 9" if it's made of a combustible material like wood. Thus we are getting a stone mantle to keep it lower.

And completely agree on the direct vent gas - safety issue PLUS the direct vented fire is so much prettier. We're putting in one wood and one gas, and I insisted the gas be direct vent (even though it cost a hunk more to do it because of placement - another story).


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RE: Fireplace over TV � type of fireplace?

thanks all! Laura12, thanks for sharing your decision making process.


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RE: Fireplace over TV � type of fireplace?

@bevangel, yes after reading some articles, we decided to go with direct vent fireplaces.


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RE: Fireplace over TV � type of fireplace?

I hadn't even thought of the fireplace options (direct vent or otherwise) but I guess we will be going with a direct vent as well! :)


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