Pros and Cons of Hanging a TV Over a Fireplace

In homes with fireplaces, hanging the television over the mantel has become a popular choice -- one that has its pros and cons. Cost, heat damage, and viewing comfort are just a few things to consider when deciding whether or not this new look is right for you.

Pros: Space and Appearance

Saving Space

Hanging your television over your fireplace is a great way to save space, because you won't need a separate entertainment center, stand or other piece of furniture to hold the mounted television.

Create a Focal Point

When a television and fireplace are both present, it can be difficult to know how to arrange your furniture so you can enjoy the crackling fire and your favorite movies in equal measure. Putting both focal points in the same area solves this dilemma.

Sleek and Stylish Aesthetic

Another benefit of hanging a flat-screen television above the fireplace is the sleek, clean look it creates. This is a pro if you like a modern feel, but could be considered a con if you prefer more traditional home decor.

Cons: Heat, Height and Cost

Heat Damage

Perhaps the biggest downside of hanging a television above the fireplace is that heat from the fire could damage the unit. Tape a thermometer to the wall above your fireplace and then light a fire, letting it burn for a few hours. If the temperature on the thermometer reaches 90 degrees Fahrenheit or more, you can't hang your television there.

Viewing Height

Height is a potential downside to hanging your television. If your mantel is high, you may have to hang your television so high you'll get a stiff neck when watching it. However, you could work around this problem by mounting the television on a bracket that tilts, allowing you to point the television down and eliminate the need to look up at it, which is what causes the stiff neck. If the room is large enough, you can also move your couch or favorite chair farther away from the television. If you can get 12 feet away from the television screen, you should be able to view it comfortably.

Potential Cost

There is also a cost associated with discreetly running wires and adding electrical outlets to make your television function while hiding unattractive wires and cables.