When you finally buy that premium television you've dreamed of for years, you don't want to hide it away in a dark corner. It should be the focus of your living room. If that focus is already on your fireplace, positioning your new flat-screen TV over the fireplace is a logical way to take advantage of the room's orientation.
Can't Take the Heat
Heat and smoke are the enemies of electronics, so if the top of your fireplace is discolored by heat or tinted by smoke, just don't go there. To test the heat, tape a thermometer to the wall over your fireplace and crank up the fire to the max. If your thermometer reads 90 degrees Fahrenheit or more, it's not the place for your high-end TV.
Unless you have a low, mantleless fireplace, you'll probably put your TV in a higher-than-ideal location. Most TVs work best with a narrow range of viewing angles, so you'll need a mounting bracket that angles the screen downward toward your seating position.
The Practical Details
Before you start the installation, check your local building code for any restrictions or requirements related to placing cables near the flue. If you have a brick or stone chimney, you'll need special anchors to attach the mounting bracket. Ideally, you might grind a channel into the grout and then tap a conduit or raceway into the groove to hold the wires. When you're done, paint or caulk over the conduit for a finished appearance.
Some rooms lend themselves to less conventional installations. If your modern fireplace is set into a broad wall with no mantle, consider placing the television off center and using art pieces of similar proportions to balance the wall. If you never use the fireplace, and it's suitably sized, install the television in the fireplace itself. This provides ventilation and plenty of room for wires, and your TV will be better positioned for viewing.
Photo Credits: Jessica Isaac/Demand Media
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