It goes without saying that when you sit down to relax in front of your fireplace (with or without a fire going), you want to be visually entertained. Fireplace doors, screens, mantels, and the surrounding décor are all included in this bowl of eye candy, so to speak! And it seems that, as of lately, everyone's favorite piece is the trendy flat screen. People love the concept of mounting their television over the fireplace. Personally, yes, we think it looks incredibly chic in a family room and makes a bold yet leisurely statement for any man cave. However, being the safety advocates that we are, Fireplace Doors Online wants to explain why it is in your best interest to really keep the TV and fireplace separated.
Let us first say that there certainly are some situations that will allow you to enjoy the look of your flat screen perfectly positioned over the flickering flames. We'd like to explore these avenues with you as well. However, when we get asked by our customers if it is safe to mount a television over the hearth, we typically respond that we do not recommend it, and here's why: fire and electronics do not mix! Let's cover some basics together and figure out which circumstances will allow you to attempt this decorating feat that so many people have already accomplished.
Please use your best judgment. We recommend thoroughly reading your television and fireplace manuals for questions related to this particular matter. Fireplace Doors Online cannot be held liable for any damages that may occur from mounting a TV over a fireplace. However, we do want to advise you of some safety precautions.
The family gathering area has changed to accommodate greater and more modern entertainment needs. This includes the use of technology, such as our computers, Blu-Ray players, internet connectivity, video games, and televisions. What better room to enjoy the company of friends and loved ones, especially when you can get cozy in front of the fire and stay warm? That being said, many people have decided to utilize their mantels and walls that surround the fireplace for displaying electronics. Other homes just don't have the space to accommodate these devices anywhere else but over the fireplace. In order to make everything copacetic, there are two main concerns that should be taken into consideration.
This is perhaps this biggest matter. As we all know, a fireplace is a source of heat. However, so are your electronics! A combination of heat from your firebox and from the electrical elements in your TV can generate quite a bit of heat. Too much can cause irreparable damage to your device (or other high tech components) above it. Most manufacturers do not recommend placing anything electronic over your fireplace.
- If you have a gas-burning model, consider a recessed design for your plasma TV. With the electrical heat directed away from the fireplace, this may be a safer alternative for you.
- If you've got a larger than average viewing area (with seating across the room from the TV), consider taking advantage of the room size and adding a little more distance than normal between the fireplace and television. You'll safeguard the flat screen and avoid craning your neck to get the appropriate viewing angle!
- In addition, you'll want to thoroughly read your fireplace owner's manual. It should tell you exactly how much clearance is required for the space between the hearth and combustible materials. The same applies when configuring the spot for your flat screen television.
- Add a contemporary steel mantel shelf to the wall between your TV and fireplace. It will deflect heat from the fire away from your device, and really enhance the look of your room!
- Another great alternative to harmoniously arranging fire and electronics is the electric fireplace! You'll have complete control over the temperature. In fact, certain models (such as the Amantii Slim) allow you to enjoy the view of the flames without having to run the heater.
MOUNTING & INSTALLATION
- Will this area permit you to hide power cords or connect to the nearest power source without the use of extension lines? The last thing you want is for your entertainment area to appear cluttered, messy, and disheveled.
- Do you need to have your surround sound equipment, cable systems, or other devices close to your flat screen? If so, consider again the distance to the nearest power source, as well as the number of electrical receptacles that you'll need.
- Make sure that you have selected a system that supports the full weight of your TV! Some mounts allow for the safe tilting of your flat screen to achieve better viewing angles. (However, if you have an LCD television model, there is virtually no bad angle with these units, which makes the necessity to tilt the flat screen obsolete.)
It is always best to have a certified electrician come in and evaluate your unique layout. The information we have given you here today is based on average situations and may not apply to you. Keep in mind that these seemingly "simple" installations tend to get overwhelming a lot quicker and easier than we imagine!
Remember to always consult and follow your television and fireplace manufacturers' directions for the best and safest results. Fireplace Doors Online wants our customers to take all safety precautions necessary in order to achieve and enjoy the hearth and electronics alliance!