You need to stop mounting your TV above your fireplace

This story is part of 12 days of advicehelping you get the most out of your technology, home, and health during the holiday season.

put your new tv Over the fireplace sounds like a great idea in theory. There’s all that space above the fireplace, all the furniture already arranged, and it can be up high and out of the way. Practically speaking, one of the worst places in your home to put a TV is. Not only does this mode reduce picture quality, but it can also shorten the life of your TV and lead to potential physical pain. Mounting a TV over a fireplace, even if you don’t use it, is as bad an idea as it gets when it comes to TVs.

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And if you’re still thinking about it, do you know how you’re going to get the power and signal (HDMI port or wireless) to the TV? How do you install it on brick or stone? These are concerns too, but easily solvable. Really, though, you should just avoid these potential issues and not mount your TV above your fireplace. Here’s why.

Read more: Mounting a TV on your deck? Not so fast

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Why a TV should never be installed above a fireplace


1. Viewing angle: The TV above the fireplace is too high

Have you ever sat in the front row of a cinema? Some people like it. Most of them don’t. That sore neck you get from staring at a screen? Imagine that every time you watch TV. Most people find it uncomfortable to stare at something for long periods of time. Even worse, it might look good at first, but then you get a neck problem later.

Not surprisingly, one of Google’s first autocomplete results after “The TV over the stove…” is “Very high.” This is not a rare problem.

A small living room with a large TV set above a fireplace.

Imagine how far back you have to tilt your head to watch that TV from those seats.

Mint Images / Getty Images

Certainly, this wouldn’t be a problem in some rooms. The fireplace may be low, you may be leaning back to watch TV, and it may be far enough away that you can barely look “up” at it. But if you have ever had neck problems, often due to something work related, this aspect is something to consider as it can make such an injury worse.

Most of us would rather look a little lower Down in the TV. It’s a more natural setting (similar to what OSHA recommends for monitors). Ideally, you should be able to maintain a neutral/comfortable neck position for watching TV, which will vary depending on your couch/sitting position etc.

2. Your TV will be off-axis

Well used brick fireplace with TV fitted over.

Mounting a TV above a fireplace is often a bad idea.

Chris Heinonen / Jeff Morrison

Most of the televisions on the market today are LCD monitors. There are quality models from LG, Sony and Vizio OLEDbut other than that, regardless of the marketing name, it’s an LCD.

Most LCD screens look noticeably worse if you’re not looking directly at them. Even a few degrees below the centerline, as if you were sitting on a couch looking at the TV, can make the image look very different from what it does directly on the axis.

This is fairly easy to fix, but you will need specific equipment. Some wall mounts allow you to swivel the TV down so it faces directly into the seating area. If you insist on mounting your TV high on the wall, look for mounts that at least go around the screen. Mounting the TV flat on the wall (the cheaper solution) may make the TV look worse.

An OLED TV like the LG C2 looks much better from off-angle than standard LCD TVs. Sure, an OLED TV is pricey, but if your room requires off-the-corner seating and you want the highest quality picture, it might be worth the investment.

Read our LG OLED C2 Series 2022 review.

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3. Heat and soot damage the TV

There is nothing worse for an electronics product than heat (well, water or kicking could be worse, but you get my point). Increasing the TV’s operating temperature can shorten what should be a vitally long, reliable life.

Even worse, soot from a fire can get into the bowels of the TV, and not do you any good. Even worse, the damage will be slow and over time, not instantaneous, so your TV will likely fail sooner than it would in any other case, but still after your warranty period.

An elegant, well-lit living room with many windows and a TV set above the fireplace.

There is no better seat in this house, at least for watching TV.

Cavan Images / Getty Images

This will not be a problem for everyone. If you don’t or can’t use the heater, this shouldn’t be a problem. A gas stove may not have soot, but if the wall above is warm to the touch, that heat will warm your TV, too.


While it’s stylish and popular, mounting your TV above your fireplace may not be the best option for you or your TV. Placement is a huge issue, and the location and height of your TV can be important factors when it comes to picture quality.

If you think we’re in the minority with our concerns about bad TV placement, consider the existence of an entire subsite with nearly 100,000 subscribers dedicated to bad TV placement called r/TVTooHigh. If you don’t want to take our word for it, go over there and see what people think.

We have some guidelines for where to mount your TV. paying off Don’t Put Your TV There: Big Screen Placement Tips.

Otherwise, for more TV tips and tricks, check out our recommendations for Change TV picture settingswhy is it usually Not a good idea to increase the TV’s sharpness controland the The best time to buy a TV. Plus, Fix for muffled TV dialogue And the 7 solutions to hide unsightly TV wires.

In addition to covering television and other showcasing techniques, Geoff takes photo tours of museums and fascinating sites around the world, including nuclear submarines, massive aircraft carriers, medieval castles, epic 10,000-mile road trips, and more. Check out Tech Treks for all of his tours and adventures.

He wrote a bestselling science fiction novel about city-sized submarines, and its sequel. You can follow his adventures on Instagram and his YouTube channel.

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