FAQ: Placing a TV over the Fireplace

Homearame fireplace design by Kathy Corbet

FAQ: Placing a TV over the Fireplace

Placing the TV over the fireplace is a design question that comes up almost weekly.  Is it safe? Is it ideal for viewing? How does it all work together as the centerpiece for a room?

There is no “white paper” that explains or spells out recommendations or best practices for mounting TVs over a fireplace from any industry organization. However, I have plenty of experience placing TVs in my over 25 years in business. Let me answer a few key questions.

“I want to put my TV over my fireplace, but is it ideal for viewing? I want the picture to look good!”

Scott McNutt, owner of Avico (and my go-to for AV work) says for TV viewing in general, the standard is in the CEA/CEDIA-CB23-A and states “All seats within the viewing area should aim for no more than 15 degrees above or below the orthogonal axis.”  This drawing is a good visual for explaining this.



We need to take into account the seating arrangement, heights of the end users, and other areas of view within or around the room to allow comfortable viewing for everyone. Some homeowners are okay with the screen sitting many degrees higher than the 15 inches as recommended and then some do not. We can look into alternative mounting solutions that offer automated or manual movement to lower the screen to a better viewing height. Future Automation and Mantel Mount are two that we recommend.

Is it safe?

High heat can ruin the lifespan of your TV. For an existing fireplace, check the surface temperature of the wall/mantel before you place a TV.  If you have a gas fireplace insert, get the make and model number and look up the specs.  There will be drawings and measurements showing the recommended mantle height and projection.

Here are some examples of what to look for:


This is a design drawing based on the specs.  The client opted not to do this placement based on the required height and mantle projection.


TV placement drawing by Kathy Corbet


How do I make the wall look good?

Homearame fireplace design by Kathy Corbet


Here we used a special gas fireplace insert that allowed us to bring shiplap right up to the firebox.  The size and shape of the TV are complemented by the very linear design.  This was built by Jones Homes.



We needed this fireplace to look strong enough to support the large tv over it and balance the wall. So we pulled the lower portion of the wall out and gave it weight by adding tile, the reclaimed wood Asian door corbels, and marble.  This carpentry was expertly done by Jason Connelly of Connelly Construction. Note that this fireplace is electric.

What if my wall has a fireplace and a window?

Take a look at this before and after.



The window did make this wall a challenge. However, with a little teamwork we pulled it off. Fabling Built worked with Fireside Hearth and Home to get the gas fireplace insert right. Avico handled the television, audio and video.  The end result is very pleasing and a fresh update to a very 1970s townhouse.



Want us to take a look at your wall and help find the right placement? Contact us today.

Kathy Corbet Interiors is thrilled to be featured in the upcoming book Inspired Interiors. Browse some of our most beautiful spaces alongside the work of other leading interior designers and start imagining your dream home.