For many people, the living room has to accommodate both a fireplace and a TV. Some reach a compromise by fixing the TV over the fireplace. It also seems natural since most fireplaces are closer to the floor to ease starting fires, and there is usually a space directly above. Some living rooms are designed such that the wall with the mantelpiece is the only one where a TV could fit as the other walls might be punctuated by windows or doors. However, there are many reasons you should avoid placing your TV over the fireplace in your sitting room.
Placing your TV above the mantelpiece is a terrible idea if the electronics will be your primary source of entertainment, meaning you will spend lots of hours watching it.
In this article, we will show you why you should never mount your TV in the space above your fireplace.
Strain on your neck
Fixing your TV above the fireplace affects your body, the neck, in particular. TVs in that position are usually high up especially with the taller TVs in vogue today. This means you will be staring up anytime you watch the TV, which is not ideal for your neck. You will position it at an unnatural angle and it won’t be long that you will start feeling sore in that area of your anatomy.
Here is what Brad Simpson, a physical therapist has to say to Digital Trends about TVs placed high up above the fireplace:
“It ends up putting your body in a position where your deep-neck stabilizers, muscle-wise — it’s kind of like the core of your lower back, but up in your neck — aren’t able to function. That position where you have to push your head forward and up to look up at the television compromises those muscles. Having your head forward like that causes a shearing force within your mid-cervical spine. That’s where a lot of pain ends up coming from … you lose the ability for your neck to stabilize.”
The best position for watching the TV is with your neck and shoulders in a natural position. The position of the TV on the wall that enables this depends on how far from the wall your sofa or chair is.
The viewing angle affects the quality of the image that you see
LCD screens, which are the most popular in the market today, have a particular attribute; the screen appears worse the more you deviate from a straight-line position. So, when you are sitting down and looking up at the TV, what you see is worse in quality. The sharp image is there, but you can’t see it because of your viewing angle.
This defeats the purpose of getting really nice TVs. Combined with the neck strain mentioned above, you will find yourself avoiding watching TV altogether because of fatigue.
If you must place your TV above the fireplace, there are fixes for this viewing angle problem. You can get a mounting bracket that allows you to tilt down the TV so that it beams images directly to you in your sitting position.
Damage to the TV
The large screen TVs of today are relatively significant investments. You want them to last as long as possible to get maximum value from them. Unfortunately, placing your expensive TV puts them at the risk of damages.
After water, heat is the greatest enemy of electronic products. You have probably seen smartphone screens ruined by over-exposure to sunlight due to the heat generated. When your fireplace is below your TV, the heat coming from it will damage your TV. The same applies when the wall behind the TV gets warm or hot as the heat will transfer to your electronics.
The elevated temperature will shorten the useful life of your TV.
The soothe coming from your fireplace is also not friendly to your TV. It will get inside and cover the components. While the damage won’t be immediate, it will eventually happen, most likely after your warranty has expired. Soothe might not be a problem, however, if your fireplace runs on gas or electricity.
Sometimes, your fireplace and TV have to coexist in the same sitting room. However, it is a terrible idea to mount the TV over the fireplace.