Friday, May 13, 2011

Mounting TV Above the Fireplace

flat screen tv mount installSo you went out and got yourself a big ol' flat screen television did you? Well now that you've lugged the over sized box home and got the TV out of all that environment friendly styrofoam, where are you going to put it? You can put it on a stand, place it in a custom cabinet or even mount it on the wall. I don't know about you but I've had almost all of my previous TVs on a TV stand and have never really had the opportunity to mount one on a wall. I've been to pubs and restaurants and admired these beautiful TVs mounted up in the air, with no cables in site and always knew that I would get one some day.

Well that day was here so I went and mounted my 58" Samsung Plasma TV above my gas fireplace! I have to tell you straight up, it was not difficult but that doesn't mean that it's right for everyone. There are a lot of factors to consider before choosing to mount your TV in such a place. I spent quite a bit of time researching the idea before committing. Actually, I mounted the TV above the fireplace and left the cables visible for about 6 months just to confirm that I liked the viewing angle. Once I knew the wife and I had no issues with it's position, I ran the cables through the wall down to a small cabinet where the PS3, audio receiver and Telus Optik PVR are located. 
my 58 inch samsung plasma tv above gas fireplace
Yes, It was Christmas and that is Commando on Blu-Ray! Amen.

The challenge to this type of project is that you can't really find all of the information you need to know, in one place. It seems to be scattered across the internet on multiple forums, just waiting for you to gather it. On top of that, all TV rooms are different and there is no blueprint for how your TV will mount or if your particular wall is hollow, studded or has some form of electrical hazard inside. If you've bought a TV and a wall mount and have absolutely no idea how to mount it, you shouldn't even start. Call an experienced friend or family member to come and help. Not to mention my 58" weighs a ton, and is quite awkward to handle, especially when trying to lift it over your head (almost anyway). Here are some things to consider that even the best handymen might not consider beforehand:

- Will your TV actually fit in the area you want it to go? Always measure 2-3 times!
- Is there a power outlet nearby? If not you may need an extension, or an electrician to install one for you as it can be illegal to run power extensions through drywall.
- TV's are sensitive to heat. Does your fireplace have a fan blow heat away from the TV?
- Is there a mantle sticking out that may shield the TV from rising heat?
- Are there studs (metal or wood) behind the location you want the TV mounted?
- Where will you put your source electronics and do you have the cables to reach?
- Does your mount have an angle up/down or left/right option to help with viewing angles?
- Do you have ALL of the tools you will need to mount the TV (drill, stud finder, level, measuring tape etc) 
- Is there anywhere else in the room that would be as good, or better to mount it?
- Can I afford to have a professional come in to do it for me?

The big concern for me with this idea was, what if I got the beast up on the wall and then decided I hated it that high. Then I would be stuck pulling it down and also left with huge holes on the wall from the big mounting screws. I've posted a picture to the right and you can see how my TV looks above the gas fireplace, even though the picture is from Christmas. Feel free to comment with any questions or comments.


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