Mount your TV at least 20 inches above the fireplace. In most cases, this will put your TV 7–12 inches above the fireplace mantle. If your TV is not wall-mounted, place the TV stand at least 36 inches away from the fireplace opening. TVs are heat-sensitive. Placing one too close to your fireplace can cause the TV to overheat, destroying it.
Does Heat From a Fireplace Damage Your TV?
The heat radiating from your fireplace can cause significant damage to your TV. If your TV is too close to your fireplace, it may overheat, display images improperly, or stop working completely. Although some fireplaces are more dangerous to TVs than others, any fireplace that radiates heat is a possible threat to your TV.
- A TV positioned too close to a fireplace will be damaged by heat.
- Too much heat from a fireplace can even destroy your TV.
- Smoke and soot from a fireplace can also damage your television.
In addition to heat damage, fireplaces with open fronts release smoke and soot. The particulates in smoke may damage your television. Although this is most common with wood-burning fireplaces, gas fireplaces also create soot.
Wall Mounted TVs: Minimum Distance from Fireplace
If your fireplace has a mantle, make sure your TV is mounted at least 20 inches above the fireplace opening. This typically puts the TV 7–12 inches above the mantle. The ideal viewing height for your TV is a maximum of 65 inches above the ground. If you must mount your TV higher than this, use a tilt mount so you can angle the TV downward. Make sure to take extra precautions if you are mounting your TV over a fireplace where there are no wall studs.
- Mount your TV at least 20 inches above the fireplace.
- If your TV will be more than 65 inches from the floor, consider a tilt mount to make viewing more comfortable.
- Install a fireplace mantle to prevent heat from flowing upward and damaging your TV.
If your fireplace doesn’t have a mantle, consider installing one. Mantels are not just decorative. They serve to redirect warm air as it attempts to flow upward. The mantle will cause the air to flow outward, away from the wall. This prevents heat from flowing straight up and damaging your TV. It also helps heat your home more effectively.
On-Stand TVs: Minimum Distance from Fireplace
If you plan to put your TV on a stand or other piece of furniture, make sure it is at least 3 feet from the fireplace opening. Fireplaces are designed to send heat outward into the room, so the area immediately near the fireplace must be kept clear of all electronics.
- Place a TV on a stand at least 36 inches from your fireplace.
- Do not place your TV in front of the fireplace if possible.
- Position your TV along an adjacent wall instead of blocking the fireplace.
When possible, do not put a TV stand in front of a fireplace. Choose an adjacent wall. This will prevent the TV from receiving radiant heat. It will increase the longevity of your TV and allow the heat from your fireplace to properly circulate.
How Can You Protect Your TV From Fireplace Heat?
The best way to reduce the chance of heat and smoke damage to your TV is to switch from a wood-burning fireplace to a gas or electric fireplace. Gas-burning and electric units are far less dangerous to nearby electronics.
- Convert your wood-burning fireplace to a gas or electric fireplace.
- Install a mantle over your fireplace that projects at least 2.5 inches from the wall.
- Close the fireplace doors when the fireplace is in use.
If you are mounting a TV over a fireplace, protect it from heat by installing a fireplace mantle that projects at least 2.5 inches from the wall. You can also close the fireplace doors to keep heat from flowing out, but this will also reduce the home-heating capability of your fireplace.
Where Should You Place Your TV if the Fireplace is Decorative?
If your fireplace is decommissioned or you do not plan to use your fireplace, then you can position your TV however you like. A fireplace that won’t be used poses no danger to a TV. So, you can mount a TV right above a decorative fireplace if you wish.
- You can disregard mounting distances and guidelines if your fireplace is decommissioned or decorative.
- A fireplace that will not ever have a fire in it has no chance of harming your TV.
- If you ever decide to use a previously decommissioned fireplace, you will have to move your TV to a safe distance.
Make sure to stick to your plan to not use your fireplace if you install a TV close by. If at any point you wish to use the fireplace to generate heat, you will need to reposition your TV to prevent it from being damaged by radiant heat.
What is the Best Distance Between a Fireplace and Your TV?
The best way to position your TV near a fireplace is:
- Mount your TV at least 20 inches above a fireplace.
- If your TV is mounted more than 65 inches above the floor, install a tilt mount for more comfortable viewing.
- If your fireplace does not have a mantle, install one to prevent heat from flowing upward and damaging your TV.
- If your TV is on a stand or other furniture, place it at least 36 inches from the fireplace.
These simple rules will provide minimum clearance between your fireplace and your TV. Positioning a TV close to an in-use fireplace risks heat damage that could destroy your television.