To mount a TV over your fireplace if there are no studs in the wall, you will need to anchor the wall mount in place with toggle bolts or molly bolts. First, choose a wall mount and determine the appropriate place for your TV above the fireplace. Then, drill pilot holes and secure the wall mount with your heavy-duty mounting bolts. Next, attach the mounting plate to the back of your TV. Finally, hang your TV on the securely installed wall mount.
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Is it OK to Mount a TV Above a Fireplace?
Whenever possible, avoid hanging your TV above a fireplace. Not only is a TV over a fireplace prone to overheating if the fireplace is in use, but the height of the fireplace mantel also requires you to hang your TV very high. This makes for a very uncomfortable and neck-straining angle when watching TV. If you can, hang your TV in another location.
- If possible, do not hang your TV over a fireplace.
- A TV hung over a fireplace is exposed to damaging heat and soot when the fireplace is used.
- Hanging a TV over a fireplace places it very high on the wall, which makes for an uncomfortable viewing angle.
- If you do hang your TV over a fireplace, do not use the fireplace to heat your home—you may damage your TV in the process.
If you must hang your TV above the fireplace for any reason, it’s best to hang it at the right height, or not to use the fireplace to heat your home. The heat and soot from a gas or wood-burning fireplace can severely damage or even destroy your TV.
How Far Above a Fireplace Should a TV be Mounted?
If you plan to use your fireplace to heat your home, your TV should be mounted at least 12 inches above the fireplace mantel. This will prevent excessive heat and soot from your fireplace from damaging your TV. Do not hang your TV just above the fireplace mantel. Debris and soot from the fireplace can destroy your television.
- If your fireplace will be used, hang your TV at least 12 inches above the mantel.
- Hanging your TV at the appropriate height will help prevent heat damage.
- If your fireplace will not be used, hang your TV as close to the mantel as you wish.
If your fireplace is purely decorative and will never be used, feel free to hang your TV just above the mantel. As long as it won’t be exposed to the extreme heat of the fireplace, you’ll benefit from having your TV at a more comfortable viewing angle.
Can You Hang a TV Wall Mount Without Studs?
While it is possible to hang a wall-mounted TV on a portion of the wall where there are no studs, it’s always best to secure a wall mount to studs. In most cases, the wall above your fireplace will have wall studs. Use a high-quality stud finder to search for them before hanging your TV with another method.
- You can hang a TV on the wall where there are no studs.
- When possible, it’s best to use studs to hang a TV.
- Use this stud finder to search for wall studs above your fireplace.
Securing a TV wall mount directly to the wall studs is the sturdiest method. Other wall-hanging methods are safe, but they’re more complex and should only be used as a second option.
7 Steps to Mount a TV Above a Fireplace Without Using Wall Studs
When you’re hanging a flat-screen TV above your fireplace without wall studs, drywall anchors won’t support the weight. You need a much stronger wall fastener, especially if you plan on installing a full-motion mount. The steps below will allow you to mount your TV safely.
Choose a Wall Mount
Select a wall mount that is compatible with your model and size of TV. Because of the high viewing angle of a TV mounted over a fireplace, search for tilt mounts for your TV model. They can allow you to angle the TV downward for more comfortable viewing.
- Choose a wall mount that is compatible with your TV’s make and model.
- Tilt mounts allow a downward angle that may make for a more comfortable viewing angle.
- When securing a TV without using studs, avoid swing-arm mounts. They increase the load on the wall anchors.
When attaching a TV where there are no wall studs, it is best to use a fixed mount. A full-motion mount can put a lot of leverage on your wall anchors. While studs can support a swinging-arm mount, even the most powerful anchors may be strained by this installation.
Determine the Position of the TV
Determine where the mount must be placed so your TV is hung at the correct height. Remember, when mounting a TV on your wall:
- Hang your TV as close to eye level as possible.
- Mount your TV at least 12 inches above your fireplace mantel if the fireplace will be used.
These 2 guidelines may conflict. When in doubt, hang your TV a safe distance above your fireplace. Ignore this rule you do not intend to use it to heat your home at all. If the fireplace is decommissioned, you can hang your fireplace just above the mantel.
Mark the Wall Mount Holes on the Wall
Once you have found the correct height for your TV mount, hold it up the wall. Make sure it is centered and level. Then, use a pencil to mark each hole where a toggle bolt must be inserted to secure the mount to the wall.
- Use a tape measure to ensure your mount is far enough above the mantel that the TV will be installed at the appropriate height.
- Use a carpenter’s level to make certain the mount is level where it is held against the wall.
- If necessary, use finish nails to temporarily hang the mount so you can adjust the height and level.
- Use a pencil to mark the wall where each wall anchor must be installed to secure the mount to the wall.
To ensure a level TV mount, it’s a good idea to use a measuring tape and level to find the distance from the top of the fireplace mantel to the TV mount. Then, use your level to make sure the mount is parallel to the mantel before marking the wall.
Drill Pilot Holes
Use an electric drill to drill pilot holes in the wall where each pencil mark was made during the previous step. It is beneficial to have your anchor bolts on hand during this step. Remember, the pilot holes must be just large enough to allow a folded toggle bolt to fit through, no larger.
- Drill a pilot hole at each marked spot on your wall.
- The pilot hole should be just large enough for a folded toggle bolt to fit through.
- Start with a small pilot hole. You can enlarge it later if you need to.
When in doubt about the size of your pilot hole, start small. It’s easy to use a larger drill bit to enlarge the hole, but a hole that is too big will make for a poor mount. Drilling pilot holes that are too big can compromise the strength of your wall anchors.
Secure the Wall Mount With Toggle Bolts
Do not use a hollow wall anchor or plastic wall fastener to secure a TV mount to your wall. You need something that will handle much more weight to keep your TV from falling. A ⅜” toggle bolt in drywall can hold 50 pounds (23 kilos) per-bolt. In comparison, plastic wall anchors can only hold 15 pounds (7 kilos) per anchor.
- Plastic wall anchors are not sufficient for a TV wall mount—they can only hold 15 pounds (7 kilos) each.
- This ⅜” butterfly toggle bolt is a great choice for securing a wall mount where there are no studs.
- Each ⅜” toggle bolt you use can support up to 50 pounds (23 kilos). An installation with 4 toggle anchors holds up to 200 pounds (90 kilos).
As an alternative to toggle bolts, use molly bolts. These non-pointed molly bolts can also hold up to 50 pounds per bolt. Once inserted into the wall and tightened, both toggle bolts and molly bolts brace against the back of the drywall to distribute force. This allows them to hold heavier weights.
Attach the Mounting Plate to the TV
With your TV wall mount secured to the wall, install the mounting plate to the back of your TV. Most wall mounting systems come with specifically designed mounts that fit your model and size of television.
- Attach a wall-mounting plate to the back of your TV to make final installation easy.
- Most TV wall mounts are designed in 2 pieces—one that attaches to the wall and another that is installed on the back of your TV.
By installing the mounting plate to the TV, you can then slide the TV into place on the wall mount. This prevents you from being forced to bolt a TV to a wall mount while holding it in midair.
Hang Your TV
With your TV wall mount secured with heavy-duty anchors and the mounting plate installed on your TV, you can now hang your TV. Enlist the help of a partner to perform a two-person lift. Then, slide the mounting plate onto the wall mount so your TV is safely suspended.
- Slide the TV into place so the mounting plate is secured to the wall mount.
- Ask for help to lift and slide your TV into place.
- If necessary, use a ladder or step stool to make lifting your TV into place easier.
If the wall mount was installed high on the wall, use ladders or step stools to make sliding the TV into place on the wall mount easier. Now, you’re ready to run power to your TV and enjoy it.
How Do You Hang a TV Above a Fireplace if There are No Wall Studs?
To hang a TV above your fireplace on a wall without studs:
- Choose a wall mount that is designed for your make and model of television.
- Determine the desired position of your TV above the fireplace.
- Mark the points on the wall where anchors must be installed.
- Drill pilot holes where wall anchors will be inserted.
- Secure the mount to the wall by driving heavy duty toggle bolts into the drilled pilot holes.
- Install the mounting plate on the rear of your TV.
- Hang the TV by sliding the mounting plate into the arms of the installed wall mount.
Although it’s always best to secure a wall-mounted television directly to wall studs, you can still hang one safely where there are no studs. Just make sure to use heavy-duty, metal bolt anchors to support the weight of a large TV.