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Can Your TV Be Wider Than the Fireplace?


Congratulations on your new TV! It’s double the size of your last one with a stunning picture resolution. 

Your last TV was mounted above your fireplace and fit perfectly. But you’re noticing that this TV is wider than the fireplace, so is it ok to mount it there? 

How big should a TV over a fireplace be? And is it even a good idea to put it there? 

Keep reading to find out!

Can Your TV Be Wider Than Your Fireplace?

It’s not recommended for your TV to be wider than your fireplace. 

a large TV hang over a fireplace in the modern living room

Although there isn’t a technical reason why your TV shouldn’t be wider than your fireplace, interior designs advise against it. 

Fireplaces are built to be a room’s focal point: a communal place where everyone gathers during the year’s coldest months. 

A big TV hanging over this communal gathering place will draw attention away from it, making it seem small. 

This could offset your room’s balance, making it look like a boxy TV room, instead of a welcoming living room. 

This is especially evident if you have a light-colored fireplace or stone wall, as the big, black TV screen will clash with your color scheme and overpower the room. 

It will also make the fireplace appear dim when lit while the TV is on. 

You love your TV, but is it really the first thing you want guests to notice about the room? 

How Big Should a TV Over a Fireplace Be?

A TV should be six to eight inches smaller than your fireplace. 

It’s recommended to purchase a TV that’s at least six to eight inches smaller than your fireplace. 

These measurements are based on the length of the actual fireplace, not the total length of the mantel. 

So, when looking for a TV, measure from one side of the fireplace to the other and subtract at least six inches from the total length. 

How Much Space Do You Need Between the Fireplace and TV?

How much space you need between a fireplace and a TV depends on the type of fireplace. 

a fireplace in a modern living room

It’s important to ensure your TV does not melt from the fireplace’s heat. Not only would this ruin your TV, but it could also pose a fire hazard, and the melting plastic could release toxic fumes into the air. 

Different types of fireplaces release various amounts of heat, so the space between your fireplace and TV will depend on if your heat source is wood burning, electric, or gas. 

Note that these are rough estimates since every fireplace is different. To learn how to measure how much space you need for your fireplace, skip to the following section. 

Wood Burning Fireplace

You should leave at least 20 inches (51 centimeters) between your TV and a wood-burning fireplace. 

a black TV and wood burning fireplace set in the modern living room

Electric Fireplace

Maintain about 8 inches (20 centimeters) between your electrical fireplace and TV. 

Gas Fireplace

It’s recommended to mount your TV at least 12 inches (30.5 centimeters) above a gas fireplace.

How Can I Measure How Much Space I Need Between My Fireplace and TV?

Measure how much space you need between your fireplace and TV using a digital thermometer. 

a home thermometer among the houseplants

Mounting your TV above a fireplace can be risky business, so it’s always better to test the temperature yourself to ensure your TV doesn’t suffer any heat damage. 

To do this, measure where you’d like the bottom of your TV to sit, marking it with a piece of tape or a sharpie. 

Now, turn on your fireplace. For best results, we recommend cranking up the heat so you can gauge the highest heat your TV will be exposed to. 

Place a digital thermometer, like the KJCOOSWI Indoor Thermometer and Humidity Gauge  where the bottom of your TV will sit. 

Leave it there for at least an hour, checking the temperature periodically. 

If the thermometer reads 100 degrees Fahrenheit (or 37 degrees Celsius) or higher, then you should mount your TV higher on the wall. 

Place the thermometer several inches higher, and check the temperature half an hour later.

If you’re finding that your TV will need to be placed very high on the wall (or out of your eye line) to avoid heat damage, then you should reconsider mounting your TV above the fireplace. 

Watch the video below demonstrating how to properly test the temperature before mounting a TV above your fireplace. 

How to Mount a TV Above a Fireplace and Hide Wires

Is It a Good Idea To Have a TV Over Your Fireplace?

It’s alright to mount a TV over your fireplace, but it can be risky. 

a TV hang over wooden fireplace in a wooden living room

There’s no way around it, TVs mounted over a fireplace look elegant and allow you to watch your favorite shows and keep warm during the winter. 

However, there is a lot of planning involved to ensure you don’t melt your TV or start a fire. 

Mounting TVs over stone fireplaces can also be challenging, since they’re often uneven and will require expensive masonry tools. 

However, if done right, you’ll have a brag-worthy TV setup. 

If you feel up to the task of mounting a TV over a stone fireplace but don’t know where to start, check out our article How To Mount a TV on an Uneven Stone Fireplace

Wrapping Things Up

Though your TV technically can be wider than the fireplace, it’s not recommended. You risk offsetting your room’s balance and making your once elegant fireplace appear small and measly. 

You should also ensure that you mount your TV high enough above the fireplace to avoid damaging it. 

We’ve outlined some standard guidelines for how much space you need between your fireplace and TV, but it’s best to take the measurements yourself using a digital thermometer. 

What’s your experience mounting TVs over fireplaces? Let us know in the comments below!

Last update on 2022-08-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.


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