You’ve got the TV. You have the fireplace. Now you need to figure out how far the TV needs to be from a fireplace. From electric fireplaces to furnaces fueled by gas or wood, no matter the type, it can be tricky to determine the distance between the two. So how far should a TV be positioned from a fireplace?
In general, a TV should be positioned at a minimum of 12 – 20 inches away from a fireplace with a mantel. The distance between the two is often determined by the type of fireplace you have – whether that’s an electric, gas, or wood-burning furnace.
You want to make the right decision (ideally the first time!) when mounting a TV above your fireplace, so this post will break down the distance a TV needs to be from a fireplace according to three different fuel types: electric, gas, and wood-burning. We’ll also explain why it’s important to consider this distance to avoid potentially ruining your electronic device.
How Far Does A TV Need To Be From A Fireplace
A television should be at least 12 – 20 inches away from a fireplace. This distance is flexible depending on the type of fireplace you have – like gas, electric, or wood-burning.
- A TV should be placed at least 8 inches from an electric fireplace (they give off less heat than gas or wood-burning fireplaces).
- A TV should be placed at least 12 inches away from the fireplace for gas fireplaces – so long as the TV is tucked into a recessed niche. If you don’t have a recessed niche in your wall, you’ll want to leave more space between the two. Double-check the distance by taping a thermometer near the place where you intend to hang your TV. We’ll discuss how to do that near the end of this post.
- For wood-burning fireplaces, give a little more room and distance the TV at least 20 inches from a fireplace. Even with a chimney to expel the smoke, wood-burning fireplaces produce much more heat than electric fireplaces, so more distance between that and a TV is required.
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For Electric Fireplaces
For most electric fireplace models, it’s recommended to hang a TV 8 inches above the top of a fireplace. Remember that an electric fireplace with both front and bottom heat vents mounted below your TV will help keep your electronic device safe.
That being said, electric fireplaces are the best option for hanging a TV nearby since many models do not produce much, if any, heat. Electric fireplaces are a better choice than gas fireplaces since they tend to generate less heat.
Some electric fireplaces emit fake yet realistic flames that give zero warmth (Dimplex is one of our favorite brands). Most, however, give off some heat similar to a space heater. Because not all electric fireplaces are the same, this is why you want to mount your television in an appropriate spot, so it’s not damaged from excessive heat.
Conversely, some manufacturers design freestanding electric fireplaces that are made for being positioned over a television, such as the Carter Convertible Electric Media Fireplace. This fireplace is designed to generate fewer BTUs than the standard electric fireplace (BTUs stands for British Thermal Unit).
While traditional electric furnaces run steadily at 5,000 BTUs per hour, the Carter Convertible produces 3,000 BTUs per hour.
If the thought of mounting a TV above your electric fireplace makes you uneasy, opt for a standalone fireplace that’s purposefully designed to be positioned next to hot TVs.
For Gas Fireplaces
It’s recommended that you place your TV 12 inches away from a gas fireplace as long as you have placed your television inside a recessed niche, which is a shallow cavity or space in a wall. Leave a gap of 12 inches between your TV and the niche and position your TV 12 inches away from the fireplace.
Horizontal gas fireplaces installed in a recessed niche help keep heat from the furnace from warming up the television. Horizontal fireplaces have more space at the top to distance from the fireplace more than vertical ones. Remember that gas fireplaces usually give off more heat than electric ones, so they’re more likely to damage your electronic equipment.
If you don’t have a recessed niche, use the temperature guide at the end of this post to help you determine how far away your television should be. Temperatures over 104 degrees Fahrenheit are too hot for most television brands.
For Wood-Burning Fireplaces
It’s recommended that you have your TV placed 20 inches from your wood-burning fireplace.
Depending on where you check, some resources advise not to place a TV over a wood-burning or gas fireplace. We think that as long as you take proper steps to ensure the temperature doesn’t get too hot, you and your TV will be just fine!
How To Determine How High A TV Should Be Mounted
It’s easy to check whether or not your current/potential TV setup is too high or too low above the fireplace. Nobody wants to damage their TV from the heat!
To start, grab a thermometer and tape.
- Tape the thermometer to the wall where the center of your TV would be.
- Run your fireplace for a few hours.
- Check the temperature.
Remember that a range between 32 – 100 degrees Fahrenheit is best, and anything above 100 degrees is too hot for your TV.
If it’s near 100 degrees, you may want to consider bumping it up another inch or two (but not to where it’ll strain your neck) or consider putting the TV beside your fireplace (no recessed niche required!). By mounting it next to the fireplace, your TV avoids the heat that naturally rises up.
Why Does A TV Need To Be Mounted Away From A Fireplace
There are several reasons why a TV shouldn’t be placed too close to a fireplace. Besides the obvious that electronics and high heat don’t mix well together, situating a television too close to a fireplace can also result in a stiff neck and not-so-great view of the screen.
Let’s take a closer look at each reason why a TV should be mounted safely away from a fireplace:
Electronics And Heat Don’t Go Well Together
Above the fireplace is usually the warmest wall surface of a home, so placing a TV above the furnace could potentially damage it if that wall area gets too hot. A safe temperature range between 32 – 100 degrees Fahrenheit is the norm for most flat-screen TVs, so if you tape a thermometer on the wall where you intend to hang your TV and if it’s in that range, you’re safe to install your TV on your wall.
Keep in mind that if you decide to use the warranty that came with your TV, the company may refuse to honor it if a service technician determines that heat damage is the cause for repair. We advise you to read through your warranty to ensure that you understand the parameters that could void the TV’s warranty.
You Won’t Get The Best Picture
This one is primarily for LCD TV owners since many models make it difficult to see what’s on the screen if it’s positioned from an angle beyond 30 degrees horizontal.
Aim to display your TV not more than 15 degrees horizontally, since the more you adjust it, the worse quality of picture there is. You can also choose to use a swivel that lets you control the viewing angle.
As for how high you should display your TV, it’s generally best to go between 60 – 68 inches from the floor – but that’ll depend on how tall you are! A general rule of thumb is that the bottom third of the TV should be at eye level.
Your Neck Can Hurt
If you have to strain or lift your neck at any point to see your TV, it’s mounted too high. You certainly don’t want that first-row-seating experience at the movies in your own home! Again, aim to place it on the wall where the bottom third of the TV meets your eye level.