One of the most noticeable trends in recent years when it comes to living room decor has been the increase in the number of people hanging their TV over the fireplace in the spot traditionally occupied by a mirror or picture. The proliferation of flat screen TVs over the last couple of decades has meant that TVs are no longer the heavy, bulky, cumbersome boxes they used to be; today, they can be easily and safely hung on a wall rather than taking up valuable floor space, but is it actually a good idea to hang your TV over the fireplace? This article outlines some of the pros and cons of this popular practice.
For most people, the pro is that hanging their TV over the fireplace means it takes up no floor space. Another big plus point for many is that as the fireplace is already the focal point of the room - in most cases at least - it makes sense to place the TV in the same spot, as this is where the eyes are naturally draw to. Hanging the TV over the fireplace means it is easily visible from everywhere in the room and makes the layout of sofas and other seating more flexible. If the TV is situated in the corner of the room, for instance, it might not be comfortable to watch from certain other parts of the room.
Perhaps the biggest con is the most obvious - the heat from your fire. If your fireplace is a period one that is now purely ornamental and never actually used as a heat source, this clearly won't be a factor in your home. If you use your fire as an actual working heat source, however, you need to be aware that the heat can damage your expensive TV. It is not just the heat that comes out from the fire and into the room that you need to think about - if your chimney breast gets hot, this can also damage your TV when it is mounted directly onto the wall. Particularly if you have a real fire, your chimney will get very hot. If you want to hang your TV on the chimney breast, you will need to be sure it is properly insulated before doing so. Another disadvantage comes down more to a matter of taste. Do you really want the focal point of your living room to be your TV, or would you prefer people to only be drawn to the TV when it is actually being used?