Keep Cool: Fireplaces and Flat Screen TVs

I constantly get requests from clients looking to place their flat screen above their fireplace. I understand the temptation to view the fireplace while watching the Leafs lose another one!  (Sorry, I couldn’t resist the dig: I would be happy to see a team in Hamilton or Kitchener to replace the hapless squad we call a team and the fat cats at MLSE, but I digress.) The notion of placing the flat screen above the fireplace usually comes with a price: the TV can get really frickin’ hot sitting above an open fire. I bring this issue up only because just this past week, I had a client shoot me an email looking for a solution to this very problem.

The simple solution involves installing a mantel with a fair bit of depth, enough to shield the set from the heat of the fireplace. Although the client had ordered some of my furniture pieces in the past, I had never had cause for a site visit, so I had no clue what the fireplace looked like. The client provided me with some very detailed images of said fireplace, complete with measurements dropped in to the images.

A few suggestions were made and we settled on a rustic Douglas fir beam for a rustic look. The Douglas fir beam would be sourced as a reclaimed beam from a salvage dealer and then planed down to a smooth finish revealing the aged character of the wood. We are going with a simple oil and wax finish, leaving the wood looking natural. Ultimately the 10” depth of the beam will provide enough of a barrier to shield the flat screen from most of the heat generated by the fireplace, while providing some visual candy to the fireplace.

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1 thought on “Keep Cool: Fireplaces and Flat Screen TVs”

  1. Always a terrible idea, people who mount their tv’s over a fireplace don’t watch tv. It’s far too high to watch properly, you get a pain in your neck. I find even with my tv stand the tv is still a bit too high, ideally the top of the screen should be at eye level.

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