Fireplaces and Televisions

A viewer from California asks John and Matthew how she should design her living room to compensate for both her television and fireplace.

  • Anonymous

    Hello from Oscar,

    Great question, Jessica! There are some that say that the heat from the fireplace will ruin the TV screen depending on the type of the fireplace, so that needs to be considered.

    Personally I don’t like the TV over the fireplace, because of the focal point conflict. A family picture or artwork deserves that space.

    I have in the past consulted with entertainment center specialists and this is the rule of thumb that they told me at the time. Which, I have used successfully. If you are seated (measured at your eye level) 8’-0” to 10’-0” away from the screen then the center of the TV screen needs to be at 40” above the floor, so that a seated viewer doesn’t strain their neck. As you move further away from the TV screen, the height of the screen can be adjusted up if you want. Let’s not forget our children that will more likely watch TV as they play on the floor, they will complain about having neck aches as they will strain their necks more than seated adults.

  • Matthew North

    Hi Oscar – thanks for your comments – I appreciate that you have a rule of thumb with some actual dimensions that are tried and true. Your point about heat is also a huge issue with TV placement – I have seen fireplaces melt both TV’s and artwork! Particularly some of the newer, linear flame fireplaces have high BTU’s and it can catch people off guard so I recommend to read the specifications very carefully!