How to Mount a TV Above the Fireplace

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The area above your fireplace is an ideal place to mount a television. Your fireplace may have brickwork that extends above it, or it may have recessed metal pipes that are a safe distance from the interior and exterior walls. Determine whether you need to hang your TV on drywall and studs or on brick and mortar, and purchase a mounting bracket made for your style of TV. Plasma televisions are much heavier than LCD TVs, so check the weight rating on the mounting bracket and hardware--as well as the TV itself--before purchasing.

Things You'll Need

  • Stud finder
  • Drill and bits
  • Mounting bracket
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Mounting hardware
  • Hammer
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Drywall knife
  • Hammer/impact drill

Mounting on Drywall and Studs

  • Press a stud finder against the wall above your fireplace and follow its included instructions to find the studs to the right and left of your fireplace. Make sure it has actually sensed studs--rather than the chimney--by drilling small test holes through the drywall. If you reach wood, you have found a stud. If you find open space or metal, start over with the stud finder until you reach wood. Keep the test holes level with where you will be installing the bracket so it will hide them once it is mounted properly.

  • Place the mounting bracket against the wall at your desired height and place a level on top of it. Adjust until the bubbles inside the level are centered, indicating the bracket is level. Mark the anchor holes that align with your studs with a pencil and set the bracket aside.

  • Drill holes for the anchors according to the instructions provided with your mounting hardware, which generally comes as part of the bracket kit. Place the anchors into the holes and tap them in with a hammer if necessary. Line the mounting bracket up with the holes and bolt it in place, tightening the bolts with a wrench. Use a screwdriver if your bracket uses screws instead of bolts with its anchors.

  • Adjust the mounting bracket's distance from the wall, if this is an option on your bracket style. Brackets will hold your TV anywhere from one to four inches away from the wall; if you use your fireplace frequently, the greater distance can help keep cables from getting too warm. If the wall seems excessively hot when using your fireplace, there may be a problem with the chimney that requires a professional mason's help.

  • Place the TV onto the bracket and secure it using the hardware or straps provided.

Mounting on Brick

  • Place your mounting bracket against the brick wall along a line of mortar that runs between the bricks. Mark the mounting holes with a pencil and set the bracket aside. Because the mortar line should be straight, you should not need to use a level. If your brick is hidden behind drywall, cut away the drywall with a drywall knife.

  • Drill the appropriate size holes for your anchors using a hammer drill (impact drill), which strikes the mortar as it turns, breaking it away. Make sure you are using anchors specifically designed for masonry and designated as "shear" anchors. If you are purchasing the anchors separately from your bracket kit, take the total weight of your TV and mounting bracket and divide that number by the number of anchors you will be using. The resulting number is the minimum weight each anchor should be rated for.

  • Install the anchors in the holes as instructed on the anchor packaging, then place the bracket against the anchors and hold it in place, tightening the bolts with a wrench.

  • Set the television in place and attach it to the bracket securely. Most brackets provide hardware or straps for this purpose.

Tips & Warnings

  • Install hooks or cable guides beside your fireplace if necessary to keep any cables and cords away from the heat. Never let them hang directly in front of the fireplace.

References

  • Photo Credit Fireplace image by Mistik from Fotolia.com
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