Mounting TV Above Mantle

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Original poster
Oct 31, 2009
10,300
8,162
Here(-ish)
Just moved into new house and looking to mount TV above fireplace. Also looking to hide cords so not sloppily hanging down. Needing advice on successes and failures you’ve had.

- Indispensable equipment? (Mount, which kind, etc.)
- Where to buy? (Amazon, NewEgg, Monoprice?)
-Any other tips or tricks?

Thanks!
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
10,317
9,348
Vilano Beach, FL
In the past I was mostly against mounting TVs "above the mantel" because so many installations I saw (including friends of ours) were small-ish displays, mounted _super_ high. So you were staring up - and far away.

Well, our main TV area, like many houses, has a fireplace (rarely/never used), an open wall (opposite), and of course the need for a place to sit. So it winds up that the mantel area is actually a good place, it's "unusable" for furniture, etc., so I found my way to some products that allow you to mount over the mantel, but with a mechanism that GREATLY improves watching TV while easily allowing you to make things more sorted out when you're not using the TV.

The one I purchased was called a Mantel Mount, smaller company, outstanding fabrication quality, I was an early buyer so mine was a bit cheaper, but even at the current prices it's a bargain. There are a number of other solutions like this, but in general they allow the TV to fit flush above the mantel, then pull down (with assistance) out and in front of the mantel, dropping down a good 24-30" depending on make/model, and also provide a left/right swivel. They can handle a pretty significant sized display too (up to 70-75", depending on mounting location, ceiling, desired travel), including larger weights (though in the current LCD/LED tech, the sets are light compared to our old plasma that used to be mounted on our MM).

I can provide some photos if you're interested (of our actual install [I DIY'ed]).

https://www.mantelmount.com
 
  • Like
Reactions: willmtaylor

akash.nu

macrumors G3
May 26, 2016
8,532
9,551
I think it’s a bad idea to hang a tv above a fireplace, if it still gets used. That type of heat the damage the Tv.
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 21, 2012
36,297
25,076
Behind the Lens, UK
Just moved into new house and looking to mount TV above fireplace. Also looking to hide cords so not sloppily hanging down. Needing advice on successes and failures you’ve had.

- Indispensable equipment? (Mount, which kind, etc.)
- Where to buy? (Amazon, NewEgg, Monoprice?)
-Any other tips or tricks?

Thanks!
Like this?
IMG_3714.JPG


The biggest issue I had was when our 32" model died, I couldn't find a decent 32" anymore, so I bought a 40". Because modern ones have slimmer bezels. But because the TV is in a recess, it doesn't get hot.
 
  • Like
Reactions: willmtaylor

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Original poster
Oct 31, 2009
10,300
8,162
Here(-ish)
@akash.nu
I have a fireplace with a heat shield and a wood burning Lopi insert. There’s enough space between the insert and the TV that heat won’t be a problem.

@Apple fanboy
Similar, but I’m not going to have the TV recessed like that. It would be more like this:
087EE3C6-6641-4B88-B8B5-5C80AC4F0FE9.jpeg

Does anyone have any experience with Monoprice TV mounts? @D.T. Those are really nice, but I don’t think I need that funcationality, and it’s just a bit steep for me.

Here’s a pic (mid reno) of where it’ll be.
585CAAF1-78A8-4D3A-9A49-3CA59AF5FE09.jpeg
 

AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
11,845
8,757
Austin, TX
We briefly considered putting a TV over the fireplace but eventually decided against it, partially because our house has the silly angular corner fireplace.
 
  • Like
Reactions: willmtaylor

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Original poster
Oct 31, 2009
10,300
8,162
Here(-ish)
We briefly considered putting a TV over the fireplace but eventually decided against it, partially because our house has the silly angular corner fireplace.
Thankfully our fireplace is flat. Our vaulted ceiling however, has some bizarre and asymmetrical angles though, which prohibited us from putting in recessed lighting that didn't look absurd.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,510
6,750
When choosing mounts, I've tried to get shallow mounts (as close to the wall as possible). These tend to be the simple ones. The complicated ones that pivot, swivel, rotate, etc., all hang out farther away from the wall to accommodate those mechanisms. The more the TVs hangs out away from the wall, the less "pretty" the installation is. Also the TV will wobble more, even from simple things like someone walking past nearby the TV.

Typically you'd hide cables by knocking a hole in the drywall and dropping them down inside the wall to the floor where you have another hole in the drywall for them to come back out. If you want to be fancy they make plates with all the kinds of connectors you'd use for A/V. However, I assume you cannot do that with a fireplace. Alternatively you can buy those conduit-like cable channels and run that down one side of the fireplace. Another option is to go wireless. In that case you just need an electrician to add an outlet behind where the TV will go so that it gets power. Then there is a separate connection box you can hide away that you make all your A/V connections to, like cable boxes, DVRs, AppleTV, whatever. That connection box sends the HDMI signal wirelessly to the TV.

This should go without saying, but the mounts must be screwed into studs or brick or whatever is solid behind that drywall. I saw a picture of someone's TV that had fallen because he had only used drywall screws. He used those huge screws that claim they support 50 pounds each, and figured 6 of them would be rated for 300 pounds total, which was many times the weight of his TV. Well that didn't work out for him.

Personally I don't like looking up at TVs, so I would only mount it there as a last resort to anywhere else, and if I did mount it there I would mount it as low as possible.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: willmtaylor

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
10,317
9,348
Vilano Beach, FL
[USER=617010]@D.T. Those are really nice, but I don’t think I need that funcationality, and it’s just a bit steep for me.

Here’s a pic (mid reno) of where it’ll be.
View attachment 754255 [/USER]
Yeah, it really depends on what you prefer for a TV viewing height/angle, some people really are fine with wherever the TV winds up (in its position over the mantel), while some folks like the ability to put it into more of a natural position. Ours stays down 90% of the time, though I occasionally raise it part way so I can see it better over monitors from my office :D

To be honest, I didn't realize the price change was that significant, I paid about 1/2 the price as an early buyer.

I also have a Monoprice mount, scored it on sale, it's very beefy, it's a semi-fixed mount, it's one of their Titan series products.

In both cases, the MM and the Titan, I got my own high quality lag bolts from Home Depot :) The Mantel Mount I did pull ups on ... it's secure :D

This should go without saying, but the mounts must be screwed into studs or brick or whatever is solid behind that drywall. I saw a picture of someone's TV that had fallen because he had only used drywall screws. He used those huge screws that claim they support 50 pounds each, and figured 6 of them would be rated for 300 pounds total, which was many times the weight of his TV. Well that didn't work out for him.

Personally I don't like looking up at TVs, so I would only mount it there as a last resort to anywhere else, and if I did mount it there I would mount it as low as possible.
See above, good input :cool:
 
  • Like
Reactions: willmtaylor

ericgtr12

macrumors 65816
Mar 19, 2015
1,287
7,828
Building living rooms where a fireplace takes up an entire wall seems to be the thing these days. While I get for some this may be fine, when I shopped for my last house it was an absolute deal breaker for me, I told the realtor it would not be considered so don't bother showing me. Personally, I like to watch TV and being forced to place it above a fireplace is not an option, I prefer to have it eye level and expandable and an open wall serves that purpose.
 

ignatius345

macrumors 68030
Aug 20, 2015
2,616
3,527
I'm pretty big on having a projector. We mounted ours on the ceiling, and it's pretty unobtrusive and delivers a huge and bright 100" image.

Upsides: no big black rectangle on the wall when you're not watching it; way bigger image than I'd be able to afford otherwise. Great for gaming, amazing for having people over to watch sports or movies.

Downsides: it does OK but not great with ambient light. The $600 Epson 2040 we have is very bright and can cope with a lit room, but contrast improves a LOT when it's entirely dark. Unlike a TV, there's no built-in speaker so you have to be running an a/v receiver or something. Mounting and setup are potentially a bit of work, but once we got the ceiling mount and accompanying long HDMI cable sorted, it's great.

A projector may or may not work in a given space, but if your room allows, it's a great option IMO.
 

thisismyusername

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2015
369
502
I'd put it somewhere else. Mounting a TV above a fireplace always puts it too high plus there's the heat risk. In fact, when we were last house shopping, having to mount a TV over a fireplace was a 100% deal breaker for me. I hate it when builders put fireplaces right where a TV should go. Ok, rant over :)

I use monoprice mounts. They are cheap in price but high in quality. I've used both their projector and TV mounts and have been very happy.

As to how to run the wires, I'd open up the drywall and run them horizontally and then down. If you go this way, make sure you run every possible wire you think you might need in the future. At a minimum, I'd run 3 or 4 HDMI cables and an ethernet cable. For power, you need to have an outlet behind the TV. That can either be a live outlet or you can use a "PowerBridge".

A slicker way is to go down from the TV to above the fireplace, over to the end of the fireplace and then down. This might give you the opportunity to hide the wires behind the mantle or something. For example, maybe run them behind the mantle so you could run more wires in the future by removing the mantle. If I were going this route, I wound't run the wires through the studs. I'd just cut a thin channel in the drywall and run them through that, with the mantle hiding the channel (this is how I run wires behind base-board trim).

The easy way out is to use raceways and what, mounted on top of the wall. Personally, I think those are hideous and no better than just having wires hanging down from the TV. Get your hands dirty and open the wall. It's a perfect time to practice your taping and mudding skills if they're lacking :)
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: willmtaylor

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Original poster
Oct 31, 2009
10,300
8,162
Here(-ish)
When choosing mounts, I've tried to get shallow mounts (as close to the wall as possible). These tend to be the simple ones. The complicated ones that pivot, swivel, rotate, etc., all hang out farther away from the wall to accommodate those mechanisms. The more the TVs hangs out away from the wall, the less "pretty" the installation is. Also the TV will wobble more, even from simple things like someone walking past nearby the TV.

Typically you'd hide cables by knocking a hole in the drywall and dropping them down inside the wall to the floor where you have another hole in the drywall for them to come back out. If you want to be fancy they make plates with all the kinds of connectors you'd use for A/V. However, I assume you cannot do that with a fireplace. Alternatively you can buy those conduit-like cable channels and run that down one side of the fireplace. Another option is to go wireless. In that case you just need an electrician to add an outlet behind where the TV will go so that it gets power. Then there is a separate connection box you can hide away that you make all your A/V connections to, like cable boxes, DVRs, AppleTV, whatever. That connection box sends the HDMI signal wirelessly to the TV.

This should go without saying, but the mounts must be screwed into studs or brick or whatever is solid behind that drywall. I saw a picture of someone's TV that had fallen because he had only used drywall screws. He used those huge screws that claim they support 50 pounds each, and figured 6 of them would be rated for 300 pounds total, which was many times the weight of his TV. Well that didn't work out for him.

Personally I don't like looking up at TVs, so I would only mount it there as a last resort to anywhere else, and if I did mount it there I would mount it as low as possible.
Great post and advice. Thanks for taking the time.

We don’t really have another choice of where to put TV, but definitely going to find studs.

Current plan is to punch a small hole between studs and run HDMI up and over studs then down to a hole behind small piece of furniture to hold receiver and other equipment. We have attic space that’s easily accessed.
[doublepost=1521036719][/doublepost]
Building living rooms where a fireplace takes up an entire wall seems to be the thing these days. While I get for some this may be fine, when I shopped for my last house it was an absolute deal breaker for me, I told the realtor it would not be considered so don't bother showing me. Personally, I like to watch TV and being forced to place it above a fireplace is not an option, I prefer to have it eye level and expandable and an open wall serves that purpose.
Yeah, don’t really have a choice in this room.
[doublepost=1521036749][/doublepost]
Yeah, it really depends on what you prefer for a TV viewing height/angle, some people really are fine with wherever the TV winds up (in its position over the mantel), while some folks like the ability to put it into more of a natural position. Ours stays down 90% of the time, though I occasionally raise it part way so I can see it better over monitors from my office :D

To be honest, I didn't realize the price change was that significant, I paid about 1/2 the price as an early buyer.

I also have a Monoprice mount, scored it on sale, it's very beefy, it's a semi-fixed mount, it's one of their Titan series products.

In both cases, the MM and the Titan, I got my own high quality lag bolts from Home Depot :) The Mantel Mount I did pull ups on ... it's secure :D



See above, good input :cool:
Thanks for Monoprice affirmation.
[doublepost=1521036785][/doublepost]
I'm pretty big on having a projector. We mounted ours on the ceiling, and it's pretty unobtrusive and delivers a huge and bright 100" image.

Upsides: no big black rectangle on the wall when you're not watching it; way bigger image than I'd be able to afford otherwise. Great for gaming, amazing for having people over to watch sports or movies.

Downsides: it does OK but not great with ambient light. The $600 Epson 2040 we have is very bright and can cope with a lit room, but contrast improves a LOT when it's entirely dark. Unlike a TV, there's no built-in speaker so you have to be running an a/v receiver or something. Mounting and setup are potentially a bit of work, but once we got the ceiling mount and accompanying long HDMI cable sorted, it's great.

A projector may or may not work in a given space, but if your room allows, it's a great option IMO.
That would be great, but just wouldn’t work for this living room. Thanks for the idea though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ericgtr12

BarracksSi

Suspended
Jul 14, 2015
3,902
2,658
For you guys who have the TV up high on the wall --

Is it comfortable to watch? Do you get a crick in your neck like when watching a TV in a hospital waiting room?

Our apartment is awkwardly designed, too, with the best TV wall being taken up by a fireplace (that we don't light up anyway). I guess we could turn the couch around so its back is close to the fireplace, thereby opening up a different wall; but then we'd lose floor space that we use now for working out.
 

AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
11,845
8,757
Austin, TX
@akash.nu
I have a fireplace with a heat shield and a wood burning Lopi insert. There’s enough space between the insert and the TV that heat won’t be a problem.

@Apple fanboy
Similar, but I’m not going to have the TV recessed like that. It would be more like this:
View attachment 754254

Does anyone have any experience with Monoprice TV mounts? @D.T. Those are really nice, but I don’t think I need that funcationality, and it’s just a bit steep for me.

Here’s a pic (mid reno) of where it’ll be.
View attachment 754255
I would fill that space with a nice piece of artwork. Get a nice numbered print. I would put the TV somewhere else.
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
10,317
9,348
Vilano Beach, FL
@D.T., @Apple fanboy, is it difficult attaching the TV to the mount since the space between the two is so slim? How is this best accomplished?
It's two [main] parts, one bracket is attached to the wall, the other bracket (which is a completely separate component), attaches to the TV _before_ you connect it to the wall mounted part. Generally there's a "hanger" type mechanism, so you kind of lift the TV (probably with two people if it's big), up and onto the wall bracket, and it's pretty much stable (i.e., you can let go, it's hanging).

Then there are fasteners that you reach from underneath that are at 90 degrees to the wall, and there's plenty of space to reach up with a tool and secure everything (it's more or less like a safety lock).

For you guys who have the TV up high on the wall --

Is it comfortable to watch? Do you get a crick in your neck like when watching a TV in a hospital waiting room?

Our apartment is awkwardly designed, too, with the best TV wall being taken up by a fireplace (that we don't light up anyway). I guess we could turn the couch around so its back is close to the fireplace, thereby opening up a different wall; but then we'd lose floor space that we use now for working out.
I find that angle _terrible_, hence, the 30" drop with the height adjustable mechanism (and for some folks, that's still not a preferred line of site while sitting up).
 
  • Like
Reactions: willmtaylor
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.