Choosing Where to Mount a TV
When we were making design selections for the house, I knew I wanted to center the fireplace in the living room (the original floor plan calls for it to be in the left corner by the stairs). We also went with the built-up fireplace because we liked that it made a bigger statement than the standard fireplace. While I wasn’t thrilled about the idea, because I wanted to be able to decorate my first mantel, I had also accepted that we would mount our TV above the fireplace. So much so, that we had all the wires installed above the fireplace.
So this was the (Photoshopped) plan:
Now, the optimal TV mounting height is 42″ from the floor to the center of the television, granted that number can change depending on the TV size, seat/standing height of the viewer, and distance between the TV and viewer.
If we mounted the TV above the fireplace, the center of the TV would’ve been roughly 80″ above the ground. That’s 38″ above the optimal TV mounting height. And while our living room may appear large in photos, it’s not. The room is roughly 18′ by 18′. Not small by any means, but not huge when you factor in furniture and the jutted out fireplace in the center of the room.
A couple weeks after we moved in, I decided to put a painting on top of the mantel to get it out the way, and away from a certain toddler. Placing the painting on top the mantel was a great idea in hindsight. We were able to sit on the couch and love seat and look at the painting, imagining it as a TV. And we realized something– we were straining our necks and eyes to look up. It was also hard to see it from the love seat, which is in front of our three living room windows. I took the photo below to show the view from the couch. The photo doesn’t quite do it justice but you can get the idea of having to look up in order to watch Game of Thrones. And we didn’t think the viewing experience would improve that much with a TV mount that allowed the TV to tilt down.
When we initially moved into the house, we put the TV on our dresser turned TV stand on the wall by the stairs. We liked the TV over there because we could see the TV from the couch and the love seat without straining our necks or eyes. So I suggested that we mount the TV on that wall. And by using a full-motion mount, we’d be able to swing it out so I could turn the TV to face me when I’m in the kitchen.
This is the option we ultimately chose.
We really like the easy-to-install, full-motion TV mount we went with. It allows me to turn the TV to face me when I’m cooking dinner in the kitchen.
And when I’m done, I can move the TV back against the wall.
We haven’t bought much new furniture for the house yet because we wanted to live here a while and get used to the layout and dimensions, but eventually I think we’ll upgrade from the $50 Craigslist dresser that I turned into a TV stand.
I like how we mounted the TV high enough that I can decorate the top of the TV stand without blocking the TV. And now that we have a smart TV and have ditched cable/satellite, we don’t require as many boxes on the top shelf. I used some extra baskets we had to fill in those spaces.
It also gives us peace of mind knowing Owen can’t pull the TV onto himself. In case you didn’t know, a child dies every two weeks when a TV, appliance, or furniture falls on them. And 70% of the time, it’s a TV. So mount or anchor your TVs, and furniture.
I’m still getting over how the living room isn’t symmetrical with the TV not mounted over the fireplace. But I think once we get window treatments and figure out the furniture situation, it’ll look a lot better. And that painting most likely won’t live there year-round since it’s rather spring/summery.
SANUS has a great MountFinder tool on their site that helps you choose what TV wall mount is best for your needs. Their HeightFinder is also a great tool. You enter all your TV information, how high you want/need to mount the TV and it gives you the measurements.
I agree, your necks would have been broken for sure if the TV was above the fireplace. I love where you decided to mount it, and the fact it can swivel so you can see it from the kitchen. I really like the $50 Craigslist dresser-turned-TV-stand – I think it looks great. I can’t wait to see what’s next!
Yes, we love the swivel! Hah! I don’t know if we’d ever get rid of that gem– probably just move it to another room in the house.
Is the glare not bothersome, with the TV being opposite the window? We’re about to move to a new house, and while house shopping, this is something that was HIGH on my husband’s checklist – being able to position the living room TV where it wouldn’t be opposite any windows.
The glare would be bad no matter where we put the TV because there’s a total of 14 windows along the back sides and back of our house (living room, dining room, playroom). And our house faces north so the back of our house gets optimal sunlight. But I did that on purpose. We do have the mount/TV tilted down some to help with the glare. It’ll also help when I finally get my act together and buy window treatments.
TV placement can be surprisingly tough! We had a similar issue in our new house. I love the solution you chose– it looks great!
I swear this is the eternal question. I’m still wondering if we put the tv in the right place. I don’t love TVs above the fireplace and like you said, it would be so high that it would not be comfortable to watch. I love what you decided. Looks amazing. And I love all of your windows!! So light and bright!
Looks beautiful! I am not a fan of a tv over a fireplace for exactly the reason you didn’t do it: neck strain! Who wants to always be looking up?
On another note, would you be willing to post a little something about another point you mentioned? You ditched cable/satellite and now just have a smart tv. I would love to know more as I’m also trying to cut the cord 🙂
Just love the new house, and that fireplace! Have you heard of something called the “mantle mount”? I’m struggling with the same dilemma you have for the past year in my new house. Tried the tv on a stand opposite the couch, but couldn’t get comfy with legs stretched out. We have it on the mantle now, and don’t mind the height, but I’d love to style my mantle. The mantle mount let’s you mount above the mantle, but bring the tv out and down for viewing. Except, they are a bit pricey, and I haven’t seen a blogger who has installed one, and I’d like a real opinion!
another suggestion…….your sofas should be on the rug at least 12″ in. ….otherwise your carpet is floating. I realize you’ll put a coffee table or such in there……
The living room is coming together beautifully, Chelsea! I love where you mounted the television – very smart move. At one of our previous homes, we had the tv mounted above our fireplace and it gave me more headaches than I can count straining my eyes and neck.
I love, love, love it when the YV is not over the mantel, so I love your choice. And the swivel mount is perfect! If we ever have this room set up, I will do the same!
It looks fabulous where it is! I understand the difficult with asymmetry, but I totally think you made the right choice!
Where did you get that picture it is beautiful?
It’s linked in this post: https://www.twotwentyone.net/master-bathroom-sources/ 🙂
Not gonna lie… I’m kind of jealous. Haha! The ONLY place we were able to mount our TV in our house was above the fireplace. Total pain in the neck, literally. I love that this one comes with a swivel!