The great debate: Stacking TVs and fireplaces

(BPT) – When choosing a focal point for a room, designers and homeowners alike often plan for a single feature – windows, TVs, artwork, or fireplaces – to take center stage. However, the explosion of flat screen TVs for every room in the home has created a debate – can you really have more than one focal point?

Online resources like houzz and various design blogs have made it easy for homeowners to discuss that question, with many in favor of combining two features that typically stand out on their own – fireplaces and TVs – on one wall to blend the warm and comforting aesthetics of a fireplace with easy TV access.

“The question is if a TV can – and should – be mounted on the wall above a fireplace, combining the two elements into one focal point, since they’re traditionally used individually,” says Becky Scribner, brand director of Heat & Glo. “The good news is that the TV and fireplace can occupy the same wall with a few minor install tweaks. It can work – from both a technical and a design standpoint.”

In large rooms with adequate space, TVs above the fireplace can create an ideal angle of vision. In fact, stacking TVs and fireplaces can be a great choice for several reasons:

* Easy design: Combining two elements in one location makes it easier to design the rest of the room, allowing for a single grouping of chairs and couches. In some room designs, it also leaves room for other areas to be turned into reading corners or small work spaces.

* Enhanced functionality: Open-concept floor plans and homes that have the kitchen, eating and living area combined into an open great room are perfect for placing the TV and fireplace on the same wall. This arrangement provides optimal viewing of the TV while cooking in the kitchen or relaxing in the eating area, while also incorporating the warmth and comfort of the fireplace.

* Subtle style: Higher placement makes a TV less obvious when a person first walks into the room. Visitors notice a beautiful fireplace, especially when lit, and may only observe the TV if it’s turned on. Plus, there are other decorating tricks designers can use if a homeowner really doesn’t want the TV to stand out, like hiding it behind a painting or mirrors. The TV can be revealed with a push of a remote control button, causing the painting or mirrors to slide over or up, and then hidden again with another push of a button when the TV is turned off.

For a quick living room update, consider placing your TV above the fireplace to create a warm, welcoming and inviting space. You may also consider adding a fireplace to your existing TV room for added relaxation and ambiance. Heat & Glo provides installation information to homeowners, and the brand’s website includes information about the spacing recommended between the fireplace and the mantel (if desired), as well as spacing guidelines between the mantel and the TV. Consumers can also find a local dealer at to help with installation and finishing.