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Ideal Height for Mounting Your Flat Screen TV

One common concern amongst flat screen TV owners is the height at which to mount their unit on the wall. The ideal height depends on two main factors:

  1. Where in the room you wish to mount it.
  2. Where you plan to sit while watching.

For example, a TV over a fireplace that you watch from a couch or chair will be at a different height than one in the bedroom that you watch from bed. An experienced installer can help you choose the correct height.

Be careful about heat if you are mounting a TV above a working fireplace.

Be careful about heat if you are mounting a TV above a working fireplace.

Mounting a Flat Screen Above Your Fireplace

The height will depend on the height of your fireplace mantel.

  • If the mantel is less than four feet from the floor or your fireplace does not have a mantel, mount the screen around 12 inches above the mantel or fireplace itself.
  • If your fireplace mantel is tall with a height of more than four feet ground up, mount the screen no more than six inches higher than the fireplace.

When mounting the unit on a wall above the fireplace, a slight downward tilt will make it easier to view from a seated position. You may also want to consider the viewing distance for an optimum viewing experience.

Safety Tip

If your fireplace is used actively for building fires, check how hot the wall above the fireplace gets before installing your television! If the wall regularly heats up to above 100 degrees, it could overheat your TV and damage it.

A flat screen mounted above a mantel higher than 4'

A flat screen mounted above a mantel higher than 4'

Mount a Flat Screen in Your Living Room

The optimum height on a plain wall in your living room is eye level.

Most installers recommend mounting it at eye-level. If it is too high, you will strain your neck upwards to watch it and after a while this may cause you pain in your back and neck.

A good method to decide on the height is to sit down on your couch and stare straight at the wall where you wish to mount your screen. Its top should be aligned to where your line of sight meets the wall. If your household includes multiple people with different heights, consider asking your shorter or taller family members about their line of sight and finding a median spot in between.

A bedroom TV should be tilted downward for easier viewing.

A bedroom TV should be tilted downward for easier viewing.

In Your Bedroom

If you want to watch while lying down on your bed, you should mount the unit slightly above eye level so that you are comfortably looking up. The method for finding the exact height is similar to that above.

  1. Again, find your most comfortable line of sight from whatever position you are likely to be watching in, whether that's lying down or propped up with pillows. Mount the top line of your television a few inches above your line of sight.
  2. It needs to be tilted appropriately to avoid strain and to match the perfect viewing angle. With a tilting wall mounter, experiment by tilting it forward at different angles until you find the angle most comfortable for you.
This TV is the right height for standing at the counter or stove.

This TV is the right height for standing at the counter or stove.

In Your Kitchen

Although it's less traditional than the living room, many people these days enjoy having a TV in their kitchen to watch while either cooking or eating meals. Ask yourself when you're most likely to be watching it. If you plan to watch while cooking, you'll want it higher up, as most people stand while cooking and your standing line of sight is higher. If you plan to watch while eating or sitting at a table, you'll want to mount it lower down.

Once you've figured out where you're most likely to be watching, follow the same instructions for mounting the TV in your living room. You'll want the top line of the TV to match your eye-level, either sitting or standing. If you think you'll spend an equal amount of time sitting and standing, mount it to your sitting eye-level, as that is when you are least mobile and most prone to the effects of bad posture.

Recommended Wall Mount

If you need help determining which wall mount to use, my recommendation is one by VideoSecu. This mount is one of my favorites because it's so versatile: it fits flat-screen TVs from 23" to 65" and can be easily tilted to the correct angle without sacrificing any sturdiness or security.

Comments

Sal on May 28, 2018:

Hi Jason

Great article, I think having a TV above a fireplace not only saves on space but creates a focal point in the house. It's better than a sticking a TV in the corner.

I am the owner of a UK based company called Tranquilmount that sells pull down TV mounts. I think including a small section on these types of mounts would be a very good addition to this article and an eye opener to choice.

Feel free to use photos from our site.

Kind regards

Sal

https//www.tranquilmount.co.uk

Man on March 10, 2018:

Excellent article! Very detailed and thorough!!!

sreejith on March 04, 2012:

thank a lot ...it was very useful.

jasonandturner (author) from California on March 10, 2011:

Thanks. Hope you found it useful.

Golfgal from McKinney, Texas on March 10, 2011:

nice job. cudos.