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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I'm breaking a cardinal rule, I know, by putting my 70" TV above a fireplace. However, there is no other choice in the matter (trust me). Making things worse, I want to try and fit a Center Channel (about 12" in height) below the TV as well.


So I plan on putting a shelf above the gas fireplace, possibly a piece of old barn wood sort of thing if I can vs going with a stone shelf. However, I want to keep the shelf as low as possible (say within 2-3" of the fireplace and no higher if possible).


Obviously wood and fire, don't really mix well, and from a permit/code perspective I would guess this would not be permitted, so maybe I'm answering my own question. But I will ask anyway, has anyone done this and kept the shelf relatively close to the fireplace without issue? The flames are obviously contained within the fireplace, so the biggest risk seems to be heat. The mantle will likely be 2-3" thick wood, and the speaker on top of an Auralex pad to angle it down, so I can't imagine any damage to the speaker.


At which point the concern is more the wood bursting into flame. Which sounds a bit ridiculous, even if the fireplace was accidentally left on say over night?


Am I just asking for trouble here?


I could try to see if someone can create a stone shelf to match what will be a stone wall around the fireplace which I would assume will eliminate most of the heat issue.
 

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I would bring the TV as low as you can go. I would also test it without a center channel. I don't use a center channel, but your speakers look pretty far apart. If they were closer, I'd say don't use the center channel.

I am also going to put my TV above my fireplace. If it were up to me, I'd get rid of the fireplace (they're just air sucking holes in your building's envelope), but that's a lot of work. Plus, for some unknown reason, people seem to like them. (In all my years of owning houses, I've never used the fireplaces. It's like the huge tub with jets --- it's completely useless.)

Now, I am thinking of having a propane furnace/insert put in, and the flue well sealed. That might actually be useful, but the furnace/insert would actually serve a function.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, with the speakers being ~15-16 feet apart, I don't think the Phantom Center thing will work well and with the size of the room (~4700 cubes opening up to a kitchen just as big if not larger) the extra speaker should help ease the strain on the L/R. Plus Phantom would suck that much more for when I'm lying/sitting on the couch against the wall with the speakers that far apart.
 

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At which point the concern is more the wood bursting into flame. Which sounds a bit ridiculous, even if the fireplace was accidentally left on say over night?


Am I just asking for trouble here?

Not necessarily looking for trouble.

I have a fireplace... more of a wood stove that looks like a fireplace. It is basically a wood burning fireplace designed to put out heat. Above it, I have a wooden mantle. The mantle can get very warm - it is a "log" mantle and it gets warm enough for sap to leak out.

The trick is distance. My fireplace came with manufacturer tested limits for "combustibles." This is the minimum distance above, below, in front, to the sides and to the back that you can place a combustible object.

Your gas fireplace likely has a spec sheet with the same information. If not, contact the manufacturer. It shouldn't be a problem placing a mantle above a fireplace, as long as the correct minimum distances are observed.

If your gas fireplace is decorative, there is much more leeway. If if is designed to put out heat, there will be greater distances to observe.

That said, I think electronics deserve special attention. They are more sensitive to heat. Plastic is also a problem.

If you have a mantle (at the proper height) you should be fine with a TV mounted above that. The mantle will block some heat. Without a mantle, I think you are looking for trouble - heat rises.

PS- while you didn't ask for alternate layout ideas... you could consider placing the tv on the left wall in the diagram. Then swap the two chairs with the sofa that is on that will. You will lose two seat for watching TV, but otherwise the layout is the same.

The big benefit is that you could place the TV and center speaker at a reasonable viewing height. With your current layout, the TV is probably going to be uncomfortable high.
 

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If it were up to me, I'd get rid of the fireplace (they're just air sucking holes in your building's envelope), but that's a lot of work. Plus, for some unknown reason, people seem to like them. (In all my years of owning houses, I've never used the fireplaces. It's like the huge tub with jets --- it's completely useless.)

Now, I am thinking of having a propane furnace/insert put in, and the flue well sealed. That might actually be useful, but the furnace/insert would actually serve a function.
True for an old-style traditional fireplace.

I have a wood burning insert which is effectively a stove that looks like a fireplace. When the doors are closed, it is a sealed system... no sucking hole. It gets combustible air from outside, and vents to the outside. It also throws out a high level of BTUs. In the winter we can use it to heat not just the den, but the entire house (open floor plan and den is open to 2nd floor loft area). Heat output can be adjusted by managing air intake (slide a lever). I like to keep the temps in the 72-75 range, which isn't very cost effective using propane. My fireplace easily keeps the whole house in that range and the heating system never kicks in.

I have this in a 2nd home and it is used 24/7 through the winter (the sealed system allows it to be used unattended/while sleeping) Even into the spring on cool nights. The heat it throws out is great and we love the "look" of a fireplace burning in the den.

Wood is very inexpensive (and more than 1/2 of it we get ourselves for "free" on our own property). Great look/feel, ambiance and a big savings on propane.
 

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Its a gas fireplace? Check local codes for combustibles above the fireplace top. Are you doing the stone work yourself?

I tried doing the center channel above the TV/Fireplace and built in a shelf. I didn't like the appearance and sound. So, I bought a new CC and notched out the brick in the fireplace/removed the stones and reconfigured it so my CC fits into it. It looks and sounds much better IMO.

Here's the final setup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Will have someone in after the house is finished to do the stonework. Won't be much depth from the wall though (only 2" or so as it will be a "tiled" stone wall, if that's the right term).


I forgot to mention that I am also having the builder install a cooling fan for the TV (not sure exactly what it was now, ordered it when I bought the house over a year ago), which is supposed to help dissipate heat away from the TV I guess.


Here is a pic of what it looks like now. I will be removing the builder mantle from it.


 

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My gas insert has very clear minimum distances. In my case, the wood mMtle must be 4" from bottom of insert which is 40" from floor. I will put a 2" reclaimed wood mantle in place then have about 44" in height for center channel and tv. The mantle will be low compared to most mantels but this brings the TV down and that is more important. As mentioned, the mantled will help deflect heat from speaker and tv
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
4" isn't bad, reclaimed wood is what I was thinking as well, but it will have to be ~14" out. I think this is the section from the fireplace manual (I'm guessing at the model)..


 
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