If you’ve ever moved into a new home and had the honor of arranging the living room, you’ve probably come across a problem. Where to put the TV. Should you put it above the fireplace? That may be the best option but here are some points to help you think through your decision.

I’m sure the pros you can think of right now alone are enough to stop reading and hang your TV above the fireplace. Let’s walk through them though. First, there’s all the free floor space you’ll gain when it’s up on the wall. If you play your cards right, you won’t need the bulky media center that generally accompanies a TV. Second, you can hide the wires in the wall. Literally no one like the eyesore that is a mess of wires on the floor. Third, It’s quite possible that a TV above the fireplace would balance the look of your living room quite nicely. Usually a room is organized around the focal point and all the better if you can have the TV AND the fireplace as the focal points together. You may have more pros in mind but let’s look at the other side of the coin now.

Cons usually play into the logic of a decision and aren’t terribly fun. Stick with me. It’s said that the ideal positioning for a TV is 15-35 degrees from the horizontal plane of your eye level. The height of an average fireplace would put a TV above it much higher than recommended, straining your neck every time you sit down to enjoy a show. It may also void the warranty as well as cause heat damage. There is very specific language on many warranties dictating how you can and cannot use the TV and still be covered. It’s worth checking out. Additionally, the TV above the fireplace could take away from the beauty of the room. Having a big, black screen positioned right above what is supposed to be the beautiful focal point of the room could end up looking more like a blot on the landscape. These can all be significant problems but you do have choices.

There are a few alternatives to putting your TV above the fireplace. The wall next to the fireplace may work. It’s still facing the seating area but not necessarily the focal point and can also be at a more comfortable viewing height. You may be able to put it on a different wall all together. The TV could be put onto a mount that swings out for easier viewing. If the living room set up isn’t conducive to this, swivel chairs could be introduced to the arrangement. If putting it on a wall just won’t work, you may need to think of something entirely new like putting it in a media cabinet on wheels so it can be hidden until it’s needed or setting it on an antique wash stand in the corner. You could use the TV as a room divider in a more open floor plan. These are just a small sampling of the possibilities. Check out Pinterest for endless options.

If you’ve decided putting the TV above the fireplace is the way to go for you, know it is more complicated than just hanging a TV on the wall. A professional will be able to walk through the process with you and be certain everything is done correctly. You want to be sure everything is checked; be sure the angle won’t hurt your neck, the wiring’s under control, and most importantly be sure the warranty won’t be voided and the location of the TV won’t get too hot when the fire’s been going for a few hours.

We’ve walked through a few good options but now you may have an even better idea of what to do with that pesky TV. Above the fireplace may still be your best option. Hopefully the cautions mentioned will help with the successful placement of your TV.