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Soon, we'll be gutting and redesigning our fireplace surround, similar to this picture. Which way would be best for mounting a tv?

  1. Tile the whole wall top to bottom, drill through the tile into the studs, mount the tv
  2. Measure the current tv mount plate, mark it on the wall, tile around it, allowing the tv to be mounted more securely directly to the concrete board / studs then over the rather soft travertine tile she's chosen. Save some tile in case someone decides to take down the tv and put the original tile in it's place
  3. Build the box big enough to accommodate a "someday" bigger tv one of these days when she's not home to stop it :)

The concerns we have with mounting the tv on top of the tile are:

  • It's a brick style tile that isn't flat.
  • The tv mount we currently have - a 30 inch extending articulated mount is heavy enough, let alone the 80lb 50 inch plasma it holds. I'm concerned the weight of the mount + tv would crack the tile after multiple pushes and pulls. The mount and tv are about 120lb combined, not including the forces exerted pushing and pulling it from the wall and rotating the tv.
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    If the fireplace is functional, it's a very bad location for a TV - most folks who have tried it also find that it's too high for comfortable viewing. – Ecnerwal Sep 29 '16 at 14:03
  • It is and is newish (2 years) - the tv currently is at an ok height, but I will be lowering it as much as I can when I re-structure the surround. We've tried every which place in the room to put the tv - above the fireplace is the only place it makes sense - the room is longer then it is wide so it is what it is. – lsiunsuex Sep 29 '16 at 14:10
  • How about a motorized mount which lowers the TV to a sensible height in front of the fireplace opening? – Carl Witthoft Sep 29 '16 at 15:09
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    While attractive sometimes, I can't think of anything more useless than a fireplace in a modern home. I would rip it out, as I am doing now in a home I recently bought. – Rob Dec 3 '16 at 14:08
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If I were you I would frame in a 2x10 flush with the tile roughly a little longer than the TV's mounting bracket. It would be hidden for the most part behind the TV and would be secured to the wall studs for extra strength. It can be painted too.

As a side note, it's important to use pressure treated lumber if building on top of an existing fireplace.

Our TV is mounted above the fireplace. It uses a special hanging adapter made by the TV company that uses a steal cable so it literally hangs like a picture. I used two 5/8 lags with washers to hang it, but could have opted for a normal TV hanging mount. Though it would have probably not have been flush.

Framing Junction Boxes Final

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Tile it, and when it comes time to mount the mount, grout between the mount and the face of the tiles to fill in the unevenness in the face of the tile. Don't mount the TV until the grout has fully cured. If/when the mount is removed a bit of chiseling, brushing and acid will remove the grout from the face of the tile.

Polyurethane construction adhesive (the type that cures quite hard) would be an alternative to grout. Put plastic film over the tile surface, goop the mount, mount the mount, wait for cure, trim the plastic film. The film allows the stuff to fill the voids without sticking to the face of the tiles.

Storing tiles for later is always a good idea, but often one that falls prey to someone feeling a need to tidy up and throw out that useless junk - which was the carefully saved tiles that match the tiles in rooms x, y and z.

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