I have a stone fireplace in a cabin that I'd like to mount a television screen on. While I’d love to pay someone a reasonable fee to do so, the cabin is in a location where contractors are few and far between, and those I have spoken with are booking work six months out. I’d prefer to not wait that long.

I apologize for asking so many questions, but I’m trying to approach this job with as much preparation as possible. As my questions surround different parts of the job, I’ve grouped them and marked them as “Question Section #” along with the context below.

I've purchased an OmniMount OS120FM to use for mounting, and the TV is a Samsung 50”.

Here’s the fireplace:

The Fireplace I plan to drill into

It is an old wood burning fireplace which has been converted to gas with a vented gas log insert from Empire Comfort Systems (model DV33IN33L). There is an existing electrical outlet here which powers the gas logs on the back right hand side.

I realize that gas logs aren’t ideal to mount a TV above because of heat, so I’m willing to add a mantle if necessary. However, I did test the logs for three hours in May (outdoor temperatures around 51F, indoor around 68F), with the blower going full blast, and the max temperature I saw was 80F (ignore the outside temps at the top...they're sourced from an outdoor sensor). The below thermometer is resting on the top of the gas log casing.

Max temps I saw on thermometer

The Samsung manual states the operating temperatures for the TV is 50F - 104F. As it’s unusual for us to run the fireplace with the blowers going for that long (and if we were to do so, we’d only be doing it in the cold winter), I wonder if the temperature is going to be a concern. I would really appreciate your opinions here.

Question Section #1

  1. Do you think the temp is something to worry about?
  2. If you do, would you recommend a mantle or is there an easier solution?

Regarding the mounting itself, I’m hoping to line up the holes of the mount at a position where I only have to drill through the grout, but it’s possible I will have to drill through the rock itself. Since this was a fire burning fireplace before it was gas, I believe there will be brick behind the rock/grout.

If I understand what I’ve researched so far, I should be able to drill through this by purchasing a hammer drill with a special bit. After drilling, I should be able to mount it securely using mollies (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molly_(fastener)).

Question Section #2

Assuming the above is accurate:

  1. What sort of drill bit do I need for this job?
  2. Since I don’t have a hammer drill, I plan to purchase one. The cheapest I’ve found locally is this Craftsman (https://www.craftsman.com/products/7-amp-1-2-in-hammer-drill). Would this be sufficient to get the job done?
  3. Are any special mollies required, or should I be able to purchase the largest which will fit through the mount’s holes?

Finally, I need to get power to the TV. As I mentioned previously there is an existing outlet behind the gas logs, and as I use a Fire TV stick (so no need for coax), I was thinking of drilling a hole directly into the flue and running an extension cord down it to the outlet. The only other thing running through the chimney now is ventilation piping. Here’s the outlet:

Outlet photo 1 Outlet photo 2

And here is the piping:

Ventilation pipes

If this is a feasible approach:

Question Section #3

  1. How long of a drill bit, and what type, should I require?
  2. What steps should I take to protect the cable in the flue? Is there conduit or some other sort of material I can purchase to shield it from the heat? I was told by at least one person that those ventilation pipes don’t get very hot, but I’m not sure I should take that for granted. I want this to be very safe.
  3. If we opted to remove the TV in the future and convert the fireplace back to wood, will we be able to easily patch this hole in the flue?
  4. If this is not a feasible approach, what would you recommend?

The other option I could see is removing grout between certain stones, running the wiring, and then re-grouting, but I’m worried that the grout won’t match...the existing grout is around 35 years old at my best estimate.

Finally, any other tips you can offer would be welcomed with extreme gratitude. I’m a fairly handy guy, but this is my first job involving this mix of components (drilling/mounting in stone, heat, etc), so I’m trying to be as careful as possible. If any of the above is the complete wrong approach, you’ll save me a lot of time and heartache by pointing me in the right direction.

Thanks so much!

  • 1
    The bigger problem with this location (as detailed in many prior questions) is that it's almost always not a good location for the TV for watching it, even if the fireplace is never used as a fireplace. Ignoring all the factors of heat, mounting to stone, etc. it's generally higher than is comfortable to look at for long. – Ecnerwal Jul 21 at 14:53
  • Thanks Ecnerwal. Yeah, we've looked at that, but it's the only position in the room which makes sense. My plan is to keep it as low as possible. – jbwiv Jul 21 at 15:04
  • Off-topic concern-I think you should check the installation manual for your gas fireplace insert unit to ensure that those thin flexible aluminum vent lines are approved for that application. That does not look right to me. – Jimmy Fix-it Jul 21 at 16:57
  • @JimmyFix-it has a good point! You may want to invest in having someone come out to give the fireplace a checkup, just to be on the safe side. Also, going to VtC. While these are closely related questions, there are far too many of them for SE policy. TBH, I think you've answered questions 1. Post group 2 and save the rest for follow ups. – FreeMan Jul 21 at 17:29
  • 1
    @FreeMan - Ok, didn't realize that was against policy. I'll split it up. – jbwiv Jul 21 at 19:33

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