How High to Hang a Clock Above the Mantel? [2 Options Explored]

A clock is a great piece to add above your mantel to decorate the empty wall space. If you want your design to look cohesive, though, you are probably going to want to be sure that you hang your mantel at the correct height. We have consulted several reliable sources to bring you this answer. 

You have two different options for the height at which you hang your clock, and both options are equally acceptable. These options are: 

  • 8 inches above the mantel 
  • Centered between the mantel and the ceiling

Measuring where to hang your clock is pretty simple if you follow these steps:

  • Find the center of your mantle.
  • Measure your clock.
  • Measure your wall to determine where to place the clock.
  • Mark the top of the clock so you know where it will rest.

Although you are free to choose either of these options, there are some factors that you should consider when making your choice. The height of your ceiling, the size of the clock you have chosen, and the other design elements will all determine how high you want to hang your clock. Keep reading to learn more!

Modern living room with fireplace and wall clock, How High to Hang a Clock Above the Mantel? [2 Options Explored]

How High To Hang a Clock Above a Mantle?

Height of Ceiling 

The height of your ceiling is the first factor you will want to consider. If you have very high ceilings, you are most likely not going to want to decorate the entire wall space between your mantel and your ceiling. If this is the case, it would be a better choice to hang your clock 8 inches above the mantel. Even though you are probably choosing to hang a clock for the visual appeal, the clock still has a function. You do not want it to hang so high that you can't comfortably see the clock to be able to tell the time. 

Alternatively, if you have relatively low ceilings, you will probably want to use all the space between the mantel and the ceiling to create your look. Hanging the clock at the exact halfway point between the mantel and the ceiling will create a symmetrical look that will be pleasing to the eye. 

Size of Clock 

You will also want to consider how large the clock is when deciding how high to hang it above the mantel. If you hang a small clock too high, you run the risk of not being able to read it comfortably. Alternatively, if you place a large clock too close to the mantel, the clock will overpower the area instead of complimenting it. You will want to hang the clock at a height that makes sense for the size of the clock, much like you would consider the size of canvases or frames if you are hanging paintings or pictures. 

Design Elements 

Finally, you will want to consider what other items you will use to decorate the mantel. The placement and size of other objects adorning your mantel will make a difference in how high you place your clock. If you are going to be leaving the mantel pretty bare or are using small decorative items, you will want to use the 8-inch rule to hang the clock. In this case, the clock can hang closer to the mantel and serve as the centerpiece of the decor. 

If you have a lot of decorations on the mantel or are using taller items such as plants or candles, you may want to hang the clock at the center point between the mantel and the ceiling. If the clock hangs too low and you are using tall decorative pieces, those pieces may obscure part of the clock. Having it too close to the mantel and other decorations may also leave the area looking cluttered. Again, you want the clock to enhance the space, not cause it to be overwhelming or chaotic. 

How Do You Measure Where to Hang Your Clock? 

Whether you are choosing to center your clock above your mantle or hang it 8 inches above your mantel, you will need to measure where that location is on your wall. Follow these steps to determine where to hang your clock: 

1. Find the Center of Your Mantle. Do this by measuring how wide your mantle is. Divide that measurement in 2 to find where the center is. For example, the center of a 10 inch mantel is at 5 inches. No matter how high you place your clock, you will want the center of your clock to hang 5 inches from either edge of the mantel. You will want to make a mark or draw a line in pencil to show you where this point is on your wall. 

2. Measure Your Clock. To get an accurate measurement of where to hang your clock, you will need to know how big your clock is. Measure from top to bottom and from left to right. Divide each of these measurement in half find find where the center of the clock is. For example, the center of a clock that is 8 inches high and 8 inches wide is 4 inches from the top and four inches from the side. 

3. Measure Your Wall. If you want to center your clock between the ceiling and the mantel, you will need to measure the space between your ceiling and your mantel. Divide that measurement by two. For example, if your ceiling is 24 inches above your mantel, the center point is 12 inches above your mantel. The center of your clock will hang 12 inches above the mantel. If you want to hang your clock 8 inches above your mantel, the center of your clock will be 8 inches above your mantel. Make a mark on your wall to indicate where the center of your clock will be, making sure that this mark is also at the center of the mantle. 

4. Mark the Top of the Clock. Remember, the mark you made on the wall is where the center of the clock should be, not where the clock needs to be hung. Look back at your measurements to find the distance between the top of your clock and the center. For example, if your clock is 8 inches tall and 8 inches wide, there are 4 inches between the center of your clock and the top of your clock. You will measure 4 inches above the mark you made on your wall and make a new mark. That is where your clock will be hung. 

Try a Tabletop Clock Instead 

Fireplace with clock, candles and Christmas tree

We've identified the best height to hang a clock and discussed some of the factors that you might want to consider before choosing the height. If you are looking to adorn your mantel with a clock, though, you are not limited to ones that hang on the wall. A tabletop clock is a perfect alternative for a wall hanging clock and would look beautiful on a mantel.

One way to use a tabletop clock is to position it in the center of the mantel. You can then create a symmetrical look by decorating the mantel on each side of the clock. Like with hanging clocks, you will want to choose the correct size for the tabletop clock. If the clock is too small, you will not be able to read the clock. Alternatively, if the clock is too large, it will overpower the mantel. 

Should a Clock Hang at Eye-Level? 

Placing wall hangings at eye level is a good rule of thumb to follow. This allows individuals in the room to be able to see the piece comfortably. Like with all rules, though, there are exceptions to this one. You will not want to hang a clock at eye level if it shares a wall with a piece of furniture or decor that is taller than eye level. Taller pieces will overshadow the clock, and it will not be visible. 

A standard mantel is typically shorter than eye level, so it is appropriate to hang your clock right at or a little above eye level. However, if your mantel is higher than eye level, you will naturally have to place the clock higher. 

How Do You Hang a Clock On a Brick Fireplace? 

One way to hang a clock on a brick fireplace is by drilling holes into the brick and installing an anchor to hold the clock. You can use an ordinary drill for this job, but you will need a masonry drill bit to be able to drill into the brick. 

If you are renting your space or do not want to put holes in the brick, you can use brick clips to hang the clock. Brick clips grip the edges of the brick to provide a secure hold. Then, you can mount your clock to the clip. If you choose this method, you will want to pay close attention to the description of the brick clips before you purchase them. Not all bricks or brick clips are created equal, and you want to be sure you are choosing the ones that will work with your fireplace. 

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How Do You Decorate a Fireplace Mantel With a Clock? 

Vintage living room with wall clock, fireplace and leather chairs

There is no right or wrong way to decorate your fireplace mantel, so go ahead and dress it up however you like! If you are following a particular theme in the room that hosts your fireplace, you can continue that theme on your mantel. Choose a clock and other pieces of decor that match your theme and arrange them in a visually pleasing way. The mantel in the vintage living room above is simple and matches the room's theme. If you're struggling to find a theme for your room, you can get some inspiration here! 

Luxury home white fireplace with clock and wall lamps

Another way to decorate your fireplace mantel is to choose a piece that you love and make that your focal point. Then, select details that match the style of your focal point to complete the look. In the picture above, the clock is the star of the show. The decor items on each side of the clock are pleasing to look at and match the clock's style. 

Whether you already have a clock you want to use to decorate your mantel, or you are looking for one to match your current aesthetic, the height at which you place the clock will depend on the many factors we've discussed in this article. As long the clock is readable, makes sense in your space, and doesn't make the room look too cluttered, the height you hang it at will be perfect! 

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