Does anything make doing the dishes more palatable than simultaneously watching your favorite TV show? How about following a recipe in real-time? Or perhaps streaming Netflix while chopping onions? I can already smell the tears of joy.
Having a TV in the kitchen — the inevitable gathering place in every house — can transform your room from a foodie haven into a true entertainment hub. So how do you pick the perfect Kitchen TV?
Choosing the best screen for your kitchen depends on the type of device you choose and where you’ll place it:
- Kitchen TV vs. Alternatives
- Smart Displays
- TV Mounted on the Kitchen Wall
- TV on the Kitchen Counter
- TV for Open Concept House
- Other Kitchen TV Ideas
Kitchen TV vs. Alternatives
Before you go spending money on an extravagant kitchen TV setup, make sure it’s what you really, truly want. Many people find their kitchen to be a sanctuary of sorts and a TV can be an imposing clash of styles that changes the dynamic of your temple of yumminess.
Here are a few reasons that laptops, tablets, and smart displays are better for your kitchen than a TV:
- They’re all-in-one devices that can be used for anything
- They’re portable and battery powered
- They can stream content via internet access
- They’ve got inputs for wireless HDMI if necessary
- They’ve got many different form factors
Don’t get us wrong- we LOVE big, full-size, mounted on the wall kitchen TVs that become a conversation piece, but we want you to consider the alternatives to help guide your decision.
Smart Displays for the Kitchen
The average person who wants a screen in their kitchen should be shopping for a Smart Display and not a TV. This emerging market of countertop devices have earned their place in the kitchen. The benefits include:
- Responsive touchscreens for following recipes
- Voice commands for when your hands are full, dirty, or wet
- Web cams for conference calls and Facetime
- Vibrant speakers for playing music
- Internet connected streaming media and apps
When you think about it, Smart Displays are designed and optimized for the kitchen experience. Today’s top Smart Displays for the Kitchen include:
- Google Nest Hub (The Best)
- Amazon Echo Show
- JBL Link View
- Facebook Portal
The best way to determine if a Smart Display is in your future might be to try using a similar device that you already own: your laptop or tablet.
Laptop & Stands for the Kitchen
If you’ve already got a laptop consider repurposing it for the kitchen with a laptop stand. You can place it anywhere on the kitchen counter, instantly accommodate your standing position and viewing angle, and protect your device from kitchen disasters and moisture damage all at the same time.
For less than $25 bucks you can get a simple metal stand that will work wonders for using your laptop in the kitchen. Or you can opt for a designer piece like the Grovemade Wood Laptop stand ($150) that becomes a part of your kitchen ambiance whenever it’s being used.
If you plan on buying a new laptop and hope to use it in the kitchen, you should look for an All-In-One Laptop or Convertible Laptop like the Lenovo Yoga that can fold into a variety of positions and angles. (You’ll still want a stand, though, to protect from spills!)
Tablet & Stands for the Kitchen
Similar to laptop stands, tablet stands are a no fuss solution to accommodate your iPad or Android tablet in the kitchen.
The best reviewed Kitchen Tablet Stand is the Prepara White iPrep which costs less than $50 bucks. It blends in perfectly with stainless steel appliances, fits all popular tablet types, has 4 adjustable viewing angles, and comes equipped with a stylus so your screen doesn’t get covered in cake batter.
It’s perfectly fine to choose something simple, but consider getting something a little more versatile depending on your preferences. For example, the JUBOR Kitchen Tablet Stand can be used on the countertop or mounted under your kitchen cabinets while the LINDY Fridge Mount can be used on the counter or attached to your refrigerator.
If you plan on buying a new tablet for using in the kitchen, the choice is obvious: (1) iPad Pro is the best, (2) Standard iPad gives you the biggest bang for your buck, and (3) Android Tablets like Amazon’s Fire series are the most affordable. Although generally speaking, Apple folks should stick with Apple and Android folks should stick with Android.
Computer Monitors for the Kitchen
Not many people (except maybe gamers) think to use a computer monitor (without a computer) as a Kitchen TV but it’s a great idea. You can find fantastic looking 4K monitors at fairly cheap prices, pair them with a Roku, Chromecast, or other streaming stick, and mount them on a monitor arm so that you can swing, rotate, and tilt them to your heart’s content.
The downside of choosing a computer monitor instead of a laptop or tablet is that you lose the multi-purpose utility and portability, which makes them the less preferred choice in most cases. However if you’re pairing them to a kitchen computer that’s a whole different ballgame.
Wall-Mounted Kitchen TVs
You’ve heard our suggestions for repurposing your laptop or tablet as a kitchen media device but those little suckers don’t suffice: you want a big screen TV in the kitchen and you’ll accept nothing less! That’s awesome- let’s get it done.
Kitchens are by far the most uniquely shaped and sized rooms of the house. You’ve got a million different kitchen gadgets and “things”, not enough cabinets to stuff them in, and somehow have to make room for a stove, oven, microwave, sink, dishwasher, counter space, toaster, coffee maker, and whatever other little delights fill your foodie heart.
The sheer volume of different kitchen designs creates an unpredictable environment for planning, but in the best case scenario, you’ve got a large swath of unused wall space set aside to put a big, beautiful TV Screen.
The best place to put a kitchen TV is mounted on the wall, which maximizes counter space and inherently positions the screen at eye level. If you plan to mount your kitchen TV on the wall, keep these considerations in mind:
- Make sure your wall can hold the weight of a TV. You’ll need a stud finder: mounting a TV to drywall will end in disaster. Better yet, hire a pro.
- The center of your TV should be at eye-level. That’s about 60-inches from the ground to the center of the TV for a person of average height. Learn more about how high to mount your TV.
- If you’re moving around the kitchen a lot, consider a TV with wide viewing angles.
- Where will the wires go? Install a power outlet behind the TV and use a recessed box to conceal the cords behind the wall.
- Consider repurposing kitchen cabinets to house your cable box, game consoles, and other electronics.
- Make sure you choose one of the best TV mounts!
The kitchen is one place where a sloppy installation will completely ruin the room. If you can’t do a professional job yourself, hire a professional.
Kitchen Counter TVs
There is perhaps no better place to put a Kitchen TV than directly on the Kitchen Counter. Even though counter TVs are smaller in size, they have immense value for a few simple reasons:
- They’re more affordable. You’ll be watching at a short distance, which necessitates a smaller TV.
- Amazing screens. The smaller size also means you won’t have to pay an arm and a leg for ridiculously good screen quality.
- They’re portable. Pick them up and move them out of the way when you need the extra counter space for cooking.
- They require no “installation”. Just a power cord and a connection to whatever you’d like to watch (no mounting).
- They’re best for chefs. When you’re actually cooking, you’re typically look downwards — at the counter — where chopping, mixing, and magic happen. That just so happens to be where the TV is located.
The most annoying part of kitchen TVs has historically been cords and wires strewn across the counter, but with today’s Smart TVs and wireless HDMI, you need not worry- you can beam or connect content from almost any device or dongle with the right ports.
Make sure the TV you choose has at least 1 HDMI port and a built-in digital tuner so you can receive free local stations. In the near future even more will be possible: Samsung recently patented a wireless TV with no power cable (we’re hoping it releases soon).
TV Size for Kitchen Counter
When you’re in the kitchen you’re typically multi-tasking, moving between the fridge, sink, cutting board, cabinets, and wherever else your ingredients are stashed and dirty dishes are piled.
In small kitchens, you’ll typically stay within 3 to 5 feet of the counter space where you place a TV, which means the best TV size will be between 22-inches and 37-inches. Not exactly big screens, but the right TV for the right place, nonetheless.
In large kitchens, going bigger is a great idea so long as it doesn’t encroach on your prep and cooking space.
To pick the right size TV for larger kitchens, where you’ve got more counter space that’s further away, you should follow the same principles that guide our TV Size Calculator: measure the viewing distance in inches and divide by 1.6 for an immersive but balanced experience. Just like salt and pepper, increase or decrease to taste.
Under Cabinet TVs
If you have a small kitchen, want a discreet display, and value every last inch of precious counter space, you may prefer an Under the Cabinet TV. These devices often include a DVD player, TV tuner, or Radio and conveniently fold out or in.
Usually about 10-inches in size, the all-in-one units in this category aren’t meant to wow you with a fabulous display. On the contrary, they’re meant to do the bare minimum, at close range, with decent audio and some extras (ex: DVD player). It’s a modest option but does the job and doesn’t get in the way.
Under Cabinet TV Mounts
If you’d prefer something a little more robust, you’ll want to buy two components separately:
- Small TV of your choice
- Under Cabinet TV Mount like this $20 option from Amazon that fits TVs 13 to 23 inches.
Buying your own TV and separate mount gives you the flexibility to choose larger under the cabinet TVs, with better specs, while cutting out unnecessary bells and whistles (like the DVD player). As long as your mount and cabinets support the TV size and weight, you can mix and match to. your heart’s content.
Under Counter TVs & Mounts
For some odd reason many people looking for an “Under the Cabinet TV” mistakenly search for “Under the Counter TV”- they’re not the same thing. In fact, do Under the Counter TVs even exist?
They shouldn’t exist, but theoretically they could: you just need to buy a TV and mount and place it under the counter. But why would you be foolish enough to mount a TV under your kitchen counter where only a toddler can see it? Hmmm…. maybe that’s something worth discussing in our list of best TVs for kids.
TV for Open Concept Kitchen
More and more new homes being built include open concepts where the most popular rooms – the living room, dining room, and kitchen – all flow into each other. In that case, your kitchen TV might not be in the kitchen at all: with the right TV placement and mount or stand, you can create a multi-purpose viewing experience.
TV as the Focal Point
Your current furniture arrangement is the biggest challenge when positioning a TV for an open concept room. Pretend all of your furniture is gone: now where is the best place for the TV? Where can you place it so that when swiveled on a TV Stand or Mount it can be best seen at every angle?
Taking this furniture-less approach allows you to prioritize the TV experience and build your furniture layout around it.
Seating as the Focal Point
If your room and furniture layout simply won’t accommodate an open concept see-it-from-everywhere experience, don’t force it: the worst thing you can do is compromise the viewing experience for the best seats in the house by trying to please everybody else!
Trust us, we love TVs, but that doesn’t mean every bit of your open concept room needs to have an absolutely stellar view of the TV. There comes a point at which you’ve gone from Open Concept to Man Cave- don’t be that guy (unless you really want to be that guy). You do you.
How many people will typically be watching the TV at once? If these rooms will (usually) be used by 5 or less people at once, it’s silly to go out of your way creating viewing accessibility. Create the best living room experience possible and place a separate TV in the kitchen. Or go big… that’s up to you!
Kitchen TV Ideas
The absolute best way to brainstorm ideas for Kitchen TVs is to draw inspiration from others who have done it before you. Here are some photos of amazing kitchens with TVs to get you pointed in the right direction:
Please e-mail us your photos to be included here!