DIY: How to hide wires and cables

Discussion in 'DIY Corner - Tips & Techniques' started by caper26, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. caper26 Full Audioholic

    caper26
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    I see threads in this forum and others all the time asking how to hide wires and speaker cables etc. Besides fishing them inside the walls using fish-tape, from the bottom of the wall to the speaker, there are other methods to route them from your AV rack to the speaker locations. The 2 methods I used are as follows:
    1 - Wiremold (wire raceway):
    This is a type of conduit that you can open up, place your low voltage cables in, and then snap closed. You can either use screws to fix it to the wall or peel 'n stick method using the adhesive backing on it. It comes in a few different colors, but you can paint to match. In my case, I used leftover wall paint to color them before I installed them. The stuff I used in the pictures below in from a different generation. There are inside corner pieces, outside corners, T-junctions, 90 degree, etc, that you can buy and snap over your joints. I was unable to get these to fit the wiremold I had, but the corner is behind the bar fridge and doesn't matter. There are different sizes depending on how much wire you need to fill it with. I used the large stuff around the baseboards, and the smaller ones for wall installation. There are a few places where I could not fish wires inside the walls, for instance, on the outside corner of a wall where there are wood beams on the corner. I used a full piece all the way to the ceiling even though the wire only goes up as high as the speaker:
    [​IMG]
    That is the Surround left speaker of a 7.1 system. As you can see, I made a "T" junction out of the wiremold, and made a hole in the side of the vertical piece using a utility knife.
    Along the bottom, I removed the trim (see below) and routed the wire behind it, and then I notched the back of the trim using a file and a utility knife so the speaker cable could make the corner on the inside. So there is a vertical notch in the trim piece about an inch from the end, right where the wiremold starts, making the wire completely invisible:
    [​IMG]
    I have more pictures in my albums.
    Now, the horizontal pieces of wiremold. You can see on the right the mess of wires that otherwise would be running around the floor. Notice the colors. In the second picture, you can see the corner...try to imagine snapping in a corner piece to cover the crack:
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]

    2 - Install wires behind the baseboard trim. - The second method is to remove trim and install the wires between the floor and the bottom of the drywall. If there is not enough room, you must make a small notch in the drywall. As seen in the pictures, you can use a screwdriver, chisel, and any such tool to cut the bottom of the drywall off. Then install your wires, and replace trim. I used a small pry bar and hammer to make the cuts:

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
    Subwoofer cable, Coax cable, 4 pairs of 14 awg speaker cable. I made a 1" cut in the trim for the exiting wires, right behind the AV rack.

    So that covers all low voltage wires, but how do you hide power cables if you mount your TV on the wall?
    You can always hire an electrician to install an outlet behind your TV, but there is a product out there that allows you to do it yourself (if it meets your local building codes). It is called powerbridge. You basically install an outlet behind your TV, and an inlet below your TV. You connect the 2 with ROMEX (house wiring). Once that is done, then you plug the inlet (using a computer type power cable) into an outlet on the outside of the wall. here are the install pics:

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
    As you can see, they are connected to each other, but are not connected to any electrical power at this time. On the left, I have there is a pass-thru (other options available) which I have fed my HDMI cable and center channel speaker cable. To get power to the top outlet, you connect the bottom inlet to another outlet, in my case there is an outlet to the right (see below).
    [​IMG]
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  2. caper26 Full Audioholic

    caper26
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    Here is the TV, with the room painted:
    [​IMG]
    .
    You can also add some LED lighting to your TV for an added bias lighting effect as seen in the photo.

    I hope this post helps you with your rooms setup! Cheers.
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  3. dkane360 Audioholic Field Marshall

    dkane360
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    Nice little guide! I prefer my way though. I have a nest of various cables, then I just put my subwoofer on top :D

    It works well enough until I get a new place next year lol
  4. GO-NAD! Audioholic Ninja

    GO-NAD!
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    Looks neat.:) However, I noticed in the last photo that there are cables resting on what appears to be an electric baseboard heater. Those things can get quite hot - I remember when I was a kid, a lamp cord that was touching a similar heater in my parents house melted through the sheathing and shorted out the wire. It blew the circuit fuse, but the arc melted a small chunk from the heater as well.:eek:

    You might want to do something about that.;)
  5. caper26 Full Audioholic

    caper26
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    It doesn't get used. I have a wood stove in that room ;)
  6. caper26 Full Audioholic

    caper26
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    updated photo. This room has bad lighting for pictures...

    [​IMG]
  7. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

    j_garcia
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    Rather than ripping up the drywall on the bottom, there are a couple of companies that make base board and crown mouldings with a channel in it for running wires. It sticks out a little more than a standard base board but nobody would ever notice the difference IMO.
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  8. caper26 Full Audioholic

    caper26
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