Hiding speaker wires? - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 15 Old 10-09-06, 01:00 AM
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Hiding speaker wires?

i have to run 2 pair of 16awg speaker wire on each side of room. Are there products or techniques to help hide the wireing?
any tips appreciated!
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-09-06, 02:06 AM
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Re: Hiding speaker wires?

This is going to depend a lot on the construction of the room.

I basically ran speaker wire (there is a flat kind, by the way) under carpeting to get to a spot where there was no wall to drop wire into. Unfortunately, I can feel the wire under the carpet everytime I walk over it. Given the alternatives(there weren't any), it was still my best choice.
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-09-06, 06:21 AM
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Re: Hiding speaker wires?

Agreed. I have no idea of where they need to be, if you're doing floor or wall mount speakers, are you going across any doorways, is in an exterior or interior wall? Is there a basment below or attic above? All of those things can be good or bad things depending.


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post #4 of 15 Old 10-09-06, 06:34 AM
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Re: Hiding speaker wires?

There are plastic cable channels or trunking (you may use a different name in the US) that have a snap-on, full length cover. Sold in roughly 8 feeet lengths. Usually offered in white plastic and available in many different sizes. Hollow plastic skirting board is available to run cables around a room.

If the floor is boarded with a crawl space then cable can be run under the floor to exit just behind the speaker. If the crawl space is too shallow to crawl in then it is possible to lift one floorboard near the speakers then use the stiffness of an electricians draw tape to push the tape across under the floor to the system rack. Lift another short length of board beside the system rack to tie the cable onto the drawtape then pull the cables back through to the speaker position. Most cables (except Naim NACA5) are far too floppy to push any distance across a room under the floor against natural friction.

If the floor forms a ceiling for the basement or cellar then the cable could be run that way but would be visible in the basement/cellar. You could use this route if the floors are made of concrete and you have easy access below.

If you have a boarded floor but no access to the room beneath then it may be possible to run the cable between the floor joists by lifting only a short length of board at each end. But this would depend which way the joists run. If you have to drill every joist then you'll have to lift boards right across the room in two places to reach the speaker positions.

As mentioned before; several maufacturers sell completely flat (ribbon) speaker cable. Prices vary according to source and taste. Flat cables seem like the easiest option if you have a fitted carpet in the HT/music room.
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post #5 of 15 Old 10-09-06, 09:51 AM
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Re: Hiding speaker wires?

I always fish the walls to the attic or crawl space then cut over to the location and fish the wall back to the location and add a wall jack etc...
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post #6 of 15 Old 10-09-06, 12:18 PM
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Re: Hiding speaker wires?

Ok. thanks for the tips. You seeded some notions for me.

I have cement slab floor and no attic space in this room. So no options to use attic or under room access. There is a small space under the baseboard where it meets the carpet but I think it will be tough to push 2 pair of 16awg in that gap.

I think my best option would be to replace the baseboard with some of the contoured MDF molding and cut a slot out of the back baseboard for the wireing to fit betwee it and the wall. THen to punch access holes to snake the wire vertically from baseboard the 6 to 8 feet to the speaker location. Ill have two in walls and two on wall speakers. Since the wire is stiff as you mention, and with that short length I should have good luck pushing the wire down between wall board and insulation. Between wall board and insullation paper backing should make it easy.

The the baseboard could be a build up also meaning the lower part can be thicker giving more roomy access for wires with a cut out slot.

Keeping the wire on one side of the room eases a complication for a part of the room that is not walled (step down from entry) but increases the length of the speakers runs. In that case I can still keep everything on one side but increase the wire size to 12 awg (in line with whats recommended for the speaker vs distance) or even double up the 16 awg I have since there will be ample room behind the baseboard buildups with slotted backs.

Whoever thought buying a new TV would end up being so much work!

thanks again for the tips!
post #7 of 15 Old 10-10-06, 03:20 PM
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Re: Hiding speaker wires?

The cable channels that Chrisbee were talking about are made by Panduit in the states. Can be quite expensive, and not a very pretty install. The best way to run the wire in your case would be to remove the baseboards, and try to get the wires under the drywall. Be careful wire nailing those suckers back on.
post #8 of 15 Old 10-10-06, 05:05 PM
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Re: Hiding speaker wires?

jokers10 wrote: View Post
The cable channels that Chrisbee were talking about are made by Panduit in the states. Can be quite expensive, and not a very pretty install. The best way to run the wire in your case would be to remove the baseboards, and try to get the wires under the drywall. Be careful wire nailing those suckers back on.
The white plastic channels I was referring to are quite cheap and used by electricians where cables can't be sunk into the wall. Doing a quick conversion in my head I'd say about 5-15 dollars per 8ft length depending on size. I do agree that they aren't the prettiest things on earth. Whether they are better than bare cables running round the room is a matter of taste. Raising the skirtings slightly would allow a plastic channel (with snap on cover) to be run along underneath where it would be all but invisible. If there was ever any need to change or examine the cables they would be easily accessible without tools and without removing the skirting boards.

BTW: Running twin cables to provide more copper wire cross section on long runs might raise a problem with capacitance.
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post #9 of 15 Old 10-10-06, 05:19 PM
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Re: Hiding speaker wires?

We use the cable channels where I work and use it when we can't run LAN drops down certain walls. It is expensive for us, because we have to buy the box, rather than the single piece.
post #10 of 15 Old 10-23-06, 07:22 PM
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Re: Hiding speaker wires?

I too think running behind the baseboard is your best option. I really hate the look of those plastic channels.
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