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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I am trying to install a set of 5.1 speakers in my family room.
The family room is like an extension to the house with vaulted ceilings.
Hence both the front and the rear speakers are on external walls.

I have first tried to install the rear speakers, where I am stuck.
The intention is to fish the wires through the rear family-room wall down to the basement and then traverse the breadth of the family room through the basement and then up through the opposite wall of the family room where the receiver is.
I made the necessary hole at the speaker position near the top of the rear wall.
I also made a hole at the bottom of the wall (directly below the first hole) just above the molding through where I intend to make the hole to the bottom plate of the wall (to pass the wires to the basement).
I was able to fish the wire from the top hole to the bottom hole (luckily there were no fire blocks).
But it is here that I am stuck.
I tried to make a hole in the bottom plate of this wall but to no avail.
As per suggestions in another how-to, I am using a 3/4" auger bit.
But the problem is that I have already drilled about 4" but I am still drilling.
I was expecting a 2x4 as the bottom plate and hence having to drill only about 2".
Is it possible that since this is an external wall, what I am drilling into is an end-joist?
I have stopped my drilling because I am afraid of making any structural damage to my house.
Also if it is an end joist, what are my other options in order to successfully complete my project?

Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Please let me know if you need any more details/clarifications.

Thanks,
=P
 

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Hello,

I am trying to install a set of 5.1 speakers in my family room.
The family room is like an extension to the house with vaulted ceilings.
Hence both the front and the rear speakers are on external walls.

I have first tried to install the rear speakers, where I am stuck.
The intention is to fish the wires through the rear family-room wall down to the basement and then traverse the breadth of the family room through the basement and then up through the opposite wall of the family room where the receiver is.
I made the necessary hole at the speaker position near the top of the rear wall.
I also made a hole at the bottom of the wall (directly below the first hole) just above the molding through where I intend to make the hole to the bottom plate of the wall (to pass the wires to the basement).
I was able to fish the wire from the top hole to the bottom hole (luckily there were no fire blocks).
But it is here that I am stuck.
I tried to make a hole in the bottom plate of this wall but to no avail.
As per suggestions in another how-to, I am using a 3/4" auger bit.
But the problem is that I have already drilled about 4" but I am still drilling.
I was expecting a 2x4 as the bottom plate and hence having to drill only about 2".
Is it possible that since this is an external wall, what I am drilling into is an end-joist?
I have stopped my drilling because I am afraid of making any structural damage to my house.
Also if it is an end joist, what are my other options in order to successfully complete my project?

Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Please let me know if you need any more details/clarifications.

Thanks,
=P
First off - welcome to HTS! :wave:

As you were describing it, that was my exact thought - that you were drilling into a joist.

Is the floor carpeted? The only thought I have at the moment would be to peel back the carpet a bit and drill a hole through the sub floor from the basement side so you knew you were not hitting a joist. Drill it at an angle toward the wall so that you can lay the speaker cable as flat as possible. Then, cut a small section out of the pad so that you do not get a hump in the carpet from the cable.

I am thinking it should be close enough to the wall that it would not get walked on. I will think on this some more to see if I can come up with any other ideas, and maybe someone else will chime in with something different.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply ... and the welcome!
Unfortunately, the floor is not carpeted, but hard-wooded :(
Also to make things worse (and I forgot to mention this in my first post), my basement is finished.
But what you say of drilling at an angle makes sense.
If only it is easy to pin-point the exact position and the joist that is underneath my speaker location (!), I could try removing some of the 'false' ceiling tiles in the basement and drill at an angle to come up inside the wall above.
Does that sound do-able?

Thanks,
=P
If
 

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I worked in carpentry for a few months right out of high school, and I am guessing that if you start a new hole at an angle towards the side of the beam at the same spot the old hole is you might be able to get through without any structural damage. I am fairly sure that a small hole isn't going to do much to the houses structure. Might be tough depending on which type of drill bit you are using. The ends are usually smaller than a 2x4(unless it is a really long beam), and they have 1/2" plywood between the top and bottom. Also don't forget, with a normal floor you have the 2x4, 3/4" plywood, then in your case another almost 2x4. so by my math that ads up to 3 3/4", so you are probably really close to all the way through, so any damage that you could do will have been done already. On exterior walls, this is usually dependant on the local codes, there are 2 2x4's on the base plate of the wall then you have 5 1/4" of wood including the joist, This leaves more than an inch of space and it will help the structure, also that much wood will give you more room to angle off to the side to miss the I-beam completely.
hope this helps, it is late so it might not make much sense lol
 

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If you remove your floor trim and drill right next to the wall at a angle like the other poster said you should be fine. Then drill into the wall in the area between the floor and the top of the floor trim. I ran my speaker wires behind the floor trim in my first house and did just like I have posted except I didn't have to go through the floor.
 

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If you remove your floor trim and drill right next to the wall at a angle like the other poster said you should be fine. Then drill into the wall in the area between the floor and the top of the floor trim. I ran my speaker wires behind the floor trim in my first house and did just like I have posted except I didn't have to go through the floor.
This is what I did, I had pretty much the same problem you are having except instead of a finished basement I had a crawlspace. It helped to drill a hole next to the wall with a 1/8" drill bit to be sure where I was going to come out, but I had carpet so I didn't have a problem doing that.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone for your inputs!
I seem to have a few problems that are working against me:
1. My floor is hard-wood; not carpet that can help cover-up for my amateur work!
2. This room does not have an attic to use instead.
3. My basement is finished; makes it so much harder to work upwards from underneath.
4. My hard wood (laid by the previous owner) is not underneath the molding (but around it), making it impossible from me to pry open the trim. Otherwise I had considered running the wires through the trim.

Anyways, I will still try the angular drilling concept into the joist from the basement hoping to emerge inside the base of the wall.

Thanks,
=P
 

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You can put crown molding in the basdement to hide the wires.
 
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