Speaker wires are probably the most irritating part of the home entertainment system. Sometimes--no matter how you try to run them--they get in the way and are unsightly. You could go wireless, but in order to get the best audio you'll want to keep the wires. Luckily, there are a variety of ways to hide speaker wires and maintain a clean luck. Learn your most basic options to some that are a little more difficult.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Tape measure
- Wire stripper
- Other equipment (varies by steps)
Run the wires along the corner of the floor and moulding. This is the easiest method as it requires no additional equipment and is pretty straightforward. Rather than running speaker cable directly to your speakers where it might be out in the open, run it along the moulding using wire fasteners to secure it to the moulding or floor. Measure the path of the wire carefully to be sure that you cut the correct length of wire. If you have carpet, you can even tuck the wire under the edge of the carpet to further conceal it.
Use flat cable. Speaker cable is available that is so thin and flat it can blend in with a wall or moulding. Run it on your wall or moulding as needed, and paint it to blend in.
Use cable raceways. The above methods will give a neat look, but wires may still be visible. A cable raceway is basically just a piece of plastic conduit that is attached to the wall or moulding. You run all your speaker cables through the raceway so that they are not visible, then you use the adhesive on the back to attach it to the wall. The raceway can even be painted to blend in with your wall.
Run cable under the carpet. This is particularly handy for running cable to rear surround speakers that are on speaker stands. Flat cable is available for under-carpet runs. Pull up the carpet and run the cable to the speakers, then run the cable upward through the speaker stand to connect.
Use a drop ceiling. If your home theatre/stereo room has a drop ceiling, route the wires through the ceiling and to your speakers.
Use in-wall wiring. This is the one that can be a bit intimidating if you've never done it before. However, in-wall wiring is really the cleanest option and you'll never see any sign of your speaker wires around your room again. You'll need to use UL-rated wire that meets building codes for your area, so make sure to do the research ahead of time. Also, find out about any applicable permits that may apply. Assuming that the drywall in your home is already in place, you'll need to cut holes where the speakers will be hung on the wall and where the wire will enter from the receiver. Identify any plumbing, electrical wiring and other obstacles that need to be avoided. You'll then need to route the wire around the studs using a fish tape, and gradually fish it through the wall to the speaker holes where it can be pulled through and attached. Speakers should be mounted to the wall.
Tips and warnings
- Cut your speaker cable slightly longer than measured when running it to make sure that you have enough to work with, particularly when running in walls, ceilings and under carpets. It will be easier to cut it down to size than to come up short.
- Keep your components off when connecting speaker cables.