How to Run the Cable for a Ceiling Projector

Written by leighton sawatzky
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How to Run the Cable for a Ceiling Projector
Ceiling-mounted projectors are ideal for permanent home theatre setups. (27082008 image by Andrey Efimov from

Running cables through your ceiling for a mounted projector hookup keeps them out of sight. If you've got a T-bar ceiling, consider yourself lucky; dragging ceiling cable is as easy as lifting the ceiling panels and pulling them across by hand. Drywall ceilings are a lot more work. But the payoff is great: a ceiling- mounted projector, no bundles of cable hanging from the ceiling, and the envy of all your do-it-yourself and home-theatre friends.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Stud finder
  • Stepladder or sturdy chair
  • "Fish tape" or slim rod
  • Jigsaw or X-acto knife
  • Electric drill or screwdriver with 1/2--inch drill bit

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  1. 1

    Use the stud finder to locate the ceiling joists on either side of your ceiling projector. Follow them to the point at which the ceiling meets the wall. Because of the way drywall ceilings are mounted, you will have to drag your cables between the joists to the nearest wall.

  2. 2

    Find the two studs on either side of the point at which the ceiling joists meet the wall. Mark their location.

  3. 3

    Cut out a small patch of drywall four or five inches below the ceiling, between the two wall studs. It should be large enough for the business end of a handheld drill to fit.

  4. 4

    Cut out another small patch of drywall below the first patch you removed. It should be large enough to fit four fingers. This is where the cables will exit the wall to connect to the home theatre.

  5. 5

    Cut out a small patch of ceiling about four or five inches from the wall, directly parallel with the patch you removed from the wall. It should be large enough to fit a hand.

  6. 6

    Cut a small patch of drywall from the ceiling where you will mount, or have mounted, your projector. The hole should be large enough to fit all the cables. Remember: cable heads generally are larger than the cables themselves.

  7. 7

    Drill a hole in the top stud of the wall frame above where you removed the drywall patch.

  8. 8

    Feed the hooked end of the fish tape or slim rod down through the hole in the wall and pull it out through the bottom hole.

  9. 9

    Securely attach a cable through the ceiling to the hook.

  10. 10

    Pull the fish tape or slim rod up through the wall. Grasp the cable with one hand and unfasten it from the fish tape or slim line with the other hand.

  11. 11

    Feed the cable up through the hole you drilled in the top of the wall frame. Reach through the hole in the ceiling near the wall and grasp the cable on the other side of the wall frame.

  12. 12

    Pull enough cable through so that it won't be pulled back down by the weight of the remaining cable.

  13. 13

    Feed the fish tape or slim line through the hole in the ceiling near the projector mount to the hole near the wall.

  14. 14

    Fasten the cable to the slim line and draw the cable through the ceiling towards the mount, until about two feet of cable are through the hole.

  15. 15

    Repeat the process again for each cable running through the ceiling, then patch the drywall to cover the two holes you cut. (See resource 1 below for help with replacing the panels you cut from the wall and ceiling).

Tips and warnings

  • Get a friend to help you to avoid having a cable drop back through the wall.

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