Running a Cable Through the Wall
As technology improves, the number of wires connecting your TV to other peripherals is increasing exponentially. Without expensive wireless connections, most people’s living rooms end up looking like the spaghetti special from your grade-school cafeteria. Not only can this create fire hazards, it is a nightmare trying to replace a component, move furniture, or troubleshoot a problem. Let’s be honest, who wants to sit and watch a TV sitting in front of a rat’s nest. It doesn’t have to be this way. There is hope for high definition audio speakers, X-Boxes, Playstations, and dozens of other peripherals to coexist without sacrificing a sleek look that would please even a minimalist architect.
This look is easy to achieve, and you may find a subtle improvement in the quality of your life and living space. The main goal of this article, is to explain the benefits of running cables through the wall of your house. The project can be as big or as small as you want to make it, and often it requires no more than a few simple tools, and a little pre-planning on the exact location of where the holes need to be.
The first two things you need to figure out are the general area where you want your electronic device and the location of the plug you are trying to reach. Next you need to find the distance between these two objects at right angles relative to the floor. The reason for this is that behind your wall are most likely studs. Not good looking gentlemen mind you, but wooden 2x4s that run vertically and sometimes also horizontally behind your wall. Studs are there for support of both your house, and the drywall connected to it. Because of this, you will find yourself having a very difficult (though not impossible) time trying to get a cable to run diagonally through your wall. Running the cable in right angles is much easier, but requires longer cables. If your TV is going to be located directly above your plugs, this will not be a problem, and you can simply measure the height difference plus extra for working room.
It is important to check the length of the cable before you start cutting into your wall to make sure that there is plenty of room even in the event you need to move things around a little bit. For instance, if a TV is connected to a Blue-Ray player sitting in a cabinet, but there is not enough slack in the wires to pull the cabinet away from the wall, you will have a difficult time reaching the back of the blue ray player, or even plugging everything in for that matter.
Next you should locate the studs behind your wall. Do not try to drill a hole where a stud is located. You can buy a stud-finder, but it is easy to listen as you knock firmly on the wall. The hollower or lower pitch sounds come from the gaps between the studs. Once you have located the appropriate spaces, mark them with a pencil and drill a hole big enough for the wires, and maybe a little finger space. Drop the wires from high to low. If the holes are directly in line with each other vertically, you will be able to reach in and grab the wire as it passes by. If they are not right above each other, you can use a wire hanger or pipe cleaner to grab the cables and pull them through. The estimated time for this project is an hour, but much less if you are comfortable with what you are doing. Good luck, and let me know how it goes.
By the way, if you are trying to go from one side of the room to the other, you are probably going to have to reference some home improvement sites, so you can tear out your drywall, run the cables, then replace the drywall. I don’t recommend it, but anything goes in the world of home theater.