Sound throughout the home or strategically around a home theater room may be music to the ears of music and movie lovers. However, while many speakers are attractive enough, speaker wiring rarely is. Solutions for hiding speaker wires include using channel molding kits and running the wires through walls and baseboards. Innovative products like thin flat speaker wires are nearly invisible when painted. Whichever method you opt for, the result is crisp sound without unsightly cables ruining the effect.
These plastic molding kits offer a channel for wires of varying sizes and quantities. The base of the channel kit is cut with a heavy-duty pair of scissors or a table saw to the appropriate length. From there, you lay in the cables and snap the cover over them. These kits are sometimes made to look like baseboards, come in various textures and can be painted. Kits like these are very useful in environments where wiring through walls is impractical or impossible, such as with plaster-and-lathe or concrete walls.
Wiring through walls typically requires a little experience with drywall repair. You need to cut a hole at the base of the wall or behind the baseboard, with an accompanying hole at or near the speaker's intended installation location. Sometimes you need to feed the wires from an unfinished section of a basement or from the attic. Using a retractable fish tape or glow rod, you can route the wire up through the wall to the spot you chose for the speaker. Conceal the exit point of the wire with binding post panels or nose plates for a clean look.
Thin wires, which are only about as thick as duct tape, can solve speaker wiring dilemmas. These wires are usually the equivalent of a 16- or 14-gauge wire, sufficient for most applications. The wire adheres to the wall's surface using an attached adhesive. Once painted or stained, these wires all but disappear. Because of the unusual shape of the wire, small pigtail adapters are normally required at the receiver or amplifier as well as the speaker.
Baseboard wiring is a great option for concealing smaller speaker wires 16 gauge and below. Most homes build with drywall have a 1/8- to 1/4-inch gap between the floor and the wall. This gap is perfect for sliding in speaker wire. If you can't fit the wire into that gap, another solution is to remove the baseboard and run the wire behind it. Run a utility knife along the junction of the baseboard and wall to slice through any paint or caulk. Use a sturdy paint scraper to wedge behind the top of the baseboard and the wall. Tap it down with a hammer. Gently pry forward, moving along the length of the baseboard. Eventually the baseboard pops free. Number each section of baseboard and the corresponding spot on the wall for easy replacement after your install your wiring.
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