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How to hide speaker cable behind plaster?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by Neil Fellows, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. Neil Fellows

    Neil Fellows
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    Does anyone know of a way to hide speaker cable behind plaster board (it's a normail partition wall). I was going to cut out a strip, place some plastic conduit (the type with a clip on lid) into the wall, put the cable in, lid on, then plaster / paint over. Anyone got any better methods?

    Thanks guys.
     
  2. digisocialist

    digisocialist
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    Neil, it depends I suppose. If it's a normal stud partition you don't really need conduit, you can either let the cable hang free or put cable clips in place to hold the cable against the joists. If the plaster board is already up, then you can just chase it out at points by placing small holes at the required distances and feeding your cable through attached to a stiff wire (like a straightened out coat hanger), between each hole until you have the cable running the desired length. I have used several methods.
    1 - if chasing out into a plastered wall (plaster directly onto breeze block) then I chisel out a run and put in conduit to house the cable. This a) fills the cable run and limits the need for major filling with deep gap filler b) protects the cable when re plastered over the top
    2 - part built stud partition, I just let the cable run freely behind the stud (in the gap created by the depth of each joist (e.g. 2x2) before the plaster board is up
    3 - already built stud partition / plaster board wall, I have placed holes at required distances and fed the cable from hole to hole (using a stiff wire), minimising the need to chase out huge runs, then deep gap filled the holes made. If you have thick cable, you could do this with string initially to make it easier and once the string is in then attach to cable and pull through, this also minimises the need to create holes big enough to pull thick speaker cable through.

    One thing to note is that if using plastic conduit you only need a very small diameter/square piece. I think I used 10mm/sq x 2m lengths in mine and even 10mm required deep cable runs (but I was chasing into think plaster on dry stone walls).

    I would suggest that for your purposes you use option 3 above - no need for conduit and minimises damage.
     
  3. Neil Fellows

    Neil Fellows
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    That's really helpful, digi - many thanks. My room is a difficult one as it's going to be plasterboard over breeze blocks (at least I think until I check) for x3 walls because x2 of the walls are external ones, and the other separates my house from my neighbours. So it will be option 3 for one wall, but option 1 for the others. I also wanted to use the QED air-lock banana plugs, so my cable will come ready made with the plugs on, and no real way to take them off, so it may make it slightly more difficult. Unless anyone can convince me that there's not much difference between them and normal plugs, then I'll use those instead.

    I noticed Homebase sell skirting board for home cinema use, with a hollow channel inside for cables. It's also part of a kit that has architrave for doors, and as I have laminate floors, I think that may be a good option.

    Once again, thanks for your help.
     
  4. digisocialist

    digisocialist
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    Neil - Inzaman is using the skirting board option as well. I think it's a case of what best suits. before you chase huge runs into the plaster board though (if you decide to go that way) be sure of the depth, most plasterboard is either 9mm or 12mm thick. Finding conduit that thin which can also take heavy speaker cable could be problematic. Even the 10mm square stuff with a pull off front, would in theory only leave you with a 2mm gap to fill, but in practice is likely to protrude above the surface and you don't need that.

    I can't comment on the QED plugs or cable you have, but if it's of any value I have only run mains cable in for speaker cable (as I won't be able to remove it when I move house) and I'll be sticking a grands worth of Castle Speakers on the end!
     
  5. Neil Fellows

    Neil Fellows
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    This is great help Digi, thanks. I think I'll try a small area behind the sofa first to check about the depth. It's gonna make a whole load of mess....!!

    On a similar note, I noticed that QED do a really neat looking bannana plug wall socket, that you use just like a plug socket, which I think would look fantastic with my centre speaker which sits just off the wall on top of a sideboard.
     
  6. Bristol Pete

    Bristol Pete
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    My builder used plastic tubing in my walls. Smaller than the clip conduit and perfect for running speaker wire in.

    Available at most DIY shops. NOW! :)

    Cap :)
     
  7. Neil Fellows

    Neil Fellows
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    Hhmm.. tubing sounds a 'cleaner' option, but my only gripe is that i'd have to feed in the wire before it goes in place, rather than the coduit with a lid on, but i see where you're coming from!
     
  8. Bristol Pete

    Bristol Pete
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    Yes, thats true, but you can just pull new or existing wire through really easily should you need to change things. Surely if you put capping conduit on the wall you will channel a hole and then plaster over anyway??

    Cap :)
     
  9. Neil Fellows

    Neil Fellows
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    Doh!....ok, you got me there...!

    I'll be doing this in January, so i'll have to make my mind up soon. On a similar note, anyone used one of those 'wall chaser' thingymebobs to make a channel?
     
  10. Capt Morgan

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    Yeah, make loads of nice mess :D

    Used the SDS drill with a Spin stop and a sds chisel attachment.

    Mark out on the walls where want the channels and bash away I'd recoment stopping often to check depths etc very easy to get carryed away ;)
     
  11. haleadam

    haleadam
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    I have just wired my entire living room for 6.1 Fortunately it was time to decorate anyway but it has been quite a mission. I got a 100m roll of speaker cable and some wall plates from www.cybermarket.co.uk. I chased up the wall to the ceiling for the rears and down the wall to floor level at the front. All the wires in the wall areas are now plastered in, filled and painted. The speaker wire at ceiling and floor level will be concealed by skirting and coving. I got a two gang blank and a load of binding posts and created a master wall plate which sits behind my receiver.

    I also figured that while I had the place in bits i would really go to town. I got a few single gang blanks and made a plate with a single black phono socket which now sits in the back corner of the room for the sub. I ran a single core 20 AWG screened cable from another black phono in the centre of the afore mentioned master wall plate with all the speaker connections! I can now hide my sub at the back of the room under the corner table!

    I then really got carried away and got to thinking what if I wanted to wire the rest of the house for sound? I have all my old hifi etc. in the bedroom directly above the living room so I ran three sets of twisted shielded pairs of wire to the bedroom. Another single gang blank behind the home cinema stand now houses 3 pairs of phono socket (red,white,yellow) for audio and video to and from the bedroom!

    So I did all this then realised I hadn't taken into consideration the telephone connection for the digibox! Fortunately the skirting hadn't gone on yet so I butchered an old telephone extension box and flush mounted the little socket in the skirting board.

    Just getting the coving up now and am planning the big switch on for christmas day!

    Any suggestions for the first dvd to listen to.....

    I just ordered Tubular Bells on DVD-Audio...

    Can't wait.....
     

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