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Running speaker cable behind plaster board/stud wall?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by craynerd, Oct 29, 2005.

  1. craynerd

    craynerd
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    Hi guys,

    I`m 22 and got a BRAND spanking new appartment! I want to hook up my rear speakers but obviously dont want wires everywhere therefore i think the best way is to run them behind the stud wall? BUT with it being the rear speakers they have a fair distance to go...with the tv being a plasma its in the centre of the main wall so obviously it has to run the distance of the main wall 6ft, then along the side wall to behind the sofa - 8-10 ft.

    Firstly whats the best way of doing it:
    1) Run the cable from the speak through the wall all the way to the amp (15ft), definately would be the neatest way!!
    2) Run the cable from the speaker, the length of the side wall , bring it out at the end of the side wall (8ft) and under the carpet along the front wall to the amp?
    3) Run the cable form the speaker down the wall and bring it out at the floor directly below the speaker (i.e 3 ft!) and then under the carpet all the way to the amp.

    So i have those desicions to make! BUT since i have done vertually no diy (but DEFINATELY would like to learn) could someone explain, even if you cant help with my specific problem, how you actually run a wire through a stud wall! I mean you must obviously drill the wall and thread the wire through, but how do you actually pull it back through especially if you are threading it a large distance??

    Hope someone can help
    Chris
     
  2. woody67

    woody67
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    You can't just drill the plasterboard and expect to thread the cable through. as there will be numerous timber studs blocking its path.

    The best way will be one with the minimum amount of distruption to the wall which will either be down and behind skirting or carpet, or up and behind coving.

    Even so, if timber studs are in the way, you will need to locate them and gouge out some plasterboard and notch the timber stud. Or if a corner is available, gouge this out and it wil be less obtrusive when filled.
     
  3. craynerd

    craynerd
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    Hummm, a little confused! Woody like i say i have done no DIY!!

    OK, well in that case, since i havent a clue how i would even get behind the coving, i think i`m best to run it down the wall and straight out the bottom then around the carpet!
    If i drill at speaker hight and aim to come straight vertically down could there still be timber studs or would they only get in the way if i was running it horizontally? Also, how low could i bring the wire out at, how low does the hollow in the wall go, is it bellow the skirting board? I.e if i brough it out just above the skirting board, you would still see the wire from there to the carpet, or could i bring it out through the bottom of the skirting board at carpet level, so it would be completely hidden!

    PLz help and be easy on me, i havent a clue how a wall is built! Unfortunately u learn nothing practical such as this at school!!!
     
  4. craynerd

    craynerd
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    also leading to my origonal question, how do you thread the wire through both holes!!!!!
     
  5. inzaman

    inzaman
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    You should be able to drop straight down to the floor as the plasterboard will go to your floor level, the skirting is then attached to the plasterboard.

    As for wires that come out of the plasterboard you could use blanking plates to great effect.
     
  6. woody67

    woody67
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    Typically there will be a timber stud on the floor, then one either half or three-quarters the way up, and then one at the top. There will be one at 450mm intervals verticaly too. But there could be others too
    In addition the partition may be filled with insulation - in which case threading is a non starter.

    You could try either some thicker mains cable first, and then join the speaker cable and pull it through, or buy some proper electrical 'fish' wire which is about £7 at B&Q

    You will need to make something like a wide slot about 90mm up from the floor to miss the bottom timber - this may then be hidden by the skirting. You would jig the cable around untill you can grasp it via this slot
     
  7. marinecommando

    marinecommando
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    my house didnt have wooden struts behind the plaster board - it just has splodges of plaster that the board has been stuck onto :rolleyes:
     
  8. inzaman

    inzaman
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    of course there is, i had forgot about that, apologies.
     
  9. craynerd

    craynerd
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    thx guys, woody pm to you! hope you dont mind!
     
  10. woody67

    woody67
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    That will be dry lining onto a solid masonary wall, which will be a bit easier to thread cable than with a timber stud wall/partition
     
  11. craynerd

    craynerd
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    Grrrr, i`m confused!!!! HELP

    Its a BRAND new appartment! If i cock the wall ups with holes and chips then my Girlfriend will kill me, literally!

    I really havent a clue what to do. It has to be neat, i dont want to see any wire going up the wall!

    Woody i got ur pm, but it still doesnt help about what i should do!

    Whats my first move?
     
  12. milkmanchris

    milkmanchris
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    Do like i would do

    Get Dad in (and im 36) or bro whos a joiner by trade.

    Or get a quote from an electrician or the like.
     
  13. craynerd

    craynerd
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    Yea lol, BUT i wanna do it myself!

    I think its almost 100% agreed that in some way i`m gonna have to cut a groove in the wall or chase part of the wire correct? So basically i am going to have to plaster over it!

    Could i do this myself or could a plasterer get a seamless finish? I`m painting the wall and dont want it to show through!

    Chris
     
  14. lawrenso

    lawrenso
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    Hi Chris,

    know this is a few days plast you last post - but here is what I suggest.

    1. Remove Skirtings - hopefully you will have an uninterupted run from where your Amp is (ie no doors in the way). There should be a gap between your skirting board and the wall - put your cable in there and run it round.

    2. If skirtings are nailed - pull the skirting off - leaving the nails in place - do not try to remove the nail or you will ruin the finish of the skirting board. If they are GripFilled to the wall - run a Stanly knife along the sealant between skirting and wall, then use something thin like a chisel scaper to get down behind the skirting - breaking it away from the wall.

    3. If you are worried about sticking the skirting back on and leaving marks from where you removed the skirting - take a sampe to a timber merchants and get some skirting slightly higher - however for this you will need to replace all the skirting

    4. Behind the Amp - if the skirting is high enough - set a patch plate and connect the wire behind the skirting to this - then you just need to jack in and out if needed to - you could also move the Amp and only need to replace the cable between the amp and the skirting - much neater although you need more connectors.

    5. For the wall - check to see if it is "Dot and Dab" or studd work - if it is an external wall it will more than like be the former than the latter with new builds - if it is this, then you are in luck and the cable will drop down - When I done something simular with some re-wiring - I just put some chain on the end of the cable to give it the weight to drop down.

    Cheers

    Steve (Lawrenso)
     
  15. Sound&Vision

    Sound&Vision
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    OK, this is by far the easiest and safest way to to do this. I did it myself and saves a shed load of problems.

    Mark were you are going to place the speakers.

    Carefully remove the skirting.

    Use a pencil to mark a straight line from the speaker marker down to the floor/skirting board area. Depending on the width of the cable scribe another in parallel with the first

    Take a new bladed stanley knife and carefully cut into the plasterboard along the line (don't worry too much if you come off the line, plasterboard and plaster are easy to repair)

    Repeat with the other line.

    then using a sharp chisel (the same width or smaller than the width of the scribed lines, work this into the plastic board from the top notching out a neat channel for the cable (obviously the smaller gauge the cable the better as you don't have to go too deep). Plasterboard is easy to work with so don't go mad and take your time.

    Once the channel is in place, brush out the dust make sure the edges are smooth. Place the cable into the channel with sufficient cable hanging out the top so you can connect the speaker and fix with a small dap of 'no nails' or similar sticky adhesive. Only a small blob, you want to keep the adhesive behind the cable not oozing out everywhere.

    Do this a few time down the wall until you have a secure fixed and taught cable running down to the floor.

    Buy some ready mixed plaster (polycell do a nice one that needs little rubbing down afterwards (if you apply it carefully!) and fill in the channel. Just enough to get it level with the existing wall. Let it dry.

    Rub down lightly so there are no proud bits sticking out.

    Apply a second light coat to get rib of holes and marks. Let dry

    Lightly sandpaper with a fine grade paper. Brush off and its ready for a quick coat of paint. If its a new place, its bound to be a trade magnolia so give the wall a good couple of coats.

    p.s. Run the cable behind the skirting before refixing it,

    Repeat on other side.
     

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