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Speaker Wires Under Baseboards

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I have no attic, and no basement or crawlspace to run wires. I also don't have carpet, so I can't just stuff speaker wires under the edges. Previously, I simply stapled the wire to the baseboard, but it looked bad and toddlers like to yank them. After getting a new TV and mounting it on the wall, I decided I needed a better solution, which was running wires under the baseboards. I couldn't find any pictures or write-ups online of this, even though many people suggested it, so I figured it was time I make my first Instructable (hopefully it turns out well). 

I'm not a professional installer, carpenter, or electrician, and I did not consult any pros. I probably use some incorrect terms, and there are probably things I could have done differently, but what I did worked for me. Be sure to take all safety precautions, and use common sense, and of course don't blame me if you screw up.
 
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Step 1: Getting Started

Picture of Getting Started
Here are the tools I used. Not pictured are a cordless drill and drill bits, a nail set, wire strippers, masking tape, putty knife, plastic scraper, and cleanup stuff. I also used some additional finishing nails (the kind with the real tiny head that has a dent for a nail set). 

Step 2: Choose Placement

There are many guides online regarding best placement for sound, but I wanted it to look good since this is not dedicated theater room, so I held up speakers and asked my wife what looked best.

Mark the locations with a piece of masking tape or a pencil. You want to place your speaker jack close to the speaker, but you need to check for studs with the stud finder. I got pretty lucky, only one was close to a stud, and I only had to move it about 1/4" over to clear it. Mark your faceplate locations with the pencil in the screw holes.
beetlewing2 years ago
Great job, and very nice first instructable!
I can thoroughly recommend using fish poles rather than tape, they don't curl up on you. Much easier. Great instructable by the way.
oakback (author)  dancmarsh2 years ago
Maybe there are different fish tapes, but this one wasn't bad. It curved just enough to keep it running along the wall.
C. Wheeler4 months ago
That's pretty cool! I have a question. Can I buy a home theater control box without the speakers? My home theater system control box broke and I finished it off by taking it apart and goofing with it. Now I have the speakers and the other two speaker looking things which I don't know what they are called. Will I have to buy a whole new sound system? Any suggestions? Thanks
oakback (author)  C. Wheeler4 months ago
Yes, it's typically called a receiver. Some have limited capabilities. What I recommend is making a list of all your components that are integrated in your main entertainment room. For instance, TV, surround sound speakers, cable box, Xbox, etc. Make sure the receiver you're shopping for has the right amount and type of inputs and outputs. For me, I have a PS3 and cable box that I want to provide picture to my TV, and sound to my speakers. So my receiver has at least 2 HDMI inputs, at least 1 HDMI output, and outputs for at least 5 speakers and a subwoofer. So I end up with all the inputs going to the receiver, and 1 video output to my TV, and audio outputs to the speakers. If you have several components like me, I highly recommend the Logitech Harmony line of remotes, it simplifies control of everything and it's super easy to set up and use.
Thank you very much for taking the time to help me. I found your info very useful. Thanks again
urwatuis2 years ago
to remove baseboard molding use a small flat pry bar found at most hardware stores. They are made specifically for this purpose. If you can afford 2 so much the better. Gently work the pry bar behind the molding and then pull it away from the wall. then work your way along the baseboard, gently wiggling the pry bar and pulling the board away from the wall.
BTW this is a great idea! great 'ible
oakback (author)  urwatuis2 years ago
I have one, but didn't use it, because of the slim width. Any time in the past that I've tried using a flat pry bar, if the board was tight at all, I'd end up denting the sheetrock, or marring the board. I'm sure it would have been very useful to have 2 and use them that way, but the 5"-wide non-flexible putty knife worked great. It spread out the prying force, so I wouldn't dent the sheet rock.

What would be great is a tool with the angle a flat pry, but with a much wider pry tip.
I'm glad I took a peek at your instructable - I've used those green low-voltage, old construction brackets before, and never noticed that they had 4 marking holes. Thanks!
oakback (author)  markstutzman2 years ago
Glad I could help! I just happened to notice on the edge of the bracket, it says something like "mark here for cut guide" with arrows pointing toward the holes. I make it a habit of inspecting things when I'm working with something new (this was my first time installing brackets, and using the fish tape, and cutting holes in my walls).
I love your work, beautifully done! ....and I was just thinking towards the end why hasn't he hidden the HDMI and power cord, could have fed them through the wall at least to the baseboard until you were ready to finish it.......but I then read on to see that you had thought about and are going to do it. Hopefully you will also create a channel under the door, which you have also mentioned... great job! No room for comments!
oakback (author)  bricabracwizard2 years ago
Thanks! I'll definitely post an update when I finish the rest.
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