Intro: Hide Your Tv Wires in the Wall
Here's an easy way to hide your wires for your flat wall mounted tv in the wall. My tv had an outlet directly below where the tv was mounted. If yours isn't this way, you will have to get power some other way. I had previously mounted my TV up high on the wall in my bedroom but didn't like the wires hanging down the wall to the outlet below. This project is on a stud framed wall with drywall (and tile in my case). If your wall is block or some other more solid material, this instruction won't work for you.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Here are the TOOLS I used to do this project:
1. Grinder with cutting wheel - I needed to use this because my wall had tile. If your wall is drywall, you won't need this.
2. Utility knife - I use this to cut the drywall.
3. Screw drivers - I use one flat and one phillips or star screwdriver.
4. End cutting wire cutters.
5. Voltage tester
6. drill with 1/2" wood drill bit
Here are the MATERIALS I used
1. Double gang or Douplex electrical box. I used a modified "new work" box that is made to be nailed to the wall. You may want to use a "old work" box that holds itself to the drywall.
2. one Electrical outlet
3. one Cable outlet
4. additional wire (Romex)
5. Douplex cover
Additional items you may need:
Wire nuts for joining wire ends
TV cable connectors
Step 2: *WARNING* Turn Off the Power
Before you do any electrical work, you need to make sure that the electricity is turned off to the area where you will be working. The best way is to plug in a lamp to the outlet where you will be working. Next, go to your electrical control panel and turn off the correct breaker that controls your outlet. My panel is in the garage so I like to use my kids to watch the lamp. They hollar at me when the lamp goes off so I know I have the correct breaker. Sometimes this can take a while. I have done quite a bit of electric work on the house so I have a pretty good idea which breaker it is. Not to say I haven't switched the wrong one before. I have had to reset my share of clocks. Next, use the Voltage Tester to confirm that all of the wires are dead. As you can see by my pictures that there are more than one set of wires coming into my box. I disconnected my lower outlet and turned the power back on to test each set. The electricity can be thought of like water. One set "flows" in and one set "flows" out. I needed to make sure I worked on the correct set.
Step 3: Layout and Cut the New Hole
In this step you need to figure out where the next hole is going to be. If you don't have an outlet below where your TV is mounted then you will need to get power from somewhere else. I'm not going to cover that in this instructable. You may want to get an electrician.
I want to put my new outlet directly above the lower one and next to the wall mount that I had previously installed. I have tile on my wall so it's easy to follow the tiles up and get good alignment. If your wall is just drywall, you will need to make sure you have an good idea where the studs are before you make any holes. I take the cover off of my outlet and poke a screwdriver between the box and the drywall. There will usually be a stud directly next to the box on one side. Poke the screwdriver thru both sides and see which side had wood behind it. Thats the stud. Now that you have it located, you need to measure from a corner or door to make sure the hole for your new box does not hit the stud. Also, make sure you put the new hole on the same side of the stud as the lower outlet. If it ends up on the other side of the stud, you will not be able to get your wire to the new box.
Use the outlet box upside down to trace where your hole is going to be. Now you can cut the hole. I used the cutting wheel on the angle grinder to cut the tile. I held a wet washcloth next to the grinder to minimize the dust and sparks. As you can see, it didn't do a great job but that will all be hidden by the cover plate. Use the utility knife to cut the drywall. I also like to use a keyhole saw. You have to use care here to not cut the wires in the wall. I had two wires mounted to the stud. Damage to these wires can cause a short and start a fire. Please be careful.
Step 4: The Box
Here's where I decided to use a nail type "new work" box. I would have had to cut more of the tile (real pain) to fit the old work box. I used a new work box and cut the nail holders off. This allowed me to slide the box in. Here again I needed to get creative. I wanted my power and cable to come out of the same box. I decided to use some plexiglass to divide the inside of the box so I didn't get interference or a short from the electrical side. This box worked well because the knock outs on the back held the plexi in place. I'm sure an electrician may not like this step but it worked well for me and is very safe.
Step 5: Wiring
I cut a hole in the wall behind the lower outlet. This allowed me to put the new power cable into the lower box and get my TV cable up thru the floor. This was easy for me because I can get to my cable in the basement. I used the drill to put a hole in the bottom "plate" of the wall and thru the floor. Do not put the TV cable into the lower box. I easily pushed the TV cable up the wall to the new hole.
Use the knockout holes in the back of the box to feed the power and TV cables in. Make sure they are on different sides of the box and install the divider made earlier.
I'm showing a picture of the side of the box because of the Pay n Pack price tag. I remember that store from when I was a kid and thought it was interesting.
If you have tile, try not to knock any loose like I did. If you do, you can put them back with some new glue or caulk. You can also get caulk to match the old grout.
I'm not goin to cover the actual electrical connections here. ELECTRICITY CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS. IF YOU DON'T HAVE ELECTRICAL EXPERIENCE, PLEASE GET SOMEONE THAT DOES TO DO THIS FOR YOU.
Step 6: Fit and Finish
Now that all of the wiring is connected, it's time to button everthing up and make it look good. My TV bracket came with some little clips that hold the wires to the frame. I looped all of them and tucked them in as best as I could. I'm really happy with the way it came out and everything works great. Good Luck.