Many of us have purchased new televisions, audio systems, speakers or games consoles in the run up to Christmas or in the post-Christmas sales. But the addition of new audio-visual equipment to our homes often comes with a side order of messy and unsightly cables. Your new TV looks great but the mass of wires that now hang from wall speakers, bookshelves or sideboards make your home look untidy and disorganised.
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Wireless gadgets are perhaps the best solution here but not all equipment works in this way yet and some of the best audio systems need good quality wires and cables to make sure you get the best sound. The only solution is to think about how to hide wires.
How to hide wires
In most cases, this will present you with the choice of running cables beneath your floor or through your walls. Going beneath the floor is the most simple solution, especially if you don’t have carpets. But this does not always deal with the problem of speaker cables hanging down walls or power leads hanging from a wall-mounted television. For a fully invisible set of cabling you will probably need to use both options, going beneath the floor and through/behind the walls.
If you are not confident with cabling and basic DIY then it is always worth considering an installation package from your retailer when you buy new equipment, or getting a builder or electrical expert to come round and quote for the job in question. A good professional will be able to hide all cabling that you currently have and suggest more efficient set ups that you can use, as well as safety and energy-saving tips.
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Running cable beneath floorboards is simply a case of lifting the boards and running wires beneath them, while being sure to clip them in place as you go. You can run it along joists or across them if there is space, although a professional may choose to drill a small hole through the joists as this provides protection for the cable and keeps it well below surface level. These holes should be made deep enough so that they will not be harmed by anyone nailing down the boards later on. The same rules apply if you decide to go up instead of down and fit cabling in your ceiling.
When it comes to running speaker or power cables in your walls, the solution will depend upon the type of wall that you need to work on.
A solid wall will require making a recess or recesses in the wall and then making plastering repairs over the cable once it is in place. Trunking can be used if you want to avoid digging out part of the wall, but this still leaves you with an unsightly line down your wall. So it is better to have a tradesman complete a clean job where you’re left with a seamless finish.
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If you have a hollow stud and plasterboard wall then running cables is much easier, although there will still be some repair work to do. The wall is opened up in two places to allow for the cable start and end to emerge. You simply pull the wire through or allow it to drop with a small weight on. As with laying cabling under the floor, you or your tradesman may decide to run the cable through the studs themselves, drilling a small hole in each stud for the cable to go through.
Once the cable is in place, you can make good any damage made in getting into the walls, with the addition of plasterboard, plaster and any painting and decorating that may need to be done to complete the job to a high standard.
If you need some professional help hiding cables or decorating the aftermath, post your job on Rated People and up to three tradesmen will get in touch to quote on your job. You’ll be able to view their individual profiles, complete with previous customer recommendations, to help you decide who to hire.