Routing cables through wall and ceiling - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 01-24-2012, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey fellas,

So I've been toying with the idea of cleaning up my entertainment center a bit and moving all the receivers and boxes away from the TV and into an audio rack across the room, leaving only the TV and speakers out in the front.

Now here's the big question. What is the best way I can route the cables?

I've added a self made drawing (if you couldnt tell already :P) of what everything would look like and where the wires would go.

The green is the wires that need to be routed. My biggest concern is the fishing of the wire from the wall up and over the ceiling, and once through that point, across the joints. I'm thinking I would have to drill holes into the joists, but what about through the point where the wall and the ceiling meet? Both on the rack side and the TV side. Would I be able to drill a hole somewhere in that area as well?

I would appreciate any help I could get!
LL
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post #2 of 15 Old 01-25-2012, 11:51 AM
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Do you have open access below that room? If so you could go down through the rack wall, across the floor joists and then back up the tv wall. The other alternative would be to see if pulling up to the attic and then back down would work- assuming you have an attic. These options would keep you from having to open parts of the ceiling to access the joists for drilling.

Some people also consider pulling off baseboard trim and either running cables in that void if one exists or cutting the drywall and drilling the studs at that level to pull through. That way there is a minimum amount of repair required as the baseboard trim covers the disturbed area (depending on the height of your trim). In your case it looks like you would have to work around openings on either side of your tv wall. If that opening has trim you may be able to go up and over- otherwise this option may not work.

Keep in mind that there are different code requirements for drilling v notching depending on whether a wall is load-bearing or not. Don't notch joists.

Otherwise, the top plate of the wall where the rack is located may be on a joist which will complicate it a bit. It's going to take some exploring and drywall repair regardless. On the tv side it appears the wall is running perpendicular to the joist so the top plate of that wall should be accessible for drilling.

Someone else may have some better input.
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post #3 of 15 Old 01-25-2012, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply.

Unfortunately I can't do the baseboard trim due to the openings in the wall, nor the under the floor (there is no opening underneath, its another room). I guess I need to figure out codes for drilling joists because I think that would be the only way to do this, is to go up the wall and across the ceiling. How could I find codes for specific homes, etc.? If anyone knows. This is in a townhouse condo which was built in 2005.

Thanks.
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post #4 of 15 Old 01-25-2012, 06:13 PM
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It appears as though Loudon County VA uses the Virginia Statewide Building Code (Department of Building) which has essentially adopted 2009 IRC for new construction or modification to existing dwellings. Any changes/amendments are found in the Statewide Building Code itself.

2009 IRC
Sec R602 is for walls
Sec R502 is for joists

Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code

Doesn't look like Virg. Code has modified either of these sections from IRC but I'll let you read through it.
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post #5 of 15 Old 01-25-2012, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow, thank you so much for that info. This is what I found:
"Any stud may be bored or drilled, provided that the diameter of the resulting hole is no more than 60 percent of the stud width, the edge of the hole is no more than 5/8 inch (16 mm) to the edge of the stud, and the hole is not located in the same section as a cut or notch."

Though I won't need to drill into any studs, only the roof bed plate and joists. I can't find anything on that though. I wonder if they're any different than studs, given they are possibly the same 1x4 wood.
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post #6 of 15 Old 01-25-2012, 09:22 PM
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Doc,

You did not tell us what was above this room.

Another option besides baseboard is installing a wide crown molding. That will allow you to either cut open the drywall both in the wall and ceiling to drill and fish the lines, or run the wire in a chase behind the crown all the way around the room. You did not specify whether or not your openings went all the way to the ceiling.

Cheers,
Scott

CIH Wannabe...one step at a time
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-25-2012, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Scott,

Above this room is another level of the house (bedrooms).

There are crown moldings already in the ceiling, but the openings are for stairs and they go all the way up from the floor, so no crown moldings in those areas (and they can't be added either because of the opening for the stairs to go to the upper level). So unfortunately that is out of the question as well.
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post #8 of 15 Old 01-25-2012, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocWB View Post

Wow, thank you so much for that info. This is what I found:
"Any stud may be bored or drilled, provided that the diameter of the resulting hole is no more than 60 percent of the stud width, the edge of the hole is no more than 5/8 inch (16 mm) to the edge of the stud, and the hole is not located in the same section as a cut or notch."

Though I won't need to drill into any studs, only the roof bed plate and joists. I can't find anything on that though. I wonder if they're any different than studs, given they are possibly the same 1x4 wood.

Scarpenter's option is a good one as well and could save a bunch of headaches!

Joist info is here Max hole size is D/3 where D is joist-depth (height) and min 2 inches from top and bottom. E.g. 2x10 joists allow ~3 inch hole as long as it's within the part of the joist that is 2" from top and 2" from bottom. Take a look at the pic at that link and it will make sense.
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post #9 of 15 Old 01-25-2012, 10:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmhug View Post

Scarpenter's option is a good one as well and could save a bunch of headaches!

Joist info is here Max hole size is D/3 where D is joist-depth (height) and min 2 inches from top and bottom. E.g. 2x10 joists allow ~3 inch hole as long as it's within the part of the joist that is 2" from top and 2" from bottom. Take a look at the pic at that link and it will make sense.

Ahhh, ok, I saw that pic but couldn't understand it. It makes perfect sense now. Thank you so much!

Yea I'd love to go the route Scott mentioned, but again, the openings have no moldings and is just are wall since it is the ceiling that leads to the stairs.
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post #10 of 15 Old 01-25-2012, 10:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok I took down the junction box for the lighting that is in the same room, about 5 feet from the wall where the rack would be, and noticed a particle board running down the length as well.

In the pic, the back wall (couch) is to the right, and the TV is to the left.

This hole is not big enough to give me a good idea of how the woodwork is done. And I'm not sure if the particle board runs with each joist, but that might be even easier to tap a hole into.
LL
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post #11 of 15 Old 01-25-2012, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
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I forgot I took a panorama picture of the room earlier, so it gives you guys somewhat an idea. The green wall between the orange wall is where the rack would be. The TV is straight across from the couch, to the left of me. The ceiling light you see in the pic is what I removed. Blue line indicates the routing of the wires.

I'll take more pictures tomorrow in the light.
LL
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post #12 of 15 Old 01-26-2012, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DocWB View Post

I forgot I took a panorama picture of the room earlier, so it gives you guys somewhat an idea. The green wall between the orange wall is where the rack would be. The TV is straight across from the couch, to the left of me. The ceiling light you see in the pic is what I removed. Blue line indicates the routing of the wires.

I'll take more pictures tomorrow in the light.

I'll just throw out an option here based on what I can tell from the pic. You could (1) use a wiremold product that is exterior to your wall up to the crown or (2) go into the brown wall and pull up to behind the crown on the brown wall. Then pull the crown on the red/couch wall and run to the point where it's a straight shot over to your tv wall in the joist space. From there go up into the ceiling and pull across the room over to the tv wall and down. I think that would result in the least amount of drywall repair and trying to match your ceiling texture.

If there is not enough room for your cabling in the space behind the crown itself, then you could still pull the crown and remove a small strip of drywall which may allow you to drill the joists as needed. That way when you put the crown back up the removed strip of drywall and subsequent repair would not be visible. There are some great long-shaft flexible bits which may work for you. That way any strip of drywall you remove does not need to be much bigger that the size of the hole you want to drill.
LL
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post #13 of 15 Old 01-27-2012, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmhug View Post

I'll just throw out an option here based on what I can tell from the pic. You could (1) use a wiremold product that is exterior to your wall up to the crown or (2) go into the brown wall and pull up to behind the crown on the brown wall. Then pull the crown on the red/couch wall and run to the point where it's a straight shot over to your tv wall in the joist space. From there go up into the ceiling and pull across the room over to the tv wall and down. I think that would result in the least amount of drywall repair and trying to match your ceiling texture.

If there is not enough room for your cabling in the space behind the crown itself, then you could still pull the crown and remove a small strip of drywall which may allow you to drill the joists as needed. That way when you put the crown back up the removed strip of drywall and subsequent repair would not be visible. There are some great long-shaft flexible bits which may work for you. That way any strip of drywall you remove does not need to be much bigger that the size of the hole you want to drill.

But I'd still have to route the wire behind where the wall meets the ceiling, I think that might be my biggest issue. Once I'm done with the other projects in the house, I think I'm going to just cut out holes in the dry wall and just look and see what I have to deal with. Patching a dry wall might me much easier than messing with the crown molding.
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post #14 of 15 Old 01-29-2012, 08:47 AM
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What's behind the TV location, in the next room? Move the rack into that room?

How about more pics of the room, to show the openings next to the TV.

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post #15 of 15 Old 01-29-2012, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

What's behind the TV location, in the next room? Move the rack into that room?

How about more pics of the room, to show the openings next to the TV.

That's actually just a wall which has the stairs behind it. I will take more pictures tomorrow. I know I promised them earlier, but I got a little busy.

Thanks.
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