I've been lurking on this forum for quite sometime, but finally registered! The suggestions I've found in old threads have been very helpful in getting me to the point where I'm at now. I now have a few specific questions for which I haven't been able to find answers online.
We have our TV mounted over our fireplace/mantel. It has worked well for us, but my wife is now pushing me to finally finish the project and move the wires behind the wall. I need to run the center channel speaker wire, HDMI cables, and power cable horizontally from a recessed box to an adjacent stud bay and down to the wall plates next to the fireplace. I cut away some of the drywall to see what I was up against in terms of getting past/through the fireplaces framing. I will post pictures below.
1. Will notching the studs be a problem in this area? There are two studs that run vertically along the right side of the fireplace and a 4x4 a few inches to the right of the studs. If it is possible to notch the studs and 4x4, that leads me to question #2.
2. In the study bay I was hoping to use to run the cables down to the yet-to-be-installed wall plates, I discovered a pipe that runs vertically in the wall. It seems to be inline with the gas valve next to the fireplace (it runs about where the speaker cable is hanging in the picture below). Assuming it is a gas pipe (not sure why the pipe runs vertically towards the second floor of the house), can I run the cables in this space next to the pipe?
3. Ideally, I would also like to run power behind the wall. The recessed box has a space for a duplex outlet and I was told I can run romex to the box as long as it is in a separate conduit. Can I run the romex horizontally across the same bay as the pipe? I have to cross over two more studs to get to power.
Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
Before you start, are you sure there is enough room above the center of your fireplace to put in a power and cable box? Sometimes chimney flues have solid concrete up to behind the wallboard. You can't tell from your cut out.
I much prefer just running cables vertically rather than horizontally, especially when chimneys may be involved, and I don't like drilling through studs if I can help it. I had a brick fireplace similar to yours and put on top of it a wooden shelf made from a 3"x 10" piece of wood. (You can get hollow ones if they fit). I sawed an "L" shaped space along the bottom and rear of the shelf, large enough for all my cables and conduits to run along the top of the fireplace and inside the "L".
Then I put a hole in the drywall below the top of the shelf and ran the power and cables up to the back of the TV inside a bay and into one of those combined power and cable boxes. (Once you remove the wallboard for that larger than normal box, there is plenty of room to grab all the wires and pull them up). Make sure your TV mount will not block your box. If your mount is in place, there is no need to move it and you will avoid this issue.
On the right hand side of your fireplace you can remove the drywall right by the top and the edge of the fireplace. Obviously never go higher than the height or the end of the shelf. It looks like from your picture that there is an existing bay there to the right of the stud on the extreme right of your cutout. If necessary a shelf going a few inches beyond both edges of the fireplace may be easier and may look better anyway.
I liked the look of a painted wooden shelf because my bricks were painted white, but I did consider adding another row of specially cut bricks to achieve the same thing.
You don't mention a CAT6 cable. I'd include one of those.
No, not wasting my time at all. I appreciate your response. I actually have a lot space behind the wall above the fireplace. The flue runs up through a framed box and the insulation can be pushed back just enough to clear the recessed box. Your idea of putting a shelf on top of the fireplace for the cable run is an interesting idea. If i can find a hollow shelf, that would also work really well.