If you’vefigured out how to mount a TV on the wall, you’re probably high-fiving yourself for accomplishing such a feat (particularly sincehiring a pro to mount aTV costsupward of $250, so you’ve just saved yourself a bundle). There’s just one problem: thosewiresdangling from your TV. Ugly, right? Thisis why we’re moving on to your next DIY project: how tohide TV wires.
There are a couple of ways to hide TV cables-both on, and behind, your wall.The former method is the easiestand ideal for a homeowner (or renter) who doesn’t want holes in the wall or a lot of work. However, if you do want those cables runningbehind your wall, move on to the second set of instructionsbelow.
How to hide wires on a wall
Things you’ll need:
- Tape measure
- PVC cutter/hacksaw (optional)
- A cord channellikeCordMate III Channel ($15.97).
Step No. 1: Cut your channel to the right size
If youhave a power outlet right below your TV, you’re in luck: You’ll just need to cut to size one channel that will reach vertically from the base of your TV to the outlet below. If your outlet is off to the left or right belowyour TV, you can attach an L-shaped joint to the bottom, followed by a horizontal channel to the outlet.
Step No. 2: Add your channel to the wall
Once thechannel is cut to the right length, peel off the adhesive tape on the back and place iton the wall where you want it. Press downalongthe entire length to make sure it sticks,then open and insert all the cables inside. Once done, you cansnap the channel closed.
While aplastic channel is the easiest and cheapest way to hideyour TV wires, you are still left with somethingrunning along your wall. If you want to completely hide the cablesbehind your wall, follow the instructions below.
How to hide wires behindthe wall
- Tape measure
- Utility knife
- Two cable plates($4)
Step No. 1: Make sureyour cords are up to code
According to Michael Kaneof Philadelphia, owner of Instatech Home Theaters, do not bury just any cord into the wall-especially a power cord. This is considered a fire hazard and is against code.
The best option, according to Kane, is to be sure [the cables] are in-wall and UL-rated. UL, or Underwriters Laboratories, is an organization that tests the safety of various products.
Step No. 2: Remove your TV from the Wall
If your TV hasa swinging arm mount, all you have todo is move the TV out of the way. If it’s afixed or tilted wall mount, you’ll have to liftyour TV off the mount and putit on the floor. This will give you enough room to work with the wires.
Step No. 3: Findthe right placefor thecable plate
Having a hole in your wall can look unsightly, so you can frame this area with a cable plate, which looks like a light switch plate, but only with an opening for wires. Thecable plate shouldcome with a template; if so, put it where you want the cables to feed into and draw the area. If there is no template, just measure all for sides of the plate and draw it onto your wall.It’s a useful guideline to know where to cut.
When choosing the space for the plate, you will obviously want to avoid the studs. Well, guess what? Your TV bracket is screwed into your studs so if you choose a space between them you should be good. Or you coulduse a stud finder.
Step No. 4: Cut out the marked area
Using a utility knife or drywall saw, cut out the space you just marked.After a few cuts, you should be able to push the patchin a bit so you can get your fingers around it to take it out.
Step No. 5: Insert the cable plate
Thecable plate should fit very snuggly into the space you just cutout. If required, screw the plate into the wall to make sure that it stays. Make sure the opening is pointing downward so the cables are fished toward theopening you will createdown below.
Step No. 6: Repeat for the bottom plate
Next, cutout a hole for the bottom plate.Theninsert your wires into the top plate andfish them out below.Pull all the wires out, then put them through the second cable plate and secureit to the wall.
Plug in every cable, and you should be goodto go without any ugly wires in sight. This also works wonders for any kind of wire or cable, from your computers to your modems, so this skill could come in handy more than you might think.
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