How to Hide Speaker Wire With Hardwood Floors
By Joe Fletcher
Running wires to the rear speakers in a home-theater system is always a dicey affair. Hardwood floors eliminate what is arguably the easiest option: fishing the wire underneath the carpet. However, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy both hardwood floors and home theater in the same room, You'll just have to employ different strategies.
Carefully run a razor or utility knife along where the top of the molding meets the wall to cut the paint seal.
Remove the base moldings from the wall(s) where you plan to run the speaker wire. Starting at the first stud of the molding, gently shimmy the end of the pry bar between the molding and the drywall and carefully pull back to separate the molding from the wall. Move over to the next stud and repeat until you can pull the entire piece of molding away from the wall. Be gentle as not to crack the molding.
Store the molding out of the way so that it doesn't get stepped on or broken.
Look at the edge of the floor where it meets the wall. Hardwood flooring often has a space between the edge of the planks and the wall, which allows the floor to expand. One option would be to run the wire in this space, assuming it's large enough, and then cover it up with the molding. If the floor is new, however, it may expand and damage your wiring.
If running the wire along the edge of the floor isn't feasible, create a channel in the wall behind the molding in which you can run the wire through. If you don't want to do the work yourself, you can find molding or channels made specifically for running speaker wire.
Cut a small channel into the wall. Do not cut all the way through the wall board so you don't hit anything inside the wall, and make sure not to cut above the height of the molding. Make a shallow channel with your drywall saw or knife.
Notch the studs so that you are able to run the wires straight past them. Use a saw or chisel to cut a small notch in the bottom of the stud along the path of your wire.
Run the wire through your drywall or molding channel.
Install metal nail plates around your wire on each of the studs to prevent nails from penetrating the wire.
Reinstall the moldings onto the wall with finishing nails.
Repeat Steps 1 through 6 for any other molding that is in the path of your speaker wire.
- Avoid crimping the wire at corners. Keep it rounded for the best performance.
- Other methods for wiring with hardwood include using flat, paintable wiring directly on the wall or baseboard, running the wire through the walls and wiring through the a basement or attic below or above the audio room.
Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.