We’re not beginners when it comes to hiding tv cables… We’ve done it a number of times and even in our last house we had sonos and ceiling speakers, which we were lucky enough to wire as it was being built. However, we may have uttered a bad word when we attempted to hide the tv cables downstairs in our current house, only to discover we have insulation boards packed right up against the plaster board. This instantly meant our trusty wire coat hanger method was not going to work on this occasion.
Now let me pre-fix this by saying I have no idea if the insulation boards are meant to be fitted up against plaster board in this way, however they are… So it’s something we needed to work with. I should also state that this section of the house is the old 18th century farmhouse section, which is built with 2ft thick granite stone. So I’m actually quite glad of the packed insulation, as this room is cold even in the height of summer.
I know you are probably thinking, why didn’t we just squeeze the cable through. There was no hope of that, it was butted right up against the board (as you can see in the photos) and there was just no gap whatsoever and if you have insulation board, you will know that it is solid… No squeezing room. We also wanted a long term solution. Technology is so fast paced and we wanted to make sure that we were easily able to change TV’s and DVD players in the future and not have to cut sections of wall out each time.
So, we came up with a solution. Not sure if it is particularly original, but thought we would share how we went about hiding our tv cables, with insulation board in place, should anyone out there have the same issue in the future.
What you will need to hide your TV cables.
Get the tools and bits you need. You will need a couple of brush sockets, a cable runner or plastic pipe, a saw and also have a screwdriver and some screws at the ready (just in case!)
Work out your entry and exit points for your TV cables.
It sounds obvious, but check which side of your tv the cables need to be at. Also ensure that you pick a point where the cables are still hidden, but accessible i.e behind the TV, but not where it meets the wall, or the cable won’t get through. The same goes for the power source. We have a row of cabinets under the TV, so we were happy on this occasion to have the cable exit above the skirting and run to the nearest power source. However upstairs, we placed a socket behind the TV. So plan ahead to suit your needs.
Also make sure you have no joists or water pipes, or electric cables on your planned route.
Measure and cut out your entry and exit points.
Once you have worked out where they need to be, simply draw around the brush sockets and cut out. Then measure the width of your cable runner and cut a wide enough portion of plaster board and insulation board out and ensure it’s deep enough to slot your cable runner into… KEEP THE PLASTER BOARD SECTION!
Slot in your cable runner.
As we didn’t want to be repeating this exercise time and time again, we opted for a large cable runner (I believe it’s a simple plastic pipe from the DIY store). You can buy specifically made cable runners for this, however we wanted to make sure we had room to drop numerous cables down and also have enough space to run any bulky power cables.
If you are using a pipe, or similar… Make sure you prepare both ends by cutting half away (to allow the cables access).
Replace the section of plaster board.
Slot your piece of plaster board/drywall back on top of the cable runner. If you find this is sticking out, simply cut out a deeper section of insulation board, if possible, or find a thinner pipe. If you find that you have cut out too much insulation board and the replaced section of plaster board is sinking in (ahem… like we did), then you can pad it out with some foam or slot in a couple of pieces of ply wood at the correct depth to make it level.
Tape and skim the plaster board/Dry wall.
Don’t be put off by this. It’s really not that hard on a flat surface like this. We opted for a polyfiller based product to complete this. Best to do a couple of thin coats and sand between, than to slap it on in one go (which will lead to cracks). Once you are happy, you can paint over the section. I’d recommend a mini roller to avoid brush strokes.
Fit the cable entry and exit sockets.
Fit the back sections of your brush socket points in place.
Pop on the socket covers and hang the tv back.
There you have it!
You now have a hidden TV cable run that should last you through the next few technical revolutions. Cables and devices can now be added easily and slotted down the runner. Remember to remove those not in use to avoid clogging up the space.