Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Advice for running speaker wire under floor?

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Re: Advice for running speaker wire under floor?

    Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
    Since you have not done any of this before hee are some tips, hope they are of use. Your A/V wallplate will probably be secured to a single or double "gang box", correct? If so buy boxes that anchor to sheetrock rather than to the stud, so you are not restricted to mounting to the stud. You can use a hammer and nail to find a open area in which to make your hole. Stand the hammer against the wall and rest the gang box on top of it for uniform height. Allow for a loop of slack somewhere in the event you have a problem terminating your cable. Drill at least a half inch hole up from the basement to make fishing the line a little easier, you might want to seal any opening later to prevent smoke, moisture or noise from traveling up. Have a couple rolls of vinyl electrical tape handy, give a tight wrap over the area where the fish tape and cable meet up to ensure a smooth pull without snags. If you are doing this by yourself, layout the cable prior to pulling it so there are no tangles. Wheter you use a staple gun or hammer staples to secure your cable, make sure you can see what you are doing and don't pierce the sheathing. Good luck, sounds like a nice neat job when finished. I ran my speaker cables under the floor but got lazy and drilled small holes on the floor right at the walls.
    That pretty much sums up my plan, only thing I had not thought of was your suggestion to seal the opening. What would you recommend to use? I have some silicone caulk, would that work okay? Or should I find a less permanent way of sealing if I want to add other wires later?

    Comment


    • #17
      Re: Advice for running speaker wire under floor?

      I only have limited advice, but I've run a similar system in our old house, and we plan on doing the same here sometime soon. One thing I'll say is to measure carefully!!! You really don't want to start drilling up into the floor, since it'll cause a lot of tear-out in the top side of the cut. Take your time and carefully lay out where you want your holes, then drill from above into the basement. The tear-out will still happen, but it'll be in the basement ceiling which won't matter as much. A spade bit can really make a mess that sometimes won't be covered by the plate. If you have to start the hole from the basement up into the living area, do so with the smallest spade bit you have, then go up and finish the hole with the 1/2" bit from above.

      Try not to cross electrical, but if you have to, you have to. Go across the electrical cable at a right angle where you need to. This will minimize the contact area. Do NOT run speaker wires near a flourescent fixture. Keep at least 1' away. Flourescent lights leak tons of interference that'll be heard as a high-pitch whine in the speakers.

      Run your cables "inside" the studs, not on the bottom. At some point, you may want to finish the ceiling and having the speaker wire near where you might run drywall screws to hang a ceiling is a no-no. You do NOT want to try and chase a speaker cable break in a finished ceiling.

      Label the cables in the ceiling. Put a tag on them at various points (especially where they go into the ceiling) to indicate left, right, front, rear, etc. It'll make chasing a problem much easier if you know exactly which speaker wire you're looking at.

      As mentioned earlier, get speaker wire that is immediately obvious as to what side you're working on. Reversing phase on a speaker run can be easily done and results in very poor audio. I always do it so the side of the cable with the stripe is plugged into the red connection. Make up your own rules and stick by them. Using the tinned wire is a great idea. Put the "tinned" wire on the black, the copper on the red and follow that rule throughout the wiring. I only do it that way because copper is closer to red in color and makes following the rule easier! Do it however you like, but be consistent.

      I think that's all the advice I have. I hope I've helped some! Good luck with your project.
      I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: Advice for running speaker wire under floor?

        Originally posted by VASandy View Post
        Run your cables "inside" the studs, not on the bottom. At some point, you may want to finish the ceiling and having the speaker wire near where you might run drywall screws to hang a ceiling is a no-no. You do NOT want to try and chase a speaker cable break in a finished ceiling.
        That little bit of advice was something I had not thought of yet, but does make a lot of sense. I do plan on finishing the ceiling at some point, though I haven't decided if I want to do a drop ceiling or sheetrock yet.

        The scenario you described with drywall screws causing a cable break actually happened to me in my garage in regards to the garage door opener safety sensor. The builders had run wire to the base of the door for the sensors, though after hanging the sheetrock, the wire on one side was cut. Rather than hunt it down, I just used a new length of wire and stapled it along the ceiling and wall with insulated staples.

        Comment


        • #19
          Re: Advice for running speaker wire under floor?

          Originally posted by wathman View Post
          That little bit of advice was something I had not thought of yet, but does make a lot of sense. I do plan on finishing the ceiling at some point, though I haven't decided if I want to do a drop ceiling or sheetrock yet.

          The scenario you described with drywall screws causing a cable break actually happened to me in my garage in regards to the garage door opener safety sensor. The builders had run wire to the base of the door for the sensors, though after hanging the sheetrock, the wire on one side was cut. Rather than hunt it down, I just used a new length of wire and stapled it along the ceiling and wall with insulated staples.
          If you do need to drill joists, make sure you follow the rules. No holes within 2" of the bottom or two. Keep your holes in the outer thirds of the span.

          Crutchfield has some good info here too:
          http://akamaipix.crutchfield.com/ca/...rofitSpeak.pdf

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Advice for running speaker wire under floor?

            If you plan to run the wires in the wall cavity and down through the baseplate into the basement you will need to drill from the bottom up as getting a drill into the wall cavity and drilling with a spade bit is near impossible on an insulated outside wall. To locate the exact spot to drill - cut a coat hanger (you want the bottom straight piece) with heavy cutters or the cutter on vise grips (you will ruin most copper wire cutters doing this), chuck it in your drill and drill down from the top through the carpet right next to the baseboard under your drywall cut-out. The coat hanger will be visible in the basement. Measure towards the outside wall from the coat hanger about 1" (1/2" baseboard + 1/2" drywall) and this will give you the edge of your floor plate. I usually measure in an additional 1.5" and drill a 1" hole. This will put the edge of the hole 1" inside the floor plate inner edge and allows lots of room to drill on a slight angle towards the outside of the house. It is usually imposable to drill straight up unless you have a right angle drill. Since you have compromise the vapor barrier seal by cutting a hole in the drywall and likely the vapor barrier you should use a sealed plastic box like this one

            I would also seal the holes with expanding foam when you are done.

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: Advice for running speaker wire under floor?

              Last word from me, if you are possibly going to add more wires in the future make sure to pull a drag line along with your cable/s and secure it top and bottom! Silicone caulk is a bit less messy than expandable foam if you plan to use the hole at a later date.

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Advice for running speaker wire under floor?

                Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                Last word from me, if you are possibly going to add more wires in the future make sure to pull a drag line along with your cable/s and secure it top and bottom! Silicone caulk is a bit less messy than expandable foam if you plan to use the hole at a later date.
                The hole under the TV wall I'd want to possible use at a later date, the one that is on the exterior wall will only be used for the speakers. I should be good to use the foam on the exterior wall floor hole, and go with the caulk for the one under the TV.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Advice for running speaker wire under floor?

                  I would double check that there are no outlest on either side of the wall where you are putting in the wire and also make sure there are not any pipes where you might hit them.

                  After that what I have done in the past is to install cut in or remodel single gang plastic boxes. Home depot sells them in the same spot where you can get normal single gange plastic nail up boxes. These work great and you can put any plate on them you want.

                  I don't know if you already plan to do this, but it makes it look good and it is easier to change things later.

                  I have used the cut in boxes several times to add everything from
                  receptacles to new cable or speaker wire.

                  Hope this helps

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Re: Advice for running speaker wire under floor?

                    Surprising that no one has decided to offer some more obvious advice in this case. The speaker wire should also be the same length for both left and right rear speakers. It does make a difference if one is longer then the other, you'd hear a crash on one side before the other, a bit of a delay. As for the other advice I've seen some tips on using foam or silicone to fill the hole when you're done.... Not recommended. it's going to be firecaulk (in most states anyways) in the hole when you're done.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Advice for running speaker wire under floor?

                      Originally posted by Badabing View Post
                      Surprising that no one has decided to offer some more obvious advice in this case. The speaker wire should also be the same length for both left and right rear speakers. It does make a difference if one is longer then the other, you'd hear a crash on one side before the other, a bit of a delay. As for the other advice I've seen some tips on using foam or silicone to fill the hole when you're done.... Not recommended. it's going to be firecaulk (in most states anyways) in the hole when you're done.
                      Good advice. I'd listen to the Pro and get the proper sealant. Not expensive, 3M makes some of these products to fit a caulking gun or in sticks similar to modeling clay.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Re: Advice for running speaker wire under floor?

                        Originally posted by wathman View Post
                        My current home theater setup has wiring for surround sound going along my baseboards to the rear speakers and I want to tidy up the room's appearance, as well as improve signal quality by running the wires under the floor. Rather than just drill straight down through the floor, I wanted to install an A/V wall plate behind my receiver, and connect it to a second A/V wall plate I will install across the room.

                        I have a keyhole saw, stud finder, and just picked up a continuity tester. I was planning on shutting off the breaker, cutting the holes for the wall plates, and then feeding the in wall wire down to the basement. In the back of the room, I'll fish the other end of the cable up and then connect the speaker wires to the wall plate terminals. A big question I have is where do AC lines typically run within walls? Along studs? I should be okay sticking my saw halfway between studs then?

                        This project shouldn't be too difficult, though I've never done it before. Any advice on how to go about doing it, or any additional tools I'll need to get a hold of would be helpful.
                        One thing I have found is that inductive interference is going to be dramatically less noticeable than you may think. Short of a very long run immediately adjacent and parallel to a power wire, I doubt you will be able to notice any signal degradation unless you have specifically designed your media room for acoustics and have ultra-clean hardware.

                        Another thing to consider: Don't waste money on fancy speaker wire. Again, unless you have some very precise acoustic designs built into your media room you simply will be unable to hear where that money went. I would recommend going with a 16 gauge wire, but there isn't really a good reason to spend money on anything other than that spool you can get at Home Depot or Lowes.

                        Regarding "AC line" placement. The power wires will typically be stapled to the studs and they should be smack in the middle thereof, but no guarantees. If you are cautious with a hand-powered keyhole saw and don't do anything stupid, you are probably not in much danger of injuring yourself or damaging any wires.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Advice for running speaker wire under floor?

                          I finished my speaker wire project this past weekend, it's funny how a lot of the advice I read on here didn't make much sense until I actually tried it, that alone probably saved me at least a week of frustration.

                          I have just one last question about my speaker wire itself since one of them was nicked during the install. It's mostly intact, 4 strands of copper cut where the insulation was damaged. I patched it up with electrical tape and it seems to work as well as the other side that didn't get nicked, but I can't say for sure. Is my repair fine as it is, or should I do something different?

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Re: Advice for running speaker wire under floor?

                            Originally posted by wathman View Post
                            I finished my speaker wire project this past weekend, it's funny how a lot of the advice I read on here didn't make much sense until I actually tried it, that alone probably saved me at least a week of frustration.

                            I have just one last question about my speaker wire itself since one of them was nicked during the install. It's mostly intact, 4 strands of copper cut where the insulation was damaged. I patched it up with electrical tape and it seems to work as well as the other side that didn't get nicked, but I can't say for sure. Is my repair fine as it is, or should I do something different?
                            Congrats on finishing the job. That "nick" is what some would call a "shiner". I wouldn't do anything further, enjoy the results of all your hard work.

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X