How to hide TV cables
Installing hidden cabling for an HDTV or projector, and doing it according to electric code, can be difficult. With the WallBlade by Sewell you can simplify the entire process and have a great looking setup at the same time.
How it Works:
Hiding the cables for your new TV is a lot easier than you think. No power tools required or special equipment needed. In fact, it probably won't even take up your whole evening, leaving plenty of time to watch a good flick on the newly mounted TV.
Safety is always a concern, so make sure that you use safety glasses, dust masks, gloves and other protective gear as necessary. Although we will not be connecting to the existing power cabling in your walls, it might not be a bad idea to flip the breakers anyway, especially when cutting holes in the wallboard.
Of course, if you aren't comfortable doing it yourself, or get in over your head, there is no shame in calling a professional.
What you will need:
- Drywall saw or knife
- Tape measure
We will go through a basic installation with the recessed wall plate for the TV, and then the power installation, with the AV cables exiting near the floor directly beneath. This kit includes 8 feet of 3 wire power cable made for going behind walls (aka Romex power cable). There is no reason you can't use your own (12/2 or 14/2 with ground) power cabling for further runs if you wish, as long as it is Romex power cable approved to go behind walls. You really can put the other end wherever you like, but if you are going between floors or studs, you probably already know what you are doing, so we'll consider that outside the scope of this article.
Step 1. -Placement
Once you have picked out the spot for your TV, (and probably before you have installed the TV mount) Use the size guide on the back of the installation sheet to draw out the locations for your two mounting boxes. Put one where it will be hidden behind your wall mounted TV, and the other near the floor, (probably at the same height as your other power outlets. The recessed boxes are designed to be mounted between two studs. (adjacent to one)
Step 2 -Cut holes
Carefully cut holes in your drywall (sheetrock, gypsum board) for your recessed boxes. Click on the images below to enlarge
Step 3 -Run the wires
Run the 8 foot (or whatever length) 3 wire Romex power cable between the two new holes. We recommend running your audio and video cables now as well, but for simple cable drops, you will still have access through the recessed wall plates, so you can change it in the future if necessary. If you have a lot of excess power cable, go ahead and trim it, but be sure to leave yourself enough cable to work with comfortably. Insert the retrofit workbox and secure it to the wall.
Step 4 -Strip outer jacket
Please note that we are not connecting to the live power system in your home--we are essentially making a fancy extension cord--so there should be no voltage in these wires (but please, still be careful). Strip back about 3 inches of the outer jacket on both ends, and separate the wires.
Step 5 -Wire the TV wall plate
The Plate that will be behind the TV has three color coded mounting screws on the sides. If you haven't done this before, strip back about ½in to ¾in of the wire jackets to expose the copper, make a tight hook around the threads of the appropriate screw, then tighten the screw.
- Brass screw - Black wire
- Silver screw - White wire
- Green screw - Bare copper (or green) wire
Step 6 -Wire the Floor wall plate
On the floor plate, again, expose a bit of the copper for each wire, then connect the three loose plate wires to the end of your in wall cable, and secure them with the included wire nuts. (Black to black, white to white, green to bare copper/green wire)
Step 7 -Secure to wall
Carefully insert the wall plates into the holes in the drywall, (you can orient the plugs up or down) and using the supplied white screws, tighten the recessed plate to the work box. Then tighten the screws with wings, which should hold tightly to the back of the drywall.
Step 8 -Install TV
All of your cables are now hidden (wasn't that bad was it?). Install your TV and mount according to the manufacturer's instructions, and you are ready to hook everything up. The TV power cable connects to the recessed plate, the AV cables run to your TV/receiver ports, and the 6 foot black extension cord plugs in to a regular wall outlet.
Step 9 -Enjoy
Put away your tools, clean up a bit, and pop some popcorn! Also, if you happen to need a wall mount for the TV you can find one here.