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:
Any home entertainment setup always involves cables. Cables dangle from the walls or end up in a tangled, dusty mess that’s not quite hidden away behind the entertainment center. It’s possible to clean up all that cable clutter by routing your cable through the wall. However, if you don’t do it correctly, it could result in having a potentially dangerous setup that isn’t up to fire code. Luckily, with the right tools you can easily route your cables behind the wall safely without needing to call an electrician.
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 Need
- WallBlade Recessed Wallplate Kit
- Drywall saw or knife
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 longer runs if you wish, as long as it is Romex power cable that is approved to go behind walls. For this article we will be showing you how to perform the most common setup. While you can put the other end of the WallBlade wherever you would like, make sure to consult a professional if you are going to run cable between floors or studs.
Step 1. Mark/Cut Holes and Run Power Cable
The first step is to pick a spot where you want your TV to go. Once you’ve decided on a location, mark an area on the wall somewhere behind where your TV will be for your WallBlade. Use the size guide on the back of the installation sheet to draw an outline for your wallplate.
After you have marked a place for the wallplate behind where your TV will go, mark a place for the second wallplate in the kit somewhere near your AV equipment. Once you’ve double checked your marks, carefully cut out the holes.
Run the power cable that comes in the kit between the two holes you’ve cut. This cable is properly rated to be run behind the wall.
Step 2. Connect Power Cable to Both Wallplates
The WallBlade is a kit with two wallplates, one that goes by your TV and one that goes down by your peripherals. The one that goes by your TV has a female power connection, while the one that goes by your peripherals has a male power connection. Make sure you know the correct placement of each wallplate before you connect the power cable.
Note that we aren’t connecting to the live power system in your home, we are essentially making a fancy extension cord that can safely work behind the wall. There shouldn’t be any voltage in the wires you are connecting, but please still be careful.
The power cable consists of an outer jacket that is wrapped around three inner cables. Strip off about 3” from the outer jacket. Then strip off about ¾” from the individual cables inside to expose the copper conductor. Each of these cables go to a very specific screw on your wallplate, make sure you have the appropriate wire going to the appropriate screw.
- Conenct the Black Wire to the Brass Screw
- Conenct the White Wire to the Silver Screw
- Conenct the Bare Copper or Green Wire to the Green Screw
Step 4. Attach Wallplates, Run AV Cables, and Install TV/Peripherals
Attach both wallplates to the wall. The WallBlade uses special wings that connect the wallplate right to the drywall. Tighten the screws with the wings so that they hold tightly to the wall and secure it. Once the wallplate is secured, run your AV cables through the cable drop section.
After the wallplates are installed and your cables run, install your TV and peripherals. Plug in the included extension cord to the bottom plate and into a standard power plug.