THUMBAre you ready to install that home theater system you’ve always dreamed about? Whether you’re purchasing a home theater kit or designing your own custom system, you will have to decide what to do with all those wires. Even the most up-to-date wireless kits have to plug in somewhere! Follow these tips for keeping unsightly wires out of the way so you can enjoy an authentic theater experience in your own home.

Use the right equipment

Most complete home theater kits include everything necessary for installation. If you are piecing together your own system, be sure to choose good, high-quality wires. Poorly matched cables and wiring not only affects the sound quality and speaker performance, but can also be a safety hazard. When you are making your selection, remember that thicker wires are generally better for longer distances. Don’t over buy, though. If you have mid-range speakers, basic 16 gauge wires should do the trick. Ideally, you’ll only be doing this installation once, so be sure you are selecting the best cables and wires for your system.

Keep cords hidden

There are several options for keeping cords out-of-sight. You can choose to run your wires along corners and baseboards, or go for a cleaner look by hiding them under the carpet, in the walls, or in the ceiling. Most people simply run cables along baseboards or wall corners because it’s the easiest and least expensive route, but this method often leaves a mess of unsightly cords. At your local hardware or electronics store, you can find an array of items that will conceal and control these potential eyesores. Cord winders, cord clips, and cable ties will help you secure your wires in place; raceway kits and wire looms will allow you to hide them completely. Even if your TV is wall-mounted, you can avoid leaving cables dangling from its back with a simple raceway concealer.

Professional installation or DIY?

Hiding your wires in the walls or ceiling certainly gives your home theater a more authentic feel, but may require professional installation. One great DIY option is to run wires beneath existing carpeting or cover them with a large area rug. You will still need to purchase raceways and cord clips for this method; you’ll just conceal them completely by placing them beneath a rug. Working with existing carpet is a little trickier but can be done with under carpet fish tape, which will help you establish a path for the wires beneath the carpeting.

With the growing popularity of wall-mounted televisions, in-wall installation has become a common choice for many homeowners. Luckily, there are now outlet relocation kits for purchase that allow you to extend an existing outlet to another location (from the bottom of the wall to the center, behind a wall-mounted TV). These kits are great for DIY types since they include easy to follow instructions and are also up to electrical code.  

Those with more home improvement experience may choose in-wall or in-ceiling installation without the use of a kit. It is always wise to hire a professional electrician, but if you choose not to, be sure to check your local code requirements before beginning any electrical work in your home.


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