If you’re adding a surround-sound system to a family room, or even transforming a basement into a home theater, you’re not always going to have perfect conditions for hiding wires.
When you’re connecting your receiver to two or four surround speakers, or maybe front LCR speakers, on the other side of the room depending on where your equipment rack is, it can be tough to conceal all of that wiring. Especially if you don’t have the luxury, or tools, to route everything inside walls or within a drop ceiling or down below to the basement and back up again.
You may be able to pull up carpeting or remove the baseboards, tack the wiring down, and replace the coverings. You may even have the wherewithal to drill and snake through baseboards without removing them. Perhaps you live in a condo or apartment where tinkering with walls or ceilings isn’t even an option.
And you can always tape, staple or tack the wire in low-profile or inconspicuous areas of the wall, perhaps behind furniture, to achieve solid results (or at least appease your significant other).
Here are 5 solutions to hiding speaker wire.
Crown molding is an aesthetically pleasing addition to most rooms, but it ain’t the easiest project to do yourself. If you want to tackle it for your family or theater room, you may want to go foam. The NM series from Foam Crown Molding offers 12 styles of ‘no prime molding’ that should be a little simpler to install, and guests will be none the wiser to their true material.
Molding pieces come in 6-foot-6 lengths, and they can be cut with razor knife, miter saw or hand saw. They glue to the walls, adhering with painters caulk. Separate installation kits, which include spackle, caulking tool, sanding pad and caulk, run $20.50 to $60.45 for 40-foot to 400-foot room sizes, respectively (and in between). Dimensions go from 1 1/8 x 1 1/8 to 5.25 x 5.625 inches, leaving dead space between the molding and wall to hide wires. Finish ‘em with a coat of paint and you’re good to go.
Pricing: Ranges from .59 cents to $2.69 per foot, with corner pieces $2.50 to $5 each depending on style. More info
If you have painted walls, like shown in the photo, you will notice Wiremold’s CornerMate Cord Organizer running up to your on-wall or shelf-mounted speakers. Ah, the makers thought of that though, so they included paintable channel covers (the basic kit comes with four) – or if you have a white room, you’re pretty much all set.
You get four 30-inch corner cord channels and four paintable channel covers, and four transition pieces for connecting other Wiremold products, like the CableMate and the CordMate II for longer distances around the room. The interior dimensions of channel are 1-1/4 x 1/2 inches so there’s plenty of room to add what you need.
Price: $19.58 (from Amazon). More info
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CableOrganizer knows all about tidying up and concealing your connections, and the Corner Duct Raceways is a pretty unobtrusive and simple solution. Probably more for your theater than a traditional family room that’s getting injected with surround sound, since it’s not as fancy as crown molding. But you could work it in the baseboard area so it stays low-profile.
The corner ducts includes accessories like pre-applied adhesive backing, fittings, inside and outside corners, and tee reducers, making for really customizable wire management. The company says all parts are made of strong, durable, lightweight, UL 94-VO compliant PVC that is also paintable (Latex) to match walls, ceilings and baseboards, plus custom colors can be requested (with minimums). Custom colors are available upon request. Minimums apply.
The triangular corner raceway also has a snap-on cover to make things, well, a snap.
Price: $7.49 to $11.75 for 5-foot length. More info
Surely this won’t be as pain-free and smooth-looking as the picture makes it out to be, but AWS’ one-two-three step adhesive backed tape wire could be your answer—especially if you’re deft with the spackler and painting skills. The adhesive backing couldn’t be much simpler for sticking wire to walls (or baseboards, perhaps).
For termination, the company says the wire can be attached to many types of speakers by bending the flat copper conductors round. You can use a straightened paper clip as a mold, place it on top of the conductor, and use needle nose pliers to fold the conductor round. Also, standard speaker pins can be crimped on; to use screw-on style connectors, slit the flat conductors with scissors, then thread the slit wire into one side of the screw-on connector, fold the ends over, and screw on the other side of the pin as directed on the connector directions.
Wire comes in 12/2 to 18/4 AWG for surround-sound applications, and is only .012-inch thick to really lay virtually flat on your walls. You may also want to check out Gekko and FlatWire products if you’re looking into flat wire.
Price: AWS lets you try free samples
Monster Cable SuperFlat Speaker Wire (with gold pin connectors)
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Monster Cable has connection solutions galore. Loyal Monster fans who are trying to conceal or make their speaker wire runs as low profile as possible may be interested in the SuperFlat Mini Navajo White Easy-to-Hide Speaker Cable. It may be a mouthful to say, but it can speak to your wiring needs if you’re tight on space, maybe don’t want to spackle-and-paint flatter wire.
It’s not true flat wire, but at only a few millimeters thick it’s pretty darn close and still has a protective jacket for the copper. And the jacket’s paintable, as well, so if you really can’t hide it you can make it blend in better. The flat property of the wire and jacket rigidity make it sound for tucking into tiny crevasses between baseboard and flooring, or under carpeting (or for this article’s purposes perhaps an area rug without creating any bumps). Plus you get Monster’s angled gold pins and lock notch design to keep terminations in place.
Price: $124.99 for 50o-foot Spool (Amazon)
These are only a handful of suggestions. If you didn’t fish through walls or drop ceilings, how did you conceal the speaker wiring in your media room or theater? Feel free to add suggestions in a comment below.
Here are some ways to hide TV cables.