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Help running speaker wire through (under) carpet


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8 replies to this topic

#1 of 9 Joe S.

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Posted February 03 2010 - 06:19 AM

The time has come to replace the awful carpet in our HT basement.  This may be a blessing in disguise as once the old carpet is ripped up, I can go in and run the cable on the bare subfloor and attach them to in-wall ports as would look best.  Unfortunately, due to this room being already finished and having airducts in the roof and fire breaks along the ceiling/walls, running the wires across the floor is the only real option.  The area under the subfloor is open (then dirt) but these will be 20+ ft runs, I really don't want to rip up the subfloor and make a huge mess.  

My question is what is the best way to run wire under padding/carpet?  Right now I use standard 12 gauge wire from Home Depot, it works fine for my level of system.  Are there other options that I should look into, or just use what I already have?  I have heard of flat speaker wire, is that a possibility I should consider?

Folks that have undertaken a similar project, please lend me your wisdom.  Thanks in advance...


#2 of 9 Jay H

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Posted February 03 2010 - 06:36 AM

Can you run the cables behind the molding on the walls? I have heard of specialty molding that has a cutout for speaker cable runs....

Jay

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#3 of 9 Joe S.

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Posted February 03 2010 - 06:51 AM

This room is like 30 ft x 50 ft, with the back speakers on the opposite side from the amp.  I would have to replace and run hundreds of feet of wire to go around (including doors and windows), even going straight I need 30'+ of wire for each run.  No, it's pretty much across the subfloor directly, or under the subfloor if there is a less painful way to do that.  



#4 of 9 Jason Charlton

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Posted February 03 2010 - 07:06 AM

Flat speaker wire is available, but it's very pricey, and most of it seems to equate to a thinner gauge.

Running under the carpet (and pad) is the simplest and most direct route in your case since the work is already scheduled to be done.  My biggest concern would be whether or not you would feel the 12 gauge runs through the pad and carpet.  Chances are it won't be a problem, but if it is a problem (or becomes one after a while) then the only solution is a pretty painful one.

What about running the speaker wires in the little gap between the tack strips and the wall?  Access would be much easier during installation, and getting to it in the future would be much more feasible.


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#5 of 9 Jay H

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Posted February 04 2010 - 02:45 AM

..Or what about cutting a channel in the carpet pad and running the wires through that?

Jay

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#6 of 9 Joe S.

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Posted February 04 2010 - 03:21 AM

Sounds like the best course is running the existing wires flat on the baseboard and stapling them down, keep it spread out to avoid clumping.  Maybe use a slightly thicker pad to hide any bumping where the wires run.

Thanks all, appreciate the suggestions.


#7 of 9 KevinAH

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Posted February 05 2010 - 09:57 AM

Joe,

If you keep the wire out of traffic areas (near walls), running it under a nice heavy pad shouldn't be a problem. I have used Radio Shack's flat(ish) cable in this kind of application and didn't have any problems. If you walk on it regularly, it will cause the carpet to form a wear line.

Regards,
Kevin

#8 of 9 LilSara19

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Posted February 21 2010 - 10:01 AM

 Definitely keep the wire run towards the tacks.  Its very easy to access for troubleshooting, just in case some sort of damage may occur.  You wouldn't have this option if the wire is run through the center of your room.  good luck!!! Also there are Wireless rear kits that are about $100 at Best Buy that work pretty good!  :)

#9 of 9 John_Bilbrey

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Posted February 23 2010 - 01:58 AM

I have the flat cable from Radio Shack as well.  It wasn't very expensive, and is pretty decent quality.  It is either 12 or 14ga wire best I remember.  I have it running under the house and up through the wall for the rears - so it is easily 40' or so.  I have easy access to my crawl space though, so your best option may be as mentioned above and running under the carpet along the edge.




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