Most people tend to tolerate the jumbled mess of potentially dangerous wires collected behind entertainment stands and running back and forth all over the walls. However, for homeowners looking for a cleaner and safer room design, a sensible solution to the tangled mess is to hide the wires behind molding. Depending on your particular wiring needs, you may have to remove portions of the drywall behind the molding to conceal all the wires completely. Although this seems like more work, the result will resemble that of a professional's.
Things You'll Need
- Nail set
- Finishing Nails
- Wide staples and gun
- Tape measure
- Small pry bar
- Wooden block
- Level or chalk line
- Circular or jig saw
- Wire fishing tool or wire coat hanger
Remove the Molding
Draw an angled line above baseboards and below wall molding. This will be your reference line and will make sure you do not remove too much drywall.
Use the utility knife and cut between the moulding and the wall to remove any caulking or paint. Cut through the face paper of the drywall to remove moulding that is held in place with adhesives. Be sure to cut all the paper to avoid ripping the paper as you pull away the molding.
Slip the flat edge of a pry bar between the wall and molding. Try to keep the bar near the nails as you pull to equal out the force. Place a small wooden block behind the molding to keep the force balanced to avoid snapping the moulding.
Running the Wire
Locate where you plan to run the wire. Mark on the wall where the wires will go into the drywall and where they will come out to feed electrical components. It helps to work in reverse from the furthest component to the power source.
Cut a hole into the drywall along the floor, keeping within the guidelines of the molding guidelines you made previously. This will be the ingoing hole.
Use a level or chalk line and cut another hole in the drywall directly above your floor cut, again staying within the guidelines of your molding. This will be the outgoing hole.
Secure the wire at the location furthest from the power or supply source. Leave enough wire hanging to secure the electrical item without worry of running short.
Run the wire from the location spot, up the wall until you reach the spot where you will replace the molding. Secure the wire with staples as you work, being careful not to staple through the wires.
Continue running and stapling the wires along the molding path, from one electrical component to the next. Once you have reached the ingoing hole in the drywall, carefully feed the wire down behind the drywall until it reaches the outgoing hole.
Pull the wire from the outgoing hole and run the wire along the baseboard path until you reach the power or supply source.
Replacing the Molding
Position the molding along its original path, but do not secure it yet. Make sure it covers the wires completely and meets nicely with the drywall behind it.
Locate the locations of where the wires exit the molding. Mark the locations on the molding in pencil.
Use the saw and notch out enough room for the wires to exit the moulding through the locations you just marked. For an accurate measurement, note the width of your wire cables and make your notches according to its size.
Return the moulding to its original position and check to make sure everything fits together smoothly. Your molding should line back up with your first guidelines.
Use a hammer and finishing nails and carefully tack the molding back into place. Use the nail set to set the nails and refinish the molding according to your existing décor.
Tips & Warnings
- Measure how much wire you plan to run and add at least 5 to 10 extra feet for error.
- As long as you do not cut past your molding guidelines, you should not have to replace any drywall because the molding will conceal the holes.
- If you do break a piece of molding, take the broken piece to the home improvement stores to match the style of your existing molding. Since this may be difficult to do, particularly if your home is older, you may have to purchase new moulding for the entire project. Be prepared to purchase a miter box to help you cut angles easily.
- Although crown molding works best for concealing wires, any size trim will do as long as the thickness of the wire cables are kept thin enough for the molding to sit flush against the drywall.
- Avoid electrical shock by turning off the power to the room before cutting through the drywall, especially near outlets and studs.
- Do not work with powered wires or electrical components while stapling.
- Photo Credit moulding image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com
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