How to Run Wires Through a Wall

Nothing ruins the sharp look of a new home theater like speakers wires dangling all over the walls.
Conceal them the way the pros do. .

If you've ever installed a home theater or added an electrical outlet to an existing room, you may have questioned the best way to run the new wires through the wall. While every situation is a little different, most of the time, you can install the wires with minimal damage to the wall or walls.

Snaking and Fishing

Snake the Wire

Run a snake rod, stiff wire or cable fish tape through the newly cut hole in the drywall and through the hole in the drilled plate. With any luck, the tip will slip through without too much wiggling and poking.

When you get it through, attach the new wires to the cable tip; wrap with electrical tape, and pull the cable, wires and all, back through the hole in the drywall.


* You can buy or rent an [extended, flexible drill bit](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsbT8qOuYtY) that allows you to drill the top plate from inside the stud space. * Some snake rod kits feature luminescent rods that actually **glow**, making them easier for you or an assistant to spot in a dark stud space. * If you encounter a blockage, [shine a flashlight on a small mirror](http://www.familyhandyman.com/electrical/wiring/fishing-electrical-wire-through-walls#10) just inside the wall to get a better look at the problem. * If you have to drill through a fire block, you’ll have to cut out a section of drywall just above or below the block to reach it. Cut a nice square shape and you’ll be able to use a [California patch](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhyagTRIWcs) to cover it up.


When possible, avoid running wires through insulated stud spaces, which can cause bunched-up insulation and reduced R-value.

When You Can’t Go Up or Down

Sometimes, it’s just not feasible to fish wires through the wall the traditional way. Maybe you are a tenant, or maybe the local building authority doesn't allow you to drill through a fire block. You still have a few options.

If you can’t go up or down, you might be able to go horizontally. If you can fish the new wire to floor level, you can cut away a strip of drywall at the bottom of the wall, run the wires, and install tall baseboard to cover it.

For Ethernet, speaker and telephone wires, install a cable cover just above the baseboard, and conceal the wires within.

Things You Will Need

  • Measuring Tapes
  • Drill Bits
  • Fish Tapes
  • Variable-speed Drills

About the Author

Glenda Taylor is a contractor and a full-time writer specializing in construction writing. She also enjoys writing business and finance, food and drink and pet-related articles. Her education includes marketing and a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.