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Run Speaker Wires to Another Room in Your Home

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A simple way to have a multiroom audio system is to use the ‘Speaker B’ feature on a stereo receiver and install a pair of speakers in another room. You can enjoy your favorite radio station or a CD in the bedroom or even the patio using the receiver in your family room. The challenge is to run the speaker wires from the receiver in the family room to the speakers in the other room. There are a few ways this can be done, depending on your home’s construction and the access you have to the attic, basement or beneath your home. This step-by-step guide will help you find the best way to run speaker wires in your home.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 2 hours, depending on installation method

Here's How:

  1. Inspect your home to determine where you have the best access for running wires. In order of difficulty, here are the best options:

    • Through the wall to an adjacent room
    • Through the attic
    • Through the basement
    • Through the crawl space beneath your home

    Be sure to wear gloves when crawling through areas covered with insulation materials, such as fiberglass. Use one of the following steps when you decide where you have the best access. Note, these instructions apply only to homes that have walls made of drywall or sheetrock. For lath and plaster construction, contact a professional.

  2. Through the wall: If your family room is adjacent to a room where you want speakers, consider drilling a hole through the wall to the adjacent room. Before you drill through, make sure there are no obstacles, such as wires or pipes behind the wall. To locate obstructions, drill a 1/4" hole in one side of the wall and insert a coat hanger bent at 90 degrees, move it around in the space behind the wall to feel for obstructions. If the area is clear, drill a 1/4" hole (or larger, depending on wires) through both sides of the wall. To run wires through the wall, tape the wires to a coat hanger and pull through the holes.

  3. Through the basement: Basement access requires drilling a hole (size depends on the speaker wires) through the floor from the family room to the basement. Ensure there are no obstacles in the floor. After you drill the hole, run the wires to the basement and to the area beneath the room where you want the speakers. From the second room, drill a hole through the floor down to the basement, and run the wires up through the floor into the second room.

  4. Through the attic: This method requires that wires are run from the floor up through the walls and through the 2 x 4 top plate at the top of the wall. Inspect for obstacles (see step 2) and use a fish tape (a long piece of stiff steel wire, available at hardware stores) to pull the speaker wires up through the wall to the attic. If there is a ‘fire break’ inside of the wall, you will have to drill a hole for the wires. An alternative to going through the walls is to use a wire channel, a length of tubing with speaker wires inside that sticks to the outside of the wall. A wire channel is paintable to match the walls.

  5. Through the crawl space: From the family room, drill a hole through the floor to the crawl space beneath. Drill another hole from the floor in the second room to the crawl space. Run the wires through the floor from the family room through the crawl space and up through the hole into the second room.

Tips:

  1. Use a stud finder to locate studs in the wall
  2. Purchase a short fish tape or use a coat hanger to pull wires through the walls

What You Need

  • Gloves, flashlight, face mask, cordless drill and various bits
  • Speaker wires, electrical tape, wire cutters, fish tape

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