Having exposed wires from devices should always be avoided. If you are installing a surround sound home theater system, for example, you will have devices on opposite sides of the room and quite a few cables running across.
The best way to manage these exposed wires is in a carpeted room is by running them under the carpet to make them safe and harmless as well.
In this article, we will show you how to run speaker wires under your carpet. First, we should mention that most speaker wires are too thin to be installed under a carpet or rug as they will bulge and be visible and be felt under the carpet.
The cleanest solution for this is to use special insulated copper ribbon flat speaker wires. Otherwise, you will run the speaker wires under the carpet but against the wall.
What Do You Need To Run Speaker Wires Under Your Carpet
Depending on your working area, this task requires a few things to put in place – a fish tape or measuring tape, and pliers. You may also need a helping hand, a friend, or a family member.
Before you can begin to lay down the wires, space must be adequately prepared by planning out the area and your approach.
Step By Step Guide To Run Speaker Wires Under Your Carpet or Rug
1. Plan Out The Path
Planning involves determining the right path for the cables. If you have shorter cables, they can run across the floor.
However, if the speaker cables are longer, you can run them along the edge of the wall or let them follow a particular pattern that keeps them off the major footpaths or walkways within the floor.
Sketch the floor to get a clear view of the items on the floor and be able to visualize the best route for the cable.
Having the cable running closer to the wall will help you minimize accidents that may occur when people step on the wires. The sketch will help you identify other free areas, as well as help you decide on the shortest route for the cable.
2. Measure The Speaker Wire
Knowing the length of the speaker wire is important in determining whether it will fit the path identified or not.
Using a ruler or tape measure, find the length of the wire. Compare it with the length of the path you identified in the sketch.
Be precise when taking this measurement as any errors may lead you to make needless incisions in the carpet or even losing the wire under the carpet.
3. Check If The Wires Are Safe To Go Under The Carpet
Cables running along the floor should not be flammable or too thick to cause a trip. Check the fire codes and safety of the building before fixing the cables. Also, you shouldn’t have any speaker wire connectors under the carpet, so your speaker cables should be long enough. If the speaker wires aren’t long enough, you need to splice the speaker wires and add more length with additional speakers wire that you can get at your local electronics or home store.
Confirm that the wires are not dangerously exposed and that the outer insulation of the speaker wires is intact.
Properly check under the carpet to see if there is any old wiring or sharp objects that may cause incisions on the wire after installation.
4. Remove Furniture
Once you have marked the area and ensured the cables are safe, begin by removing all furniture from the area.
If the wire is needed to pass through a specific free area, you may not need to remove all furniture. However, if the room is stuffed and you need to lift the carpet, remove all the furniture sitting on the carpet.
You may need the help of a friend or family member to remove heavy furniture such as sofas or large coffee tables.
5. Unplug The Cables
All the speaker wires that are required under the carpet or rug should be unplugged from the devices.
This will help reduce the chances of pulling them on heavy appliances and keeping them safe from incisions.
6. Loosen The Carpet Liner
Be careful when removing the liner. be gentle and use the flathead screwdriver to slightly pry it up.
Remember not to remove the liner completely as you will need to reinstall it after the wire is pulled.
7. Pull The Carpet Up At The Point Where You Want To Begin
Once you have prepared the floor especially the path through which the wire will pass, you can proceed will pulling the wire under the carpet. Follow the procedure below to complete this process.
8. Wind Out Some Fish Tape
If the reel is wound out, the steel wire that is inside it draws out. Do this until it reaches the point at which you prefer the speaker wire to emerge from the other side of the carpet.
- The fish tape wire should lie on the same path intended for the speaker wire
- You can lift the carpet with your other hand or seek help from a friend
- You can still use a measuring tape the same way in case you do have the fish tape with you
9. Lift The Fish Tape Or Measuring Tape On The Other Side Of The Carpet
Use pliers to lift the carpet to the point where you want the wire to emerge. If you are doing this with a tape, ensure that it is locked so that it does not pull back in the process.
10. Attach The Wire To The Fish Tape
Ensure that the tape tightly secures the wire so that it doesn’t detach and you have to start all over again.
11. Rewind The Fish Tape Reel
Rewinding the tape reel pulls the wire under the carpet along the path of the fish tape. Continue rewinding until the cable is completely pulled to your desired destination.
Use the same method with a measuring tape if you do not have fish tape.
Because the speaker wire is now running along the path you preferred, detach it from the fish tape and hook it as you please.
12. Reattach The Carpet Liner
You must tighten back the loose carpet liner. You can easily do this by gently hitting the liner with a hammer or mallet. If the liner is not loose, you don’t need to do anything.
Also, if there are any loose nails on the floor, drive them back with the hammer. Once everything is clear, you can return the furniture and enjoy connecting your speakers to any stereo without revealing the wires.
13. Fasten The Carpet Under The Liner
Ensure you are very gentle when doing this as your fingers can slip and knock on the liner if you are careless about it.
Is It Safe To Run Wires Under Carpet?
Notably, most cable installation under carpeting should be completely safe, but if you’re in the garret of an older home, inspect under the carpet for old electrical wiring before beginning to run the wires. This will help you avoid overlapping with the existing wires and short-circuiting as a result.
Having speaker wires run under the carpet is a good idea. However, care should be taken to ensure the wires are secure and away from sharp objects and paths as an incision on the wires is more likely to cause more harm to your home theater system.