Install a Flat Panel TV with Hidden Wiring March 4, 2009

We all love the look of a nice sleek flat panel TV on the wall but no one likes the look of the wires just dangling there. Hiding them is actually quite simple it just takes a little thought a few tools. My job was little more complicated because I had to figure out how to keep them away from the chimney but the principal is the same anywhere. This is a great thing to try on your own as its a pretty simple job. Worse comes to worse, you pay someone to finish the job if you cant complete it yourself.

Really all you have to do is make holes around the studs so that you can pass wires over them. If your walls are lath and plaster like mine its a little hard to use an electronic stud finder but its still possible. I just knock and listen like the old timers do. Once I find the studs, I knock out rectangles over them so I can run my wiring there. I also like to notch out the studs and then put nail guards over them so a future owner wont put a picture frame nail through them. You could also drill through the studs but HDMI cable heads are kinda big, as well as all the other wires you gotta pass through there.

Make sure that you properly pin down the wires so that they dont get yanked out accidentally. You can use a nail guard like I did or staples. Just be sure not to crimp the wires! I would hate to have to do that twice. Now that the hard part is done, its time to get out the plaster and close up the holes that you made.

I also went the extra step and ran power to the TV so that I could use my power conditioner. I highly recommend using a nice conditioner like a Furman or Panamax to protect your equipment. Being paranoid and not liking to do things twice, I ran this power separately from the other video cables so as not introduce any interference. Again, I hate doing things twice.

Behind the TV I installed a two-gang junction box and a special flat panel TV box that is recessed to give you more room. I picked both of these things up at the Home Depot for a few dollars. Be sure to check out the back of your TV and decide where the box should go. Some places have more room than others and every TV is made differently.

Now if you want to get really fancy like I did, I installed nice wall plates behind my stereo setup for a professional finished look. You can easily just dangle them out from behind the drywall but who wants to do that? If you’ve come this far you may as well go the whole way.

I picked up wall plates for my component video, HDMI, and speaker cable from, one of my favorite cheap equipment suppliers. They didnt cost much and the installation is self explanatory. When it said it done, it looks quite nice. To the right is the component video and HDMI plate I installed from SCP Wire company.

All in all, this is pretty simple task that the average do-it-yourselfer can handle. As I said before, its a great one to try for your first time as its simple to repair if you make a mistake. I would hate to throw away a few hundreds dollars when this job can easily be tackled. A flat panel TV costs enough, save your money!

For more picture visit this flickr set.

johan July 28th, 2009

note that running appliace power cables through walls will sometimes invalidate your fire insurance. Better to run romex and install a jack.

John Clarke Mills July 28th, 2009


Thats exactly what I did. The power is just being fed from my power conditioner.

johan July 29th, 2009

Ah; yes I see the jack now. I just didn’t notice it before.

Gabe September 5th, 2013

Was looking for wiring ideas to mount my tv over fireplace and came across your instructions (which I realize are 4 years old now…). I’m wanting to do the exact same thing you did here, my question is, how did you route the cables around the 90° corner in the wall?

Hope you’re still checking this blog. Thanks!

John Clarke Mills September 5th, 2013


Some were easier than others. I think on the outside corners I just ran them through the well but on the inside corners I just cut a channel. You can kinda see this from the photo.

Let me know if you have any more questions!

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