What is In-Wall Vertical Wire Concealment?
In-Wall Vertical Wire Concealment is fishing cables vertically through the wall within the same stud bay (between 2 vertical studs). This type of wire concealment is suited for situations where you would place AV components below the TV sitting on a component stand / entertainment unit.
See the illustration below. Imagine there is drywall in front of these wooden studs. Low-voltage cables would be fished through the wall starting from back of the TV, down through the wall within the same stud bay (between 2 studs) and then cables would exit near the bottom of the wall where they would come out and plug into your AV components. So it’s fishing wires straight down from point A to B.
What Kind of Cables Can you Hide in a Wall?
You can hide Low-Voltage Audio Video cables & Data cables that are Fire-Rated for in-wall installation. Common low-voltage cables include (but not limited to); HDMI, Component, Composite, Optical, Coax & Ethernet cables.
There are mainly 2 types of Fire-Ratings for AV & Data cables;
- FT4 (CM / CMG / CMR – also known as Riser)
- FT6 (CMP – also known as Plenum)
Usually, the ones that are fire-rated would have these ratings printed on the cable itself.
Fire rated cables are made of special materials that are made to be fire resistant / fire retardant & nearly (if not completely) smokeless when it burns.
Important Note: “Flexible Power Cords” such as TV Power Cord is NOT considered as low-voltage cable. Therefore you cannot hide it in a wall. We’ll get to that later in this article.
List of Walls That You Can Fish Cables Through
- Drywall with wooden studs (Modern House & Town-home)
- Interior Plaster wall with wooden studs (Most old homes)
- Drywall with metal studs (Condos, newer apartments, lofts & commercial buildings)
- Custom designed wall with cavity
Walls are different by each type of construction & when it was built. In order to be able to fish wires through a wall, it needs to have enough space inside the wall for cables to go through.
Any walls with either wooden or metal studs behind drywall (or plaster), there’s usually enough space to fish wires through as long as there’s no thick plumbing pipes, fire blocks (horizontal stud), ventilation or other obstructions in the way.
Newer Houses & Town-Homes
In Modern Houses and Town-homes, normally you would find wooden studs behind drywall. And that applies to both interior and exterior walls.
Older Houses & Town-Homes (Usually 1970’s or older)
Interior walls of Old Homes, normally you would find wooden studs behind plaster & lathe.
Exterior walls in Old Homes, there’s usually only thin wooden strapping (instead of wooden studs) behind plaster and there are usually bricks behind it. And therefore there’s not enough space to fish wires through without damaging the wall.
Structure in Newer Condos, Apartments, Lofts & Commercial Buildings
Most newer condos, condo town-homes, lofts, newer apartments and modern commercial buildings are built with concrete structure for load bearing (concrete walls, concrete floors & concrete ceilings). And non-load bearing walls are built with drywall with metal studs to partition rooms.
How Do I Tell if My Wall is Concrete or Drywall?
When you knock on the wall, you can usually hear the difference in sound between concrete wall and drywall with metal studs. Go knock on every wall in your home and you’ll know the difference in sound.
Concrete wall has high pitch sound and feels very solid when you knock on it. And the sound is usually not so consistent throughout the entire wall. Using a stud finder to scan a concrete wall will likely give you all kinds of weird & false readings because there are no studs.
When you knock on Drywall with metal studs, it has deeper tone and sometimes you can hear a little echo. If you scan for studs against drywall with metal studs, stud finder should detect the studs pretty consistently (usually 16″ apart-on-center) throughout the wall. Then you know for sure it’s a drywall with metal studs.
Limitations Due to Wall Structure
In-wall wire concealment is NOT applicable for concrete walls, brick walls and most exterior plaster walls because there’s no cavity to pull wires through.
If your wall is one of the above, your next best option will be to hide cables using wire raceway (wire cover) that sticks against the wall. On-Wall wire concealment option is still a great way to neatly manage cables.
Hiding Power Cord for Your TV
FYI: “Flexible Power cords” such as TV Power cord or Power Extension Cords are not NOT low-voltage cables. Power cords are considered to be fire hazard if buried in a wall. Thus, they cannot be hidden in a wall as it’s against the building code. So you cannot have any power cords running through a wall along with AV cables.
The ONLY WAY to hide your TV power cord is to plug it into a power outlet behind the wall mounted TV. So, you will need a dedicated power outlet installed up high on the wall where it would end up behind the TV once it’s mounted. See illustration below.
If you don’t have an existing electrical outlet installed on the wall dedicated for your TV, then you might want to consider installing a Bridge-Style Power Kit instead.
Dedicated Power Outlet behind the TV
The photo below is an example of our work showing vertical wire concealment. Notice that there’s a power outlet installed up high in order to hide the TV power cord.
Picture below is the end result
Optional Keystone Jack Wall Plates for AV Connections
Optionally, you can add keystone jack custom wall plates for even cleaner looking installation. We can provide you with almost any audio / video connection keystone jacks and custom wall plates. The photo below shows the custom wall plates installed at both points; Behind the TV and behind the component stand. This custom wall plates provides; 3 HDMI connections, 1 optical port, Coax jack and a Cat5e ethernet jack.
The picture below shows custom wall plate installed behind where the compoents will be placed and recessed cable pass-thru wall plate behind where the TV will be mounted. The custom wall plates include; 4 HDMI connections, composite connection; yellow, red & white and coax connection.
See closer look of the custom wall plates below.