The biggest problem with wall-mounting a TV is working out how to hide the wires. And different types of walls present added challenges.
I installed many TVs on the wall as an AV installation engineer. The tricky bit was always concealing the electrical wiring!
Here’s how to hide wires for a wall-mounted TV on different wall types and solve the problem of unsightly cables dangling beneath.
- Plan and install outlets/conduits before the drywall goes up, if possible. Otherwise, you’ll need to cut drywall to run wires inside the wall.
- For solid walls like brick or concrete, cut a channel to place conduit and hide wires inside.
- If you can’t cut the wall, use raceways, paint, cable ties, decor items, or a false wall to conceal wires.
- Wirelessly connecting smart TVs can eliminate some visible cords. Careful planning for outlet placement also minimizes visible wires.
How to Hide the Wires for a TV on Drywall
The type of wall can affect the best way to hide the wires – so, first, here’s how to best run your cables with drywall.
If you do not have a power socket close to your TV, it’s a good idea to get a qualified electrician to install one as close to the TV as possible.
If your wall socket is located low down on the wall, you can use a pass-through and an extension to run the cable inside the wall:
Although, you must make sure this is permitted by the building code in your area.
A neater, more professional option is to use an in-wall cable management system with power connectors:
This recessed in-wall cable management system has two power outlets - which can be used for a TV, soundbar or cable TV box. The main plate is installed behind the TV, while the smaller outlet is for running the wires lower down the wall.
These come in single and dual plug options, and the recessed outlet fits neatly inside the wall.
You must account for the number of units you may need to plug into a power supply, such as the TV, soundbar, and possibly an AppleTV.
And while you could use power extensions or plug adapters, fitting the correct number of outlets is neater.
There are a variety of low-voltage mounting brackets that come in different styles, colors, and shapes to suit your décor.
You’ll need to cut a hole in the drywall to allow access to the wall’s interior, and remember there could also be insulation material inside the drywall that you’ll have to deal with when pulling the cable down.
The best tool for this is fish tape or a pull rod.
Step 1: Cut a Hole in the Drywall
Make sure you locate the studs using a stud finder before finalizing exactly where you’ll run your cables.
You don’t want to end up mounting your TV and being unable to run the cables down inside the wall.
After selecting the pass-through or mounting bracket, trace the outline of the hole you need on the wall, and ensure it is hidden behind where the TV will be.
Avoid cutting a hole inside the TV mounting bracket; otherwise, you’ll struggle to make it fit if you have little room to spare. Then measure and mark where the mount will go, so you make the hole in the correct place.
Using a drywall saw, cut out the hole and remove the section of the drywall.
If you are new to this, here’s a useful video on the different ways you can cut drywall without making a mess:
Do the same for the hole at the bottom where the cable exits.
You can then use a flashlight to check that there is no fire block in the way, preventing the cables from reaching the lower opening.
Step 2: Pass the Wires Through the Wall
Screw the top pass-through or mounting plate to the top hole, ensuring it is securely fastened.
Tape the power, ethernet, coaxial, or HDMI cables together so they are easier to handle.
Pass the cables through the hole and pull the wires down using the rod or fish tape.
Make sure you tie off the cable at the top using a cable tie or string to prevent the wires from being pulled down through the hole.
This job is much easier if there is no insulation inside the wall.
Step 3: Secure the Wires
Thread the lower end of the cables through the pass-through or bracket and secure them using either a hot glue gun or clips to connect the wires to the bottom of the wall.
Step 4: Connect the Cables
Mount the TV on the mounting brackets and connect the cables.
Pull the cables through the wall from the bottom so there is enough length to reach the power and other connections.
If your TV is mounted on a swing bracket, remember to leave enough cable available for the mount to swing through its full range of motion.
If you cannot drill holes in the wall, learn about mounting a TV without drilling holes.
Step 5: Check the Connections
Check that the installation has power and that the internet or other inputs are working correctly.
Check that all the mounting plates and covers are screwed tight and that none of the cables are pinched or bent.
Hiding TV Cables in Solid Walls
If your walls are solid concrete or brick, the ideal solution is to have a contractor plaster conduit into the wall before the final finishes are applied.
If this hasn’t been done, you will have to use an angle grinder and a suitable cutting disk to chase a channel into the wall where you can place some electrical conduit to hide the electrical cables.
This requires the required tools, safety gear, and expertise to do the job.
Unless you are a skilled plasterer, it will be difficult to hide the channel made in the wall, and you should consult a local handyperson or electrician who can do this job for you.
If you do everything correctly, you can get an elegant finish like this, resulting in hidden wires and wall mount once the TV is in place:
To cut a channel in a brick or concrete wall for the wires, follow these steps:
Step 1: Choose the Correct Location
Carefully check that no electrical or water lines are running where you wish to place the conduit.
You can use a handheld wall cable detector to check for any possible problems.
Step 2: Cut the Wall
Mark a line on the wall using a level and straight edge. Then cut lines to a depth of no more than 1/3 of the width of the wall.
You can use an angle grinder or a hammer and brick bolster to cut into the plaster, brickwork, or concrete.
Step 3: Tidy the Channel
Using a hammer and chisel, remove the plaster and brickwork or concrete until you have a clean, symmetrical channel in which the conduit will fit.
Don’t forget to make a hole at each end that is big enough to receive a junction box. You will attach a bracket and cover plate to the junction box for a neat, professional finish.
Step 4: Fit the Junction Boxes
Once the channel is deep enough and the edges are cleaned up, place the junction boxes in the top and bottom openings and mark where the screw holes are located.
Using a power drill, drill out the holes and screw the boxes in places using the appropriate screws and plugs.
Step 5: Cut the Conduit to Size and Secure It
Measure the distances between the boxes and cut the conduit to length.
Remember to cut the conduit slightly oversized, so there is a little poking through the junction box on each end.
Hold the conduit in place using clips and galvanized nails.
Step 6: Finish With Plaster
Mix some ready-mix mortar to plaster the gaps around and over the conduit and around the boxes if necessary.
Once it has dried, you can plaster over the top for a neat finish.
Step 7: Run the Cables
You can then run the cables through the conduit by inserting them at the top and pushing them through to the bottom cable box.
How to Hide TV Wires Without Cutting the Wall
If you prefer not to cut a hole or channel into your wall, there are a few alternatives to hide your wall-mounted TV cables.
1. Cable Raceway Kit
A raceway is a cable management system with an aluminum or plastic channel attached to the wall to hide your electrical wiring from view.
You can paint them the same color as the wall, which makes them even harder to see. Overall it is an elegant and easy solution for cable management.
You generally don’t require tools to attach the raceway as they come with a double-sided adhesive pad on the back.
2. Paint the Wires
Painting the wires the same color as the wall is a quick and easy way to obscure them from view.
If you have multi-colored wallpaper or paint, use a primary shade similar to the overall color when viewed from a distance. You may be surprised how the wires blend in once you are far away.
You can use a hot glue gun to attach the cables for a neat and professional finish.
3. Build a False Wall
You can build a false wall around the TV, allowing you to hide the cables effectively.
The false wall is positioned over the normal wall and can be decorated the same as the surroundings, or you can make it a feature by using a complementary design.
Unless you are a DIY expert, you might want to consider hiring a professional to do this for you.
4. Use Cord Clips
Cord clips are tiny plastic clips with adhesive backing pads. You can stick them to the wall to help keep the cables neat and out of the way.
They do not effectively hide the cables, but you won’t be left with your wires just dangling below the TV.
5. Use Cable Ties
You can also use cable ties to keep the cables neatly bunched together. However, they’ll not hide the wires and could still look messy.
6. Using Décor to Hide the Cables
If the TV is mounted above a table or shelf, placing books or a decorative object in front of the cables can hide them from view.
Just make sure that you do not obstruct the remote control sensor.
7. Connect the Smart TV to a Wireless Network
To minimize the number of cables you need to hide, you can connect to your smart TV via your wireless network rather than use an ethernet cable.
FAQ: Hiding Wall-Mounted TV Wires
How to Hide the Wires for a Brick Wall-Mounted TV?
You can hide your TV cables by painting them the same color as the brickwork or attach a raceway to the space between the bricks and hide the wires inside. A more costly option would be to chase a recess into the wall, place a conduit inside and then plaster over it.
How to Creatively Hide the TV Wires for a Wall-Mounted TV?
The most creative way to hide your TV cables is to incorporate them into a piece of wall art, paint them to match the wall, or build a false wall and hide the TV and the wires behind a sliding panel.
How to Hide the Wires for a Wall-Mounted TV Above a Fireplace?
To hide the wires above a fireplace, you must first check how hot the wall becomes before deciding where the cables will go. You can then run the wires along the brickwork gap and paint the same color. Or you can use brick clips to hold the cables neatly in place, hidden by a cover strip.
About The Author
Paul started the Home Cinema Guide to help less-experienced users get the most out of today's audio-visual technology. He has been a sound, lighting and audio-visual engineer for around 20 years. At home, he has spent more time than is probably healthy installing, configuring, testing, de-rigging, fixing, tweaking, re-installing again (and sometimes using) various pieces of hi-fi and home cinema equipment. You can find out more here.