I would like to install a TV cable outlet in a wall that currently does
not have one. I have complete access to the floor from my unfinished
basement, but I'm not quite sure what to do.
Here are the steps I think I need to take:
1) Cut a hole in the wall next to a stud to mount an electrical box on it.
2) Drill from the basement up into the wall (*** how do I do this? ***)
3) Fish the wire up from the basement into the wall and into the
4) Attach faceplate
5) Watch TV
Can anyone offer any insight on how to achieve step 2? I'm extremely
nervous about drilling through a stud or some other important part of
Your steps are correct. For #1, don't worry about being next to a
stud, because you have no way to nail into that stud. Just make sure
you are between studs that are not likely to have pipes or wires
between them already. You can get boxes made for mounting directly on
the drywall. They are called "old work" boxes as opposed to new work
boxes that are used before drywall is in place..
For number 2, figure out where the wall is by making measurements to
anything that comes through the basement ceiling already. Then use a
3/4 inch or 1 inch wood bit to drill up through the subfloor and 2x4
plate into the wall cavity. That can be a little nerve racking if you
aren't 100% sure you are in the right place.
A simpler alternative is to just drill a smaller hole (the size of the
cable) down through the floor behind your TV an inch or so from the
wall. If the room is carpeted, you can remove the cable later and not
even notice the hole. Just make sure your drill bit doesn't snag the
carpet while drilling and pull a runner across the room ;-)
Why can't you just drill a 3/8" hole through the floor close to the
wall, and just have the cable come up through the floor? You are not
going to see it anyway behind the TV, and you don't have to cut any
holes in sheetrock. You do not need to put it in a box.
You can give yourself a lot easier time by not installing a box for the TV
cable. It is not a requirement. This means you only have to find a space
between two studs. If you have outlets on the same wall, that will help you
determine where the bottom plate for that wall is if they are fed from the
after you have your box hole and before you put the box in it, use a 24" 3/8
bit and drill DOWN through your box hole through the bottom plate into the
leave the bit there until you locate it in the basement, then go down and
tie a string to it and pull it back out.
then use the string to pull the coax.
rather than using a "box" it is much easier to use an old work low
voltage ring. it's like a plastic old work box without the back.
basically just defines the hole and provides the two holes for the cover
plate screws, you can see right through into the wall with it. that's
what I did when I added a cable drop in my living room. less sharp
bends in the cable when you shove everything back into the wall that way.
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
Making a hole in the floor, like has been suggested is no more
nontaxable than the extra coax coming out of the box.
If you really want to put a box, what I do is take a coat hanger and
cut it short enough to make a drill bit. I drill the coat hanger thru
the floor next to the wall so you can see it from underneath.
So I should take off my baseboard to drill the hole down into the floor?
I'm worried I could drill right into a joist, or even worse, my main
support beam. What about the issue of drilling through the bottom stud
of the wall?
very good points from the other replies. I use the hole next to the
baseboard method myself. you can usually get the cable between the tack
strip ( if you have carpet ) and the baseboard.
even if you go in the wall, you don't need a box for that either.
Step 2: Make a hole in the sheet rock for the electrical box. Use a
flex bit to drill down into basement. Then drill up from basement if
hole is too small.
Or drill a very small pilot hole in front of box location. From the
basement locate pilot hole, measure 2" towards middle of wall and
drill up into the wall cavity. You can also drive a nail down for your
pilot hole if you don't have a thin enough drill bit. If you don't
want to drill a pilot hole where it can be seen, remove the molding
and drill or nail the pilot hole then replace the molding.
Cut the hole in the middle of the stud cavity, you will be installing a
low voltage "ring" that clamps to the sheetrock, not a full box.
Locate the center of the cavity as best you can from below and drill up
with a 3/8" bit, no need for a hole much larger than the cable.
Push the cable up through the hole from below for a couple feet, then
reach in through the hole in the drywall (ring not installed yet) to
grab the cable and pull it through.
Slip the ring over the cable and install it to the drywall.
Terminate the coax with an "F" connector, and screw it to the "F" barrel
connector mounted to the cover plate.
Push the excess coax into the wall cavity and screw the cover plate in
Go back downstairs, push an extra foot of cable into the cavity and then
secure the cable with appropriate clips / staples.
I recommend using the modular connector faceplates such as those made by
Leviton since they allow you to easily add other connections later for
phone, network, etc.
For low voltage, use a backless box. They sell them at Home Depot and
similar stores. I'll give a link at the end of this. You want to drill up
from the bottom, and be sure you are inside the wall cavity. The easiest way
for an amateur to do this, is to get a 16" insulation support, it's a thin
steel rod 16" long. With a linesman pliers, cut one end of the support at
the steepest angle you can, insert the rod into a drill, and drill down from
above, at the location of the box opening, right through the flooring, up
against the molding. It will drill such a small hole, it won't be noticed.
Now go into the basement and with an extension bit, at least 3/8" diameter
drill up next to where you see the rod, being sure you are into the wall
cavity. Then push up your RG-6 and if necessary find it with a wire snake.
Measure carefully from a reference point, then measure again to be
sure. Drill a 1/8" hole (you may need to purchase a long bit) that
your quite sure it will go through the center of the wall base plate.
Obviously, you want to avoid a stud. Once the small hole is drilled
shine a flashlight to see where you came through, then drill a large
enough hole that will allow the coax connector to fit. You don't
need a crimping kit if you buy coax of the length needed with fitted
Take your wife into the basement and show her there are already holes in
her floor. There are wires and pipes already coming through the floor.
In fact you may be able to use one of these 'existing' holes.
I used a refridgerator ice maker line hole to run a telephone wire
through rather than drill a new hole.
If she doesn't see the point when you have her in the basement then just
lock her down there until she does..You have our permission to skip to
step 5 (watch tv) while she's mulling it over.
1. Remove the baseboard.
2. Cut into the drywall (below baseboard level). This will give you access
to the baseplate.
3. Drill thru the baseplate into the basement (need a LONG drill bit). Drop
some colored twine down the hole.
4. Pull up coax.
5. Put in an after-work box above the hole in the drywall.
6. Run coax up to box.
7. Replace baseboard.
I've run several wires, both coax and electrical, behind baseboards. It's a
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.