Cables strewed everywhere? It’s a pain when you need to keep things tidy, but the architecture of your home says no. The answer is trunking, adhesive plastic tubes that hide your cables from view, known as cable covers.
Here’s what you need to know about choosing and installing cable covers for your power, data, and AV cables.
Why Use Cable Covers?
Often, we tuck cables behind objects, under rugs, sofas, etc. Drilling holes isn’t unheard of either, but if you don’t have the skills to get this right, you can end up with broken drill bits, huge holes, ripped wallpaper… the list goes on.
None of these solutions is ideal, which is why trunking is the best answer (although you could try practising your DIY skills). But all of this might be new to you. You might not have any idea on how to choose suitable cable covers for your cables, plan where to run them, install them, and finally tidy your cords away.
Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place.
Plan Your Cable’s New Route
How does your current run of cable look? Perhaps you have it pinned to the wall, but think it still looks untidy; alternatively, you may just have it strewn across the floor. It’s probably a health hazard as well as an unsightly mess.
Whether they’re cables for TV, Ethernet, perhaps even power cables, they need to be kept out of sight. Powerline adapters are a great option to replace extra-long Ethernet cables, but for everything else, cable covers are required.
Before you spend any money on trunking, you need to determine where to run the cable(s). In short, this means having enough wire to run from A to B, out of sight.
It also means taking into account that type of cable cover you’re using. You might be using the kind that is designed to run along the corner between a flat surface and the wall. Alternatively, your trunking might be intended to envelop cables running from the floor to a wall-mounted device, like a TV.
Once you’re happy with the route, make sure you have enough cable. This might mean buying some extension cables, which might necessitate a more extensive cable cover to accommodate the connectors midway along the length.
Choosing Covers for Your Cables
If you don’t have time for sawing and sanding and have a relatively straightforward route for your cables, the “wire mold” flexible cable solution will save a lot of time.
Self-adhesive, these strips are simple to use and easy to slip the cables into.
Block PVC Wire Tidy
Ideal for running along the wall below waist height, these self-adhesive strips usually come in 1-meter lengths and a variety of sizes.
This cable tidy is ideal for everything from TV and internet cables to phone and speaker wires.
Corner Cord Cover
An excellent solution for running along skirting boards, these cord covers come with plenty of corner options.
They’re paintable and self-adhesive, and come in several sizes for different types of cable. I’ve used examples of these in the accompanying photos.
TV Cable Concealer
Intended explicitly for running cables from the floor/skirting area to some mid-point on the wall, you’ll probably want this if you have a flat-screen TV mounted on the wall.
Most of these options are available in different colours to match your décor. However, they can usually be painted for a closer match.
Prepare and Align the Cable Cover
Getting the trunking into place for your cables means taking the time to prepare it. With a hacksaw, mitre block, and sandpaper, you can cut and trim the cover to the right length.
Always measure, and still make it a millimetre or two too long, so you can sand it down to the correct length with a smooth finish.
Next, run the cable cover, and any connectors you need, along the planned route, ensuring everything fits. Alignment here is vital; any mistakes will be difficult and time-consuming to resolve later. Make sure the adhesive strip (if included) is facing the wall, not the floor. Removal of the trunking may leave a residual stain, which you probably don’t want on expensive flooring!
If you need help keeping the cable cover aligned around tricky corners, use a sticky putty-like Blu-Tak to wedge it in place.
Affix the Cable Cover to the Wall
You should now be ready to make the trunking permanent. It might mean using the adhesive strip on the back (if included) or screwing it to the wall. If the former, ensure the destination is clean and dry.
If the latter, however, you’ll need to ensure you have the right type of screws, anchors, and drill bit. With the cover correctly aligned (again, wedge it into place with Blu-Tak), drill through it into the wall, put aside to insert the anchor, then screw it into place. (Obviously, a wooden surface such as skirting won’t need an anchor).
Once you’ve fixed it into place, ensure the cable cover is open, ready to welcome the cables!
Put Your Cables Out of Sight!
All that is left to do at this stage is run your cables along the inside of the trunking. Any corners, openings, and joining pieces will need to be snapped into place now.
With your cables reaching their destination and sitting comfortably within the cover, you can begin the process of covering them up. With D-Line solutions, this is a case of closing the open cover, snapping it into place under the lip. Other solutions may have a slide-on cover, or one that snaps in at the top and bottom.
When you’re done, you’ll have some attractive looking edging that hides the once-untidy cables.
Take Your Time and Get It Right
This can prove to be a tricky job, especially if you’re running the cable cover along a route with lots of corners. However, once you’ve got everything installed, you’ll see what a good job you’ve done. It’s almost impossible to get this wrong:
- Plan the route your cables will take
- Choose suitable cable cover
- Align it along the new route
- Fix the cable cover into place with adhesive or screws
- Hide your cables