Passing speaker cables in front of a door entrance

Any ideas because going round the room results in much longer cables. The tile floor has not been laid yet so channeling into the concrete is still possible, but this will result in holes in the floor

I had that situation in our last place, where the left speaker cable needed to run past a pair of double doors. My solution was to punch holes in the ribs of the A5 at approx. one foot intervals and screw it to the floor, just in front of the saddle board. I used tiny screws, not fully tight and with washers, so there was a little horizontal play in the cable. The rigidity of the A5 was still enough for it not to be a tripping hazard.

Our speakers are either side of a double width opening, on tiled floor. We put a large rug down, with a felt layer underneath, (NAC A5) cables under both. Worked ok for us.

You can either do something like that, or run them over the doorway, or put them in a channel. Running over the doorway makes them more visible I think. Running then in a channel means you have to be smart about how the cables emerge from each side. I’d be tempted not to hack the house about at all and find a non invasive way to resolve the issue.

Hope you find a solution that works for you!

Two things I would say.

Firstly, safety is all-important. Having cables running across a doorway is simply a hazard, however well done it is. Don’t do it.

Secondly, if you’re going to do something, do it properly. You are lucky in that you are at the stage where your floor tiles are not down yet. So now is the time to do it - or it will be too late without spoiling your new floor. I would get it channelled in passing it through aluminium ducting so that it will be easy to remove/replace if you want to in the future. IMO if you don’t do this now you will come to regret it in the future. You can devise some neat way of allowing it to enter/exit the ducting, perhaps using metal or plastic 13A surface mounting boxes or something similar.

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I’d channel the concrete too and maybe add a duct if necessary, it’s not a big deal to kango out a neat channel or better still with a small concrete saw. Also you could possibly run it under a door saddle if there is one and arrange for the saddle to be easily removable.

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Is there a change of levels at the doorway? If so you could incorporate the cable easily enough without it becoming an eyesore or a trip hazard, and you could use a threshold strip of some sort to protect it.

If there is no change of level I would cut out a trench and put ducting in, but don’t underestimate how big this needs to be. It’s also quite difficult to make openings at either end that don’t look messy, and possibly form as much of a trip hazard as just laying cables on the surface, depending on layout. A5 is not the easiest cable to manage in this situation, partly because of its stiffness, but mainly because of its flat construction which means that you can only bend it in up or down, and not sideways.

I prefer to bury my cables, but I bury the whole run from behind the rack to behind the speakers so the holes in the floor are in discrete locations.

In my last apartment I had to lay mains cables to the middle of the living room where the electric piano was and again mains and LAN cable across the doorway to my office area. I went out and bought cable mole like you might see on the floor of an office and then I used Command strips to firmly adhere them to the floor but in a non permanent way. The moles stayed firm without budging despite 3 years of people walking on them. Then when we moved, they came right up without leaving a mark.

Sorry no time to read yet, but pictures paint a thousand words. Here is the door entrance in question. System will be to the right of the door, so only speaker cables (two channel plus centre and maybe Sub). I will ask the tiling firm to also try to propose a solution

From your pictures it should present no problems. I would channel out for the ducting so that the cable emerges next to the rack. On the other side, channel out so that the cable emerges near your speakers and close to the wall. That way the points where it emerges should not in themselves be a trip hazard and it should look discreet, as @ChrisSU.

You can use the hair-drier trick to introduce fairly sharp bends to the cable. With a bit of thought and ingenuity I can’t see any real issues.

PS. As pointed out by @ChrisSU, don’t be tempted to use a small duct - go for the largest suitable size you can. Because of the corner, removing the cable and introducing new ones could well be an issue. Putting them in to start with should be OK as you can do so before sealing the ducting. Just don’t decide to ever change your cables, unless you change your floor at the same time!

If you really wanted to make a complelety satisfactory job you could ask the tiling contractors to cut tiles for laying over the ducting so that they fitted well but were left loose. They would be right next to the wall over the entire run (other than the doorway, where I would stick them down), so it should be OK. That way you will retain easy access to cables at all times.

Channel out the concrete and put a plastic tube along the channel. Cables can then be inserted or later removed/replaced when the cable upgrade bug bites.

I’ve been giving some serious thought to this - it’s an interesting problem!

OK - here’s what I would do. Get the floor channelled out right next to the wall, from next to where the rack will sit to the speakers - and across the doorway obviously. Get the channel lined with plywood, so that a plywood lid can be screwed on exactly level with the floor. So you now have a plywood trough sunk into the floor from your rack to your speakers. Lay your cables, screw on the lid, and lay cut tiles loose on top, except stuck down over the doorway. Job done!

So potentially 4 sets of cables, not just two. Planning installed cabling is really a ‘first fix’ job, but you are beyond that now.
I might even have considered running cables up the wall and through the ceiling to avoid unsightly penetrations in your tiled floor.

If the sub is for AV use a long, low level cable will be required. Hopefully any AV amp would be able to drive this, but try to avoid long runs parallel to speaker cables. If the sub is for use with your 2 channel HiFi system, consider a high level connection from the speakers. This eliminates the need to run it through trunking completely and can be the best sound quality option, and it’s cheap.

Here’s another leftfield suggestion :wink:
‘Upgrade’ your amps to 332/350, put the power amps near the speakers, and run long balanced cables. Much thinner and more discrete than speaker cables, especially NACA5, so your ducting would be thinner, more flexible and easier to install.

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I would start conduits (very thick ones!) at the wall behind the system and tunnel it through the floor.

Might as well go with an invisible installation.

Many thanks for all your suggestions. I don’t really care if the cables can be seen running along the walls sitting on the tiles. The only issue is to get across the door entrance. This will add unsightly holes in the tiles where cables go in and emerge.

This is how the door will be installed

So tempted to channel in concrete from racks to corner of the room and add large ducting which will be covered by tiles. There is also skirting tiles that are 10cm high I believe. Sounds quite high to me.

Not ideal to be cutting concrete with all the rendering nicely done

I may also explore cable runs (see attached figure) under rugs/carpets which are needed for the acoustics anyway.


I have asked a firm for a quote on acoustic assessment/treatment. Let’s see how that goes as well. Tiling will be in November after putting down a levelling screed

Horizontal channels (and deep at that as suggested) cut into breeze blocks is not allowed. I could channel into the concrete floor but that would make a right mess with a concrete disk cutter.

It’s now looking like one of the two solutions outlined. I have a slight preference with channeling along the wall but there will still be exits in the tiles

Re above photo, why not have kit on same wall as speakers and save yourself a lot of hassle?

That was an idea, but I put my mains spur in the corner. Double socket near radiator


In any case, I still need to decide on short wall or long wall

I would still channel across the door and come up behind the skirting tiles, channelling into the bottom of the wall using plastic flexible tube to run the cables in. It will be messy to do but better now and get the job done properly.

Like so

I will discuss this option with the tiling company. They are excellent and have found good solutions in the past on other jobs

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Yes, it’s very messy. You can supress the dust by using a cutter with a water feed which also lubricates the blade. Otherwise you will be cleaning fine dust from every surface in the room and beyond.
Is this a ground floor room? If so there should be a damp proof membrane under the concrete slab which you will need to avoid cutting.

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