Running Speaker Wire through Drywall

Hi all!

Does anyone have experience of running speaker wire or cable through drywall? I wanted to put 2 surround speakers but don't know how to run speaker wire down the drywall into the basement. I already have the electronic hand held stud finder and know how to use it. In my mind, I am thinking of drilling a hole big enough to stick the cable though. Since there are the foamy material (not sure the correct name?) to keep the house warm, how do I run the speaker wire down to the basement.

Does anyone know a good website link that explains how to run speaker cable through the drywall and straight down to the basement?

I have taken few pictures but I can not attach to this forum. I would have to email them to you. My basement is not finish.

Hi is this an inside wall or exterior wall your trying to run the wire through down to the basement? Are you planning to bring the wire back up through an opposite wall on the same floor?
Yes your exterior walls have insulation inside them. Your interior wall should be open between the studs.

If your doing what I think you trying to do. You need a flex drill bit.

You can trace and cut your holes for the wall plates. Use those holes in the walls to drill down into the basement. Email me the pics and I'll try to help you the best I can.
I assume your home is stick framing.
Putting a hole through the wall, between the studs will get you into the wall cavity. You will still have a bottom plate and sub floor you will need to get through. You can drill up through the sub floor and plate from the basement.

The trick is to find the exact area in the basement to drill the hole.

* Pick the wall space area where you would like to make the wall penetration.
* Next step you will need a drill and a 1/16 to 1/8 inch bit.
* Measure out from the Sheetrock wall, say 2 inches, and drill a small hole all the way through the floor. ( Word of caution here! If you have radiant heat in the floor do not drill.)
* Next insert a piece of wire through the hole about 12 inches. Go to the basement and look for the wire.
* Measure back from the wire 2 inches, (drilled hole to sheet rock) + thickness of rock + about 1 1/2 inches ( approx 4 total inches). Look for nails/s sticking through sub floor sheathing. Drill a 3/4 to 1 inch up through floor and plate.

* If the wall you are wanting to use is an outside wall it can be a little tricky depending on the drill you will be using. An Angle drill works the best. Because of the foundation wall and seal plate you may have to angle the drill bit to drill the hole with a regular drill. In this instance you will have to be careful and not drill out through the outside of the house..... LOL, seeing daylight is a bad sign..... Because you will be drilling at an angle shorten up the distance back from the locator wire. Only measure back about 2 1/2 to 3 inches. Carefully drill hole with a 1 inch bit.
Well, no basements where I live but I guess one way would be to find a stud behind the drywall with a studfinder, cut a hole next to the stud (not directly in front of it), insert drill with a right angle attachment and wood bit and drill a hole through the sill plate down to the basement or if you know where everything is located then you can drill up from the basement. That may be easier or not but won't require such a long wood bit which you probably don't have. If the foamy material (polyurethane?) is just a layer in the basement drill right through it. There will still be a double stud to go through. If it is in the wall cavity I would definitely drill straight up from the basement. Make sure you determine that there is no romex where you are drilling. Fish the cable with a stiff wire up to the next floor (hope it's just one floor). You will have to install a electrical outlet box with wings that hold it in place against the drywall in the hole you cut in the upstairs room. Don't cut too big just the size of the outlet box. Then a cable outlet cover plate should work. And a can of the foamy stuff to seal the box and the hole you drilled. You'll never fish it up or down without the electrical box opening. Make sure you run it through the box before installing. Oh yea the fun part is determining where the wall studs are located upstairs if you start in the basement so factor that in while deciding which room to drill from. Have fun!
Ha! Two answers popped up while I typed. And they even added paragraphs! Jea48 gives good advice in these areas. Cheers!
Low voltage bracket for existing Sheetrock or plaster walls.
Best not to get too close to wall studs, stay a few inches away. Just never know what may be fastened to the stud inside the wall...

If an interior wall always check the other side of the wall. Make sure something is not already in the space.

Also roughly check the location in the basement before you cut the opening in the wall. Make sure the area below is accessible. Look for duct work that may prohibit access from the basement.
Get yourself a "fish." This is a great electrician's tool (inexpensive at most home improvement stores). A fish resembles a really big "tape measure," in that it is basically a retractable strip of metal encased between plastic or metal sides. The retractable metal is narrow and very rigid; it is run down or up through the wall (behind the dry wall and in between the two studs). If you have a considerable amount of polyurethane ("foam") between the studs, be sure to get a very rigid fish (which you should be able to "fish" through the foam). You start with two holes. One from which you start feeding the fish through and one from which it emerges (you will have to find the end and "fish" it out with a coat hanger or wire tool). Then you secure the end of the speaker wire to the end of the fish and then you pull the whole thing back through from the point from which you stared. It's pretty easy. Get good measurements so you have a good idea of where the holes will be (this will allow you to make smaller holes, which will be easier to repair).

Note: If you are going from the first floor into the basement, you will have to gain access into the wall on the first floor so that you can drill through the top plat of the stud wall below. If you are going from the first floor into a wall attached to the basement foundation wall (block or poured foundation) you don't want to drill into the top plat, as you will end up within the foundation wall. Check to see how the basement is firred out (1x2 or 2x4 - many basements are firred out with 1x2, which only leaves you about three qaurters of in inch). Measure very accurately!
Thanks everyone for all the help!

Regarding the fish tape, does the fish tape have a weight at the end because if it does not have weight, it will be very difficult to slide it down the other hole that goes through the basement. Can you control the fish tape to the direction you want it to go? Because you can't really see what's going on behind the drywall, you are driving blind.

a Fish Tape.

If you use a low voltage bracket, as I showed in an above post, you will have a hole in the wall approx 2 X 3 1/4 inches. If you push a stiff piece of wire, or fish tape, up through the drilled hole in the basement to the hole cut in the wall above and have someone else watch for the wire or fish tape.
Add a pull wire to the cable/s you will be pulling for future... That is why I suggest drilling a 3/4 inch minimum hole through the bottom plate inside the wall.

Trust me, fishing and pulling the cable will be the easy part.....
The fish tape is not weighted. It is a VERY rigid piece of metal, but flexible enough to be wound. Rigid enough so that it can be guided. If the space between the studs or furring strips is full of insulation material, the fish will be hard to guide (although it is still possible). Your basement is probably furred out with 1x2’s and filled with Styrofoam sheeting. If this is the case, it will be hard to push the fish through the Styrofoam. However, you can maneuver the fish between the Styrofoam and the drywall. Assuming that you install a standard electric box as an outlet, you will come down the side of one of the studs (the box attaches to the stud/furring strip). That stud will help you guide the fish. Or, you could just cut a 2x3 inch hole in the center of the studs; the end of the fish being somewhere within 7 inches on either side. This is when the coat hanger or wire tool comes in handy. Cover the hole with a plate (you can get "audio" plates/covers complete with RCA type connectors - or just get a CATV ready cover and run the speaker wires where the coax connector would normally be housed - they
Just hire an electrician. They can do this quickly and neatly and in the long run cost less than gathering all the tools, your time and not to mention the cost of damaging the dry wall (that is, I assume, what you are most concerned with).