By Emily Peck
Creative ways to hide TV cords on walls are something we're constantly asked for. Because it's all very well spending big on a stunningly slimline set, but then what are you meant to do with all the wires that come with it?
It doesn't matter whether you decide to wall mount or place your TV snugly in a media unit. Ensuring you don’t have a tangle of wires poking out from behind the screen can be a challenge. Particularly if you plump for something big, like one of our best 85 inch TVs.
But with a little careful planning and some clever living room TV ideas, it is relatively easy to hide the TV cables and keep your room looking streamlined and stylish.
There are a range of ways to display your TV in style. From the simplest option of investing in command hooks to attach wires to the back of your TV and furniture, to trickier solutions like hiding cables in the wall or behind wooden panelling.
The most creative ways to hide TV cords on walls
1. Install custom-built joinery to hide cables
Having a bespoke cabinetry unit built not only hides the TV cords, but it maximises the storage solution in your home. Emma Deterding, found and creative director at Kelling Designs, often suggests tailor-made living room storage ideas such as a bespoke cabinet to help seamlessly blend the TV area into the decor.
She says: 'When installing a TV on the wall, there are many clever tricks you can use to hide away the cables and cords such as...'
- 'If planned early enough into your design, plug sockets and aerial inputs can be fitted in position so they will be hidden behind the TV. All you have to do is tie cables together so they are kept out of sight.'
- 'If the plasterboard and plaster hasn’t gone up, then you can even create channels in the wall for cables to run through and down to the plug.'
- 'This can also be achieved using custom-built joinery too, with shelving being created either side of where the TV will go, and all the cables running behind the finished front.
- 'If these aren’t an option, then there are many design-led casings that can be fitted to the wall and will keep wires out of view. These can often be really affordable and easy to install.'
2. Choose a TV unit with cable outlets
Invest in a decent media unit with cable storage to hide TV cords away. You can buy a range of off-the-shelf TV units online, and many TV stand ideas include clever ways to hide cords, too.
We particularly like the look of the simple, clean lines of the Ikea Besta TV Storage Combination. The TV stand includes room for displaying your TV and media kit – such as your DVDs and Blu-rays, Sky Box etc - behind the glass doors.
Its most enticing design feature is the cable outlets at the back of the TV bench. This lets you easily tame the wires so they are neatly hidden within the unit.
3. Buy trunking for TV cables
Using square plastic trunking to hide cords is an easy way to tidy cables as they can be easily fed through the trunking and down to the plug socket. You can buy trunking online at places such as Screwfix and B&Q or from your local DIY store. You can then use silicone sealant and self-adhesive pads to fix the trunking to the wall simply - this can be useful to incorporate into your bedroom TV ideas.
‘White plastic trunking should be reserved for areas you can’t see, like cupboards,’ says Owen Maddock, home technology specialist at Cinemaworks. ‘However, D-line trunking comes in half-round and quarter-round shapes and looks much neater. You can also paint D-line to match the walls.
‘Alternatively, galvanised steel can give you that industrial interior design look. But HDMI plugs are usually too thick to pull through, so source some half-round instead and use that to cover over the cables.’
4. Choose alternative DIY tricks to hide TV wires
If you find square plastic trunking looks a bit basic, Maddock suggests alternative options. ‘Test mount the TV, and using two vertical battens and some 9mm marine ply, make a wide trunk to hide all the power and signal cables towards the floor,' he says.
'Either screw and fill the holes, or if you’re someone who changes things quite often - like a gamer - use strong magnets to hold the board in place. Paint or paper to match the wall with a low cabinet underneath and this will look almost invisible, without the expense of wet trades or plastering.’
'You could, however, just hide the cables in plain sight. Why not wrap the cables in a braid, either to match the walls or add contrast?'
5. Hide cables in the wall
If you're wondering how to mount your TV onto a wall and also not see the cords, most home technology installation experts will agree that hiding cables in the wall, rather than on the wall is preferable when you're trying to achieve that luxury finish.
'Depending on the construction of the wall you may be able to fish the cables up to the TV using an electricians fish tape, but you’ll either need the help of an electrician or be a keen DIY’er!' says James Ratcliffe from Homeplay.tv.
'There’s no way of hiding wires as well as this kitchen shot shows unless you’re having building and decorative works done,' says James Ratcliffe. 'In this kitchen by TwentyTwo Integration the wires would have been chased and plastered into the wall when the room was renovated.'
'If you have a power socket at high level and you’re using a Wi-Fi connection to power your Smart TV then you may not need any cables. But, we’d always recommend using a hard-wired internet connection for streaming where possible as it’s much more reliable.'
6. Use wood panelling to hide cables
According to Maddock, incorporating wainscotting and wood panelling into your living room scheme to hide TV cables is currently a popular design feature and very effective - as shown in this picture by home technology specialists Electric Orange.
‘The trick is to put the power and the signal cables - Ethernet, HDMI, aerial - in place before you fit the panelling,’ says Maddock. ‘It’s easy that way round and borderline impossible the other. I particularly like this modern batten-type panelling as shown in this Electric Orange installation.'
'In any of the above scenarios, it’s good practise to run power away from signal to prevent the mains interference, which can cause unexplained glitches and slightly reduce the picture performance. Aim for at least 300mm of separation, or 450 if they will run together for more than a metre.'
7. Consider a fabric wall panel to hide TV cables
For a stunning look, you can conceal TV cables behind a fabric wall - coincidentally one of the biggest wallpaper trends right now. Companies such as Cinema Build Systems can create stunning set ups such as the room pictured here.
‘Whether for a TV media wall or a full cinema, fabric walls are amazing,' says Maddock. 'Not only can you hide cables and LED lighting, but you can also completely hide speakers and acoustic treatment panels. These help to reduce echoes and resonances, but you don’t want to see them. The fabric needs to be lightweight, natural and acoustically transparent.'
What do I do with the space under my wall mounted TV?
The space beneath your wall mounted TV can be a useful area to add more storage. You can choose from a wall-mounted shelf that can keep your DVDs and Blu-rays looking neat.
You can also choose a TV stand or media unit that will keep all your media equipment and gadgets concealed. Alternatively, you can use the space below your wall-mounted TV to install a soundbar to enhance the sound quality on your TV.
How do I keep my cables tidy behind my TV?
If you haven’t been able to conceal cables behind a wall, the easiest way to avoid the cables behind your TV becoming a spaghetti junction is to use cable ties. These can come with hook or loop fasteners so you can tie them around a bundle and create a more organised, streamlined looking area.
One of the UK's most respected tech and smart homes writers, Emily Peck also covers everything from interiors style to decorating trends. She is a contributor to Wired UK, and has also had a column in House Beautiful. She has written for publications such as Grand Designs, Stylist, Shortlist, Woman&Home, BBC, Ideal Home and House & Garden. She was once the Features Editor of Ideal Home.
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