Do you need wiring for your phone and internet service? You need to know that this wiring is not your ordinary house electrical wiring. Connections for phones and internet service need Ethernet cable wiring. This article will show you how to run Ethernet cables through walls.
If you need to run Ethernet cables inside walls, you can use the existing holes that you can find in those walls. But be sure that no electrical wires are running inside those holes. The current running in those wires will interfere with the signal being carried by the Ethernet cables.
If electrical wires already occupy all the holes, you have to drill new holes for the Ethernet cables. Typically, Ethernet cables are installed during the finishing stages of constructing a house. If this was not done in your house and you need phone and internet service, you can retrofit it with Ethernet cabling.
Read on to learn more about how to run an Ethernet cable through walls, the correct way of doing it, and some tips on how it should be done.
How to Run Ethernet Cables Through Walls
Do the Retrofitting Yourself
If your house has no cabling for phones and internet connections, you can do the retrofitting yourself. First, you have to find existing holes to run the cables. But ensure that no electrical wires are running in those holes. Current running in those electrical wires can interfere with the signal carried by the Ethernet cables.
Drill New Holes
If electrical wires occupy the holes, you need to drill new holes for the Ethernet cables. These cables are considered low-voltage designed only for phones and internet service connections. They are also called coaxial cables, typically installed while building a house.
Draw up a Plan First
Before running these cables inside the walls of your house, you need to draw up a plan first. You need to choose the locations and the routing of every cable you will install. Then you need to cut holes in the wall where you will install the distribution panel.
Run the Cables from the Holes to the Attic
This is the place where the inside and outside Ethernet cables will meet. You need to run the cables from this place up to the attic. From the attic, you will then distribute the cables throughout the house. This is a big project, but you can do it if you have prepared well enough and have the skills.
Draw Up a Wiring Plan First
Before drilling a hole on your wall, you must draw up a plan first. This plan should have the details, such as where you want the Ethernet cables to run.
Here are the steps you need to follow in drawing up your Ethernet wiring plan:
1. Identify the Rooms That Require Cable Hookup
You need to adjust your wiring plan according to the floor plan of your house. So, you have to choose the rooms where the wiring should go. Generally, the Ethernet cable should go to the rooms where there are:
- Desktop computers,
- Landline phones, and so forth.
You can also choose to run wires into all the rooms. In this way, if you want a cable hookup in one of these rooms, you don’t need to run new wires. You won’t need Ethernet cables in each room if you only use Wi-Fi for internet access.
2. Locate the Wiring Panel in an Accessible Place
Put the wiring panel in an accessible spot since you’ll connect all the network wires to it. It is also where the service providers will connect their wires too.
Contractors advise homeowners to locate their wiring panel in the basement. From there, it’s easy for them to run the cables through the walls and other rooms. Another choice location is the laundry room. Most of these panels are a bit unsightly. So you may want to locate your panel in a place where visitors don’t often go to.
3. Choose the Cable Routes
Choosing the wire routes won’t be a problem if your house has a crawl space. However, if you don’t have a crawl space, you can route the Ethernet cables from the attic. Start from the wiring panel and look for hollow walls to run the cables up. Find a spot in the wall that you can use to feed a cable straight up into the attic.
This wiring plan will give you an overall picture of the cables’ routes. Knowing where the wires run also helps in future repairs. There is no need to be precise in measuring the length of these cables. If it turns up too long, you can roll the excess or cut it off at the end of its route.
4. Map Out the Routes of the Wires
Whether you start from the attic or the crawl space, you must map out each cable’s route. After drawing a plan of all the rooms that require cable hookup, map how every cable will feed through the attic or crawl space and the points at which they will enter each room.
Typically, cables are fed down from the attic inside walls. You can also cut through the room’s ceiling to feed the cable down. However, this method is not visually appealing compared to the usual way it is done.
5. Use a Wiring Plan App
If you cannot draw up a wiring plan, you can use a wiring plan program. Several wiring plan apps can scan your house’s blueprints and draw up a wiring plan from there. Some of these programs are free, while others ask for subscriptions. There are also paid programs that offer a free trial period of 30 days. Choose one that suits your needs the best.
6. Choose Your Network Speed
You will need certain materials and tools to accomplish this project. The most important material you will need is the Ethernet cable. You need to buy the right Ethernet cable that will satisfy your requirements. This will affect the cost of running Ethernet cable through walls in your home.
But before you can decide on the kind of Ethernet cable to buy, you have to know the network speed of your Wi-Fi. So, the type of material you will need depends on your desired network speed. That goes for the tools that you will use as well.
Tools and Materials You Need to Run Ethernet Cables
You will need certain tools to accomplish this project. The kind of tools you need will depend on your network coverage and the walls in your home. In general, these are the tools and materials that you will need in running Ethernet cables inside walls:
- Punch down tool
- Pointed hand saw
- Ethernet crimping tool
- Drywall saw
- Paddle bit
- Stud finder
- Fish tape
- Label marker
- Ethernet cable (specs will depend on your network speed) at your required length
- Patch panel
- Ethernet sockets
- Ethernet wall sockets
- Plastic grommet
Again, how to run ethernet cable through walls? To run ethernet cables through walls, you can use existing holes. Ensure that said walls are free of wires; otherwise, the wires can interfere with the Ethernet cables’ signal.
How to Run the Ethernet Cables Inside Walls
Now that you have the plan drawn up and all the materials and tools you need, you can start the actual running of Ethernet cables inside the walls of your home. The following are the steps that you have to follow:
1. Create a Distribution Point
Start by building or making a distribution point. Before you do this, turn off your house’s main circuit breaker. This will ensure that even if you accidentally hit an electric wire while drilling the walls, it won’t create a short circuit.
Since you will be drilling walls, you need to locate the studs to attach the wiring panel. Use a stud finder and slide it across the wall to find the right stud. After finding the stud, you need to create an inspection hole between.
The dimension of the hole should be about 4 inches by 4 inches. Use the drywall saw to create this hole. You are creating this hole so that there will be no obstructions behind the wall where you have chosen to locate the distribution point.
You need to organize the Ethernet cables in this distribution point, so you need to secure the wires. There is a structured wiring panel that you can use for this purpose. It is in the form of a box. Screw this box on the studs inside the hole that you have created.
2. Drill Holes for the Ethernet Cables
Now that the distribution point is secured, you need to create holes for the Ethernet cables. You either have to drill the bottom ceiling plate or the top ceiling plate based on the floor you are working with. After doing this, go and drill a hole in the attic.
Locate a spot directly on top of the distribution panel and make your way up. After pinpointing the spot, cut a hole through the floor plate. Take note that attics generally have double plates. So, you may need to drill through two blocks of wood.
Once you are finished in the attic, drill holes above the walls where you want the Ethernet cable to run through. When you come upon finished walls or brick walls, there are ways to cut through them. Be ready with the right tools, just in case.
Use a ruler or tape measure to mark the spots where you drill the holes. After the holes are drilled, you can run the Ethernet cables through them.
3. Label the Ethernet Cables
If you have chosen to run several Ethernet cables in different rooms, you need to label each cable based on the rooms where you will run them through. For instance, you can label ‘home office’ if the wire is going to your office at home or ‘bedroom’ if it is going to your bedroom.
Once all the Ethernet wires are labeled, you can run them from the central distribution point through the wall and then to the attic space. The cables should show up at the created outlet holes if you do it properly.
Pull it to the desired length once you see the Ethernet cable peeping from the outlet. You have completed the task of running Ethernet cables through walls.
Here’s a video that will help you get a better overview of the process of running Ethernet cables through walls; view this video. It will show some essential tips that will help you successfully run cables through walls:
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Ethernet Cable to Use
Buy the Correct Ethernet Cable
You need to buy the correct Ethernet cable based on your internet connection speed. It is not right to use an Ethernet cable that you can buy in the electronic shop. These cables are generally rated in different categories. They are categorized according to their speed and rate in transferring electronic data over cable.
Choose Full Bare Copper Cables
You will want to settle for the best Ethernet cable you can afford. Keep away from cables like CCA or Copper Clad Aluminum cables. They have a reputation of delivering less power and getting hot. Choose the full bare copper cables because they provide the best service.
Conclusion: How to Run Ethernet Cable Through Walls
If your house does not have a phone and internet service cabling, you can do the cable retrofitting. Firstly, you have to find holes in the house’s interior walls. If there are, you can run Ethernet cables inside them.
However, be sure that no electrical wires are running inside those walls. Electrical current running in those wires will interfere with the signals being carried by the Ethernet cables. So, you may have to drill new holes for the Ethernet cables that you need to install.