Cords make me itch. Especially those that spew from my slick flat screen television mounted front-and-center above my fireplace. It’s an issue, right ladies? The Manchild, my husband, is blind to cords… The weirdo. Is this a Mars and Venus thing?For fear of drilling into the fireplace brick and mortar and/or the flue in order to thread the cords behind the wall, and with my anti-hire mentality, I came up with a super tricky and aesthetically awesome solution that I could do myself.
Here is how I hid those pesky cords when we mounted our flat screen above the fireplace:
TRIMWORK WITH CHANNELS FOR THE CORDS TO RUN THROUGH! I nailed the trim to the wall with skinny brad nails. No caulk, so that the cover pieces can be popped off and re-installed if I want to add or replace a cord in there at a later date (change electronics or cable providers much?!).
Before the TV Arrived:
yuck. sorry. keepin’ it real!
After we put up the TV:
This it the best picture I could find, my lovelies! I didn’t think to take a picture of just the cords mess. We also had a PS3 sitting on the mantle for months with cords spewing out of it at all times. itch. scratch.
Here is a step-by-step model for how to hide your flat screen cords in a sneaky AND beautiful way like I did:
Hiding Flat Screen Cords Step 1: Plan it Out
Draw a plan out on paper. Mount the television. Center it, of course. (Notice that with our mounting kit, the actual mounting bracket did not have to be centered perfectly, the TV can slide right and left on the stationary bracket in order to find center. The important point is to screw the mounting bracket into studs behind the wall.)
Then draw all over your wall lightly with pencil or chalk. Mark center, mark left and right edges of the trim-work-to-be. Mark where your cords exit the television on each side and decide where your trim work will best go in order to hide the cords AND look nice.
I had 2 cords exiting left and 1 cord exiting right. However, for architectural interest and balance, I added additional trim work lines on the top, bottom, and sides.
I used a 6-ft. crown molding shelf that I had purchased from Pottery Barn on sale about 4 years ago as the cap for my trim work. For everything else, I used simple lattice pieces from Home Depot. They are not wood, really. They are a plastic-y type of wood composite thing. (Nice vocab, Ang!)
Hiding Flat Screen Cords Step 2: Create Vertical Channels
These lattice pieces should and could be primed before mounting them on the wall.
Makes sure the vertical channels are WIDE enough to hold the cords you have, but NARROW enough, that a piece of lattice can cover the gap and overlap the channel enough to be nailed into place. Making sense? No? Sorry.
Also, make sure that you are consistent with your gap width, because ALL of the trim work needs to be the same width in the end. I cut out a thin piece of cardstock to use as my channel guide and stuck it between the two lattice pieces before nailing them down to ensure consistency.
Use a level. Follow your chalk lines on the wall.
Hiding Flat Screen Cords Step 3: Create Horizontal Channels
Isn’t it looking nifty??
Notice how the interior lines of the wood don’t match up perfectly sometimes. Doesn’t matter. I just needed my exterior lines to be perfect, because the mess of the interior will be covered.
Also, make sure you are going deep enough behind the TV that you won’t be able to see where the channels end. I DID NOT do this properly, and had to go back and add 2 inch pieces to my horizontal channels. Oops.
Notice the little light switch in the middle of my trim work on the right side? Dang switch. It REALLY complicated my whole project. It is the switch for my fireplace flue fan. Not sure why we need a fan, but I guess it’s a nice feature.
Because of that switch, I could not go as narrow or as wide as I would have preferred with the trim. And that caused lots of other problems, like having to split my vertical pieces in half to accommodate the mantle and also having to meet the crown molding at the top at a non-flat place.
Your project will have it’s own quirks. Enjoy them and the extra hours they add.
Hiding Flat Screen Cords Step 4: Add Additional Channels for Balance & Interest
At this point, I was running back and forth between the family room and the garage where my miter saw is… over and over again. And the nail gun was “pfffffd!-ing”
away like crazy. It’s moments like these that I am the happiest. Excuse my little teardrops of joy. Snif!
I nailed the channel pieces and non-functioning cover pieces down to the wall, but only taped the cover pieces that I would be hiding cords under.
Hiding Flat Screen Cords Step 5:
Re-mount the TV and Place the Cords into Channels
At this point, I had to wait for The Manchild
to show his face again so that we could re-mount the TV and attach the cords. I made sure to pull extra lengths of the cords through the channels (but not more than could hide behind the TV when mounted) so that when we need to take the TV down, the trim work won’t be pulled off the wall before I can reach my hand under there and un-attach them. Does that makes sense?
By the way, I had to buy longer power and HDMI cords before starting this project. I believe they are both 12 ft long. And when the cable guy was here installing the cable, I had him use an extra long cord.
A video was the best way to show the next part:
And I was like, “Baby, baby, baby… I like the way you work with wood…”
Justin Bieber wasn’t REALLY playing when I did this, but I thought I might add him in just for fun. Except if it was real life, then I would have stopped taping down trim and started to dance. You all know that. If you didn’t, you know it now.
And now I am totally distracted and can’t remember what I was writing about…
Hiding Flat Screen Cords Step 6: Take down TV and Paint it All Up!
I did NOT caulk the trim work, which I usually do with trim, because I want to be able to pop the channel covers off when we decide to change cable services/add another HDMI component, etc. I DID however, use some spackle on the noticeable gaps between trim pieces. It is white and paintable, but not like glue, right?
I had so much fun decorating the mantle for Halloween
after finishing this project. The whole area was just a mess and NOT the focal point that it should be. And now, with the trim work complete, the cords hidden, and the PS3 removed from the mantle, it’s a whole new room!
What do you think, friends? Here’s an up-close and personal shot:
I came up with this all on my own. Google didn’t help me AT ALL with this idea, so hopefully this tutorial can help other “outside-the-box thinkers” like myself solve their flat-screen TV mounting issues.
Tell me you love it?
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This project is joining the CSI project Molding party, Sawdust & Paper Scraps, Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before and After Party, and The Lettered Cottage’s “How-To’s Day”