Does it bother you to see wires strung across a wall from a flat screen TV?
Handy Builder Dad (HBD) and I (his apprentice, but probably not much help) built our fireplace surround cabinets, shelving, and columned facade for the mantle support. After his devotion of three hard-working days, he went home and left me with the mantel design and build-out to handle on my own. Talk about intimidating!
My goal was to design a mantel for hiding the wires running from the flat screen TV to the satellite box and DVD player.
How would you like for your wires to look like this? Don’t see them?
Good. Mission accomplished.
Do you have a similar flat screen TV wiring issue? This solution works well for our situation. I hope to inspire you in creating your own project design.
This tutorial covers the construction of the box-like mantel that houses the wiring necessary for a flat screen TV. The electrical outlets will be discussed without tutorial details for them specifically. HBD ran the electrical connections after building the shelving, cabinets, and columned facade. I can share what he did with the electrical but not how he did it.
Pre-Wiring And Wall Openings To Prepare:
- Install a power outlet behind the TV for your flat screen power source.
- Make a small opening behind the TV to run the wiring through from your electronic units you’ll place on the bookshelf.
- Make an opening in the wall behind the mantel. (You’ll run the wiring from the TV down through the wall, through the hole behind the mantel, across the inside of the mantel box, and through the hole in the shelf wall. I’ll share a picture later in the post that shows the wiring in place.)
Building The Box Mantel
- Attach the bottom board of mantel box perpendicular to the wall. In my case, I mounted the 1″ x 7″ board on top of the columns. If you have no support (like columns) to mount the board to, run a 2″x2″ wood strip the full length of the mantel above the board, nail it into the wall, and then nail the bottom box board into the 2″x2″ header. Sorry, I took no pictures during construction, since this was done pre-blog. Maybe this picture will help.
- Attach crown molding (or something similar) to the bottom board in the “up” position, forming the bottom portion of the box, sort of like a tray.
- Cut a top board (of 1″ depth) the width and length you need for your mantel. The top board should be wide enough to allow it to protrude past the bottom tray but just overlapping slightly. (Mine was 10″.) Attach chair molding, or something similar, to the front edge of the top board in the “down” position.
- Use a block as shown in the picture as support for the molding. Also, you don’t want the lid to fall completely over the bottom molding, so the block support will hold the lid up higher to show off the detailed crown molding below.
Test-fit the mantel lid to the base of the box. It will flop down at the wall edge because there’s no support yet, but hold it steady an inch away from the wall (allowing your fingers to get around the back edge to hold it). Mark the location of the top edge (towards the front part of the lid) at the side wall.
After deducting the top board depth, transfer the front edge measurement you just marked to the back wall of the box. At that mark, nail (or attach with screws, like I did) a 2″ x 2″ header board along the length of the mantel.
Add a block at the front of the box on each side wall to support the ends of the mantel lid at this front edge, as well. This relieves some of the weight of the lid on the bottom crown molding. Drill a one-inch hole through the side wall at the location you want the outlet to be mounted on the other side (the shelf side).
Cut 2″ x 4″ block supports to place along the inside of the box to support the lid. They should be cut to the same measurement as the distance from the box “floor” to the top of the 2″ x 2″ header rail along the back wall.
The wiring will be run through the hole you made in the wall. We discovered our wall was open along a huge spans (I think due to the fireplace insert) when we removed the old mantel, so we didn’t have to cut an opening there.
We made the same hole in the left side wall of the shelving in the event we need to locate the electronics on that shelf in the future. We decided it was worth having HBD go ahead and run electrical wiring and install an outlet.
Here’s the view of the shelf that currently holds our electronics. (I hate cords in view, so I hide the outlet and all cords with a little greenery.)
HH totally doesn’t understand that. It’s a woman thing, y’all.
I thought y’all might like to see the lid separated from the mantel.
Here, it is in place on the mantel.
Did you notice the tiny gap between the corner molding and the mantel? This allows ease in sliding the mantel lid in and out of position.
I wasn’t sure I wanted the corner molding around the TV area, but I like the added detail. Moldings are your friend.
I hope this sparks some creative thinking to help you hide your flat screen wiring. Thank you for visiting me for my tutorial of my first apprenticeship project. 🙂