Advice on how to string a wire horizontally

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  #1  
Old 07-31-14, 01:34 PM
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Advice on how to string a wire horizontally

I'm in a bit of a jam. I'm trying to install over- and under-cabinet lights in my kitchen. There's one little area of cabinets that is not continuous, but instead sits on the other side of a doorway on an interior wall. The doorway has a typical casing. I want all lights on the same switch/transformer.

My plan was just to run some white-sheathed speaker wire along the top of the white trim door casing, drilling entry/exit holes into the sides of each of the adjoining cabinets. Unfortunately, I did not realize that there is a small 2" gap between the cabinets on each side and the door casing. My wife says that painting the wire to match the wall is not an option.

Much like Evel Knieval at the Grand Canyon, I am now mightily perplexed as to how to bridge the gap. I really want to get that wire over to the other side, but I don't want to cut drywall, patch, paint, etc. I don't have crown molding and I don't want to put it up. The upstairs and the basement are both finished, so running into the ceiling or beneath the floor (continuous hardwood) also isn't an option.

Is there any non-invasive solution to getting that wire strung on the inside of that wall across the doorway? I'm fine with punching small holes in the drywall above the cabinets because that will be hidden by the cabinet crown.

I've heard of flex bits, but the wire would probably have to pass through at least 3 studs from one side of the door to the other (and do doorways use a double stud on each side? Still, if this is possible, I'd be willing to hire an electrician to do it.

The only other less-invasive option than cutting/patching lots of drywall would be to cut a small "groove" in the drywall at each stud location just above the door casing, also groove the studs, string the wire, then spackle the groove and paint. Still more invasive than I'd like.

Thoughts?
 
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Old 07-31-14, 03:49 PM
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Have you considered wire mold?
 
  #3  
Old 07-31-14, 03:58 PM
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Sort of, but I haven't investigated it thoroughly. I'd have to buy a few pieces of quarterround and see how it blends with the with door casing, because I would probably have to take it all the way around the door, from the bottom of one side, to the bottom of the other, to make it look right.
 
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Old 07-31-14, 06:19 PM
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My plan was just to run some white-sheathed speaker wire along the top of the white trim door casing
That would be a possibility with low voltage lighting..... not with 120v lighting. Years ago they used to staple lamp cord around a room. Definitely not a code compliant way to wire.

I can see cutting and patching the sheetrock.
 
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Old 07-31-14, 06:52 PM
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Do you have an accessible attic or unfinished basement/crawl space?
 
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Old 08-01-14, 07:56 AM
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No accessible attic or crawlspace. This is our kitchen, which is sandwiched between finished upper floor and finished basement.

I'm just running low voltage LEDs on 18/2 speaker wire, so code isn't a problem. However, I've looked at the quarterround moulding and it just doesn't look good with the door casing.

I really don't want to cut/patch the visible drywall. I'm thinking I might try the flexbit. Because of the upper cabinets to both sides of the doorway, with crown at the tops of the cabients, I can actually cut and conceal a fairly large hole in the drywall there to give me a pretty good horizontal shot into the stud space. On the other side, I can cut a decent hole for fishing out the exit point. Never used a flexbit before, so not sure if this is feasible or not.
 
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Old 08-02-14, 11:52 AM
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The problem with flexibits is they go thru anything including any existing wiring already in the wall.
 
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Old 08-02-14, 12:13 PM
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Would removing the casing around the door help at all? Likely there is enough room to put low voltage cable around the frame.
 
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Old 08-02-14, 08:41 PM
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Bought the flexbit and it worked great. It was a difficult task but just took some patience. Going slow is key.

The flexbit design is pretty ingenious - there's a screw on the end of the bit that helps dig into the wood and holds the bit in place so it's not bouncing all over the place.

The difficult part is getting the bit to run straight over a long span, especially if your drill is off angle (like it is if your drill is outside the wall). It helped that, because I had the upper cabinets to both sides of the door, I could cut wide, low holes just above the cabinets, which allowed me to insert the drill into the stud space for a straight shot.

Actual drilling through the studs was a breeze. It's almost too easy. I almost popped through the drywall on my first try because my run wasn't straight. Fortunately, I caught myself just as drywall on the other side of the wall was starting to bulge.

So anyway, took some time but I got over the door, through 4 studs, without cutting any visible drywall.
 
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Old 08-02-14, 08:43 PM
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Very nice job!! Glad it worked for you!
 
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