7 Tips for Running Coax Cable in Your Home

Coaxial cable on a white background.
  • 2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 100
What You'll Need
Coaxial cable
5/16" or 3/8" diameter x 12" long or longer drill bit
Cable brackets

Coax cable or coaxial cable is familiar to most homeowners and property managers. It’s the standard type of cable used for all conventional cabled TV and internet hookups in homes and rentals. Here are some of the tips reported by homeowners, landlords, property managers, and anyone who happens to be running coax cable through a residence to provide telecommunications hookups.

Think First

Before you start installing your coaxial cable, think about what spaces will accommodate it most conveniently. It helps to try to run the cable through unused spaces, rather than high traffic areas where it is liable to get in the way. Good planning is a big part of almost any cable running project and taking a few moments to think before installation will generally provide better results.

Leave Some Slack

Cable runners should always measure the cable to make sure it will reach the desired destination. Experts recommend leaving a couple of feet extra in order to alleviate any tension in the cable during installation.

Watch Studs and Other Wall Obstacles

Those running cables often drill through walls in order to make interior installations more efficient by creating a direct path. When you do this, it’s critical to avoid wall studs, as well as electrical components, pipes, and other obstacles. Some improper drilling can even cause injury, so pay special attention to this part of the installation.

Find Cheaper Surfaces For Fixing Brackets

When someone is running cable through a room, they may decide to use metal or plastic brackets to keep the cable in a corner or a recess and contribute to neatness. But it’s important to think about which kind of home surfaces you want to screw brackets into. Avoid marring the surfaces of expensive wood products or antique surfaces with brackets, and find more expendable surfaces that will handle these fasteners to conserve value for future renovations.

Evaluate Egress Options

When running a cable out to an exterior wire, cable runners are often tempted to simply route the coaxial cable through an open door or window. However, this can be a very inconvenient setup over time, especially when the cable obstructs the closing of doors or windows in cold weather. In these cases, it’s usually worth running the cable a longer distance to an area where installers can route it to the exterior without sacrificing the overall insulation of a room or building, especially in colder climates.

Color-Code Cables

If you’re running a single cable, identification may not be much of an issue. If you’re running multiple cables or connecting cables to an exterior source, it may be good to provide color-coding to make identification easier.

Check into the Legality of Multiple Cable Splits

Those who carelessly split cables into multiple residential spaces may find that this process comes back to haunt them later. Look at the legal aspects of splitting up a cable connection to make sure that your installation is legitimate.

    The above tips will help cable installers avoid some common problems in renovating a home or other property for coax cable connections.