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I am buying a new TV, which I intend to mount on the wall.

The wall is a brick chimney breast, early 1900's house. I have heard mentioned on a few sites the idea of cutting a channel, and plastering the cable work in within some sort of trunking.

What I want to know is:

  • Is this sensible?
  • What is required to do the job?
  • Is it something an average skilled layman can do, or strictly a pro job?
  • I am in the UK, what is the likely cost of the pro?
  • Any other tips or advice?
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One thing to keep in mind is that technology changes, and you may find yourself adding/removing components. So make sure doing so will not force you to redo all the work, allow yourself a way to add/remove cables. –  Tester101 Mar 4 '11 at 18:17
    
Is the chimney in active use (eg, from in-use fireplace/furnace)? If not, can you run the cables inside the chimney, drilling holes instead of a channel? –  gregmac Mar 4 '11 at 23:54
    
What kind of cables are you running? Power? If you have a decent external receiver, you can probably get away with just running HDMI, and running any other signals to the receiver (which will do switching for you). Obviously only running two wires will make this job a lot easier than running a whole ton. FWIW, when I mounted my TV (not on brick) I ran a conduit and ran a couple HDMI, component, coax, etc. I have only ever used a single HDMI, as my receiver switches and up-converts every other signal. Lesson learned. –  gregmac Mar 5 '11 at 0:01
    
what receiver do you use? –  Mild Fuzz Mar 5 '11 at 22:20
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3 Answers 3

If the brick is vaneer (i.e. decorative, and not part of the load-bearing structure of the wall) you could scour out some mortar and run a 1/4 flex conduit between the bricks and mortar over the conduit; however, the gaps between the bricks need to be wide enough to accomidate the conduit, and you need to get the conduit 'deep' enough into the wall so that the mortar that you apply over the conduit is sufficiently thick that it stays (as opposed to crubling away when dry). Also, it might be difficult to match the new mortar to the old mortar.

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Perhaps a better way would be to drill a single 1/4" hole through the brick into the wall cavity and run the cable thru the wall.

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I agree that drilling a hole would work, though the size depends on what is being run, exactly. Power is pretty easy, so long as you cut the wire and then put a new connector on it, though probably requires a 3/8" hole. You could also fit an RG6 cable in there, if you cut and put a new end on it as well. HDMI (which is a likely candidate) can't be spliced by hand though, so the whole connector needs to fit in the hole. Probably minimum of 3/4" and more likely 1" to fit both power and HDMI. –  gregmac Mar 4 '11 at 23:58
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The brickwork on a chimney breast of a 1900s house will be solid brick (not veneer).

Cutting a channel, fitting trunking and replastering is eminently sensible if that's the only way to go. It's also a job you can do your self with a masonry drill and cold chisel. Using an SDS drill with a chisel attachment will be quicker if messier.

Make sure you take the cable vertically (if possible) never diagonally across the wall. This will make it safer for future owners of your house.

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Hole in chimney = carbon monoxide poisoning. And I'm sure running any type of cable (low/high voltage) in a chimney, is nowhere near code. –  Tester101 Mar 4 '11 at 17:27
    
@Tester101 - I did say that this would only be an option if it wasn't in use for a real fire. I'll add gas fire to the answer. –  ChrisF Mar 4 '11 at 17:30
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I wouldn't recommend it anyway, as you have no idea how it will be used in the future. –  Tester101 Mar 4 '11 at 17:32
    
@Tester101 - You're right, I've removed that bit. –  ChrisF Mar 4 '11 at 17:40
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