First of all, I'm a beginner.

Secondly, I've a renovation started in the basement (see picture here), so I need some help.

So in the bedroom, there's actually a socket already present just as you enter on your right. However, the rest of the two sockets that I want to add are, unfortunately, covered by newly placed drywall all around (I know... stupid). So the dry wall starts to the left of the first electrical socket as you enter on your right and goes all around.

So my question is, whether or not it is possible to run cable on the floor and then within (but not behind) the dry wall so that I wouldn't need to remove it? How can this be done? What about an Ethernet cable?

  • A picture would be helpful. Are you asking about putting it just below the drywall but on top of the subfloor? Then when you lay the flooring down (carpet or hardwood or something) you don't plan to slide it under the drywall all the way to the studs?
    – mlathe
    Feb 25, 2012 at 0:19
  • I cannot post pictures, yet. I updated the question. Feb 25, 2012 at 1:47
  • What is the ceiling made of (drywall, drop ceiling, etc.)? Is the floor a concrete slab, or wooden joists?
    – Tester101
    Feb 25, 2012 at 16:11
  • Ceiling is drywall. Floor is concrete. Feb 27, 2012 at 14:49

2 Answers 2


The short answer: no. Electrical cable needs to be stapled to the side of the studs, halfway between the two walls, to minimize the risk that anyone will nail or screw into the electrical wire and electrocute themselves. Any time an electrical wire or plumbing pipe comes too close to the face of the stud (e.g. if the hole going through the stud weren't centered), you have to install steel safety plates.

For ethernet, you can run it behind the trim or lots of other places without concern.

  • You still want to run your ethernet where it won't be damaged, the only difference is it's not going to kill someone if they do screw/drill through it.
    – gregmac
    Feb 25, 2012 at 4:41
  • I'd prefer to have the ethernet accessible, and to use wireless when things get complicated. But the only codes I can think of restricting how you install it are fire codes that worry about openings between floors and in relation to other utilities like HVAC ducts and electrical wiring.
    – BMitch
    Feb 25, 2012 at 11:54

The painful part about doing it the conventional way is that you would run romex through the center of each stud which means ripping lots of holes in your walls.

You could probably:

  1. Run it up to the ceiling (if that's not sheetrocked) and then down through the walls.
  2. Run it on the surface of the drywall in some conduit.
  3. Rip your walls open, install the electrical, then put some lovely wainscotting over the whole deal like so:

enter image description here

  • Could you please elaborate on point #2 with some details? Feb 27, 2012 at 20:55
  • Both, your answer as well as BMitch's answer were very helpful. Feb 27, 2012 at 20:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.