I need to fish some speaker wire through my ceiling downstairs to the lower part of the adjacent exterior wall. To compound the problem, the ceiling joists run perpendicular to the direction I need to run the cable. I have a feeling I already know the answer to this, but is there any way other than cutting several holes in the ceiling to drill through the joists? The run is about 10 feet.


The ceiling is a smooth drywall ceiling. The joists are I joists.

  • Is the ceiling smooth or textured? Is it drywall or plaster?
    – Tester101
    Commented Jul 24, 2010 at 3:05

5 Answers 5


Consider through the crown molding, or installing some to hide the dable. See my response to wiring rear speakers

  • I saw that question, but these speakers won't be close to a corner, unfortunately. Commented Jul 24, 2010 at 3:39
  • 1
    @Adam -- you use the moulding trick to run the length of the room, then you're running along the joists, rather than across.
    – Joe
    Commented Jul 24, 2010 at 5:04
  • Excellent point. This may just be what pushes me over the edge toward putting up crown moulding downstairs. Commented Jul 24, 2010 at 20:08

A quick google for 'Drill Bit Extension' turned up a 72" extension - that might at least cut down the number of holes involved.

  • 4
    I like your approach and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
    – MGOwen
    Commented Oct 5, 2010 at 3:25

Depending on your house, it may be easier to lift the floor in the room above. There's almost bound to be a run of cable or pipe that goes across the ceiling that already has holes or notches in the joist.

Lifting floorboards is much easier than messing with a ceiling!

  • Unfortunately, the upstairs is wall-to-wall carpeting with a plywood subfloor. While obviously still possible, I'd be pulling up a LOT of carpet and plywood. Commented Jul 24, 2010 at 20:09

You might be better off avoiding the ceiling altogether and going all the way down to the basement (if possible), across, and then back up again OR go up to the attic, across, and then back down again. It adds about 20 more feet to the run but assuming you have access to either the basement or attic it would be significantly easier.

  • Unfortunately, the house is on a slab. In any case, the speakers would be going in the ceiling some distance from the wall, so there's no avoiding the ceiling. Commented Jul 24, 2010 at 20:07
  • 3
    Is there an attic? Or are you on the first floor of a 2 story? Because even if it's a pain the neck, it's probably easier to string them through the attic than to drill all the holes. Commented Jul 26, 2010 at 14:11

The real truth is, there is no easy cheap way to do this.you are going to have to do a little of most of these suggestions. Cut access holes, use a drill bit extender, patch, tape, mud, texture, match paint or possibly repaint entire ceiling. If this overwhelms you, hire a contractor. Or Bose sells a surround sound that has only front speakers that use reflected sound technology. This is probably not what you wanted to hear.


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