My main living room wall has a fireplace, surrounded by built-in shelves on either side. The left built-in has a 2-gang outlet in its bottom cavity, which I outlined in red. I'm going to mount my TV above the fireplace (so the little one can't reach it anymore), so I need to add an outlet above the fireplace that extends from the existing outlet. I want to minimize patching in the built-in shelves, which seem to be hardboard over drywall, because I'm not sure how well I can patch hardboard. What would be the least intrusive way to run a wire from this outlet to above my fireplace?


  • What's on the wall behind the built in? It might be easier to run the cable from the other side, and patch that.
    – Tester101
    Jun 21, 2015 at 13:47
  • It's the Master Bedroom. That side of the wall is normal, drywall all the way across. You might be right, I was hoping to avoid any patchwork in there if I could, since it gets a lot of natural light which tends to show imperfections in my patches :)
    – user38658
    Jun 21, 2015 at 14:27
  • 4
    I would really recommend that you rethink this scheme to put a TV mount over the fireplace. TVs are electronics that do not like to be exposed to extra heat. From an ergonomic standpoint having to stare up at a TV mounted on a wall is not fun and most TV screens will look their best from straight-on viewing. Lastly it is very common that it can be difficult to find suitable framing materials in the walls to which a TV mount can be securely attached,
    – Michael Karas
    Jun 21, 2015 at 16:55

2 Answers 2


You might consider using a surface-mount raceway.

enter image description here

You could use something like this to run the wires along the inside corners of your shelving up to the bumped out wall above the fireplace, then punch through into that cavity.

If you want to run HDMI (and maybe something like Ethernet), keep in mind that you cannot run line power and low-voltage cables together in the same conduit.

If you aren't going to run between three and five individual HDMI cables, also consider picking up an HDMI switch (with remote) so that you can plug all your devices into the switch, presumably sitting in the shelving, and run just one HDMI cable to feed the TV.

enter image description here

Having said all that, I tend to agree with the comment cautioning against putting the TV on the wall over a fireplace. The heat won't be friendly to the TV, and you might find that you don't like straining your neck to watch it.

In fact, you might consider mounting the TV up there temporarily and using extension cords for a week or two just to be sure you don't hate it. It would be a bummer to do all the work to permanently mount it there just to discover that you don't like it there.

Good luck!


IMO there is NO WAY you'll be able to run sideways without considerable damage, which also IMO would be crazy. Consider how set back the back of the bookcase is compared to the face of above the FP.

Is there attic space above? I'd snake up from that receptacle to the attic (or find another acceptable power source) and then snake down to the TV location. Obviously snaking up from a basement is a no go.

How are you getting a signal to the TV (HDMI, CATV, etc)??

  • Or is there access from a basement below, if not an attic above.
    – user20127
    Jun 21, 2015 at 16:40
  • Thanks for your suggestions. There is no basement, the house is on a slab. This is at the rear of the house where the roof is slanting down, so I'm 99% sure that there's no attic space above this (this room has a vaulted ceiling that slants down as the roof does, and none of the 2nd story rooms are on this side of the house). I'll triple-check the attic and see if there's a tricky way to get above this. For signal to the TV - I was planning to extend the power to the right bookcase from the TV, and run HDMI, and put my boxes over there.
    – user38658
    Jun 21, 2015 at 18:39

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.