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In my family room, I've used cable staples (like the ones pictured below) to fasten speaker wire along the wall at the top of the baseboards. There are hardwood floors in this room.

Speaker staples

Not all of them fastened so securely, which wasn't a problem at first… and then we got a puppy, who bumps into them, and then tries to eat them once they fall out. How can I get them to stay in the wall better, without limiting myself to inserting them over studs (as I sometimes need them more closely spaced than that) or inserting them into the baseboards, which I'd rather not poke so many holes into.

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    If you have carpet, speaker wire normally fits well under the baseboards - just watch out for tack strips. – JPhi1618 Nov 25 '15 at 20:10
  • @JPhi1618 thanks, but the room does have hardwoods. I just updated the question. – Dov Nov 25 '15 at 20:11
  • Sure, a hardwood floor. But there are still baseboards (at the foot of the walls), right? – wallyk Nov 25 '15 at 20:17
  • @wallyk yes, but the baseboards don't have enough room under them to accomodate any speaker wire. – Dov Nov 25 '15 at 20:18
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    Anyway, MDF sucks up moisture, and a bathroom is very likely to have a lot of water on the floor for one reason or another. One bad spill and any unsealed MDF can swell up and be permanently damaged. – JPhi1618 Nov 25 '15 at 21:12
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Nail in clips just will not hold in drywall. Even over studs, the nails are typically too short to get good penetration. Nail clips and stapes can still work (barely) in drywall if they are used up high where they will not be touched.

I would instead recommend and adhesive clip option.

enter image description here

The Command Clips linked also have the advantage of coming off the wall cleanly if you ever need them to.

Another good option is adhesive wire mold that covers the entire length of the cord. It's a little more expensive, but with no exposed wire, it becomes very puppy-proof.

Wire Mold

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    I'm pretty sure that last photo (where cords are routed through the wiremold), is a code violation and may or may not go against the installation instructions of the wiremold. No problem using it for speaker wires though. – Tester101 Nov 25 '15 at 22:03
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    @Tester101, Interesting. I thought any code stopped at the receptacle. – JPhi1618 Nov 25 '15 at 22:07
  • Does not apply to this post for speaker wire, but there are codes about line voltage wires, including power cords from devices. For example, it's against NEC code to route a device's line-voltage power cord through a wall (for example a TV mounted on a wall should not have its power wire run through the wall to an outlet down below). – codesniffer Mar 30 at 23:41
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The routine I found works best when a customer insisted that I use this particular wire clip, is to replace the nail with one of the same gauge, but a longer length. I only replaced the clips that fell on a stud. I also found if I sunk the nail partly so the clip could be swiveled and then re-positioned over the wire, I didn't fumble the clip. Also, if you hold the clip with needle-nose pliers the clip nail will be hammered more than your finger nail.

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As was suggested above, you can put the speaker wire under the baseboards, or if you are really feeling like a project, you could try running the speaker inside of the wall (if it is an interior wall). It involves a trip to the attic and some fish tape, but is the neatest/most secure way.

If you do not have room under the baseboards, you will need to remove them first, put down the speaker wire and then nail the baseboards back on.

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