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How To Install Ceiling Speakers



How To Install Ceiling Speakers


You don't have to be super handy to install ceiling speakers. With the right tools and a little preparation, you can have a pair of ceiling speakers installed in less than an hour. Let's get started!

Tools You'll Need:

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Drywall saw
  • Wire strippers
  • Level (small)
  • Pencil
  • Coat hanger
  • Power drill
  • 1" Flat bit if driving through studs (½" or ½" bit for test hole)
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Pencil
  • Stud finder (optional)
  • CL-3 in-wall speaker cable

Step 1: First, determine where the ceiling speakers will go. (Keep in mind that you'll be running speaker cable from the ceiling speakers, through the walls, and to an amplifier or receiver.)

Ceiling speakers should be about 6 to 10 feet apart. For home theaters, try to place the left and right speakers the same distance from the main listening area and make sure you aim the tweeters towards that area.

Step 2: Once you've decided on where the speakers will be placed, make sure the area selected is between the ceiling joists, preferably centered. Tap the ceiling and listen for a hollow sound. Stud finders are also handy tools to find studs.

Step 3: Use a pencil and trace around the cardboard template for your speaker placement. Step back and examine the traces to make sure the speakers will be even and level.

Step 4: Mark the center of the round template then drill a small hole. Note: Always inspect as much as possible before drilling a hole. Explore your crawlspace or ceiling in an unfinished segment of your basement. Try to detect which way joists run and where empty wall space between studs might be. By inspecting from your crawlspace or attic, you can identify which wall locations are empty of water pipes and electrical wires. However, you can’t still know what’s behind the wall with absolute certainty so be prepared to cut and patch exploratory holes.

Step 5: Bend a metal coat hanger and insert the hanger into the hole. Carefully rotate the hanger to see if there are any obstructions such as pipes. If you note obstructions, patch up the hole and relocate the speaker.

Step 6: If the area is free of obstructions, carefully cut away the outline you traced using a keyhole or drywall saw. Then remove the cutout. You're doing great!

Step 7: Run speaker cable from the ceiling speaker cutout to the outputs of your receiver or amplifier. CL-3 rated in-wall cable is flexible and can be fed through wall and ceiling cavities, although fish tape can be a handy tool, especially for long runs. Use at least 16 gauge and allow a few extra feet of cable. You can splice together several lengths of cable if you have a long-distance to cover. Leave enough cable slack to strip off about 1/2 inch of the outer jacket on both ends.

Note: If the cable is to be run through walls or ceilings, use UL and CL rated cable for your safety and to meet building code requirements.