How to Install a TV Cable to the Second Floor of a Home

By Kay Miranda

You've decided to add a television to an upstairs room. Your cable provider has already installed the basic cables to the main television in the living room downstairs, and you don't want to pay for someone to come out and run another line to the upstairs television. This is a job you can do yourself with smart planning and a willingness to jump in. The task seems larger than it may really be, requiring only basic to moderate carpentry skills.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Cable
  • Fish tape
  • Jigsaw (battery operated)
  • Battery powered work light
  • Drill and drill bits (battery operated)
  • Goggles
  • Dry-wall patch
  • Cement adhesive
  • Trowel
  • Joint compound
  • 1-by-2 wood strips
  • Wire hanger
  • Coaxial splitter and face plate

Step 1

Measure distance between where the cable needs to start and where it will end up. This should include the space along the baseboard, up the drywall and through the floor frames. Add all lengths together to make sure you have more than enough cable for the job.

Step 2

Select a spot in the wall on the ground floor, near the baseboard where there are no electrical outlets or light switches running up and down the wall. While this isn't a guarantee that there isn't wiring behind the wall, it is a good starting point.

Step 3

Turn on your work light and turn off all electrical circuits in the house. This will prevent accidental shock if you hit a live wire when sawing into the wall.

Step 4

Saw a rectangle into the wall at the spot you designated in Step 2. Give yourself enough space to work with, but remember that a smaller space is easier to repair later on.

Step 5

Saw a rectangle near the baseboards in the room that will receive the cable. This rectangle should be large enough to fit the drill into the space between the drywall and exterior wall.

Step 6

Drill a hole in the 2-by-4 frame between the floors. This doesn't need to be any more than 5/8 of an inch in diameter.

Step 7

Attach the end of the wire to the fish-tape eyehook. Fish tape is a springy metal wire used for cable pulling. You can find it at a local hardware store. Insert the end of the fish tape with the cable into the wall rectangle, pushing it through the hole you drilled in the 2-by-4. Feed the cable down through the hole into the wall. It helps to have an assistant at the bottom to fish for the cable with a wire hanger as it comes down. Continue to feed the cable until it has reached the desired location.

Step 8

Detach the fish tape and pull it back up out of the wall.

Step 9

Cut a hole in each piece of drywall that you removed from the wall to fit the splitter or faceplate.

Step 10

Connect each end of the cable wire to a splitter or faceplate, whichever you are using to get your reception.

Step 11

Repair the drywall section with a drywall repair kit or using joint compound applied with a trowel to smooth the surface. Allow this to dry thoroughly before screwing in the faceplate or splitter.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the room you are pulling the cable to is not directly above the point of origin downstairs, you need to drill a hole in the 2-by-4 frames between the walls to move the wire from room to room. This uses the same procedures outlined in Steps 5 through 7.