Question: Wires for the audio equipment for my TV and Bose radio/CD player are an eyesore in the family room. How can I remedy this problem?

Answer: Various manufacturers have come up with solutions for corralling a tangle of wires. These include simple ties and clips that keep cords bundled together and flexible tubing that cords can run through. They are great for organizing and hiding wires that cross a desk or fit behind it. But you need something suitable for cords that dangle along a wall that’s in full view.

Raceways, which are enclosed channels for wiring, come in plastic or metal versions. Both types have a base piece and a snap-on cover, and there are various accessories.



A 5-foot section of Wiremold’s white PVC raceway costs $8.95 at Home Depot, and a kit with three four-foot sections plus assorted fittings sells for $21.98. The PVC raceway comes with a pre-applied adhesive backing on the base pieces, so you can just press the raceway in place. That makes it especially easy to install, and you can make it match wall or trim colors, using regular water-based paint.

Plastic channels come in 10-foot lengths, but some stores only sell them in shorter pieces. If that’s what you find, be aware that you might need several coupling pieces, which will be quite visible. The result will probably look like a cheap DIY project rather than the more tailored finish you could get with a metal channel, which is readily available in longer lengths. Wiremold’s 500 Series metal raceway ($10.98 for a 10-foot section at Home Depot) in ivory has a slightly smaller capacity than the white 700 Series raceway ($11.98 for 10 feet). To attach the metal type to a wall, first screw on special brackets, then press the channel into those, which isn’t much more work. The overall project will probably cost less, but that may depend on how many corner pieces or other fittings you need. And you can also paint the metal type to match your décor, but the instructions say to use an oil-based finish.

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