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Unread 11-05-2010, 09:22 AM   #16
JeremyM
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Any opinion on laying the tile directly on the concrete, leaving a 1/2" gap between the tile and metal door threshold as a channel to channel the wire through, and covering this 1/2" channel with colored caulk?


Also, I'm starting to like the thought of running a 1" conduit tube through the concrete, as that'll allow me the best way to replace wire down the road if any fail, or add new ones that I'll need down the road. I'm just confused about how I would make the cut through the concrete. I have an angle grinder and a circular saw, and I've read that its best to use a circular saw for cutting concrete. It seems like it would be easy to make a small, like 1/4" wide cut through the concrete, but we're talking about a cut here thats going to need to be about 1.25" wide, by 1.25" deep in order to fit a 1" conduit tube and cover it back up with thinset or PL Premium. Can't picture in my mind would I would get it that wide. Also, how deep are most slabs? Dont want to break through or cause problems with cracking.

One thing to note though, the foyer is on the edge of the room. To avoid the conduit from coming out under the baseboards where tile is (and therefore not good access if I want to run more wires later), seems like I would need to run it diagonally, allowing it to come out past the tile on both sides. See picture for reference. Thoughts??
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Unread 11-05-2010, 09:41 AM   #17
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Any opinion on laying the tile directly on the concrete, leaving a 1/2" gap between the tile and metal door threshold as a channel to channel the wire through, and covering this 1/2" channel with colored caulk?
Yes. It's going to look bad to begin with, and it will continue to look worse with time. It's right at the doorway, so everyone will notice it.

If you cut the channel, use your circular saw to make 2 parallel saw cuts to define the edges of the channel, then chop out the concrete with a chisel. An electric demo hammer will make this a lot easier. Make the channel wide enough to easily remove the rubble and to deal with the conduit, say 3 or 4 inches. Extend the channel to the walls, then bring your conduit up inside the walls through the sill plate. You can make an access panel just above the baseboard, or make a removable section of baseboard to get to the conduit. Most slabs are 3-1/2 to 4 inches thick. I would not worry about cutting completely through the slab, as that is done with plumbing all the time. Make the channel deep enough to get an inch or more of concrete above the top of the conduit. Do avoid cutting any post-tensioning cables if they are present. When it comes time to back fill, prep the edges of the cut with thinset, then dump in your concrete while the thinset is still wet. Screed the concrete as smooth as possible. If you set tile over that area, use an antifracture membrane to protect the tile. Under the carpet is not a problem.
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Unread 11-05-2010, 11:11 AM   #18
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What Bob said except;

I'd make that channel as narrow as possible. Barely able to let the conduit tube slide down. My theory - the tube with cement/ medium set over the top will be able to take the weight of the point loads just fine, esp with a larger tile. A wider gap has a higher chance of not getting along with the tile.

With about 1/2" above the conduit for medium set

What's your thoughts Bob?
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Unread 11-05-2010, 01:55 PM   #19
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I like the conduit idea, but think about the size. I just measured the ferrule on one of my HDMI cables at 7/8" diameter and the heads are about 3/4". You need to go for a size that will allow you to have all your other cables in place and then still pass your biggest head (probably HDMI unless you are using a SCSI cable for something). Plus add some space for the future, just in case everything doesn't go wireless in the next year.

I'm lucky that I have an unfinished basement. Many cables running down there of all sorts. I'll shut up before we start comparing the sizes of our home theaters.
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Unread 11-05-2010, 02:10 PM   #20
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With enough concrete over the conduit, point load is immaterial. And, once you cut the slab, you're all-in. Might as well make it easier on your self.

Wendy is right, consider the end connectors on the cables and opt for a conduit that will allow you to pull one through even with other cables in place. You could even consider a second conduit in the same trench.

Once you decide to break into the concrete, your options are wide open.

I don't have a home theater. I'm just trying to build a HTPC without Mrs Bob putting the brakes on the project. I figure if I can show her the advantages of a HTPC, she might let me buy that big screen TV for the living room. Which will require rebuilding the fireplace, changing our satellite service, etc., etc, etc.
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Unread 11-05-2010, 02:25 PM   #21
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Yeah you want 2" conduit w/ all that cable. And leave yourself pull lines in there each time
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Unread 11-05-2010, 03:47 PM   #22
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I would go with the conduit idea also.
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Unread 11-05-2010, 09:39 PM   #23
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Thats crazy thinking about putting 2" conduit or two 1" tubes through there, but would probably be best.

What are your comments on this?

Instead of running the conduit under the tile, run it about a foot out from the edge of the tile, and under the carpet. It would just have to have a 90degree elbow on it. But then I would avoid any problems with the tile being on top of my patch job. See the picture below. I could maybe then just patch the trench with cement and smooth it out as much as I could, then lay the tile on the cement slab without having to worry about using the medium set stuff over my patch job since it would be under the carpet.
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Unread 11-06-2010, 06:38 AM   #24
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Could be problematic trying to pull those wires through that 90*, Jeremy. There really isn't an easy fix to this. I have a similar problem at our office. Be ready to spend some time on the trench, and plan ahead to contain the dust. I'd still consider hiding it in woodwork on the walls on ceiling somehow. What is it that you are setting up? No way to change the entry point of the cables from the exterior?
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Unread 11-06-2010, 07:19 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyM
3) Run them around the door frame through one of those wire-hider plastic/rubber things (not sure what they're called)? I've thought about it, but would rather not have that going around my door frame and I would bet all those wires might not fit in one of those anyway. I'm willing to take suggestions on this, but I'm about 75% opposed to the idea. I would really like them completely hidden.
Not sure why you'd rather not have them going around. Since you're already going behind the base moulding why wouldn't you think about just routing out the back of the door moulding for the wire channels. If the moulding is not deep enough a simple back band to build it out just like when you need it to stand prouder for trim out reasons. Pretty simple.
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Unread 11-06-2010, 08:32 AM   #26
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There are nicely curved electrical elbow for that turn, but be aware they are a smaller internal diameter than the straight pipe, so you may need to jump up a size.
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Unread 11-06-2010, 09:00 AM   #27
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You want to minimize the number of bends, and keep the total of all bends to less than 360 degrees. Your plan uses 3 90 degree bends, so that is 270 degrees total. Your original plan uses 2 90s, and that will put much less stress on the cables as you pull them.

Don't worry about the trench under the tiled area. It's no different than a bathroom remodel or basement remodel. Use an antifracture membrane and forget it.

Reworking the door molding sounds like an easier solution. "A simple back band" sounds like a frame extension and filler piece, and that should leave you a 1/2" x 1" cavity behind the molding.
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Unread 11-06-2010, 03:41 PM   #28
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I had to google what an antifracture membrane is to see what you were talking about. I'm a newbie So something like a layer of Schluter Ditra? Or is there something else that will work? Seems like I saw Ditra at Home Depot, but it was a big role, probably 30 times what I need. Do tiling shops normally have rolls they can cut from and sell?

Running the wires behind the door moulding is an interesting idea...Still seems like replacing or adding wires later will be a chore though...and don't have a router, but home depot has a cheap ryobi router/table combo for $99 with great reviews. Might be an excuse to get one. Think I would use it again down the road for something?
Also, not 100% sure on this "simple back band" idea.... do you mean adding a strip of wood behind the thin part of the trim or something, in order to raise it out a little?? Kind of like this....
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Unread 11-06-2010, 04:38 PM   #29
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If you want to do the door moulding, you really have a few options depending on your profile.
A backband is a series of moulding profiles, typically thicker with a rabitted edge, that can be applied to many existing moulding, extend the rabbit and you have a good channel (pic of 1 backband below.)

You could also just put in a flat backer piece to make your's thicker, in your case actually 2 split ones, inside and outside edge like Bob described

You might also be able to get your moulding in thicker stock from a decent lumber yard that has millwork or a real millworl supplier. (not homer)

Lastly, the Millwork guys can make up anything, in any dimensions, just bring them yours if you want it to match. They can do the routing etc. They would charge a setup fee that would be expensive for one door if your moulding is unique, but if it was standard construction they probably have the moulding head. Still will cost more than stock solutions but it's the quality perfect solution if your a real stickler.
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Unread 11-06-2010, 05:43 PM   #30
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Only thing I dont like about that is the difficulty of running new wires later. I'm almost thinking something like this might be a better solution if I decide to go around the door frame, though it will be obvious since it would on the outside of the door trim, but at least I could paint it the color of the wall. And it opens up so I could easily add more cable later.
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