the holes for wires in entertainment centres

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Forum topic by michaelsgarage posted 523 days ago 894 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View michaelsgarage's profile


70 posts in 561 days

523 days ago

how big should the holes for wires/cables in entertainment centres be? i think 3 inches is a good number. i am in a big debate about this and i wanted your thoughts on the topic!

12 replies so far

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


1252 posts in 1044 days

#1 posted 523 days ago

Is this for a unit you are building or just in general? I have customized holes in various cabinets based on need. Several factors were involved in these customizations.
1. The size of the largest plug used
2. Total number of cables that will go through, now how big of a wad of cables is this?
3. When does the hole go from say 1 1/4” to entirely too large and look out of place? (like the 6” one a friend wanted)

To me 3” looked big when I sat down and drew it on paper. I measured two holes in cabinets I have here at the house and both are 1 1/4” with 3 cables that plug in and two “other” cables.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View waho6o9's profile


4843 posts in 1212 days

#2 posted 523 days ago

I made a hinged door for each cubicle and drill the holes around an inch,
and all the wires laid in a trough behind the cabinet nice and neat.

So if you’re going to run everything through one hole a couple of inches
should suffice.

View Jay Wells's profile

Jay Wells

58 posts in 527 days

#3 posted 523 days ago

Depends on the number of wires.

One unit could have four to six cables for video and sound.

Take that and add room for the plug in end of the power cords. Nothing more frustrating than having to unplug everything to get the power cord thru.

-- Find your limitations, and ignore them!

View ellen35's profile


2566 posts in 2067 days

#4 posted 522 days ago

What about the size of a plug plus a little extra?

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View huff's profile


2804 posts in 1920 days

#5 posted 522 days ago

I like using the plastic wire gromments to give a more finished look (even on the interior of a unit) and most of the ones I order are 2 or 2 1/2”.

-- John @

View dhazelton's profile


1173 posts in 931 days

#6 posted 522 days ago

Three inches sounds honkin’ big. But what works for you and the AV equipment you have? There is no one answer.

View RussellAP's profile


2950 posts in 921 days

#7 posted 522 days ago

1 1/4 is plenty if the shelf can only accommodate one electronic piece. Be sure to place the hole dead center so you don’t see it. I built one and put the hole on the right side of the back and you can see it.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View SamuraiSaw's profile


450 posts in 599 days

#8 posted 522 days ago

I’m with huff. I use grommets to give a clean look and to prevent abrasion of the cables..

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas....

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1485 days

#9 posted 522 days ago

60mm grommets, which land a little loosely in a 2 3/8 hole, have been the standard for years. The big computer plugs would fit through that. Things have shrunk since. 2” would accommodate all the stuff on my 10 year old Dell.

The world of grommets is best covered by Doug Mockett & Co. More grommets than you thought possible.

On purpose build pieces for electronics I have cut the shelves 1/2 ” narrower, front to back, and then glued little 1/2” blocks on the ends. This leaves a nice slot for cords as well as air movement.

Which brings up a point: cooling is an excellent investment at this point. There are articles around about how to accomplish this. Some go for convection, others wire in a muffin fan.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View MrRon's profile


2799 posts in 1878 days

#10 posted 522 days ago

I would place a hole large enough for a power cord and locate it close to where the wire exits the equipment. I would put another hole just for non-power cables such as RCA cables, speaker wires, etc. This is to eliminate any possibility of electrical interference. Additionally, if there are several pieces of equipment that have power cords, to install a multi-tap inside the cabinet that all the power cords plug into. Then only one power cord will need a hole. This is a bit more than what you asked for, but that’s the way I would do it. I have a cabinet jam full of HI-FI gear and miles of cables and power cords and that’s how I organize it.

View Jerrym303's profile


3 posts in 997 days

#11 posted 522 days ago

You need to plan out what is going to be in there and maybe try out your stuff on a sample piece. You need big enough for the largest plug + cable diameter of other pieces if you want to be able to remove one item at a time. Anything over 2” sounds very large.

Two ways to save space:

if your components have removable power cords, the female end that attaches to the component is usually smaller, run it through the hole that way.

Monoprice has some super-thin HDMI cables now that make things much easier


View michaelsgarage's profile


70 posts in 561 days

#12 posted 522 days ago

so i did some thinking. did some tests. and in the end i went with the 3 inch hole. it really doesn’t look that big. i have a lot of wires and what not. thank you all for your help!


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