the holes for wires in entertainment centres

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Forum topic by michaelsgarage posted 03-26-2013 03:52 AM 1656 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View michaelsgarage's profile


71 posts in 2132 days

03-26-2013 03:52 AM

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


5729 posts in 2614 days

#1 posted 03-26-2013 04:03 AM

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


8525 posts in 2782 days

#2 posted 03-26-2013 04:06 AM

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 2097 days

#3 posted 03-26-2013 05:51 AM

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


2739 posts in 3638 days

#4 posted 03-26-2013 10:59 AM

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


2828 posts in 3490 days

#5 posted 03-26-2013 12:55 PM

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


2798 posts in 2502 days

#6 posted 03-26-2013 01:33 PM

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


3104 posts in 2492 days

#7 posted 03-26-2013 01:43 PM

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


515 posts in 2170 days

#8 posted 03-26-2013 02:14 PM

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

2170 posts in 3056 days

#9 posted 03-26-2013 03:21 PM

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


5203 posts in 3449 days

#10 posted 03-26-2013 09:30 PM

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


27 posts in 2567 days

#11 posted 03-26-2013 10:32 PM

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


71 posts in 2132 days

#12 posted 03-27-2013 02:00 AM

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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