Wire Mesh Cable Trays

Category: Hardware & Appliances

A robust solution for running large quantities of low voltage wire.

Our Review

While I'd seen cable trays around before (mainly in commercial buildings for networking lots of computers together) when I started looking I didn't know what they were even called. Apparently I wasn't the only one, because at Home Depot and at Radio Shack I got two salespeople who basically said "yeah, I've seen what you're talking about but I don't know where you can buy it." The closest I got was the suggestion that it might be called "wire loom." It's not, although trying that in Google did get me to the right place.

When I finally found them I realized they're mainly marketed towards enterprises and not residential use. They're a rather custom item and thus many options were very costly. That said, I have a feeling they're going to be increasingly marketed to consumers. The trend to move data around the home is growing and that can mean lots of wire to manage.

Cable trays are useful for running large quantities of low voltage wiring, like Ethernet or coaxial cable. They make it easy to stack the cable while keeping it loose, since this structured wiring is more prone to changes and additions than high-voltage electrical wiring is.

Cable trays typically come in 10' runs. This requires that they then be delivered by ground shipping if you order them online or by catalog (which I did since I couldn't find a local distributor.) However, I was able to find some suppliers who offered shorter lengths--like CableOrganizer.com--and ultimately ended up buying mine in 5' lengths since my runs will need to be broken up in to shorter distances. My own order just arrived in the mail today.

There are probably lots of other ways to run wiring and I'm sure there are cheaper solutions. In fact, when we ran our own coaxial cable last summer we just tacked it up with nails. But for our new wiring plan we'll be running lots of 3/4" cable to the central media center. There will actually be 12 cables running out from the box for the first 15 feet--that's a lot of wiring! So, I'm installing cable trays for that first length along the center beam in the basement. After that point the wiring will branch out in several directions, so I'm not planning on using trays after that point and will just tack up the cable with fasteners.

I hope to install the tray shortly, although the actual wiring will wait until after the electrical work is completed upstairs.

Looking for More?

House in Progress Search for more on 'structured wiring' on this site.
Houseblogs.net Search for 'structured wiring' on on other houseblogs like this one.
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Amazon.com Search for 'structured wiring' on Amazon.com.

Comments

Make sure each bundle of wire is shielded good. Also try to separate each bundle with 1/2 in. space in between. These kinds of wires can interact electromagneticly with each other.It is normally not a problem but can be... POPS"30:

 

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Unbiased reviews of tools and resources based on our experiences restoring an old home.

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