I was at Southern Lumber last weekend and saw a product called WireTracks (http://www.wiretracks.com) that allows you to hide your wiring.
The salesman called it a wallboard replacement channel. In other words, you remove part of your wallboard and the channel replaces it. Part of the channel attaches to the building framing, the other part attaches to standard baseboard molding. When they snap together, they form a channel where the wallboard used to be.
The salesman mentioned that it was designed for wallboard, but could be used with panelling if the baseboard was shimmed.
Has anyone used this? If so, what were your results?
I am kind of excited about it if it works as I have network cabling and speaker wire all over my house.
Looks like it could be a nice way to hide extra wires within a single room, and it sure looks a lot nicer than Wiremold's plastic low-voltage raceways. Using this stuff to stretch a phone line across multiple rooms could be a lot of work, though.
I can think of a couple gotchas to watch out for:
* Cutting out the slot may be difficult, especially without messing up the panelling. I wonder if a biscuit cutter (a little power saw intended to cut slots for gluing bisuits) could be used to cut the slot a few inches at a time?
* the channel is probably 1/2" thick so it matches the thickness of the wallboard/sheetrock. Our panelling is much thinner -- I want to say it's 1/4", but I'd have to measure it to be sure. You'd probably need to do extra shimming of the baseboard, and the baseboard would stick out quite a bit more -- right now, the baseboard's less than 1/2" thick, I think, so shimming it out would increase its thickness to 3/4" / 50% more. I'd bet you'd also need to make the baseboard wider so it completely covers the channel -- I'd guess the channel's bigger than 2". These area all aesthetic concerns; if you don't mind larger baseboard moldings, the wiretrack should work nicely.
* Because we don't have molding around our interior doors, there's no easy way in an Eichler to run channels across doorways. :-(
Personally, it seems like an awful lot of work, but then I've already done all the work to route phone and cable lines around the foundation of the house, and am using wireless to connect the computers...