Turning My Unfinished Third Floor Into Our New Family Room: The Purchases

If you’ve been reading my previous postings here and here, you’ll know that I am in the midst of turning an unfinished room (~600 sq ft.) into a family room. This project has a limited budget so improvements like a projector didn’t make the cut. But I have bought items that will allow me clear up a lot of clutter and improve performance, particularly as it relates to my network. Before I share my list of purchases, let me list the items that I had already.
TV: Samsung 40” LCD 60Hz
Receivers: Onkyo TX-SR607 (hooked to the TV), Onkyo HT-SR800 (will go behind the bar)
Speakers: the ones that came with Onkyo HT-SR800 (2 front, 1 center, 4 rear, subwoofer)
Networking: Linksys WRT610N wireless router
Other: PS3, Wii, HTPC, Apple Airport Express
Remote: Logitech Harmony One
If you look at this post, you can see a rough sketch of how I intend to set everything up. Once I get the paint and the flooring put in, I’ll give you guys plenty of pictures of everything as I install it.
Here is a list of the things I bought for this project. I’ll put notes next to each item explaining why I bought it.
Networking: I decided to take this opportunity to hard-wire not only the third floor but also the bedrooms on the second floor. I went with 500’ of Cat 6 cable from Cables to Go that I purchased from Amazon.

All of these runs will terminate in a storage area on the third floor that will also serve as a network closet. In there will be a sixteen port Trendnet Cat6 patch panel, a sixteen port TP-Link Gigabit unmanaged switch, and a Tripp Lite 4U Rackmount.
To make the runs, I ordered a Greenlee 25’ steel fish tape.
In order to terminate the runs, I purchased a punch down tool made by Trendnet.
For the wall plates in the bedrooms, I went with two port keystone wall plates from Cables to Go. The reason being so that I could use the same gang boxes that were already there for the coaxial runs.Instead of having two separate gang boxes, I consolidated them into one. Each wall plate has a coaxial keystone and a Cat 6 keystone.
For behind the TV, I bought an eight port keystone wall plate, which will require a double width gang box. In addition to four Cat 6 keystones, it has an HDMI keystone so that I could run the HDMI cable for the TV behind the wall.
TV: For the TV mount, I picked the Matix MB6000. I got it from Newegg, but it looks like it has been discontinued. Here is a picture.
Speakers: I really wanted to mount my surround speakers, so I bought six ceiling mounts made by a company called Omnimount, off of Amazon. Here’s what they look like.
Also from Amazon I ordered 100ft of fourteen gauge in-wall speaker wire for the four surround speakers mounted to the ceiling and the two speakers I plan on mounting behind the bar.
The four surround speaker runs will feed into a Pyle 7.1 Post Binding/Banana Plug face plate below the TV. The bindings on the side that goes in the wall are crazy looking; I don’t know how well this item is going to work.
In the ceiling, I am going to install post binding face plates for each speaker. I don’t know if this is necessary, but I am going to hammer in gang boxes for each speaker run and screw the face plates into those.
So those are the purchases I’ve made so far. Nothing sexy like a new 55” TV but I think these purchases will help make my new room less of an eyesore than my current arrangement. Let me know what you think.


  • Looks nice, but you could

    Looks nice, but you could save some cash using Monoprice instead of Amazon/CabletoGo next time. I don’t know how heavy your speakers are, but we mounted ours to blank wall plates using epoxy and actually had the wire come out of the wall though the mount and directly into the speaker. No extra plugs that way.

  • All I can say is run that

    All I can say is run that Cat6 everywhere. It is cheap and can carry about every signal you will need and power also. 3rd floor, You might think about those outdoor security cameras, speakers and lighting while you have the walls open. 

  • Let’s see some photos of the

    Let’s see some photos of the work!  🙂