How to Install Ceiling Speakers Safely

Written by Liz Alton
Updated September 9, 2015
a set of speakers
Celiing speakers can bring sound to virtually any area in the home. (Photo by Brandon Smith)

Considering a full home theater installation? Or maybe just a few ceiling speakers in the kitchen for entertaining? Learn about ceiling speakers and how to install them.

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Adding ceiling speakers to your kitchen or bathroom is a great way to enhance your time in those places.

If you've been thinking about getting tunes in one of these rooms, here are a few things to know about the speakers and how to install them.

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About ceiling speakers

If you're a music lover, you may have a home theater system, or speakers in the ceiling or walls, in your living area. Ceiling speakers are generally a much better choice for your kitchen and bathroom, especially the kitchen, where in-wall speakers may be damaged by cooking and spills.

It's important to remember that moisture tends to accumulate in these rooms, from the heat of cooking or showers. That means you'll want a system that’s humidity-resistant to prevent damage.

Different from traditional speakers

Ceiling speakers usually have a circular or rectangular shape. Most are built differently than traditional speakers that sit on a floor or shelf. They use the insulation in your ceiling to reverberate sound, so they don't have the same boxy style as standalone speakers do.

How to install ceiling speakers

While installing ceiling speakers may vary based on the system you choose, there are three major steps to put an in-ceiling speaker system in your kitchen or bathroom.

First step

Make sure your space is wired for a sound system. If another room is wired, you may be able to feed speaker wire through the ceiling from that area. If not, you may want to hire an electrician to help you prep your kitchen or bathroom for sound.

Second step

You’ll need to decide where to place the speakers. Think about which location would produce the best sound. Remove the speakers’ dust cover and grill and put them somewhere safe.

Next, ensure the area is clear of studs, electrical boxes or plumbing.

Then trace the speaker template (it should come with the speaker) on your ceiling. That helps you avoid cutting and removing too much drywall and having to patch it.

Final step

Now, remove the drywall to create a space for your speakers. If you traced the outline, you should have a perfect fit, but test it to make sure. Then attach the wiring to the speaker and place it in the ceiling. Tighten the speaker’s screws, aim the tweeter and replace the dust cover and grill.

Estimated costs

If you want ceiling speakers in your home, you may feel more comfortable having a professional do the work. Typical equipment and installation costs can vary from about $150 to $350 per speaker.

Now, sit back and enjoy the sound.

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