Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Any house that considers itself modern must have a few electronic gadgets scattered throughout the rooms, be it stereos, games consoles, televisions and in short, anything that needs power to run, which can leave a bit of a mess of cables.

Luckily, you can correct this cable problem by buying the best cable ducts on the market, as they will allow you to keep all your cables in one place, without having to tie them up or cover them with tape. A good gutter will help you to hide all the cables in your room, giving it a more pleasing aesthetic.

To help you get the best trunking, we bring you this buying guide where we will tell you the best buying tips, as we search for the best trunking on the market, study what makes them so good and what buyers think, we also look for the best places to buy them.




Summary

  • A cable duct is a long, narrow, hollow tool used to accommodate cables in one place. They are commonly used in places such as offices for routing telephone and network cables, as well as in homes for arranging cables for sound equipment or home theatre systems.
  • The most common types of trunking are closed and ladder trunking, which is rectangular in shape and not very flexible, perfect for accommodating cables in walls, and tubular trunking, which is shaped like a cylinder or accordion and is used to accommodate cables in hard-to-reach places.
  • Keep in mind where you will be using the trunking to see if you will need a more flexible trunking, or if a rigid trunking will be sufficient to accommodate cables in a wall. Also research the length of trunking you need, and if necessary, it’s better to have too much trunking than too little as you can cut it back later.

The Best Gutter: Our Picks

A good quality gutter will keep its shape and colours over time, plus it will incorporate a few extras so you can install it more easily. That’s why in this section we’ll bring you the best trunkings on the market, so you only have to choose one and solve all your cable problems.

Buying Guide

In this section you will find everything you need to know to buy gutters, from what they are and what they are for, what the different types are, and the price at which you can get them regularly. Everything you need to have a better idea of the product and its functions, so you can make a better purchasing decision.

It never hurts to hire a professional to install gutters safely. (Photo: auremar / 123rf.com)

What is a gutter and what are its advantages?

A conduit is a long, hollow tube used to group different cables. They are mainly used in places where there are a large number of cables, as well as where cables need to be routed to different rooms from one device or source socket, such as network and sound cables.

Troughs provide a better way of sorting, tidying and collecting cables scattered around a room, which will reduce visual noise, making rooms more pleasing to the eye. They also help to have better control over the routing and distribution of services, such as wired internet, fax and television cables.

Advantages
  • Reduces visual noise
  • keeps cables away from children and pets
  • tidies up cables
  • distributes wired services
Disadvantages
  • Can be awkward if used on the floor
  • supports limited thickness
  • complicated replacement

Enclosed, ladder, floor and tubular gutters – what should you look out for?

There are different types of trunking designed to best suit various conditions, such as trunking to hide cables from view, or trunking that distributes cables while carrying and organising them. We recommend you get to know the different types of trunking so that you can choose the one that suits you best.

Closed type: These are rigid conduits with a removable cover, which allows cables to be installed more easily. They are perfect for use in homes as you only need to remove the cover to install a new cable, or to remove one when you need to move a piece of equipment.

Ladder trunking: This is a trunking that has perforations on some of its sides, making it easy to run cables from any angle. They are very useful in offices and internet cafes where you need to run a wired internet service, or to connect many computers to a printer or fax machine.

Floor trunking: Also called floor conduit, floor ducts are trunking designed with an upper dome that resists being stepped on. The cables are routed through lower ducts and serve to distribute and protect the cables on the floor, without the danger of damage to the duct from foot traffic or falling objects.

Tubular trunking: These are flexible trunking in the form of accordion-textured tubes. They are used to collect cables located in hard-to-reach positions, as well as to bundle thicker cables. They are common in refrigeration equipment such as air conditioners and refrigerators.

Closed type Ladder trunking Floor trunking Tubular trunking
Features Highlights Removable cover, easy installation Easy cable entry and exit Resistant to foot traffic Flexible and spacious
Recommended for Homes Offices, internet cafes, server racks All types of locations Thick cables, hard to reach places

Buying criteria: Factors that allow you to compare and rate trunking models

Although gutters are really simple accessories, you need to carefully plan in advance how you will distribute them. Therefore you should take into account some factors such as their length or the type of cables they will carry, so you will know which gutters to buy.

  • Length
  • Material
  • Cables
  • Additional features

Length

This is the first thing you should take into account when buying trunking, as it defines the distance over which the cables will be distributed. If you are buying plastic trunking, you can cut the trunking to modify its length, bend corners or change the direction of the cables to the sides, of course you will need elbows and sockets for this.

2 metres or less: Generally, the conduit you can buy in shops comes in lengths of one or two metres, which is the ideal length for use with most household electrical wiring, although it may not be long enough to run cables for television or internet services.

More than 2 metres: For this case you can either buy industrial trunking of 4 metres or more, buy 2 metre trunking and attach it using trunking sockets, or buy a set of 1 metre trunking including sockets. This can help you to distribute service cables, such as telephone, internet or TV cables.

Material

The two most commonly used materials for gutters are aluminium and plastic, both work in the same way and installation is no different, but they have properties that can make them more attractive to some people.

Aluminium: It is the hardest material but also the most expensive. If you need to transport cables in outdoor areas, an aluminium trunking will resist adverse conditions such as sun or high temperatures, which are factors that can end up degrading plastic trunking.

Plastic: Plastic trunking is the cheapest and most readily available, with PVC being the most commonly used plastic in trunking. Plastic gutters have a certain level of flexibility and are easier to cut, they are also cheaper than aluminium gutters although they suffer from discolouration and degradation in the sun.

Cables

Keep in mind the number of cables you will need to carry, as well as their type and thickness before purchasing a gutter. This is because trunking can only hold a limited number of cables, which can leave you with trunking that doesn’t have enough space to bundle and distribute all your cables.

5 or more service cables: If you need to run service cables to more than 5 pieces of equipment in a very short space, it is preferable to buy a ladder trunking, as its holes will allow you to run different cables to different but closely spaced equipment, such as computers, televisions or printers.

When you look at the side of the ladder trunking, you will see that it has a number of holes through which it allows cables to enter and exit. If, for example, you have an office and need to distribute internet to 10 computers, you can buy a cable duct with 5 or more holes on each side to distribute the cables.

If the cables are for a rack of servers, you can simply run several cables through the same side hole. For example, for a rack of 8 servers with 2 cables each, you can run 2 cables in each through 8 holes, so you can cover all the servers and have plenty of room to spare.

1 to 2 power, network or TV cables: To distribute one of these cables around your house out of sight, 10 x 22 mm cable ducts will suffice, as their single compartment is sufficient to carry these cables safely. If you want to carry two of the same type of cable, you should buy 20 x 30 mm trunking.

Cable compatibility: There are certain cables that should not be grouped together in the same trunking, such as power cables with HDMI or internet cables, as you may end up with video or network intermittency. In this case you should buy a multi-channel trunking system, or separate trunking for each cable.

1 power cable and 1 network or TV cable: For this case you need to buy 20 x 50 mm ducts with two compartments, otherwise you could end up with a very bad interference problem, and they can also allow you to install 2 network or TV cables in one compartment.

1 or 2 network cables and one TV cable: Here you should also buy two compartment trunking, but this time you can afford to buy a smaller 20 x 30 mm trunking. Network and TV cables can also interfere with each other, so they also need double compartment trunking.

Ladder trunking is ideal for routing service cables, such as internet cables to server racks. (Photo: hxdyl / 123rf.com)

Additional features

Now that we’ve covered all the factors you need to know when buying trunking, we’ll tell you those little things that you might overlook because they’re not entirely necessary, but are still good to keep in mind.

Computer kits: Some packages include multiple trunking and elbows, and are highly recommended for use in homes to install theatrical sound equipment, or to tidy up desk or living room wiring. You may end up with extra trunking, but it will be useful as a spare or for use in other applications.

Method of attachment: Most trunking is attached using a peel-off adhesive, or including double-sided tape, with this method being the most practical and convenient. Others require nails or screws to install, which requires drilling into the surface on which the gutter will rest.

(Featured image photo: Vladimir Soldatov / 123rf.com)

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