Ethernet Cables and Networking Condo

We bought a new condo and are installing new floors. I have the opportunity to lay down Ethernet cables under the modeling and floor etc.

Should I be use Cat 6 or Cat 5e or something else?

My other question:
What type of cable is best to use when when laying it out from the router? Is it a patch or crossover cable tat goes under the molding?

At the moment in our rented place i just have a regular Cat 5e using command hooks to go along the wall. I could use the same principle here to go under the molding and floor. The distance is about 50 feet so no degradation in signal strength. Do they make Ethernet outlets that you can simply connect a prebulit cable inside the wall and then plug in a regular Ethernet cable to the outside (The purpose is to just make it look nicer using an outlet instead of having the wire just hanging out of the molding

How long do you plan to be there, and what kinds of network devices do you intend to plug in immediately?

You probably won’t have any 10Gb devices right away, but 10 years from now you will, and flat cat7 is not that much more expensive with short cable runs.

I will be 60 this year so this place could be the last place we own.

I would be using PCs, Printer; these devices have to be wired (for work security - no wireless aloud).

I can’t imagine what a single retired or semi-retired family would need Cat 7 for. Also, anything higher than Cat 5e is going to be harder to install since the cables are substantially thicker.

Probably true, but the installation convenience behind baseboard or molding is one reason to consider FLAT cable like cat7. And I wouldn’t be surprised if new devices are offering 10G copper ethernet interfaces a decade from now.

Alternatively, they do make jacks which you can install on the wall, and this is the more common way to retrofit in ethernet. You would be installing cable through e.g. the attic, drilling through the top plate and dropping the cord through the wall, and then fishing it out through a hole at the jack. You would need tools to install a box in your drywall (drill, saw, measuring, etc), punch down tool for attaching the wires to the keystone, and a fish tape or similar to get the wires through the wall to your new box. Its not too hard if you have some mechanical skills. There are possible complications with fishing the wire through insulation on outside walls, or sometimes fire plates.

I’ve never seen cable installed behind molding. Huh.

Absolutely go 6a or 7. You’ll be kicking yourself if you get a little cross-talk from something at some point in the future and wonder why you didn’t go for the slight upgrade. The difference between laying down the thicker stuff vs. thinner is trivial. If I can do it, as a perpetually sick individual, anyone can do it. Never take transmission speed for granted either. What seems fine today could be bottle-necked tomorrow. You just never know. Do it right.

There is flat Cat 6.

Get those cables out
Get those cables out

The cable will go along the bottom of the molding and will then enter the wall to place the outlet. There are a couple of places where we have to cross under the floor and will create a small crevice in the cement floor to do so.

Decided on Cat 6 simply due to placing it under the floor in the crevice. I was originally going to go 5e so the 6 is a jump in quality and the distance is only 50 feet so performance hopefully will hold (I believe 6 is rated to 55 feet at high speeds where 6a is rated to 100 feet). In 5 to ten years probably need something better than Cat 6a/7 anyway.

I appreciate all the feedback and assistance! : )

It doesn’t really matter these days. In house data transfer is going down, not up. So Cat 6 is fine if the cost is the same, but realistically all you need is Cat 5e. It has been re-spec’d from 1Gb/s to 5Gb/s so it’s almost as fast anyway.

If it’s more than $2 extra cost, I’d save the $2. If all you can find in the flat is Cat 6, go for that.