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I need to run some Ethernet cable across a room. The most logical thing, I think, is to go along the perimeter on top of the baseboard. How can I fix the cable in place in a way that I can later remove without damaging the paint?

For context, this is an apartment, so I can't pull cable through the walls and I do want my deposit back. :)

Edit: Looks are not important... ugly, low-brow solutions welcome.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

These Command Cord Organizer cable management items are fantastic. 3M sells a bunch of different ones (and different sizes). And they remove easy without damaging your paint.

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Hmm, my wife has a bunch of hooks like these and swears by them. Supposedly we even have some of these loop things somewhere in the still-packed boxes! Thanks. – Reid Sep 20 '10 at 2:22
The page linked in this answer currently says the item isn't available. However, the brand, Command Brand, seems quite popular, and its products seem available all over the place. The website is – Sam Nov 7 '14 at 11:28
Looks like their 17017CLR and 17302CLR are the best-suited current products. – Sam Nov 7 '14 at 12:20

I would buy the proper size staples and using either a gun or a hammer (size) tack the cable where I want it. Done properly, the damage is truly minimal. Encasing it in another conduit, while more protected, will add to the size staples necessary.

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Never use staples, you should never bend the cable sheathing when securing a cable. That comes from Bell standards for installations (tp 76300 - the most strict, but provide good stable results). – MaQleod Sep 20 '10 at 6:07

Depending on the layout of furniture in the room it might be possible to hide the cable behind/under that and the use rugs to cover it for walk ways (or seeing your edit just gaffa tape it to the carpet, if you do this just be careful as when you peel it up the floor that was covered by tape will probably be cleaner than the floor which wasn't). Or what I've done in my flat is to run some of this trunking along the floor by the wall, the trunking seems to stay where I've left it without any mechanical fixing to the wall.

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You need gaffer tape - its like duct tape but not as strong, and comes off without a residue

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Gaffer tape is actually meant for taping cables down, originally on film sets. – paradroid Sep 20 '10 at 2:09

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  • I've hammered these coax nails on the bottom of the baseboard and never had a problem w/ deposits. If necessary, Spackle could fix anything ungainly come moveout.
  • You can also shove the cord under the baseboard if you have carpet. They're supposed to leave a gap there.
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You could get some trunking (not sure if they call it that wherever you are) and blue-tac it to your skirting boards.

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This stuff is wonderful, it is what AT&T, T-mobile, Verizon, etc uses in their switch rooms any time they need cables run outside of a rack or cable management setup (like jason404 links to). It is very pliable and easy to put cables into. It is also durable. It will not damage your cables and will leave the area you lay it in undamaged as well. I highly recommend this product.

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