Which Category ethernet / RJ45 cable for internal house network?

If cost of cable was not an issue, which type of cabling would your tech minded guys recommended for installing into every room of a house as part of a total house remodelling /  gutting out / rewiring project, and why?

And also what is the best way to centralise the return of all the cables back to a point in the house i.e. 1) is it best to go to the centre of the house in a cupboard, 2) is there a special rack of some sort which I should keep the distribution router thing in?, 3) does it require cooling, 4) should the Virgin Media (in the UK) router be placed there as well or can it be anywhere?

Do I need to give any consideration to degradation in speeds or quality of data etc with long runs of cables?

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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Unless the house is huge, CAT5e or CAT6 will do just fine for years to come. For a new installation, I suggest CAT6 as it is as easy to install and use as CAT5e.  

I have had CAT5e in my own home for near two decades now and it is fine.

Put a good Wi-Fi router on each floor to eliminate additional cable installation.  I have Wi-Fi installed on my own home for this reason.
u587162Author Commented:
For UK standards, the house is larger than the average at about 4,000 sq ft.  I have the advantage of all walls being open / back to the brick and ceilings open too so cable running and ducting etc will be relatively easy.

I was thinking of cat 6e cabling but I understand that Cat 7 cable is out now.  I use to build computers myself as a hobby and for charities so have some technical knowledge even though this not my field, but hopefully will be able to put this together myself or get the builders to run the wires according to my needs.

What are the main differences between the different and new Cat standards?

Also how many would you recommend to each room? Can a Cat cable be used for phones, or intercoms or room wall panels etc?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
CAT7 has different terminations and may not (a) be worth the effort and (b) provide any noticeable improvement in the space you have. 4,000 square feet on two floors is 40 x 50 feet on one floor (excluding basement if one). That is well within the 300 foot limit of CAT6.

If you wish to use CAT7, by all means it will work.

I have a 2 story home with a full basement. I have CAT5e to the upper floor.  I also have a good Cisco Wi-Fi router in the basement behind an 8-inch steel I-beam. I get solid Wi-Fi everywhere in the house.

As a direct answer to your question, CAT6 or above will serve effectively. CAT7 needs different terminations.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
Cat7 is for 10Ge, Cat 8 has also been ratified but not in general use.
What are the main differences between the different and new Cat standards? Less crosstalk using a higher signalling frequency...

Can a Cat cable be used for phones, or intercoms or room wall panels etc? Yes but not simultaneously you need a separate jack (cable run) for each .. you don't want to mix a phone and a network as the phone uses a relatively high current to ring the phone that is one reason why they use different jacks. Other than that copper wire is copper wire.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@u587162 - I have read up on CAT7 and while it will work fine for you, in this space above, CAT6 will also work very well and crosstalk will not be an issue.

The reason for the special terminations on CAT7 is for the higher speeds/bandwidth and some possibility of signal reflection.
u587162Author Commented:
Here is a plan of my house:

I'm thinking of possibly placing it in the cloaks cupboard of the ground floor near the front door, which might also contain alarm system controls, consumer fuse board for electrics etc. Is this a good place or am I likely to get cross talk?  

I will be running mechanical ventilation systems, central vacuuming ducting etc.  Will this have any impact on things, or should I keep things in mind when designing this layout?

Ground floor
ground floor

1st floor
1st floor
2nd / top floor
Top floor
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You can run CAT6 / 7 where it is convenient. Leave an inch or two from electrical cable. Otherwise the pair twisting prevents interference.

I put in plastic conduit inside a closet to get cable from one floor to the next.
u587162Author Commented:
how does the plastic conduit help?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Conduit is an installation convenience factor. It does not affect the signal.
u587162Author Commented:
Would you say it is advisable or not advisable to have the whole central kit installed in the cupboard area shown in the coats cupboard near the ground floor front door?  Should security / access to the the rack be an important consideration.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
In a house, physical security of the wired network is not usually a big deal. My house is physically well secured.

I would put the central gear (Modem, Router, Switch) in a convenient spot on the main floor. This gear needs to be replaced MUCH more often than any cable you run. I put this stuff in my basement.

You will want Wi-Fi for tablets and phones, so a central cable run up and a Wi-Fi router on the second floor will work well.

People (I have seen it here) spend time on wiring and then use consumer network gear and are disappointed. Make sure you use entry level commercial network gear (Cisco or equivalent).
u587162Author Commented:
Thanks John.

Before I close this question, I would like to refer back to one point you make and that was to keep the Cat 6 cables a few inches away from electrical cables.

Is it ok for all the Cat 6 or Cat 6e cables to be tied together as they join the path runs from different rooms to a central point in the house / cupboard (for interference purposes).  And the same question goes for a bunch of Cat 6e cables bunched together with other cables e.g. telephone, alarm etc (but not mains electrical cables)?

JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If electrical cables are in metal conduit (not common) you can tie Ethernet to the conduit (get it very close).

For network cables and telephone cables, they can be loosely close and not cause an issue. Keep holes through joists and studs large enough to pass cables without any force and do not tie them together. But they can be quite close (loose bunch) .

Keep electrical cables not in conduit in their own holes. You can route Ethernet and phone nearby (4 to 6 inches) but not tied together.

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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@u587162 - Thanks and I was happy to help.
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