Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Prevent Broken Outlet Covers with Metal Switch Plates

If you've ever taken a switch plate off the wall - say, when painting the room - and overtightened the screws when you put it back on, you know how fragile plastic covers can be.

It's so frustrating when they crack!

Grrrrr!

And apparently, there are other ways to break plastic outlet covers:

How did this happen?

That's why at Kyle Switch Plates we sell tons of white metal switch plates.

We have sturdy, steel covers that won't break and look great.


They're also pliable, so they're great for tightening down on uneven surfaces, which it turns out, most walls are.

Oversized white metal cover on kitchen subway tile.

Our metal plates are made in the USA and ship from our warehouse in Northern California within just 1-2 business days.

We have over 20 metal finishes (shop plates by finish here). The white and raw steel finishes can be painted to match or coordinate with your walls.

We carry over 500 sizes and configurations and there's no minimum order. On our site, you'll find options for standard size covers as well as oversized ones that cover extra space around the switch and outlet.

Shop Kyle Switch Plates to find the size you need.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Options for Adding Wall Tile or Trim Around Light Switches

There are so many ways to dress up your walls with decorative moulding.

It can be tricky to add wall tile or wainscot and plan around every light switch or wall outlet.

Here, we're sharing various approaches to incorporating electrical devices into trim or tile.

Ideally, when adding a piece of trim, you'll want to position it at a height that runs underneath the light switch cover.



In this home, moulding was added at the same height as the switches, and this is how the builder handled it:


Next, you can see the homeowner tried to plan out the spacing of the board and batten beams to steer clear of the light switch and outlet.

The moulding ended up so close that a shorter switch plate had to be used over the dimmer switch.


If you don't space batten beams properly, you can end up with an eye sore like this:


Here, another homeowner had to cut into the beams to fit the device covers.


Another solution when this happens is to add extra wood around the device, rather than cutting into the beams to make room.


Here, an entire wall of wainscot misses every wall plate:


As with trim, wall tile that ends underneath electrical devices is always ideal.


If wall tile can't be ended above or below a switch, a common solution is to add extra tile up and around the cover plate, as these next 3 pictures show.




Another solution is to raise the tile and keep it raised until it meets the door jamb:


In this bathroom, the trim tiles were cut to make room for the light switch cover:


If you've added moulding or tile to a wall and are having a hard time getting the cover plates to fit, find wall plate solutions at Kyle Switch Plates.



Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Recessed Power Outlets + HDMI Ports for Flat Screen TV's


Plug your flat screen TV into a power outlet that sits back into the wall with recessed receptacle wall plates.

Covers are available for recessing a socket, cable jack, HDMI port, or any keystone jack.

They work great behind a wall-mounted TV screen, computer monitor or speaker, and they're one of our top sellers at Kyle Switch Plates.

If all you need is a way to power your equipment, this recessed outlet works great:


You can get a recessed outlet with an HDMI port built in as well.


For homes that haven't yet cut the cable, this recessed cable jack can also come in handy:


This next option has the power outlet and a large hole for feeding A/V cables or cords through the wall:


You can create your own custom recessed cover by adding keystone jacks to the openings in this 2-port recessed box cover.


The covers shown here are just some of the examples of recessed jack and electric sockets for screens that will be hung up on a wall.

Shop all recessed switch plates to see more, including covers with built-in ethernet jacks, USB feed-through ports and other voice, data and A/V connectors.


Thursday, April 25, 2019

Dark Bronze Wall Plates for a Tiled Kitchen Backsplash

Use nickel devices with dark bronze wall plates to finish up your kitchen renovation project.

My kitchen recently went through an overhaul with freshly painted off-white cabinets, new granite countertops and a gray tile backsplash.


Just for fun, here's the before shot:


Big difference!

I wanted nickel switches and outlets but didn't like the way the matching nickel wall plates looked on our freshly installed subway tiles.

After trying a few different wall plate finishes that just weren't working, I went out on a limb and tried these dark bronze covers. Right away I knew they were the perfect choice. Thankfully, my husband agreed.




One of the best decisions we made was to install a USB charging outlet in place of one of the standard kitchen receptacles.


We use the USB ports on this handy outlet to charge our phones, wireless headphones and gym heart-rate monitors all the time.


We keep extra charging cables in a drawer below and it's super handy when we have parties and guests ask if we have an extra phone charger lying around they can borrow.

The tile installers didn't do a great job cutting the tile around the electrical boxes. We originally planned to go with oversized covers, but just didn't like the large scale of the big switch plates in our small kitchen.


We had to tighten the cover plates down pretty hard to conceal imperfections, and these metal dark bronze switchplates are so sturdy! We didn't have to worry about over-tightening the screws and cracking the covers.

If you're looking to install Pass & Seymour metallic nickel switches and outlets on gray or silver tile, consider pairing them with contrasting wall plates instead of the matching Pass & Seymour covers. You may just like what you find. We sure did!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Decorative Ceiling Fan Chain Pulls | Kyle Switch Plates

Find decorative ceiling fan pulls with brass or silver chains. Handcrafted, artistic charms add allure to the end of your ceiling fan chain.

At Kyle Switch Plates, we create unique pull chains for ceiling fans, featuring Kyle's original artwork on a sturdy, colorful rectangle pull.

Here, we'll showcase some of our best selling pull chain designs. Shop Kyle's decorative pull chains here to see 100's more design options.

Art Deco Fan Pull

Intricately etched art deco fans embellish these fan pulls. Choose from 33 stunning background colors (iridescent film or aluminum options).


Bamboo Fan Pulls

Kyle's bamboo design makes these elegant fan pulls perfect for a vacation home, rental property or any room with oriental themed decor.


Cat Lover Fan Chain Pulls

If you're crazy about cats and are looking for a fun way to add cat decor to your bedroom or family room, these cat design fan pulls are perfect for you.

Choose gold or silver cat silhouettes and add a favorite color to make the design pop.


Giraffe Nursery Fan Pulls

Looking for the perfect fan pull to operate a ceiling fan in a baby's nursery? These giraffe pull chains can be customized for a boy, girl or gender neutral nursery.


Decorative ceiling fan chain pulls are great for kid's rooms, dining areas, living rooms, game rooms - basically anywhere! Choose from a variety of unique designs and select from over 30 accent colors to customize one for your home.

Each pull is made by hand in Kyle's California design studio, using the embellishment and color of your choice. Available in silver or gold metal with an included 8" chain.


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Retro Light Switches in 1950's Built Homes

If your home was built in the 1950's or 60's and has retro looking light switches, they may be Remcon brand low voltage lighting, like the ones shown here:

These switches were popular in the midwest during that time period.

Unfortunately, you can no longer buy new Remcon light switches or switch plates.

So if you want to update the look of the vintage switches in your home, you'll need to change your switches to another low voltage lighting brand called Touch Plate.

Your Guide to Replacing Vintage Remcon Lighting Parts

To update your Remcon switches and wall plates, you need to know that your Remcon lighting is a 3-wire system (3 wires come out of each light switch) and the replacement switches (Touch Plate brand) only have 2 wires.

Since you're switching from a 3-wire to a 2-wire system, you'll wire the switches in a way that requires you to double the number of switches in each cover plate. Get a wiring guide here (free with any purchase at Kyle Switch Plates online).

For example, this wall plate with 3 Remcon switches can be replaced with this 6-button Touch Plate unit. You will use separate Touch Plate buttons to turn the lights on and off.


You will always double the number of switches when updating from Remcon to Touch Plate. That's because each old switch will have new, separate ON and OFF buttons.

Each switch in a Remcon electrical system is connected to its own relay.

Old & New Remcon Relays

If you have a broken relay in your system, you can still buy newly manufactured Remcon relays here.

There are 2 different types of Remcon relays. Look at the relay that you need to replace and note whether is has 2 wires (red and white) or 3 wires (red, white and black) coming out of it.


Buy an R-115S relay with 3 wires here.

Buy an RC-120S with 2 wires here.

Need help identifying which part in your Remcon system is broken? See our Remcon Troubleshooting Guide.

Shop Replacement Remcon Low Voltage Lighting Parts at Kyle Switch Plates.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Centering a Switch in a 2-Gang Electrical Box - Here's How


For whatever reason, you have a 2-gang electrical box with only one switch or outlet, and you'd like it to be centered.

The solution for covering a single device in a double box depends on what type of box you are covering.


Note the location of the screw holes on each box type as well as the dimensions of the boxes.

We'll now look at how to center a device in each of these types of boxes.

2-GANG STANDARD BOX:


A standard box has tabs that the electrical devices mount into.

Typically, you would install your switch on one side or the other, and cover it with a plate that has 1 blank side.

There is no place to mount the device in the middle, so in order to do so in this type of box, you'll need a specialty switch plate that the device will mount to from underneath.

Then, the plate mounts to the box in the standard way.


Shop these links to get a cover for this box type, based on what type of device you're installing (rocker switch, toggle switch or duplex outlet).


  1. centered rocker cover for a 2-gang box (for rocker switch or block/GFCI outlet)
  2. middle position toggle switch cover for 2-gang box (for toggle switches)
  3. middle duplex outlet cover for 2-gang boxes (for outlets with center screw)


4" x 4" JUNCTION BOX:


In 4x4 junction boxes with screws in opposite corners, you need a mud ring to center your switch or outlet.


The mud ring (also called a plaster ring) slips underneath the diagonal screws to secure to the box. The device then mounts to the ring and the cover plate goes over as it normally would in a single-gang box.

Shop the links below to get these covers, which are all compatible with this center-mount mud ring for 4x4 boxes:


  1. 2-gang plate for centered rocker devices
  2. 2-gang switchplate for middle toggle
  3. 2-gang outlet cover for 1 center duplex

4-11/16" JUNCTION BOX:


For larger junction boxes, you'll use this large plastic ring and oversized covers for centered devices (larger than the ones linked to for the 4x4 box above).

Although these boxes have 4 total screw tabs, you'll only be using 2 screws (in opposite corners) to attach the mud ring.


You can shop the links below to buy oversized covers. Each are compatible with this mud ring for large boxes:


  1. oversized centered rocker gfci outlet covers
  2. oversized center toggle switch wall plates
  3. oversized centered duplex outlet faceplates


Now you know how to cover these different types of 2-gang boxes and where to buy the parts.

Shop Kyle Switch Plates for all your electrical device and cover plate needs.