Friday, January 6, 2017

Extend Your Switch Plate to Protect Your Wall or Cover Damage

The area around your switch plate may look a little worn - especially if you have wallpaper. Years of grappling in the dark for the switch can leave your wallpaper looking dirty and worn through.

Another issue that's very, very common is when a hole is cut in the drywall for a new electrical device, and the hole turns out too big. Whoops!

(I have this problem even in my own house - and no one is more aware of the need to avoid this issue than I!)

The good news is, there are 2 solutions, which I have detailed for you below, so keep reading!

How to Extend Your Outlet or Light Switch Plate to Cover More of Your Wall:

Option #1: Buy an Oversized Switch Plate

A standard cover plate (2.75" W x 4.5" H) is only slightly larger than your electrical box.

Bump up the size to cover more wall space. Larger plates still have the same size of opening for your switch or outlet, and the screw holes are spaced the same.

Larger plates can be found in these sizes:
3.5" W x 5.5" H
4.5" W x 6.375" H
5.5" W x 7.5" H

All three of the sizes listed here are very popular sellers for a single-gang plate (a plate covering only one device). You can also find oversized plates to cover up to 7 devices in a single electrical box.

Learn more about oversized plates & see all sizes & configurations at Kyle Switch Plates.

This is the simplest and best looking option to cover wall damage or a large cutout in the sheetrock:

Depending on the size of the plate and the shape of the opening (Decora rocker, toggle or duplex), oversized or "jumbo size" switchplates come in a variety of finishes, allowing you to cover more wall space without compromising aesthetics.

Option #2: Add a Switch Plate Expander

Another choice to cover wall damage surrounding a light switch is to simply add a flat expander plate underneath your current cover.

Expander plates are .03" thick, only available in white, and can be purchased in 4 sizes:
4" W x 6" H - for a 1-gang plate
6" W x 6" H - for a 1-gang plate
6" W x 6" H - for a 2-gang plate
6" W x 8" H - for a 3-gang plate

This flat plate could be painted, covered with wall paper or fabric, or left plain. If you have a specialized cover you don't want to replace, this is the only way to extend the coverage of your plate.

These are great for both residential and commercial use.

If you have a high-traffic area in your home, school, office, retail store, restaurant, museum, daycare center, gallery, studio, airport, hospital or hotel lobby, you can also prevent wall damage by installing a switch plate expander or oversized plate.

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