Friday, August 8, 2014

Narrow Switch Plates for Tight Spaces

Narrow Switch Plates & Outlet Covers

If you've nearly completed your kitchen, bathroom or other remodel project and you're just now discovering your switch plate covers won't fit in their new space, you're not alone. We get calls almost daily from people who carefully planned out the placement of their outlets and switches, but forgot to consider the space the wall plates take up around those devices.

That's right - the number 1 mistake people make when remodeling their home is failure to consider the space a switch plate takes up around their switches, outlets and other electrical devices.

Sometimes it's a corner the plates run into, other times it's a window frame, mantle or cabinet. Your first thought may be that you need to rip out your freshly laid tile or sheetrock, or create a new location for the switches. Or, you may head to the hardware store to find some narrow switch plates. That trip will probably lead to a google search, which may have landed you here.

Although hard to find, thin or narrow wall plates do exist and Kyle Switch Plates stocks a variety of sizes in various finishes to help you complete your home's project. Find narrow toggle, Decora rocker, duplex outlet, phone, cable jack covers and more.

The number 1 question customers ask is, "Do you carry narrow electrical boxes?".

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a narrow electrical box.

Some people use a standard electrical box to mount their devices, and then slightly cover the box's edges with tile or whatever they're installing in this tricky space. Then, they use the skinny face plate to fit where they need it to. However, this may not be up to code and is something we don't recommend until you've checked with an electrician in your area.

If you need a narrow switch plate for another purpose, such as on top of a desk or fireplace mantle, Kyle Switch Plates has the perfect plates for you.

Shop narrow switch plates and outlet covers.

Shop Narrow Light Switch Plates and Outlet Covers

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Your Complete Guide to Low Voltage Lighting {Found in Older Homes}

If you have an older home (built 1940s-1980s) and have not been able to find light switches and switch covers that match what you have, you may have low voltage lighting. You may have had the unfortunate experience of an electrician taking a look at your wiring and scratching his head because he's never seen this before. Yikes!

Whether you're fixing up an older home to put it on the market or you're just tired of certain switches not working, you're in the right place.

Your Guide to Buying Replacement Parts for Low Voltage Lighting Systems in Older Homes

The good news is, no matter what type of old system you have, there are compatible replacement switches, relays, transformers and cover plates which can be ordered online at Kyle Switch Plates.

Step 1 - Determine the Brand of Your Low Voltage System

The first step in replacing any broken switches, relays or other low voltage lighting parts is to identify what brand your system is. Take a look at this image to determine which brand is yours:

Your switches and plate may be installed horizontally instead of vertically, but take a close look at the switches and see what looks familiar. Note that in the first square the center switch is different. That switch was manufactured by both GE and Bryant, so you may have a Bryant system. If so, GE is the compatible replacement.

Step 2 - Determine Which Parts Need Replacement

Determine what's not working in your system. Is a switch stuck or broken? Has a relay gone out? If certain lights aren't working, the best way to determine whether it's due to a broken relay or broken switch is to take a switch you do know is working from another location in your home and wire it into the spot where the light isn't functioning. If the light now works, you had a broken switch. If it doesn't, you'll need a new relay.

Step 3 - Determine Your Options for Replacement Parts

Like I said before, many of the parts pictured above have been discontinued. Some entire brands are no longer available. Kyle Switch Plates sells replacement parts for all of the above systems, and the options vary between systems. I suggest you use the links below to read further information about (and find replacement parts for) each of the above systems. If you're looking for something not pictured above, you'll find more pictures at each of these links which may help you identify what you have.

GE Low Voltage Lighting Info

Bryant Low Voltage Lighting Info

Remcon Low Voltage Lighting Info

Touch Plate Low Voltage Lighting Info

Sierra Low Voltage Lighting Info

Pyramid Low Voltage Lighting Info

If, after reading all the information at each of the above links, you're still unsure about what you have, you can snap a picture of your switches (preferably still mounted in the wall - with or without a cover plate) and send them to Kyle Switch Plates. Call 1-800-551-5953 to obtain an email address. Then, we can take a look at what you have and talk to you about your replacement options.

Step 4 - Order Replacement Parts for Low Voltage Lighting Systems

GE Low Voltage Lighting Parts

Bryant Low Voltage Lighting Parts

Remcon Low Voltage Lighting Parts

Touch Plate Low Voltage Lighting Parts

Sierra Low Voltage Lighting Parts

Pyramid Low Voltage Lighting Parts

Brand new replacement relays, transformers, switches and switch plates can be found at the above links. The replacement options can be a little overwhelming, so if you need reassurance that you're ordering the right parts, or prefer to place your order over the phone, call Kyle Switch Plates at 1-800-551-5953 Monday through Friday between 7:30am and 5:00pm PT.

About Kyle Switch Plates

At Kyle Switch Plates, we specialize in hard-to-find switch plates and outlet covers. We carry quality, metal switch plates and electrical devices, which we stock in our Livermore, California warehouse. You can find gorgeous wall plates in 17 finishes as well as decorative switch plates that feature Kyle's unique etched metal designs (available in polished gold, silver, copper and brass).

We get several calls every day from people who need to replace their broken low voltage light switches with currently manufactured parts. We ship out tons of low voltage switches and cover plates every day. If you're having trouble finding the right parts for your system, we'd love to help you out. Visit our site at and click on "Low Voltage" in the menu bar, or give us a call (1-800-551-5953) and let us get you set up with the right replacement parts for your home.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Complete Your Kitchen Remodel Faster with This Essential Tip

shop switch plates & outlet covers

You've selected the tile floor, the granite counters, the perfect wood cabinets and a fabulous backsplash. You may have purchased all new stainless steel appliances to match your new high-end look. From the moment you decided to do your kitchen remodel you've been anticipating the end results - the feeling of walking into your kitchen every morning and loving it. Am I right?

But, there's a good chance you left one essential item of your to-do list - new switch plates. It's so easy to overlook this detail. After all, before the remodel there were white plates on white walls or plain tile. But now, against the gorgeous grain of your new granite countertops and rich tile backsplash, those white switches, outlets and cover plates stick out. And they're awful!

New Switches, Outlets and Cover Plates will Complete Your Kitchen Remodel

You can easily avoid this disappointment by planning ahead and purchasing matching devices and wall plates in advance. That way, you won't have to live an extra week or so with the old tacky plates in place once the rest of your kitchen is complete.

If you head down to your local hardware store you may find that their selection is limited. The best way to find all the parts you need is to shop Kyle Switch Plates - your order will ship out in 1-2 business days (sometimes even the same day) and the flat-rate shipping means you can order as much as you want without outrageous shipping costs.

At Kyle Switch Plates, you'll find outlets and switches in a vast array of colors - including black, ivory and gray which are popular in kitchens. You can also order switch plates and outlet covers in 17 different finishes - stainless steel, black, oil rubbed bronze, brass and more. We keep everything in stock and ready to ship from our Livermore, California warehouse.

If your newly renovated kitchen has stainless steel appliances, you'll love the look of gray switches with stainless steel plates. If your new granite counters have a lot of black, deep brown and tan shades, you can go with black switches and faceplates or do brown switches and outlets with either brown or dark bronze cover plates. Play around with different finishes to find the look that appeals to you.

Don't forget to budget for new switch plates!

When budgeting for your project, take into consideration how your old switches and faceplates will look with your new color scheme. A single switch or cover plate isn't expensive, but it can add up when you're re-doing an entire room. Determine what color will work best in your kitchen, and calculate the cost of ordering replacement electrical devices and covers. See our post on Replacing Switch Plates for a handy printout that will help you avoid order mistakes. We just hate to see when someone forgets 1 plate or outlet and has to wait for a 2nd order to arrive.

Shop Kyle Switch Plates to order new switchplates and matching switches and outlets for your kitchen. It will be the perfect finishing touch on your project - we guarantee it.

#remodel #kitchen #kitchenremodel #switchplates #electricaldevices #homedecor

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Are Metal Switch Plates Really Better than Plastic Ones?

Metal Switch Plates are Better than Plastic Ones

People often ask what the difference is between a metal plate and a plastic one, and I can hear the hesitation in their voice as they question ordering a replacement plate that's metal.

You've been surrounded by plastic switch plates your whole life, but probably haven't given them much thought. Most people don't until they decide to update the look of their home - either adding a fresh coat of paint to the walls or doing a kitchen remodel.

One of the first steps when painting a room or remodeling your space is removing all the face plates from the walls. It generally isn't until you reach one of the final steps - putting those cover plates back up - that you notice how dingy your plates are. How did I not notice this before? you wonder. They may be dirty or discolored and if you're like me, you've managed to crack one when screwing in the screw too tight.

When replacing your switch plate - whether it's a single one or you're revamping an entire room - it's always better to go with a metal one.

Benefits of Metal Switch Plates

  • Metal plates are sturdier. You're not going to crack the plate because you've screwed a screw in too tight. They won't bow or warp over time either.
  • Metal switch plates never discolor. Quality metal plates, like we sell at Kyle Switch Plates, are going to last. Even if they see a lot of sunlight from a nearby window, they are not going to yellow over time the way plastic ones will.
  • Metal face plates are a better value. Since they won't crack, break or discolor, you'll never have to replace them, so they'll save you money in the long run.
  • Metal covers come in more sizes. You will find more configurations and sizes available in metal plates than you will in plastic ones. That's why so many of our customers ask about the difference - they need a plate they can't find in plastic and want to be sure it will not stand out among their old plates (they won't).
  • Bigger selection of finishes. Whether you're looking to match your stainless steel appliances or you want to add appeal with polished brass or oil rubbed bronze, you'll find 20 finishes at Kyle Switch Plates.
  • They're paintable. Although we do carry a huge selection of finishes, there are some circumstances in which a plate needs to be painted to achieve the desired results. See our Tips for Painting Switch Plates to learn how.
  • They're green. Well, not in color, but our metal switch plates are made of steel, bronze, copper or brass and can be recycled when no longer needed.
  • They're perfectly safe. Most Kyle Switch Plates cover plates are UL approved - a testament to their safety.
  • Metal switch plates are more attractive. They're weightier and their surface quality stands out.
So if you're replacing your switch plates, consider ditching the cheap plastic ones and upgrading your look to metal. The metal plates really are a lot better than the plastic ones. And if you only need 1 plate in a configuration you can't find anywhere else, replacing just that plate with a metal one is OK - besides holding it in your hand or tapping it with your finger, you're probably not going to notice the difference.

Shop quality metal switch plates at Kyle Switch Plates.

#switchplates #coverplates #faceplates #remodel #homedecor

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

You've never - and I mean NEVER - seen a switch plate THIS BIG before!

As we've mentioned before in our Large Switch Plates post, there are times when a standard sized light switch cover won't do. It doesn't take much to over-cut your sheetrock or tile, which is why we carry oversized switch plates in a variety of sizes and finishes.

But we were still getting the occasion phone call for something bigger. "Say that again?" we'd ask. "You need a faceplate larger than 6 inches?"

That's right, there are some really big "eh oh's" out there and to help out we've created a custom super huge switch plate that's, drum roll please....a whopping 7.5" tall by 5.5" wide for a single switch. So when you've make a really, really big mistake, we've gotcha covered. Literally. You're welcome :)

Whether you just need an extra inch or an extra 3 inches, shop jumbo wall plates at Kyle Switch Plates. We keep our faceplates and electrical outlets in stock, right in our California warehouse so they're ready to ship when you order.

#remodel #switchplates #oversizedswitchplate #fix

Friday, May 2, 2014

Easily Replace Switch Plates with This Handy Checklist

Remodeling Guide for Replacing Switch Plates & Outlet Covers in Your Home

Remodeling is so much fun, isn't it? Well, the actual process isn't but the results sure are! I could look at remodel before-and-afters on Pinterest for days. I just love seeing how others transform their living spaces whether it's painting their kitchen cabinets, adding a kitchen island, or doing a full-on makeover to a kitchen, bathroom or living room. It's so inspiring to see other peoples' creativity.

The thing about transforming a room - new paint colors, new stainless steel appliances, newly tiled backsplashes - is that a new color palette often creates an unexpected need. Just when you think you've reached the final step in your remodel - putting the switch plates and outlet covers back up - you realize there's one more thing you must do to add the finishing touch - replace those cheap, white plastic faceplates.

Easy enough, you think. But then you head to the local hardware store and find out that they don't carry every size and configuration you need in the gorgeous new finish you've chosen. Frustrating, I know. So you go online, find what you need, pay the stupid shipping fee, wait a week for your new plates to arrive and then (and only then) come to the painful realization that you forgot a plate. And somehow ended up with an extra one you don't need. Ugh!

That's why we've put together this handy, comprehensive switch plate checklist that we highly, highly, highly (can't say highly enough!) recommend (demand?) you download before you step foot in the hardware store or start your online search for your dream switch plates.

Please, please do yourself a huge favor and print this comprehensive switch plate order checklist right now.

 Switch Plate Order Checklist for Your Remodeling Project

Be sure you also think about whether your new switch plates will look OK with your old switch and outlets - you may want to replace those devices as well to make things cohesive.

At Kyle Switch Plates, we understand how difficult it can be to find every plate you need in the finish you desire. That's why we carry a lot of standard and hard-to-find switch plates in up to 18 gorgeous finishes (you may not be able to resist the oil rubbed bronze or antique brass, although the stainless steel will coordinate perfectly with your new kitchen appliances). Click to shop switch plates by finish and see what we're talking about! We also carry light switches, dimmer and outlets in a variety of finishes to go with your new cover plates.

Extra Tips for Replacing Your Cover Plates:

Walk through your room and make note of each switch plate you come across in the top of the checklist. Then, start tallying how many of each you need. To be sure you're completely thorough, add a small piece of painter's tape to each old plate as you add it to the list. Then, once you're done, walk back through the room and double (rather, triple!) check that you haven't missed any plates.

Switch plates can be flipped upside down. If you see a switch plate that has an outlet on the right and a switch on the left, but you need the opposite configuration (outlet on left/switch on right), you can flip the plate upside down and it will still fit (so long as it's a standard switch plate).

When you can't find the configuration you need, you can create a custom plate  - learn how to create any configuration switch plate using inserts.

Most DIY home owners don't know the correct terminology for the different types of switch plate openings. Visit our Switch Plate 101 post to learn the correct terms for various cover plates.

You may need to replace your devices to match your new switch plates. If so, be sure you correctly identify which type of switches and outlets you have. If you're not sure whether you need a single-pole, 3-way or 4-way light switch, or if your outlet is 15-amp, 20-amp or GFI, read our Switch Plate 101 post.

Shop Kyle Switch Plates to order your new switch plates, outlet covers and matching devices from a single store. You're quality, metal faceplates will be shipped out in 1 to 2 business days with our convenient flat-rate shipping. They'll arrive in a protective box in perfect condition so you can finally invite your friends and family over to reveal your newly remodeled home.

Friday, April 25, 2014

3 Convenient Yet Unconventional Places to Add an Electrical Outlet

You buy the perfect table and accessorize with great pieces including that trendy lamp you've been eyeing for months. The only glitch is that now you have to run a hideous cord about 6' down the wall to plug it in.

You're sipping coffee on your couch on a Saturday morning, happily pinning away when your laptop or tablet battery gets critically low. Of course the charging cable won't reach the nearest electrical outlet (why are these cords always so short?) which means you have to pull out an extension cord to continue your lazy morning. Annoying!

You decorate your fireplace mantle with a gorgeous lighted holiday garland only to be distracted for the next month by the ugly green cord stretched awkwardly across the wall.

Any of these sound familiar?

Some well-placed electrical outlets can really simplify things and leave you with the aesthetic appeal you're looking for. Floor box outlets with fancy covers and twist-on caps for when they're not in use are the perfect solution.

3 Places to Add a Floor Box Electrical Outlet in Your Home

1. Underneath your couch or table

I have an outlet directly underneath my couch along with some spare computer and phone chargers. They don't create an eye-sore but they're there when I need them. Another great place is underneath an accent table. Then, you can use a variety of techniques like this easy one to hide your lamp cord.

2. On your fireplace mantle

Add an outlet to the side or top of your mantle and it will change your world. It's great for lighted Thanksgiving or Christmas garlands but you'll most likely find it handy throughout the rest of the year as well.

3. On your headboard

Imagine the convenience of an outlet right there when you're lounging in bed. If you use your smart phone, reading tablet or laptop between the sheets, chances are you need a convenient place to plug in. In my bedroom, the nearest outlet powers my nightstand lamp, alarm clock and phone charger leaving no space for my bulky computer charger. Make using electronics in bed simple with a conveniently placed floor box electrical outlet installed right into your headboard.

Now you know - floor box electrical outlets aren't just for floors. You can add one virtually anywhere you need power. The icing on the cupcake is that they're available in attractive nickel and brass finishes and come with round caps to cover the ugly devices when they're not in use.

Shop floor mounted electrical outlets at Kyle Switch Plates to find the perfect power supply solution for your lifestyle.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Top Kitchen Trends of 2014

If you're looking to remodel your kitchen or just want ideas for creating a few trendy updates, Pinterest is where it's at. Thousands of images link to blogs and blogs focused on clever ways to organize your kitchen, update your cabinets and create the kitchen of your dreams.

Just search "kitchen" and scroll endlessly down the page for some Pin-speration. Or, save yourself some time and check out the top pins we've compiled below. Each one links back to Pinterest so you can easily repin to one of your boards.

Top 10 Trends Sweeping Kitchens Across America in 2014.

1. Clever Use of Space

One of my biggest complains about my house is that there's not enough kitchen storage. Efficient use of the space I do have is essential, and I always re-pin the clever organization tips I find.

2. Chalkboard Paint

Chalkboard paint is taking over the home, and it seems like the kitchen is where it makes its debut. People use chalkboards to create shopping lists, menus, calendars and fun phrases. People love to paint a narrow wall, cupboard cabinets or add a framed chalkboard to a wall or countertop.

3. Painted Kitchen Cabinets

Everyone is sick of their original wood cabinets and have taken on the tedious task of sanding and painting. The results are beautiful but the work - not to mention the mess - looks pretty daunting.

4. Open Shelving

This could never work with the clutter that hides behind my kitchen cabinets, but many people are opting to bare everything with opening shelving.

5. Kitchen Command Centers

If you have kids, keeping track of their schedules and keeping the mounting paper work that finds its way into your home under control isn't easy. Moms across America are creating kitchen Command Centers to stay organized.

6. Clear Canisters

Another trend that looks awesome is ditching the store packaging your food comes in and storing snacks in matching clear canisters. This really creates a uniform look in your pantry and makes it easier to see what you actually have.

7. Labels

Along with those matching clear canisters comes batches and batches of labels. This is where the chalkboard trend comes in again also.

8. Glass Tile

Mini glass tile backsplashes are big this year as well. They're a great way to work in color and take the eye off your appliances, which many people are now storing out of sight.

9. Updated Hardware

Along with a new tile backsplash has come the need for trendier hardware to match the sleek new look. New faucets, cabinet pulls and switch plates are adding finishing touches to remodeled kitchens.

10. Pantry Baskets

Drawers can make it so difficult to see what you have, which can lead to fruit rotting and other goods going bad before you consume them. Wire panty baskets make it easier to see what you've got so you use in it time.

Now that you know what the top kitchen styling trends are for 2014, which ones will you adopt?

#kitchen #kitchenremodel #kitchenstyling #homedecor #hometrends #switchplates #2014trends

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Create Any Configuration Switch Plate with Inserts

Between duplex outlets, Decora rocker and toggle switches, dimmers and GFI receptacles, there are many different configurations of multi-gang switch plates. The most common call we get sounds a lot like this:

"I'm on your site and I've found a 3-gang plate with the openings I need, but they're not in the right order. Do you have a plate with [insert configuration here]?"

Because there are so many different combinations of configurations, the higher the gang the plate, the less options you may find. The simplest solution is to re-arrange the devices in your electrical box to match a switch plate that actually exists in the finish you need.

The next best solution is to use switch plate inserts to convert 1 opening to another. For example, see the left plate below? Suppose what you need is to switch the toggle and the Decora opening, but you can't find that switch plate.

What you can do, is order this plate instead and then convert the additional Decora opening to a toggle with an insert. We'll show you how below.

Here is a Decora-to-toggle insert that fits the extra Decora rocker opening and converts it to a toggle:

Here's an example of an actual ivory switch plate with a Decora filler and toggle switch:

 decora to toggle insert

So, once you pop the filler into the "wrong" plate, it becomes the "right" plate:

Inserts are easy to use and are a great way to create your own custom switch plate. Kyle Switch Plates carries a variety of switch plate inserts in white, ivory, gray, brown and black. They can be used to convert openings to blanks, or to convert Decora openings to toggles, cable and phone jacks and more. Click to shop combination switch plates and inserts for converting switch plates.

 Shop Switch Plate Inserts

#switchplates #remodel #customswitchplates #kyleswitchplates #diy