Wednesday, December 9, 2015

How to Replace Rotary Dimmer Knobs & Find Cover Plates

Searching for replacement dimmer knobs?

You may have an old dimmer knob that broke.

Or maybe you're updating the look of your home and the old yellowed knob has to go.

A trip to the hardware store may have revealed that your dimmer has a different stem style than the knobs they carry and so you're having trouble finding a replacement knob.

Kyle Switch Plates carries every dimmer knob style in over 15 colors in our online store.

First, you just need to flip over your old knob or take a look at the stem that's sticking out of your wall and identify your stem type.
You'll either need
-GE / Pass & Seymour (the current GE replacement)

Once you have your stem style narrowed down, you can select a color and easily buy replacement dimmer knobs here.

Did you know that rotary dimmers don't require a special switch plate opening? They fit right into the slot on a toggle switch plate and the knob is large enough to cover the entire opening.

You can shop toggle switch plates for rotary dimmers in 17 finishes or find the perfect combination cover plate at Kyle Switch Plates.

 replacement rotary dimmer knobs

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Get Your Outlet to Sit Flush With the Wall in 1 Easy Step

If you've done any remodeling to your home, you've probably run into this common problem:
"My outlet box sits too far back in the wall!"

When you add board and batten, wainscoting (shown above), panelling, a tile or granite backsplash or any other surface to your walls, your electrical box will no longer sit flush with the wall's surface, but will instead be recessed into the wall (where it's always been).

The good news is, there's a quick an easy fix to this problem!

Add what's called a Goof Ring to your electrical box. It's a cheap plastic sleeve that slides into your electric box. It rests between your electrical box and device and the front tabs sit on your outermost surface.

Here's what it looks like installed in a kitchen with a new granite backsplash:

It can adjust the depth of your device up to 1.5" which is plenty for pulling an electrical outlet or switch out to sit flush on your pretty new surface.

These rings are UL listed and are the safest way to bring your outlet out from your electrical box so it sits firmly where you need it.

Have the opposite problem?

Another problem DIYers encounter is when the electrical box & outlet protrude from the wall. This happens after you remove existing paneling or other decorative surfaces from your walls. Then, the electrical box is left sticking out from the drywall or sheetrock.

If that's the case, simply add some deep cover plates.

You know how a normal switch plate has a beveled edge that bends back to meet the wall? Deep switch plates simply have a deeper bevel so the plate can reach even further back to meet your wall without leaving a gap.

So, whichever problem you encounter, there's an easy fix at Kyle Switch Plates.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Get Your Home Prepared for Holiday Guests

Are you hosting your family for Thanksgiving or having a Christmas holiday party with friends? This is the time to get your home guest-ready. Many people love having family and friends over during the holiday season and it's a fun time to show off any renovations or work you've done to your home since last year.

Do you have a tricky switch plate that needs to be replaced but you weren't able to find it at your local hardware store? We get a lot of calls this time of year from people who have waited last minute to fix this problem.

Many times you don't even realize you have an odd switch plate until a trip to the Home Depot. You'd be surprised how many configurations they don't carry. And, the more switches you have in the same plate, the more tricky it can be to find the right match. It gets even trickier if you want a specialty finish like stainless steel or oil rubbed bronze.

Save yourself the stress and order your plates early from Kyle Switch Plates. That way, you won't have to pay a fortune to have it shipped overnight it last second (although that's something we can do if need be!).

Kyle Switch Plates' oil rubbed bronze switch plates are especially popular with the rustic look everyone has going on in their homes these days. Adding quality wall plates to your room is the best way to polish off Restoration Hardware decor in any home.

oil rubbed bronze light switch plates

Shop Kyle Switch Plates for coordinating light switches, outlets, decorative dimmer knobs and beautiful cover plates made in the USA.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Replacement Parts for Old School Low Voltage Light Switches

We've heard a lot of terms used when referring to low voltage lighting systems. But our favorite is when callers describe their outdated light switches as "old school."

Do you have some old school light switches and cover plates in your home? There's a variety of older, outdated systems out there. So, to clear things up, here are the most popular lighting systems used in the United States in the early 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s.

Once you identify the system you have, we can direct you to the proper replacement parts.

Despard Style Switches

If your toggle style light switches go sideways and are stacked 3 high in a single switch plate, or if you have low voltage trigger switches by Sierra, then you have Despard switches. You might even have some Despard style outlets as well.

These switches and electrical outlets are all sold separately and sit in metal straps or brackets. They may say "Sierra" or "Leviton" on them.

Shop Replacent Despard Switches & Outlets

Shop Despard Cover Plates

Shop Relays for Despard Lighting System

GE Low Voltage Lighting

If your home has low voltage lighting, you might have these old fashioned GE light switches, which were discontinued years ago.

The good news is, GE does manufacture replacement switches, cover plates, relays and other parts.

You can learn more here: GE Low Voltage Replacement Parts Guide

Shop GE Low Voltage Parts

Bryant Light Switches

If your old style switch was made by Bryant, you will replace old parts with new GE low voltage lighting here.

Remcon Lighting Parts

Remcon was commonly installed during the 1950's and 1960's in U.S. homes. Most everything from this system has been discontinued and you won't find original replacement parts for a Remcon system, with the exception of new Remcon relays sold here.

If you need new Remcon brand light switches or cover plates, you can swap out your old switches with the newer up-to-date Touch Plate system.

Note that with Touch Plate, you'll have 2 buttons ("on" and "off") that replace each of your old Remcon switches. To replace an old plate with 3 Remcon switches, you will need a Touch Plate unit with 6 buttons - "on" and "off" for each old switch.

Shop Remcon Replacement Parts


Pyramid parts were discontinued in the 80's, and the replacements for Pyramid parts are Remcon relays and Touch-Plate light switches.

New Pyramid cover plates like the one shown cannot be purchased. If you need a new plate you will have to replace the switches as well (with Touch Plate).

Shop New Parts for Pyramid Lighting Systems

More Information On Low Volt Lighting:

For more info about old style light switches and currently manufactured replacement parts, see Kyle Switch Plate's Comprehensive Low Voltage Lighting Guide.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Narrow & Short Switch Plates for Board & Batten Panelling

Like most Pinterest users, I find it impossible to scroll through the pins upon pins and not start visualizing my "new" house. That butcher block kitchen table I hate - I could paint it! That rusting over-the-toilet storage contraption could be replaced by floating wood shelves. We could cut a hole in the wall and create additional storage underneath our staircase! Sound familiar?

My latest and greatest revelation was that our kitchen wall needed board and batten. My husband was totally up to the task after getting a new saw for Christmas, so by New Years we'd turned this:

...into this:

Hmmm. We had initially had some disagreements on the height and style of board and batten to go with. I had gotten my way. And now I was hating it. I'm picturing farm animals grazing on the other side of this hideous fence that has become my kitchen wall. Ugh! Is it too late to change my mind?!?

Back to Pinterest to see what I've done wrong. OK, this can be salvaged. We just need to add some decorative trim pieces along each edge and a cap to the top. A day later we're comparing samples and once again we are not reaching an agreement on what looks best. Since I've steered us wrong thus far, I let him win. After all, his favorite was my second choice ;)

There's just one problem with this new plan - we had positioned the boards with just enough room for the switch plate and outlet cover. Adding trim would prevent the covers from going back on. Here you can see a comparison (on the left, we had not yet added the trim next to the outlet):

I had my husband notch out the very bottom of the trim so that a cover could slide underneath. This worked for the light switch as you can see here (we hadn't bought the new white plate yet so we used our old decorative one in the meantime). Since he only notched the bottom of the trim, you can't see it unless you bend down and look upward.

For the outlet, we loosened the screws on the device to push it as far right in the electrical box as we could get it. (They are made to be slightly adjustable side-to-side.) Then, we added a narrow switch plate that was just wide enough to cover the right side of the hole we had cut out of the board. My husband notched the trim to fit the left side of the plate. And, problem solved:

I've noticed people come up with many creative solutions for adding board and batten around light switches and outlets. Some people choose to create a gap in the trim piece or extend the size of the boards to incorporate the devices. I wanted a seamless look which is why I carefully planned out the spacing of my boards. But, everything was thrown off when we added the extra decorative pieces. 

Whether your project has taken an unexpected turn like mine, or you didn't realize how much space your wallplates would take up around your switches (a common mistake!), you can use narrow cover plates to complete your board and batten.

I decided to paint our new metal switch plates so they would match the board and batten perfectly. Here's a nice tutorial for painting switch plates.

If you run into similar problems when installing board and batten, cabinets or even a kitchen backsplash or island, you can buy narrow switch plates which aren't as wide as standard ones, or you can buy short switch plates which aren't as tall as standard ones. 

In the end, we love our new board and batten kitchen wall. 

Of course, once this was complete I had to paint the kitchen table and door. Which leads into my next project - staining those chair legs black.