One of the last things that go back up are your light switch and outlet covers. And it turns out, often times a standard cover is not what you need.
There are many sizes of wall plates, and I'm going to break them down below. Keep reading to find the right solution for you.
Find Odd Sized Light Switch & Outlet Covers
Standard Cover Plates
First, let's go over a standard size plate.
Standard wall plates are 4.5" high and vary in width based on how many devices they cover.
Single plates for 1 electrical device (known as 1-gang plates) are 2.75" wide and double covers for 2 devices (known as 2-gang plates) are 4-9/16".
1 gang: 4.5" H x 2.75" W
2 gang: 4.5" H x 4-9/16" W
Standard plates are both taller and wider than the electrical devices and the wall box in order to cover everything up (as well as some space around the electrical box for the dry-wall cutout).
If a little too much drywall was cut out around your electrical box, you may need to step up to a mid-size cover plate. Here are mid-size dimensions:
1 gang: 5-1/16" H x 3-1/4" W
2 gang: 5-1/16" H x 5-1/8" W
The orange area represents a standard plate size. You can see mid-sized covers are slightly larger all the way around.
Tall cover plates are same width as standard, but are 1/2" taller and have smooth rounded corners. Available only in white.
1 gang tall: 5" H x 2.75" W (same width as standard)
2 gang tall: 5" H x 4-9/16" W (same width as standard)
Single gang tall plates also come in a wider size, adding an extra quarter inch of coverage to each side.
1 gang tall wide: 5" H x 3.5" W (only available in single-gang)
Get tall + wide covers in a variety of sizes & finishes by going "Oversized"...
Often times, if the hole in your sheetrock is too large, you'll need to step up to an oversized plate.
Jumbo or XL plates are available in lots of finishes. By going a little bigger than mid-size, you don't have to buy plain white plastic covers. You can choose from a variety of nice finishes to complete your home upgrade.
1 gang oversized: 5.5" H x 3.5" W
2 gang oversized: 5.5" H x 5.5" W
For really big mistakes, Kyle Switch Plates also carries these extra large sizes:
1-gang XL: 6.38" H x 4.5" W -or- 7.5" H x 5.5W
2-gang XL: 7.5" H x 5.5" W
You can find XL plates grouped among Kyle's other oversized large switch covers.
We also carry large cover plates for old speakers and doorbell intercoms - scroll down to the last section below "Doorbell / Intercom Speaker Covers".
If you have a special plate that doesn't come in larger sizes - say for an odd low voltage light switch or a plate in a specialty finish - you can place an expander underneath to extend wall coverage.
Kyle Switch Plates makes a variety of expander sizes for plates up to 5-gang.
1-gang expanders: 6" H x 4" W -or- 6" H x 6" W
2-gang expanders: 6" H x 6" W
Find all expander sizes among oversized wall plates here.
Narrow plates come in handy when you lack space around your switches or outlets.
If your switch is super close to cabinetry, wood trim or an adjacent wall, a narrow plate might be just what you need.
Narrow plates come in a variety of widths such as 1.5" W, 1.75" W, 2" W, 2.5" W & 2.5" for single plates.
Narrow plates are also perfect for slim spots such as on a door jamb (as shown here in a hotel room):
Shop all narrow cover plates here to see all sizes.
Offset/Short - with Beveled Edge
In order to still cover the whole electrical box & prevent the device straps from sticking out, short plates are actually the same size as standard plates. What makes them "short" is that the cutouts have been shifted closer to one edge.
Offset or short wall plates are perfect when a standard cover won't fit. This is usually due to wall tile that ends mid-way up the wall with the trim coming too close to the electrical box.
Offset/Short - Flat with No Edge Bevel
If you need a plate that really is shorter than a standard one, you can get short flat plates. The shortest size is 4" H.
It's important to note that 4-inch sized covers will not fully cover the electrical device's straps. And because there's no edge bevel, there may be a gap between the plate and the wall if the electrical box isn't sunken down into the wall.
Shifted Cutouts - Short or Narrow Edge
We refer to our plates with shifted openings as "short", "half short" and "half narrow".
When a wall box sticks out from the wall, you need deep switch plates to fill in that gap that exists between a standard sized cover and the wall.
A wall box will stick out if you remove tile or wall paneling that the box used to sit flush with.
Or, you may have a gap caused by a bulky electrical device that won't sit back properly in the electrical box.
A standard plate has a 5/32" edge bevel, which is designed to reach back and sit flush with a properly installed electrical box. Deep plates have a bevel twice that size, so they reach back to fix gaps like this.
Deep plates cover boxes that stick out 1/16" of an inch - a very small amount.
Your specific situation may require a plate that fills a larger gap - see all protruding electrical box solutions here.
Large Doorbell / Intercom Speaker Covers
If you plan to remove a Nutone doorbell and intercom speaker, you can cover up the large hole with a blank doorbell cover plate.
Be sure to measure your box and determine the spacing between the screw holes where the new cover will mount.
These doorbell intercom speaker covers can also be drilled into and used to mount a video doorbell system such as a Ring smart doorbell.
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Shop all sizes and configuration at Kyle Switch Plates.
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