Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Mistakes to Avoid when Buying Wall Plates

3 Mistakes to Avoid when Buying Light Switch & Outlet Covers:

Mistake #1: Counting Incorrectly

If you've ever built anything, you may have heard the saying, "Measure twice, cut once." A similar concept can be used when counting up your switch plates - count twice, shop once.

This is especially important if you're ordering wall plates online. You don't want to have to pay for shipping twice because you missed a plate.

To be extra safe, count your plates three times (or more!).

If the plates are still on the wall, it helps to add a snippet of painter's tape (or a post-it note) to each cover as you count it. That way, you can easily glance around to make sure you haven't missed a plate.

Mistake #2: Wrong Outlet Cover

Be sure you know the difference between Duplex and Block/GFCI outlets.

Duplex outlets have a center screw hole for the cover plate, and the plate has 2 oval-ish cutouts for the sockets.

Block outlets (also sometimes called "Decora" outlets) and GFI or GFCI receptacles don't have a center screw and use a rocker cover that has a single, large rectangular opening.

You may have both types of outlets installed in different spots in your home. For example, duplex outlets are very common in living rooms and bedrooms, whereas GFCI sockets are usually installed in bathrooms and kitchens (near faucets).

Don't assume all your outlet receptacles are the same!

Mistake #3: Selecting Incorrect Switchplate Size

Covers come in a standard size just big enough to cover your electrical box.

Sometimes mistakes happen during construction (or a remodel), and too large a hole is cut out for the electrical box.

When this happens, oversized switchplates can be used to cover extra wall space around the box (and hide the mistake).

If you didn't originally put the plates on the wall, you may not realize that one or more of your plates are oversized. Be sure to compare your old plates to see if any are larger than the others.  And check the dimensions of what you do have.

Standard plates are 4.5" tall. Anything larger than that is a specialty size.
Mid-size are 5-1/16" tall.
Oversized start at 5.5" tall.

Be sure to avoid these top 3 ordering errors when selecting new switch & outlet covers. It will safe you time and money.

Shop Kyle Switch Plates for a large variety of wall plates and electrical devices all in one spot, with low, flat-rate shipping.

Not sure what a particular switch is called? Learn more about switch and outlet types here.