To cover the old intercom speaker hole and mount a new video doorbell, follow the steps listed below.
- Steps are provided as a courtesy to help mount a video doorbell to a back plate that covers a larger opening (from an old intercom speaker).
- Always adhere to the installation instructions provided with the smart doorbell itself.
- Simply modify installation by attaching the unit to the cover plate instead of the side of your house.
STEP 1: PURCHASE YOUR VIDEO DOORBELL
Choose and purchase a video doorbell unit (such as a Ring doorbell).
Open the package and read all of the installation instructions thoroughly.
Be sure you understand very clearly how the unit is installed.
Note whether it is external or recessed when mounted. And, determine whether you'll be wiring it in or using it wirelessly.
You can see below that the different video doorbell types will be mounted to different plates:
The next step is to remove the intercom button & speaker completely from the box. If you don't plan to wire in the replacement doorbell, cap off any wires.
You may have a NutTone, TekTone or another vintage brand.
If your particular model has an extra mounting ring (like the one shown below), remove that as well.
STEP 3: MEASURE BOX
Because the old intercom is much larger than the downsized video doorbell models available today, you'll need to cover the box & install the video doorbell unit onto the new box cover.
In order to select the correct new cover, you'll need to get some measurements from the box.
Read through all steps below before purchasing a cover plate!
First, get the height and width needed to cover the box (without leaving any of it exposed).
Next, note if there are any obstructions that will prevent a cover from fitting, such as elevated brick or stone.
If so, measure the largest area in which a cover will fit.
Then, look for the 2 openings where the new cover will be screwed into the box. Note if they are on the sides (horizontal orientation) or at the top and bottom (vertical orientation).
4.5" (popular spacing)
5.25" (popular spacing)
You should now have these key measurements:
- Empty box's height and width.
- Obstruction's height and width (if any).
- Screw holes (orientation & space apart).
STEP 4: SELECT A COVER
Follow these steps to narrow down which cover is right for you (based on the information you gathered in Steps 1-3).
You will need to review the installation instructions for your specific video or Ring doorbell model.
You will be selecting from 3 types of covers (each type comes in a variety of sizes with varying screw spacing):
- (A) recessed video doorbell model
- (B) surface mount hard-wired model
- (C) surface mount wireless model
A - If the Doorbell Recesses Into the Wall:
Recessed units that sit back into the wall's surface will need a cover with a large center opening (if going on top of a larger intercom you have removed).
These covers are 6-3/8" high x 4-1/2" wide.
Screw spacing options are 4.5" apart or 5.25" apart, with screws placed top and bottom (vertically spaced).
If your box is larger than 6-3/8" X 4.5", see step 5 below.
Order covers here:
Recessed Video Doorbell Plate with 4.5" Screw Spacing
Recessed Video Doorbell Cover with 5.25" Screw Spacing
B - If the Doorbell is Surface Mount & Hard-Wired:
These covers have a small round opening in the center for the wires to pass through.
Available sizes are:
Smaller Covers (6.4 x 4.5):
6-3/8" H x 4-1/2" W with Wire Opening - 4.5" Vertical Screws
6-3/8" H x 4-1/2" W with Wire Opening - 5.25 Vertical Screws
Larger Covers (7.5 x 5.5):
Get a "blank" intercom cover with 2 screw holes and no other cutouts. You will be drilling holes that align with the camera's bracket. (See Step 6).
Two sizes with various screw spacing options are available:
6.4" x 4.5"
7.5" x 5.5"
Available sizes are:
Smaller Covers (6.4 x 4.5):
6-3/8" x 4.5" Wireless with 4" Vertical Screws
6-3/8" x 4.5" Wireless with 4.5" Vertical Screws
6-3/8" x 4.5" Wireless with 5.25" Vertical Screws
Larger Covers (7.5 x 5.5):
7.5" x 5.5" Wireless with 3.75" Horizontal Screws
7.5" x 5.5" Wireless with 4.5" Vertical Screws
7.5" x 5.5" Wireless with 5.25" Vertical Screws
7.5 x 5.5 Wireless with 6-5/8" Vertical Screws
STEP 5: ORDER GASKETS (IF NECESSARY)
If the new cover isn't quite large enough to completely hide the box, place gaskets underneath the cover.
Here, 2 triple-gang gaskets have been stacked underneath the plate.
Again, moisture gaskets are only necessary if the plate isn't large enough to cover the box opening.
To review, note these 4 things about the cover prior to ordering:
- height and width dimensions (to cover box but not hit any obstructions nearby)
- placement of screw holes (vertical or horizontal & space between them)
- any other cutouts needed (for recessed or hard-wired units)
- are gaskets necessary (if replacement cover is smaller than edge of box)
Use the links above to purchase the cover you need or shop all intercom doorbell speaker covers here.
Once your receive the cover, continue with Step 6.
STEP 6: DRILL HOLES & MOUNT BRACKET
Read through all of step 6 prior to drilling your plate.
Drilling into the plate to attach the doorbell's mounting bracket is a similar installation process as if you were mounting directly to the side of your house.
Instead of drilling into the stucco or paneling on your home, you will instead drill and mount the doorbell's bracket to the cover plate.
Note the size of your video doorbell unit and the placement of the cover plate's screw holes. You may need to mount the doorbell off-center on the cover plate in order to complete installation.
Try snapping the doorbell into the bracket and placing it centered on the cover plate prior to drilling any holes. If the screw holes on the plate (for attaching the plate to the box) are blocked, look for a better spot on the plate to position the doorbell bracket.
When ready, drill holes into the plate and attach the bracket.
STEP 7: INSTALL COVER OVER BOX
Use the provided screws to mount the cover (with the installed bracket) to the box.
Be sure to pull any wires through the plate's center opening if you are hard-wiring the doorbell. Otherwise, properly cap off the old wires.
If the doorbell unit itself is mounted without a bracket, follow the installation instructions from the doorbell manufacturer to attach the doorbell to the cover as you would the side of your house.
STEP 8: ATTACH VIDEO DOORBELL UNIT
Once the cover is securely installed to the box (with the doorbell unit's mounting bracket attached per the doorbell manufacturer's instructions), continue to follow manufacturer instructions to attach the doorbell's video unit to the bracket.
STEP 9: COMPLETE INSTALLATION & SETUP
Instructions provided in this post are for modifying the installation process to retrofit the smaller doorbell to a larger intercom box.
They are provided as a courtesy, but do not cover every brand, size or type of doorbell unit.
Be sure to follow proper instructions for wiring and setting up your video doorbell.
STEP 10: SEND US A PICTURE (Optional)
We'd love to see the finished product of your smart video doorbell unit installed on one of our custom-made intercom covers.
Bonus points if you have a "before" picture of your old doorbell speaker.
Here are a couple we've received so far:
Submit pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope this post gives you the confidence to remove your old intercom and upgrade to the security of video surveillance when someone rings your doorbell.