Different Types of Electrical-Based Wall Plates

A Few Types of Wall Plates & Their Uses

BY: Shane Weaver

Sad Face Electrical Outlets
They look sad...and kinda surprised

Everyone knows what a wall plate is. You see them everyday, but you probably don't give them a second thought. Maybe you should reconsider those dull rectangles, though (and start by reading my article on when to replace them), since there are actually many different types of wall plates available beyond the standard electrical outlet you're used to seeing.


Here are just some of the types of electrical based wall plates available for different applications:

Keystone Wall Plates

This type of plate features anywhere from 1 to 6 small holes for keystone modules, which can be applied to a number of different multimedia applications. A "keystone module", for those who might be unaware, is a small snap-in package featuring a connection port for any number of purposes, including audio, video, data, networking and more. Like most types of outlet plates, these come in multiple different color types to help match in with the surrounding décor or whatever mood you're in on any given day (black if you're feeling emo, gray if you're feeling boring, etc.).

Emo-looking kid (He likes black)
I like my outlet plates black...like my soul

A/V Wall Plates

These are specially designed plates which are perfect for use with corresponding inserts to meet your audio and visual needs. They are ideal for home theater setups or entertainment systems. Personally, I'd say the coolest one is this Recessed Media Box with a self-healing face. It eliminates visible holes and allows you to run multiple cables through a single opening. I wish I had a self-healing face. I'd charge people to punch me square in the nose. People get to let out their aggression, and I get a little pocket money without the staggering hospital bills. It's a win-win.

Telephone Wall Plates

These guys are designed to provide an easy connection for telephones. For the under thirty set who are undoubtedly scratching their heads right now, a "phone" used to be something that actually needed to plug into the wall, not just a little computer box that fits in your pocket. These wall-plates generally feature a single port, although multiple connections can be used. They are white in color, and are great for providing an easy installation of a phone system within businesses or homes (for all five of you out there who still have a house land line).

That emo kid again
Let me know when they come in black

Gang Wall Plates

"Gang" in this scenario refers not to a group of thugs, but to gangbox, which is a term in the electrical industry that refers to a box, usually metal, that houses installed electrical components. When it comes to wall plates, a "1 gang" houses a single component, like a switch for example, while a "2 gang" houses two components side by side, and so on in that fashion. Plates that house up to six gangs are available. These plates are designed to be installed over the top of electrical power points, or any other electrical based connection point to help create a flush appearance. They're available in all kinds of set-ups for whatever your electrical needs might be, and you can tell that emo kid up there that they have them in several colors and styles.

Red Wall Plate with "Emergency" printed on it
Including red. That guy likes red, right?



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