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.
They look sad…and kinda surprised.
Here are just some of the types of electrical based wall plates available for different applications.
A Few Types of Wall Plates and Their Uses
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.).
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).
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.
Including red. That guy likes red, right?
This wall outlet plate configuration information guide will cover light switch covers; combination devices, receptacles, timers, USB charger devices, fan speed switches, specialty light switch covers, anywhere switches, wall plates and wall jacks.
Wall plate covers are a vital part of a home. Determining the right configuration for your wall plates is 1 of the 3 vital steps when choosing the right wall plate for your home. Don’t worry, getting it right is pretty easy once you know what to look for.
Choosing the right wall plate covers can be done in these 3 easy steps:
1. Determine the configuration of the wall plate for the application purpose it will fill and taking stock of what is already installed..
2. Choose a style that suits your taste and budget.
3. Measure twice and cut once. Choose the right size for your outlet covers (standard, midway/midsize, oversize/jumbo) #measure2-cut1
Let’s get to it!
Complete Wall Plate Configuration Guide
definition: wall outlet plates come in a wide variety of configurations to fit the existing electrical outlet design, new applications will also require new outlets installed, switches, toggles and outlets.
Single Outlet Receptacle:
Single Outlet Wall Plate Covers:
|single outlet wall plate||lampholder||Self locking lid|
Duplex Outlet Receptacles:
Duplex Outlet Wall Plate Covers
Toggle Light Switches
|AC switch||Watertight switch||Dimmer dial|
Rocker / Decorator Outlets Switches
Decorator and Rocker Outlet Plate Covers
Coax Outlet and Coax Wall Plate
|Coax outlet||Coax plate cover||Coax cable|
Phone Jack Outlet and Phone Jack Plate
|Phone jack plate||RJ11 connector||RJ11 cable|
Blank Outlets and Blank Plates
|Blank wall outlet||Blank toggle switch||Blank faceplate|
Push Button Switch and Push Button Wall Plate
|Push button Switch||Red panic button|
Despard Wall Outlets and Despard Wall Plates
|Stacked toggle/despard switches||Despard wall plate cover|
|Single gang wall plate||2 gang wall plate||3 gang wall plate|
|4 gang wall plate cover||5 gang wall plate cover||6 gang wall plate cover|
Combination Wall Outlets
|Switch / Outlet||Toggle / Outlet||Switch / Pilot Light|
|USB / Outlet||Guide Light / Outlet||Guide Light / Switch|
|GFCI /Switch/ GFI Outlet|
Combination Wall Plate Covers
|Toggle / Outlets||Toggle / Decorative||Phone / Decorative|
|Decorative / Duplex Outlet||Toggle / Telephone Cable||Duplex Outlet / Single|
Combination Blank Plate Outlet Covers
|Single / Blank||Duplex Outlet / Blank||Toggle / Blank|
|Decorative Rocker / Blank|
More combinations and wall plate covers can be found here: http://www.cableorganizer.com/wall-plates/
Looking for solutions to common DIY problems: http://www.fixya.com/tags/acd1i_despard_switch/browse/leviton
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Please post any questions you have below about wall plate covers and I’ll be happy to help.