Tile Design vs. Electrical Outlets & Switches
We get asked this great question quite regularly:
“I LOVE my new tile, but I need some advice…What should I do with the electrical outlets that fall within the kitchen backsplash area?”
Good news! We’ve got several creative solutions for you – yay!!!
These little necessary items can possibly ruin your beautiful, and often pricey backsplash! We are confident that if you consider the locations ahead of time, you will improve the finished look of your kitchen or bathroom.
Details on outlets…
It’s required by law that you have electrical outlets within your kitchen – which is a good thing!
Your kitchen has many electrical needs: major appliances, small appliances, built-in appliances, lighting, exhaust fans, and basically anything you might want to plug in or switch on while you’re in there.
In regards to your kitchen or bathroom, the National Electric Code requires:
- Small appliance circuits feeding countertop receptacle outlets are required to be Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protected
- Any countertop wider than one foot requires a receptacle outlet
- Receptacle outlets must be installed every four linear feet at minimum – more is totally fine too
- Countertops separated by range cook top, refrigerators, or sinks are considered separate countertop spaces
Are you in the planning phase of your new kitchen or bath remodel?
If you are planning your kitchen or bath remodel, congrats(!), you are thinking ahead! Here are some helpful questions you can ask yourself and discuss with your electrician regarding your kitchen or bath’s electrical needs:
- What fixed/portable appliances do you plan to install/have in your kitchen? What are the locations and their power requirements?
- What kind of lighting do you want/need: Ceiling? Under cabinet? Toe kick? Pendant or chandelier? Recessed? Surface Mount? Ceiling fan?
- What kind of lighting controls do you need?
- Where do you want your light switches and appliance outlets?
- What materials/installation practices do you need to comply with National Electric Code requirements? Hint: ask your electrician
- Do you have special requirements due to disabilities and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act?
- What are the brand specification of all fixtures you want? Have your electrician check these out too.
After you discuss your electrical needs with your electrician and have a final layout in mind, the electrical outlets and switches can be located and installed. Don’t worry if you already have your outlets in place, it’s really easy to move them around and make adjustments before the installation of your backsplash.
There are several different ways to approach this without ruining your backsplash with a bunch of ugly, poorly placed outlets and switches. Here are some creative solutions as to how you can address the outlets & switches within your backsplash.
Implementing Creative Solutions…
#1 - Flip your outlets horizontally to coordinate with the pattern of your backsplash (but if your backsplash has a vertical pattern to it, keep you outlets vertical too)
#3 – Install the outlets or switches on or within your cabinets…(some additional planning involved).
#4 - Install your outlets where you know you’ll need them!
#5 - Install custom pop-up grommet outlets where you know you’ll need them!
#6 – Specify outlet and switch plate covers to coordinate with your material selections: making them a design element instead of an eyesore!
#7 – [Bathroom specific] – Install the outlets or switches within your bathroom mirror and trim with a mirrored cover…some additional planning involved. Look closely for them!
Q: Have some other creative outlet and switch solutions? Share them with us and we’ll add it to this blog!
Modwalls® is making tile modern™ with colorful and unique designs that are in stock and available for purchase online 24/7 at modwalls.com
Entry filed under: Design, Fun Stuff, How To, Kitchen Backsplash Tile, remodel. Tags: architecture, backsplash outlets, backsplash tile, bathroom tile, design, designer tile, DIY, glass mosaic tile, glass tile, How to, how to place outlets, interior design, kitchen backsplash, kitchen backsplash tile, kitchen tile, modern design, modwalls, orange tile, remodel, subway tile.