Switch and cover plates are used to cover
open wiring boxes in your walls, but they
can also serve a decorative purpose, as evidenced
by the wide variety of choices. Here are
some points to remember when shopping for
- Switch plates and outlet covers are available
in a variety of materials: plastic, aluminum,
brass, pewter, copper, wood, stainless steel,
chrome, and more. Plastic is the least expensive,
and if painted, can be quite satisfactory.
Other materials can be used to dress up a
- Most plates can be uncoated, coated, or painted;
many basic switch plates are designed to
be painted over to match or complement the
color of the wall.
- Switch plates come in two sizes, standard
and large, with the large ones helpful for
covering up damaged plaster around the opening
but should otherwise be avoided.
- Plates come in a variety of combinations:
single switch and multiswitch; single and
double outlets; switch/outlet combinations;
and cover plates for other types of outlets,
such as cable TV, telephone, and computer
hook-ups. The individual openings also vary
so as to accommodate different switch and
outlet shapes and styles, so be sure to check
the shape of your outlets first.
Fancy plates are miniature artwork that integrate
into the theme of the room. For
a plate in the shape of a football
used to complement the sports
theme in a