Monday, October 10, 2011

Glass Switch Cover Installation - Atypical Stuff

I know I'm partial, but our colorful beveled glass switch plates are truly unrivaled when you check out what is available in the marketplace. I wish it was possible to capture their unique beauty on the web. But pictures can't possibly display the dynamic nature of glass reflections and how the light affects the color,  They are truly dazzling "in person". However,  the purpose of this post is not to rave, but to offer some helpful installation tips.

One of the unique aspects of a glass wall plate is that unlike your typical switch cover, it's flat in the back. Installing a glass switch plate really should be no different than putting up any other.  In a perfect world all electrical boxes are positioned properly where the metal braces are flush with the wall.  However you may run into a problem if your electrician installed the electrical box too close or too far from the wall opening.  Each of these conundrums has a different solution. So here are some tips and diagrams to help you tackle either issue.  

Scenario 1 - Electrical box is positioned too far from the wall opening.

If the conduit box in the wall is positioned too far from the wall opening, you may need to use shims behind the receptacle to move it forward. We always include vinyl screw spacers in every order of glass switch covers. These little tubes are sleeves that fit over the mounting screws behind the receptacle. You can use these screw spacers to bring the box closer to the wall opening. The following steps show you how to use them.


1. Measure the distance from the front wall surface to the conduit box flange.

2. Cut a vinyl screw spacer at the measured length and install one on both the top and bottom mounting screws behind the flanges of the electrical fixture.

3. Spacers intact, place the electrical fixture back in the conduit box in the wall.

Scenario 2 - Electrical box is positioned too close to the wall opening.


If the conduit box protrudes too far, you won't be able to set the glass plate snugly against the wall because there may be a gap. This can easily be resolved with an acrylic spacer. They're available in single, double and triple templates and we can order them for our customers.

So there you have it. My "ehow" contribution on tips to handle those unusual situations with glass switch plate installations.