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Installing a Screwless Wall Plate Correctly

Brushed nickel screwless wallplate

While you’ve been hunting for replacement wallplates, you’ve probably noticed some that are screwless. These wallplates can be intriguing for many reasons. You might be wondering how the plates are held onto the wall with no screws. You might also be wondering why you should care to hide the hardware on something as simple as electrical cover plates. There are simple answers to both. First, the word, “screwless,” is actually misleading. There are, in fact, screws used with these wallplates, but they’re hidden. Second, using screwless plates creates a sophisticated feel in your home with very little effort. Here’s how to install them in your home.

Collect Your Tools

You’ll only need a couple of simple tools to get the job done. These are the same tools you would need to install any wallplate switches. The tools you need are a voltage tester and a flat-head screwdriver. Both of these can be easily found at any hardware store.

Safety First

Before you do anything at all with the existing wallplate and your new screwless one, make sure to turn off the breaker that’s connected to whichever electrical outlet you’re working with. Use the voltage tester to check that the power really is off. You can check by placing the voltage detector at different points over the wallplate. Good places to check are the screws, switch, and various places on the plate.

Remove the Old Plate

This is one of the easiest steps. Remove the old wallplate by unscrewing it from the wall with the flat-head screwdriver. Pull the plate off of the wall and move on to the next step.

Installing the Plate With Screws

When you buy decorative wallplates online, they’ll come with an inner frame and a cover. The inner frame will have places for screws in the same place that your old wallplate had them. Screw the frame in place of the old plate. Don’t worry if the frame doesn’t cover the entire hole in your wall. This part won’t be seen by anyone.

Installing the Screwless Cover

The second part of your wallplate is a cover for the frame that you just installed. If you look at both pieces, you’ll notice there are a few pieces that look like they fit together. The cover will snap onto the frame easily. There should also be a small gap in the edge of the frame. This is meant to be there. The gap marks the bottom of the cover and makes removal in the future easier. Snap the top of the cover onto the top of the frame and push the bottom into place after that.

The Final Step

Finally, once you’re satisfied that the wallplate has been installed successfully, it’s time to move on to the last step. The final step is to flip the breaker back on. Once you’ve done that you can test the switch to be sure the power has returned by using the voltage tester or simply flipping the switch. Now, you can sit back and enjoy your decorative wall switches.

Check out Wallplate Warehouse’s selection of screwless wallplates at

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