Wall plate covers seem pretty simple and straightforward. But in reality, there are many different options available. Even if you ignore the material and color options out there (which you really shouldn’t), there are still dozens of choices regarding sizes, configurations, and combinations. This guide will give you a breakdown of all the different details that can help you find the right light switch cover for your rooms.
Standard and Screwless
Let’s start with the basics: Do you want screws visible like a standard switch plate, or would you prefer them to be hidden? Screwless wall plates have a nice, seamless look to them. And if you have curious (or mischievous) kids in your house, they’re more difficult to tamper with and remove, keeping your children safer.
Next, let’s talk about configurations. There are five basic configurations:
- Datacom – For phone jacks, cable jacks, and other data/communications connections
- Duplex – Two openings for basic outlets
- Rocker – Larger rectangular openings for rocker switches
- Blank – A plate with no opening for covering unused outlet or switch boxes
- Toggle – The most common switch cover for basic toggle switches
These five configurations can also be combined in essentially any way you can imagine. This can supply you with infinite combo options. That brings us to our next point.
When it comes to light switches, “gangs” simply refers to how many openings you have in the light switch cover. As we already mentioned, those different openings can be combined in countless ways, and they can be put together in gangs of up to 4. So, you could have a 2-gang switch for a rocker switch and an outlet duplex or a 4-gang switch for controlling many lights in your home.
Once you get the correct configuration and gang size, you might think there aren’t different size options to choose from, but that’s not true. Standard sizes are the easiest to find, but you can also find mid-sized and oversized switch plates in many online stores. These bigger ones simply have more space around the switches and have a more visual impact.
Now it’s time to start thinking about style. White is the standard when it comes to wall plates, but there are countless options out there, from basic shades in all colors of the rainbow to shiny metallic colors and even patterned options. Consider breaking out of the white wall plate habit and trying something new!
Materials are another style element to consider. Polycarbonate is the standard plastic option installed in most homes. But many other materials are available, including all types of metals, wood, and plaster cast. Each of these materials has its pros and cons, so do your research.
To see what options are available, check out our vast selection of wall plates, including standard and screwless wall plates, various sizes and configurations, and an endless array of colors and materials.