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What to Look for in a Switch Plate Cover

Mystic Topaz Copper

When it comes to light switch covers, you probably don’t think there are many different options out there—but you couldn’t be more wrong. There are countless choices available for switch plates, with various colors, materials, sizes, and styles to choose from. And, of course, there are different features to consider as well. If you need a new light switch cover (or several), keep reading to learn what you should look for before buying.

The Right Configuration

Naturally, the first thing you need to look for is a switch plate with the proper configuration for your switches. This might be a basic plate with room for a single toggle switch, or it could be a complex combination of toggle switches, rocker switches, and even outlets. Make sure you find a plate with the proper spaces in the proper order so that your new plate will fit.

If you have a very unusual configuration for your switches, you might need to switch 1 or 2 of them out to find something that will fit. For example, you can switch out a duplex outlet for a rectangular outlet configuration that will fit into a rocker switch opening.

The Right Material

The next thing you should think about is the material that you want. Homes typically have basic plastic switch plates, as these are inexpensive for builders to purchase in bulk and install in the homes they build. However, they’re far from the only material option out there, and virtually every other material on the market is going to be much more durable than the plastic used for these mass-produced switch plates. Other material choices include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Wood
  • Nickel
  • Steel
  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Ceramic
  • Stone

Do a bit of research to learn more about the pros and cons of each of these material types. There are also more durable types of plastic than the ones that come preinstalled into your home, so if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option that offers a bit more durability, a higher-quality plastic could be a good choice.

The Right Color

Now, on to color. Again, white is likely what you’re used to, if you have the builder’s basic switch plate covers, but there’s a whole world of other options out there. Many of the materials listed above (particularly the metals) are available in various finishes and shades. For example, even though copper is best known for its orange-brown color, it comes in various colors and patterns to fit any style. Similarly, brass can range from a deep brown to bright, yellowish gold. Other materials like ceramic, wood, and stone can come in almost any color of the rainbow—and hundreds of others too.

Once you’ve chosen a material, you can explore the colors and finishes available to you so that you can find something that blends well with your décor and overall color scheme.

Century Matte Black Steel

The Right Style

Of course, your décor is about much more than color. You’re likely trying to achieve a particular style with your decorations, and your light switch plates can help contribute to that style. Another thing you should look for is any decorative elements that can help accent your stylistic choices, so you can pull the space together.

The Right Upgrades

This one is optional, but it’s worth considering. Are there any upgrades you want your plates to have? Built-in nightlights or USB charging ports, for example? Wallplate Warehouse carries many cover plates with these kinds of upgrades. Check out our online store to see what’s available.

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