SFA: What's the Answer?

Flush-Mount Receptacle Plates

Ganassa WMG SFA Member

Can I get some thoughts on using these with 1/2" porcelain? We do not have a waterjet which makes this tricky; I am worried about the edges chipping. (No plate to hide the rough-looking cut-out.) Is it unlikely that I can make this look good without a waterjet? Link is below if you want to take a look at the specs of this plate. http://trufig.com/products/wiring-devices-lighting-control#anchor-link-Receptacles Mike Ganassa Washington Marble & Granite Co.

Alex DiPietro SFA Member

They can be done by hand; make sure the right type is used. The right type to use you actually attach the box to that back of the slab before you install.

Ganassa WMG SFA Member

Thanks Alex, Have you used one of these before? I am also worried about the exact alignment with the box - if we are off on our cut-out placement by just a little could be a big problem. I am wondering if the electrical box itself (in the wall) has some variance and can be moved around a little.

Alex DiPietro SFA Member


Have them switch to the type where the box is attached to the stone first. Not the Sheetrock type.

Gssfabrication SFA Member

Mike, You can certainly make it look good without a waterjet; just need someone with a steady hand, lots of water, and patience. Unlike other installation methods that allow you to touchup/cleanup/coverup; solid surface does not have that luxury. Just setup realistic expectations for the client. You might do a "trial" piece in the shop and invite the client to view it to make sure that is really the look they want. Alternatively, those can be installed on the face of the porcelain like a regular outlet and the advantage of this design is you do not see the screws that normally hold the cover/faceplate on the outlet/switch/etc. Personally I think it is a large step up from a traditional plate. Going with the "flush to the wall" look and wanting it out of solid surface takes it to another level of exotic. Hopefully you are compensated equal to the effort and skill involved to make it look great. Let us know how it turns out. Rick Graff

Ganassa WMG SFA Member

Thanks Rick, I haven't priced it out for them yet but I would imagine I should be getting a good number for it.

Gssfabrication SFA Member

I did notice recently that Home Depot (or other home stores) have a cover plate "upgrade" to get this same look for the decora (rectangular style outlets and switches). I cannot remember if it was a Cooper or Leviton product. Essentially, it is a traditional screw plate that has a second cover that snaps on to the first cover you install to hold it in place. Those you linked above look like a definite step up in quality/finish though. If you have a plastic template plotter (Allen Datagraph style); we frequently will plot and stitch a full-scale plastic template to lay over the piece. In this case I would hold it up to the wall and see if the cut-out you templated is exactly where the actual box opening is. It is a few extra steps. However, under the measure-twice, cut-once philosophy from carpentry; it gives as close to trial-fitting it without having to start cutting into the final product.

Innstone SFA Member

We did a house full of these a while back. Don't rely on the specs; you need to have one to play with while fabbing. We cut them by hand in quartzite, granite & travertine. There has to be a little play with the plate to adjust with the final exact position. We worked with the electrician (I forget the exact details), and they came out fine. We charged $950 each. For all the money spent (between us and the other trades involved) I was meh with the final look. I've attached a pic.

There are 4 plugs in the picture. The artist did a decent job of painting them (but didn't look quite as good in person). It wasn't my dream though, but it seems like for all the fuss I've seen trying to hide plugs, leaving them alone and just putting complimenting plugs & plates usually hides best. They are like knobs on a stove, they are utilitarian and our eyes usually ignore them (in case anybody was dying to know what I thought lol).

Ganassa WMG SFA Member

Thank you guys! I will keep you posted on how it goes.


That's it for this issue.