Tiling around bathroom light switches

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by BJW, Mar 4, 2006.

  1. BJW

    BJW New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Southern California
    Tiling questions:

    How do I tile around and adjust light switches and receptacles and then reinstall the plates so they are flush to the new walls and backsplashes. All advise would be greatly appreciated.

    I'm a new do-it-yourselfer still in learning mode. If you have advise or a website recommendation, I'd be grateful to hear from you.

    Thank you.
    BJW
  2. finnegan

    finnegan New Member

    Messages:
    250
    Location:
    CT
    Turn off power, make sure power is turned off, remove receptacle, tile up to outlet box and replace receptacle with ears against face of tile. Plate should sit flush. You may need a box extender and longer screws to hold receptacle in place.
  3. BJW

    BJW New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Southern California
    Thanks Finnegan:

    I'm not sure what "ears" are, but I imagine I can purchase box extenders and longer screws at any building supply store.

    And I will make certain the power is off.
  4. PEW

    PEW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    487
    For tile you will not need the box extenders, possibly just longer screws.

    Paul
  5. prashster

    prashster New Member

    Messages:
    941
    I just did this. No box extenders needed. Just longer screws. Here's the LONG explanation:

    The outlet has two little circular, mickeymouse ears on the top and two on the bottom that butt up against the box face. These ears prevent the receptacle/switch from sinking below the plane of the box opening and into the box when you tighten the mounting screws.
    As long as you tile right up to the lip of the box, the ears will butt up against the tile face when you fasten it to the box. Since there will be a gap between the receptacle and the screw holes in the box, though, you now need longer screws. The face plate mounts to the receptacle, which is now sitting flush with your tile, so you don't need longer screws for the face plate - just the receptacle.

    One last thing: The standard mounting screws for the receptacle have 2 square washers which prevent the screw from screwing all the way out, and they help keep the receptacle from jiggling in the box. So, transfer them to the longer screws.

    One last one-in-a-million caveat: I wouldn't do this with metallic tiles for obvious reasons ;)
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2006
  6. BJW

    BJW New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Southern California
    Got it. Longer screws, square washers. Thank you each for your help.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,268
    Location:
    New England
    There are plastic box extender rings that are cheap and come in various sizes. If the only part that is holding it out are the ears, it will be springy if it is an outlet...it won't feel firm. With the extender rings, you have more surface area to support the outlet (and they are cheap).
  8. Lakee911

    Lakee911 I&C Engineer (mostly WWTP)

    Messages:
    1,328
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    I agree, get the box extender. Even though tile is not combustable, its probably code that the extender be there.

    Jason
  9. khayes

    khayes New Member

    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Alpharetta, GA.
    I've tiled several kitchen backsplashes. If the receptacle ears do not fit against the surface of the tile I use a small package of yellow plastic spacers from HD or Lowes. They're found in the electrical department. You can stack these spacers until they bring your receptacle flush with the tile...and use longer screws.
Similar Threads: Tiling around
Forum Title Date
Remodel Forum & Blog Tiling around a copper sink Oct 7, 2005
Remodel Forum & Blog Tiling a laundry/furnace room Nov 3, 2011
Remodel Forum & Blog Subfloor question for tiling a bathroom floor with heat mat under the tiles Sep 2, 2011
Remodel Forum & Blog How to prep a laundry room floor with floor drain for tiling? Aug 28, 2010
Remodel Forum & Blog Bathroom Tiling Jul 5, 2010

Share This Page