Tiling around outlet in single-row backsplash [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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08-03-2019, 05:10 PM
Hi, folks! I'm new here and to tiling, and am stumped on how to handle this issue: I'm getting ready to install a backsplash of 4x4 ceramic tiles in the kitchen. It'll be a single row of tiles horizontally. Unfortunately, I have a duplex outlet on the wall, and the top of the tiles will only hit about halfway up the outlet. I understand that I'll need to extend the box/outlet out from the wall so the cover plate sits flush with the tile faces. But what should I do about the upper half of the outlet? There'll be a gap between it and the wall because there's no tiling behind it. I was thinking of maybe inserting some wood strips to serve as shims, then painting them the same color as the wall. Is there a better, more attractive option?

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08-03-2019, 05:28 PM
Cindy, this is common in the remodeling I do. I always plan on moving outlets up. Anything else looks like a mistake or screams "look at ME".

Most wiring is done from top down, so moving up is typically easier than moving down because you can shorten wire but can't lengthen without a junction box. Only way to know if this is possible is to look inside elec. box and figure where feed comes in. If you're confident in your electrical skill, it's not huge. if not, get an electrician. I might be able to tell with a good, well lit photo with outlet pulled aside.

In your case, you'll either have to raise the top of backsplash to cover your drywall patch or do a better looking, texture matching patch before you set splash and then bisect patch. Another option is to tile entire backsplash, I suppose.

I've seen them framed in tile, but looks like... well, I wouldn't do it for a client.

08-03-2019, 06:22 PM
Hi Cindy, welcome. Peter has you covered. A pic of your box and tile might help us.

08-03-2019, 06:56 PM
Peter, your response is exactly what I needed to hear. (And thanks, Davy, for weighing in.) After I posted, I did remember that there is a "twin" duplex outlet — one a standard plug-in, the other a GFCI. There is a light switch right above it, and, per another recommendation I read on the forum, I'll consolidate the switch and outlets so it'll look better. That is, I'll have an electrician do the work; I can do the drywall/painting, but I steer clear of most electrical. Sound like a good plan?

08-03-2019, 07:17 PM
Sounds like a plan. Wall framing might prevent a 3 gang box. But, if possible, I like to place switches away from outlets anyway. So a single and a double or three singles could work.

I've found not all electricians can see straight nor possess levels, so make it clear you want the boxes in a straight line should it roll that way.

08-03-2019, 07:47 PM
Then I'll have him keep 'em separate. I don't particularly like the looks of a three-gang myself. Thanks!