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How to install glass switchplates

How to install glass switchplates

So you are installing a mirrored glass or clear glass switch plate on the glass mirror in your bathroom or a new backsplash in your home? Well, it should be an easy accomplishment, and is not as difficult as you would think, so "do it right".

There are a few things to think about, and the first is that clear glass, or mirrored glass switch plates are flat on the backside, and not like a standard wall plate, which is concaved in the backsides. If you think you just need to get out the screwdriver, and away you go, don't hold your breath, and you need to know a few things before you start.

There are two ways to attach this glass product to your receptacles, and you will see diagrams of both ways to do this below.  So, choose which one is the best for your situation. In the first figure, we are going to use a duplex receptacle. Some have two screws and some only have one screw, but all the switches and receptacles work with the same method.  Please follow these directions and your glass switchplates installation will be a breeze.

Let's start by turning off the electricity to that switch or outlet, and removing the existing plate from the wall, and unscrew the electrical receptacle with the mounting screws. Then carefully pull the receptacle out of the box to give yourself some room to make the following adjustments below in section 2 to section 7, but make sure the power is off to that receptacle before you start pulling it out of the box.

1. Check to make sure that the facing surface of the conduit box fixture in the wall is flush with the wall, and secure that glass plate to the fixture.

2. If the box in the wall is recessed, you must install the screw spacer (Steps 4-7). Otherwise, by tightening the screws, you will pull the glass plate into the box in the wall, and this will cause it to crack or break.

3. Measure the recessed distance from the front wall surface to the conduit box flange, and it is very important that if the existing box in the wall is behind the tile backsplash or the mirrored glass, you will need to cut the vinyl tubes supplied to the desired length (maybe 1/8th or 1/2 inch).   Pull out the electrical receptacle so the back sides of the mounting tabs, (or as we like to call them on a duplex receptacle is the "Mickey Mouse Ears") are flush with the wall, mirror, or tile.

4. Cut the plastic screw spacer at the measured length and install it on the top and bottom mounting screws behind the flanges of the electrical fixture. (See the illustration above).

5. Now with the spacers attached, then place the electrical fixture back in the conduit box in the wall and affix it to the conduit box. You might want to put a piece of electrical tape over the heads of the conduit box mounting screws, as they could be resting on the backside of the glass switch plate, and might take the reflective paint off the back if they are touching too hard.

6. Hold the glass plate up to the electrical fixture and check to make sure the fixture is fitting flush against to back of the glass switchplate. If it is not, the glass switchplate may bend in and break when you tighten it to the electrical fixture.

7. Remember that the glass switchplate is flat on the backside unlike a normal switch plate which has a concaved back, and the receptacle may no come all the way out to the front of the glass switchplate, and this is normal, as the glass in beveled for easy access to the plug or switch.

8. If the glass switch plate does not bump up against the wall because your box in the wall may be out too far, you may need an inexpensive acrylic spacer plate that takes up the distance between the wall and the back of the glass switch plate.

9. This may all sound complicated, but it's really not, so take your time and your glass switchplates will look great for years to come.

10. You may also want to choose any of the mirrored accessories for your project for that special touch.

Take your time and do it right, like these customers who have sent us photos of their kitchens and baths with great success, so see our Photo Gallery below with some great ideas for you to read about.