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Horizontal or vertical outlets/switches with subway tile?

AboutToGetDusty
10 years ago

Calling all subway tile owners and lovers...any opinions/pictures? I'm trying to decide whether to have my outlets & switches positioned vertically or horizontally, considering I'll be going with a subway tile backsplash. Thanks!

Comments (19)

  • a2gemini
    10 years ago

    Horizontally if possible! Fits right into the tile.
    Love your handle!!
    BTW - cover everything!!!

  • nini804
    10 years ago

    We did ours horizontal....they do seem to blend in (white tile, white outlets.)

  • AboutToGetDusty
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Thanks, my sister told me she thought the horizontal idea was weird, but I'm digging it. Hoping to see pictures. Guess I should change my handle now...I am dusty. But not as bad as I thought. Contractor built a temporary wall with a door to the danger zone, and is using a negative air machine during work hours. I'm crossing my fingers my family's lungs can handle it all!

  • willtv
    10 years ago

    Here's a shot of our subway tile backsplash with horizontal outlets.


    In most cases, I like the horizontal best with subway tile.

  • nini804
    10 years ago

    We did horizontal...

  • AboutToGetDusty
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Thanks nini804! So it looks like switch plates are slightly bigger than 3x6 field tile? So are the outlets about 3" off your counter? Do you find them easy to use? This gives me an idea of how it would look like - I really appreciate it! I'm going to show this picture to the GC :-)
    Willtv, how far up are your outlets from your counter? I wonder if my town has a certain distance by code...

  • Circus Peanut
    10 years ago

    Actually they fit right into a 3x6 subway tile. I did horizontal outlets and made them nice and low on the counter so all cords would be hidden. At the time I was reliably informed that no code actually dictates a minimum distance, so it's at your own discretion.

    Before switchplate:

    After switchplate:

  • willtv
    10 years ago

    Ours are about 5" above the countertop.
    They were supposed to line up with the tile rows, like nini's, but due to the floor height having to be raised, it didn't work out that way.
    I don't know if our town has a code requirement but I would mount them at least 3" above the countertop for looks, safety and ease of use.

  • babushka_cat
    10 years ago

    i also went horizonal, definately the way to go with subways.....

    mine looks just like nini804, second row up from counter. that way appliances hide them, splash looks nice and clean.

  • bahacca
    10 years ago

    Question for those of us with EXISTING outlets-can they be changed to horizontal? I am taking the backsplash down and may want to do this if we go with subways.

  • lwerner
    10 years ago

    bahacca: Unless your setup is unusual, changing the outlets to horizontal should be a fairly easy and inexpensive job after the old backsplash is out. Maybe a few hours.

    If you're comfortable with minor electrical work and with cutting holes in your walls you could even do it yourself. That's what I'd do, but I'm fairly handy (and a bit crazy) and have done a lot of electrical work in the past. If you don't know exactly how to do the project, or if you're at all uncomfortable or nervous about it, hire an electrician. It's too easy to injure or kill yourself with mains current. I have a lovely burn scar to prove it, from when I knew just enough to be dangerous and not quite enough to be safe.

    Laura

  • bahacca
    10 years ago

    Thanks Laura. A friend of mine has done electric work for about 10 years now and is getting his contractor's license, so I trust him enough to do that and hang our pendants(or do cans-whatever I decide to do). I'll paint and demo and design, but I will not do 2 things-electric and high ladders.

  • breezygirl
    10 years ago

    My outlets are also oriented horizontally, although I'm undecided on tile. I knew I needed outlets on my range wall to meet code and with the windows flanking the hood that would have been difficult so I tucked them under the windows.

    Here's a closeup of the outlet to the right of the cleanup sink for perspective. The bottom of the outlet is just less than 1.5" from the counter.

    Horizontal outlets are great. In fact, I barely even notice their positioning anymore. Can't wait to see your bs!

    Bahacca--moving outlets is easy enough. You'll need a cross-brace between the studs for nailing the electric box as boxes were meant to install vertically so the metal nailer is on the side, which then becomes the top. You can see it in my pics. Speaking of moving boxes, notice the lack of drywall around mine? I think the electrician didn't do the math correctly the first time. :(

  • AboutToGetDusty
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Thanks, everyone! I'm going to do one row up from the counter - should be done tomorrow (and grouted the next day). Too many cooks in the kitchen today - electrician, plumber, contractor - in a small space. Crossing fingers the space will be ready for a 4th of July BBQ. I am not having company over if I will be hand-washing dishes in my bathroom sink ;-)

  • gypsy_jazz
    10 years ago

    Breezygirl, are those cabinets custom? If not, what line? Frameless?

    Great looking white kitchen, classic. And great placement on those outlets.

  • slonewby
    10 years ago

    I"m going to go against the flow and say I prefer them vertical. Unless you have a very modern kitchen, they just look *off* to me when placed horizontally. I love old fashioned/french country style though so I'm going to opt for horizontal with decorative plates.

  • breezygirl
    10 years ago

    Gypsy Jazz--yes, my cabs are custom. The price was better than from the big box store. They are not frameless. Thanks for the compliment!

    Oops. I just realized that pic shows my old and very strange warming drawer cab front. It has since been replaced with a regular Shaker front to match the others.

  • sbp59
    10 years ago

    I just got a quote today to switch the outlets to horizontal. First he told me $140.00 per outlet. Then after I balked he said $65.00 per outlet...

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