sprekly

How would you install backsplash around light switch

sprekly
3 years ago


We are about to install our backsplash. Our electrician was unable to move the original location of the light switch during the kitchen reno. I want to the edge of the backsplash to run down vertically even with the upper cabinet. Any suggestions on how to install around a switch that is located where backsplash edging will be?

Comments (57)

  • tatts

    Your electrician is an idiot. Any switch/box can be moved. There may be more or less work involved, but it can be moved, and should be before you add the backsplash.

  • ninigret

    i'd just end the tile to the right of the 3 gang switch. if there are studs either side it cannot be moved and making it smaller still wont be even with the end of the cabinet.

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  • sprekly

    Thank you all. There is a switch on the other side of the wall in dining room and If I remember, that's why electrician couldn't move this one. Each switch operates a different set of lights. The far left is for the room next to kitchen and the others are pocket and island lights which are rarely used simultaneously. I wouldn't want them operated together on one switch. We have chosen gray glass mist 3x12 tiles. I want a vertical tile of same for my edging. The installer had a similar idea to Genevieve, raise switch to level of tile somehow,,,by putting something underneath the plate?? Seems awkward,,,l have to learn more about that.

  • kjbjw

    I think Genevieve is referring to pulling the box forward to allow for the thickness of the tile.

    We had to move ours, too but we didn't have a box on the other side of the wall. We also got rid of our kitchen land line.

    You could put the box higher than the one behind it. I don't know how much that would bother you, though.

  • leelee

    I would highly recommend you look into this type of electrical outlets. Would require some rewiring. One is a strip installed under cabinets with electrical outlets hidden and not interrupting your backsplash tiles.

    So much cleaner! Yikes computer glitch can't get my pictures to open but it's a strip of electrical plugs installed under cabinets and hidden from view. Might try to Google this. I recently saw it at a designer show house.

    Also, look into electrical plugs installed in drawers for charging stations for ipads, and phones.


  • tatts

    Repeat after me...All electrical boxes can be moved. It may take some work, but all electrical boxes can be moved. Do it before the tile goes in; it'll be too late after that, and the mistake will be forever.

    As to matching the level of the tile, if you decide that the box stays, there are filler pieces that can go on the front of the box to make it flush with the new surface. You do not have to move the whole box 1/2' forward, just add one of those filler things. The big-box home centers have them.

  • Bruce Crawford
    I ran into this exact problem on our K reno. Our electrician made it happen but he was a little dubious at first. We had 1-gang outlet & 2-gang switches. Needed to add 1 switch. He moved 2-gang over 1 stud to where outlet was, & installed 4-gang. He had to coax all the slack out in attic to avoid running new wiring, but made it w/ inch or so to spare. I'm on phone & don't have before & afters, but can post tomorrow.
  • Bruce Crawford
    Not best pic, but if you look to far right behind magnetic knife rack, you can see 4-gang. If electrician (or sparkies in Navy) hadn't worked his magic, would've been 1-gang on backsplash & 3-gang straddling it.
  • armchairshopper

    It is my understanding that there is a switch on the other side of the wall in dining room that prevents this switch from being relocated. It would be expensive, but one alternative would be to move the switch in the dining room (either slightly higher, lower, or adjacent to another wall stud. By getting the dining room switch out of the way, you could then move the kitchen switch where you want it. This is all very expensive: 1) a service call by the electrician and 2) multiple service calls by the drywall installer, and 3) another service call from your painter. Ask yourself: is it worth this expense for this detail, or should I go get myself a lovely knife rack like the one that Mr. Crawford has that obscures his very nice installation?

  • Bruce Crawford

    Here're pics that document my saga. The middle pic is the bottom one I PS'd for GC & electrician. Dry wall is easy to work with. You'll need an electrician for sure, but you can probably patch wall in DR & K yourself. If not comfortable going DIY on dry wall, it should be a nominal expense to hire someone. Your K is going to look great. I'd take care of this detail. You'll be kicking yourself for years if you don't. One can see where old sink wall ended in our K. Peninsula extended out from there, and breakfast counter was on DR side of peninsula.



    sprekly thanked Bruce Crawford
  • acm

    If you pull the junction box forward to the depth of the tile, then it's hanging in space where it extends past the tile -- not a solution. You can cut the tile around the switch plate and deal with the edges, or you can move the box. Those are your only real options. If you can raise the switch in the other room, it shouldn't be a huge drywall repair or crisis.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    If your electrcian can’t do this get a new one

  • PRO
    Brickwood Builders, Inc.

    There are many reasons a box can't move depending upon how the wire feeds (from above or below), whether it is the start of a run or the end of a run, whether it is the beginning of a three-way connection, and whether cabinetry was replaced so there was more access to the wall. Not everyone can (or would choose to) demo an entire room in order to create a junction box (required by code) in order to move the switches.

    While this certainly is not the norm, would it work in your space.

    View of Kitchen Peninsula and Sink area · More Info

  • acm

    Yes, tiling past the cabinet and down to the floor would be a good cover too. Probably worth the extra tile, even though bullnose is more expensive.

  • PRO
    Linda

    Yes it can be moved but it is probably going to be rather expensive and, in the long run, perhaps not worth the money. If there happens to be wires running through this box without connections, it might be quite difficult. Otherwise, it may be possible to cut out the drywall around the box and replace the existing box with a smaller one. That approach is probably going to require some finicky work to get the original box removed and the smaller box secured in the desired spot. I would be looking carefully at this to decide what would be involved and whether you are capable of doing the wall repair and touchup painting or will need to hire someone for this portion of the job.

    You just have to decide how much this is worth to you. It wouldn't be worth $500 to me to move a light switch a short distance and probably wouldn't be worth more than $100-$150 for my house. I'm facing that same challenge in my kitchen because I put the outdoor light switches in the same box as the kitchen switch (beside the door at the entrance to the kitchen). It seemed logical to me at the time but I now realize it should have gone on the other side of the doorway. It was my mistake and I'm just going to live with it as there's plenty of other places that are calling for my time, effort and money.

    sprekly thanked Linda
  • 467181pbj

    Your electrician didn't want to do the job. Mine was configured as yours is and my electrician "simply" combined them and we patched the drywall.

  • Geneviève

    My motto is nothing is impossible :)

  • kjbjw

    Let us know what you decide to do...

  • sprekly

    Thanks again. It's a decision in progress. I have some good ideas now to discuss with my electrician. Bruce, thanks for pics. We thought we'd need the phone jack, (old school) but we haven't used it at all. I'll run that suggestion by him. Backsplash can wait a bit longer.

  • murphy0418
    we did this around the light switch. the other side of the wall has other outlets so we couldn't move the switch. thoughts?
  • leelee

    Here's what I was trying to post back on May 30th but alas, too late

    sprekly thanked leelee
  • suzyq53

    Nope.

  • Lisa
    What about the switch on the other side, can you add one of the 3 to the other side? And make the kitchen with for 2? I am not a pro, just an idea.
    sprekly thanked Lisa
  • Bruce Crawford

    Murphy0418, it looks like your countertop runs out to door casing. I would take bksplsh all way, too, & not frame 2-gang switch JB in pencil liner, but run pencil liner against casing, w/ a caveat. I would only put liner against casing if switch wallplate can be trimmed to fit. If not, I would take field tile to casing as the casing would cover raw edge of field tile. I would then treat 2-gang same as your 1-gang outlets. I had similar problem (pics above), but was able to move JB. The more I think about it, I think I would take field tile to casing even if countertop doesn't go quite that far. Cap raw edges top & bottom w/ pencil liner. May be only an inch or so, but liner would hide raw edges.

  • Kathi Steele

    Murphy0418, totally agree with Bruce.

    Extend tile to end of wall and cap with pencil liner.

  • Bruce Crawford

    Murphy0418, here's something else that may help w/ your bksplsh. On my desktop I was able to copy your pic and blow it up to take a closer look. Your 2-gang holds a dimmer & a paddle switch. Legrand's Adorne line has 1/2-width paddle switches. You could mount a dimmer & 1/2-width in "portrait" mode in what they call a 1+ configuration to get more room w/ which to work betw. the switches & the door casing. They make several dimmers, I just grabbed random one. The switches & dimmers also come in white. They have a kajillion wallplate colors and finishes. The 1+-gang wallplate measures 3.45"Wx5.13"H. If this appeals to you, you'd probably want to change other electrical components above countertop to match. They also make matching GFCI's for the outlet near your sink.


    sprekly thanked Bruce Crawford
  • Bruce Crawford

    Murphy0418, I assumed your bksplsh tiles are 3x6" & scaled the 1+ wallplate accordingly to show how it would fit onto your 2-gang JB.


  • Bruce Crawford

    I get on a roll & can't stop. Here's a crude cut-&-paste to show what it may look like. I've shown pencil liner at betw. the field tile & door casing, but there may not be room for the liner. You may want to take field tile all the way to the casing.


  • jfutral

    There are other switch types available that offer physical economy. Like this:

    You may not be able to use this specific one, but there are options out there. Have your guy pick up a McMaster-Carr or Grainger catalogue and start looking. I saw this at Home Depot.

    Joe

  • Bruce Crawford

    jfutral, you're correct, but those are for switches only & Murphy has a dimmer on that 2-gang. The body of dimmers is bigger, especially if they're rated for LEDs.

  • suzyq53

    My dimmer for LEDs isn't bigger.

  • jfutral

    Well, two things. I don't see any dimmer control on the switches that are mounted, and I did not see anywhere the OP said anything about dimmers. So if that is the case, then my suggestion obviously won't work.

    However, the bigger point is that there are solutions. If one or two of the switches need dimmers, then maybe stack the switches, the dimmer above or below the non-dims. This isn't the first time someone needed to squeeze light control in a tight space.

    I work with LEDs all the time. The technology is evolving quickly. All that is changing even as we post here on Houzz. Dimmers aren't technically "rated" for LEDs. Just like there is no such thing as an HD antenna or digital sound. And the dimmer itself does not have to reside at the switch. That's just how they are more commonly seen by home owners at HD or Lowe's.

    Joe

  • Bruce Crawford

    If you zoom in on the 2-gang around which Murphy has placed pencil liner, the left side of the JB contains a dimmer. Re LED dimmers, they are bigger than the 1/2-size switches. My recent posts have been in response to Murphy0418, not the original request from weeks ago. I know of no 1/2-size dimmers.

  • jfutral

    Ah. I was addressing the orginal poster, not the hijack.

    ETA, But again, the dimmer does not have to reside with the switch. That's just how they are most commonly found.

    Joe

  • Bruce Crawford

    jfutral, there are dimmers specifically rated for LEDs. When I had my LED island pendants installed, the electrician showed me the flicker and said I did not have an LED-rated dimmer. I bought one and the flicker disappeared.

  • Bruce Crawford

    jfutral, it gets confusing. I had to scroll up & down to keep things straight.

  • jfutral

    It isn't "rated" for LED, there is just some extra diodes and electronics to smooth out the AC wave a bit more. Most household dimmers are just straight up, low end resistive, with little accounting for electronics. There may be a "configured" for LEDs, but even then you will be at the mercy of the LEDs themselves. The dimmer portion itself is not bigger and does not need to be rated for a higher load than incandescents. It just may be bigger for the extra electronics. It's like trying to use a rectifier tube for solid state amps.

    The problem is that LEDs are not AC, they are electronics (that whole Light Emitting DIODE thing), not electrical. So the issue is really with the LEDs not the dimmer. The two just aren't made for each other, even if you get an "LED" dimmer or LEDs that say they are dimmable. Without knowing what you had, I couldn't say if the problem was _really_ the dimmer itself, or the LEDs, or even your electricity. But it obviously was a quick fix without needing to know the real issue.

    The newer, better, LEDs are made to handle older resistive dimmers better, so you probably don't even need an LED "rated" dimmer (which I still contend is snake oil).

    With electronic controls, you don't need the dimmer at the switch plate or even in the wall. They can reside in the bulb itself, Philips HUE bulbs are testaments to that. That shows that the dimmer does not need to be that big, unless you are trying to "sell" something. Kind of like Monster Cables at Best Buy.

    As the Internet of Things start to intrude the home more and more, the idea of a "dimmer switch" becomes even more obsolete as lighting becomes solid state.

    LEDs are changing the lighting world, for better or worse.

    Joe

  • jfutral

    A little more succinct than my usual verbose "mansplaining", a higher quality dimmer is a higher quality dimmer. It isn't that it is rated for LEDs, it is just a better dimmer. It would also likely be better for incandescents, too—lower noise at lower intensities— for all the same reasons.

    Joe

  • kjbjw

    Slight threadjack and then I will be quiet...We have a specific led dimmer and led bulbs for that dimmer at the correct total wattage(?)....however they flash (NOT flicker) randomly and sometimes repeatedly (like a flashing light at an intersection). There are 8 bulbs on this one dimmer and they all flash at the same time.

    Any ideas as to the cause?

  • jfutral

    There really is no telling the cause, other than something is likely faulty (unless you missed the writing that said "flashing lights"). I'd contact the seller and/or manufacturer.

    Joe

  • ker9
    Can you just flip it to be vertical instead of horizontal?
  • Bruce Crawford

    Jfutral, thx, Joe. I have two anecdotes. One, w/ my pendants I swapped an inexpensive Adorne dimmer w/ another that said it was LED-rated. Nothing else changed. Perhaps if I'd just tried another inexpensive one, flicker might have disappeared, too. Other, about 4 yrs. ago I wanted remote dimmer for LED cans in FamRm. Ltg. store advised I may get flicker. I didn't. Remote was a Lutron. Thx for dimmer primer.

  • Bruce Crawford

    Back to Murphy0418's issue, I don't know if his dimmer load is LEDs or not. If there are 1/2-size dimmers, his backsplash solution would have more options.

  • jfutral

    I do wish more people would come back to threads and let everyone know how things worked out.

    Joe

  • sprekly

    In response to the initial backsplash/light switch issue. I talked to my electrician and there are issues with moving my switch. One is the switch on the other side of the wall, an adjacent stud and wiring not long enough to move it. It would be a major job. I'm now considering putting the switch on the other side of the wall in dining room if possible. I'll run that thought by him as well. For me, seems like the least worst option.....unfortunately I didn't think of this during the Reno.

  • jfutral

    That's not a bad idea.

    Joe

  • Bruce Crawford

    Sprekly, thx for update. Unlike Murphy0418, to whom I was responding earlier today, your 3-gang holds all switches. JFutral proposed a sol'n above where 3 switches fit into 1-gang space. This may greatly simplify your dilemma. His pic is not too far above.

    sprekly thanked Bruce Crawford
  • murphy0418
    here's what we ended up doing. I'm happy with it.
  • suzyq53

    Murphy - Yep. Makes all the difference.

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