Should we remove the telephone jack in the kitchen?

meek95April 17, 2013

Our phone with answering machine is currently mounted on our kitchen wall. With our remodel, we will be adding a backsplash to this area so I don't want the phone in the middle of it. My husband has suggested we put a hole in the countertop (with a gromet) and run the wire down into the base cabinet wall and set the phone on the counter. We could also remove the phone jack entirely and put a cordless on the countertop or elsewhere. Has anyone else removed their landline? I'm not sure it will make much difference in the future with so many dropping landline service anyway. It is the only phone jack on the first floor, we have several on the second floor (which means we would have to go upstairs to listen to the answering machine).

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breezygirl

I purposely kept a landline phone jack in the kitchen, but I hid it in the pantry. We did a whole house reno and I actually added some jacks to bedrooms that didn't previously have them. Even though I have a one-story house with a landline jack just down the house in the office from the kitchen, I knew I wanted to keep one in the main living area of the house. I didn't, however, want a phone out in the open in the new kitchen. Hence the pantry location. Landlines are vital in a power outage or other emergency situation. Do you have a pantry or other hidden spot in a room nearby where you could inconspicuously hide a jack?

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 1:33AM
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njasmine1

You should not remove the jack just find a way to cover it up. You never know when you will need that jack, here in Louisiana we deal with hurricanes all the time and a landline is a life saver.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 1:42AM
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suzanne_sl

Our phone was also on the wall, but we really didn't want it there. We came up with this phone niche:

You could also get a phone set that has a base that is connected to a jack somewhere else in the house and use one of the remotes in the kitchen. They don't all need their own jack.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 1:50AM
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fourten1j

I'm in a condo and have never had landline service. Since I'm remodeling my kitchen (where the phone jack is), I'm going to just tile over the jack.

If you have other places to plug your landline phone and voicemail machine, I think it'd leave your kitchen area much cleaner looking.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 2:58AM
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torontotim

Ditch it.

Put a cordless satellite phone in there from a good set. I got a Panasonic set with 4 handsets and one of them came in silver/white for the kitchen while the other 3 sets are black.

You can access the messages from any of the handsets.

Just make sure you create an area for a phone, iPad etc. to sit and be plugged in. Sadly even the nicest looking gadgets have ugly chargers. In that area you might consider an outlet in the lower base cabinet and a way to route cables down to it, so you can plug stuff in and just have the wires coming up to the counter.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 3:13AM
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islanddevil

I'm keeping my landline. It was vital during 2 wildfires when we received emergency robo calls about evacuate and also during an extensive blackout when we couldn't recharge our phones.
Only have 2 phone jacks, Master bedroom and kitchen and unfortunately it's through the granite backsplash. When remodeled last time the GC didn't think we should mess with rerouting it to the other side of a pony wall. This time I'll find a way to make it less obtrusive.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 3:18AM
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ellendi

Keep your landline and make sure you have a corded phone because the cordless will not work in a power outage.
But, put it else where. Mine are all over the house but I removed it from the kitchen when we remodeled. Most calls come directly to us with our cell phones anyway.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 7:07AM
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rococogurl

We had 2 landlines -- both went out during Irene. The mobile went out also but only for 24 hours.

If you have cordless phones and no power, the landline will only work with an old-fashioned phone. I keep one around for that.

I have a phone jack left over from the reno and it's covered with a picture. If I was tiling I'd remove it because it's so unlikely it will ever be used.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 7:28AM
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Nicole

We got rid of the corded phone and jack in the kitchen, but still have one in the basement. I find it necessary for the rare power outages--to report the outage and to keep checking on the estimated time it'll be fixed. Cell service at my house is only strong enough for texts to get through when you're in certain spots.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 7:29AM
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nycbluedevil

Ditto what ellendi and torontotim said. We removed our landline jack from the kitchen. We have a multiple phone system with a base in our office. The regular plug in handsets are all over the apartment including the kitchen.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 7:30AM
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mrspete

We did away with our landline about ten years ago and have not missed it at all. I anticipate no phone jacks in our new build.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 9:20AM
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cathy725

I had the same issue. I decided to ditch the kitchen phone jack. I figured most people are going to cell phones. Also everyone these days has cordless phones. My phone service includes the answering machine so I don't even need to check a base station to see if I have calls--the phone itself blinks.

So I decided to have a phone jack in the family room where i will put the main phone, and I will put a cordless in the kitchen. My DH really wanted a jack in the kitchen, but I don't see a reason for it and talked him out of it.

Originally I wanted to hide it in a cabinet, but I couldn't find a good place to do that so I decided to go wireless!

Good luck with your decision.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 9:54AM
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meek95

I go to bed at night and wake up to 20 responses, this is great! You have all given me wonderful advice. Never even knew satellite phones existed. I think I will keep the jack but hide it in the base cabinet underneath and not hook anything up to it yet. That way it'll be there if we decide we need it. Thanks to everyone for the comments.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 10:12AM
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cookncarpenter

I removed the phone, which we never use anymore and covered the jack with an old Griswold frying pan...

This post was edited by ctycdm on Wed, Apr 17, 13 at 11:19

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 10:57AM
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cookncarpenter

here's the pan covering the jack, quick and easy...

This post was edited by ctycdm on Wed, Apr 17, 13 at 11:32

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 11:05AM
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ellendi

Love that idea cry!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 11:18AM
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Iowacommute

I live in a rural area with a small local carrier for landline service. So our landline is useless during a power outage. It really depends on your carrier-if the lines are buried, and if the company has a back up generator.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 11:19AM
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momand3boys

Our kitchen phone jack is on a bare wall and we just put a plate over it. We have a cordless that comes up through a hole in the countertop at our desk area between the kitchen and dining area. We saved our corded phone so we could always hook it up under the counter if we need to.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 11:24AM
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corgimum

Our landline has been gone for three years. Don't miss it a bit. We drywalled over the kitchen jack.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 2:01PM
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CEFreeman

It doesn't matter what kind of phone you have if you're on digital service. FIOS, for example. You need to be on old, analog service. So ditch those notions if that's what you have.

I got rid of mine simply because I couldn't afford $80 a month (then) to talk to DirectTV when I wanted a movie. Haven't looked back.

Then, FIOS came in and the hole point was moot, anyway.

I wouldn't have a visible phone in my back splash -- if I had one -- either. They're not works of art, nor do they add beauty to the room. They're eye stoppers in a bad way.

I'm also not sure I'd put a grommet in my beautiful counter, either. Pull those wires down thru the wall and into the back of the cabinet.

I also 2nd the idea of checking with your phone company about answering service. Just to get rid of that old answering machine would be worth the few cents it would be a month.

When all is said and done, I like the frying pan.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 2:11PM
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meek95

Definitely not a grommet in the countertop. Now I'm trying to figure out where to put the base for the alarm, that needs a phone line for monitoring (which I cancelled a long time ago anyway). I'm ready to ditch the landline, can't talk DH into it.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 3:09PM
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a2gemini

We ditched our kitchen jack.
I left a jack in the sunroom for emergencies.
If I need a landline - I just bring a cordless into the kitchen.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 8:02PM
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sail_away

We continue to use our landline, along with cell phones. When this house was built, they put in a phone jack in nearly every room, so we could easily get along without the phone jack in the kitchen.

My problem is that we plan to put in a tile backsplash on the wall that has the kitchen phone jack. I hate to keep the phone jack, as it is an unsightly interruption in the tile. However, it is my understanding that you should not eliminate the phone jack and tile over where it was located, as leaving a capped off phone jack might interfere with telephone reception on other phones. Is this true? I'd love to just cap off the wires and shove them in the wall and tile over it---we have another phone jack just 15' away in the family room,so it won't be missed. However, I don't want to create more problems and risk having to pull out the backsplash to fix it.

I should add that we are not doing a big kitchen reno where walls might be opened up and we'd have more options. We are just doing a bit of a refresh of our kitchen that included new floor, new appliances, new countertops, and a tile backsplash. We're almost ready to start on the backsplash.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 8:36PM
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writersblock

>It doesn't matter what kind of phone you have if you're on digital service. FIOS, for example. You need to be on old, analog service. So ditch those notions if that's what you have.

Yes, this is very true. I have old style ADSL and a landline, both of which worked well recently when all the U-verse customers in our area were without either internet or phone for several days.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 8:42PM
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sis2two

We have a landline on our kitchen wall. We have a black retro looking phone which we like in our country style kitchen.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 9:12PM
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liriodendron

Like Sis2two, an old fashioned, wall-hung, rotary dial, land line is a vital part of my renovation plans. Can't imagine a farmhouse kitchen without a phone like that.

You know the kind with the rectangular-shaped plastic wall box, a chrome plated cradle, a long curly extension cord and hand set that's so comfortable and easy to use. You can tuck it between your ear and shoulder and carry on cooking and talking at the same time. I'm keeping an eye out for one in just the right color.

We don't have reliable and portable cell service within the house (slate roofs and poor signal area). We can use cell phones inside but only when they are hardwired to the repeater antenna wire. Or we can go outside and walk up to the top of our big hay field and talk there. That's where the best signal is.

Guests are always incredulous when their mobiles don't work here. Makes for much better parties when no one is distracted by calls and texts.

L.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 4:02AM
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Slappified

If the phone line is a cat rated line, it could be used for a hardwired internet connection or run low def video. Never know the future, though in the future you could always install the better wire.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 8:48AM
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raehelen

Sail-away, I would contact your phone service provider, and ask them about the capping-off issue. Chances are, if you are right, that they will send someone out to do it properly. I wouldn't tile over anything without checking first.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 12:39PM
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sail_away

Raehelen, Good idea. Funny, I never thought of calling and asking. DH is an incredibly talented do-it-yourselfer, so i'm used to just talking over options with him and going from there. It would be smart to talk with our local telephone company.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 2:46PM
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babushka_cat

keep your landline in case of emergency but move jack to another room in the 1st floor. i also had a jack in my kitchen and did the same thing. no regrets!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 2:55PM
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mrspete

Okay, the frying pan idea is just plain cool.

I don't anticipate us installing a phone line in our new house, but IF we do, for sure we're going to hide it under a frying pan.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 3:05PM
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dilly_ny

I have other jacks in my house, so I wanted to ditch the kitchen jack and just have a cordless phone in the kitchen. DH disagreed, wanted a jack. We had our electrician run the hard wire from the basement to the kitchen (since old line was cut when we removed a wall where jack was located).Now I have a brand new, very ugly jack on my beautiful new backsplash. And the iony is that it doesn't even work! It's on our list to get it checked, but it annoys me.

So despite running a hard wire line and installing an ugly jack, I now use a cordless phone in the kitchen. So I vote don't do it.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 4:08PM
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SparklingWater

I think that is what I will do-remove the wall jack and low voltage wire.

The link below provides a retro alternative for those who might choose not to remove their kitchen telephone jack. Comes in black, red and brushed nickel.

Here is a link that might be useful: phone link:

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 11:01PM
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Cavimum

"My husband has suggested we put a hole in the countertop (with a gromet) and run the wire down into the base cabinet wall and set the phone on the counter."

Our kitchen has a desk, so with our new cabinets this is exactly what we did. The jack was set down into the knee area, so still easily accessible.

I spend half my time in the kitchen, so must have a phone there.

Our cordless phones don't work without a phone jack for the base charger, and are useless in a power outage. Only our "corded" old-fashioned phones will work when the power is out. Even then, they're only good until the main backup battery goes out since we're now on a VOIP system. At that point, we'd have to hope the cell phones have a good charge. Ah, "progress." .... gah.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 9:39AM
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misntroya

We don't presently have a landline in our kitchen or laundry room but we will in our remodel. DH and I collect antique telephones (it's how we met) and in this remodel he has already run the lines we need to have a couple of our favorite working vintage/antique telephones. I love the look, the clickity click of the dial, the heft of the handset, the sound of the ring. Guess I am TTO (Totally Telephone Obsessed).

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 9:28PM
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EATREALFOOD

misntroya:I love the look, the clickity click of the dial, the heft of the handset, the sound of the ring."
I'm with you. LOVE PHONES TOO ! I bought a Western Electric rotary and moved the jack around the corner to be placed on a small hallway shelf(well not a big hallway just a bit of wall perpendicular to the sofa). I do not have a mobile here since my non local calls are international. I keep a touchtone for calling card calls overseas. I find conversations are rushed at best and tinny sounding/echoing on mobiles. They are handy, though for real long heart wrenching conversations I want my rotary/touchtone landline because the conversation is richer sounding. My GF has a cordless which stops in mid conversation due to charging issues.
Do you rewire them yourself or have someone hardwire them ? I would love to hook up a princess. I kept all jacks and would never be without a "land" line(stupid expression, sounds like the opposite of "boat" line) wherever I move..
but I also have a Toastmaster toaster and waffle iron and a wooden ironing board. I keep it simple.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 10:03PM
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Cavimum

"... though for real long heart wrenching conversations I want my rotary/touchtone landline because the conversation is richer sounding"

And one never has to worry about a battery running down during those long convos, either.

I really, really wish I had hung on to the old rotary dial wall phone we had in a previous kitchen, but that harvest gold color no longer worked... ;o)

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 9:20AM
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misntroya

Eatrealfood, my DH,in another life,refurbished old telephones when they were the property of the phone company. We even have a professional type buffer machine in the basement, so our old telephones shine like a mirror. He was selling old 1940s-1960s style phones on ebay when I won one, and the rest is history.

I am like you, we have some vintage appliances we still use. And we scored a really cool built-in ironing board at an antique show recently, which we'll install during our laundry room remodel.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 10:03AM
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chicgeek

If you can afford it, keep your land line. As others have said, cell service may not work during a major power outage (we found this out about 10 years ago when power went out on entire East Coat-my cell didn't work, but I could call my family on the land line. From that point on, we decided to keep it).

We were very undecided where to put the phone. We wanted to keep it in the kitchen, but really didn't have many places to put it because we had knocked down a few walls (for a few weeks, we had the phone on a 2x4 that was hanging from the ceiling joists-we called it "phone on a stick"). We have the main land line phone on the counter top of our "message center". The phone jack is in the cabinet and we had a hole drilled in the quartz and have a grommet. We did get a new phone that allows cordless phones to be used with this phone-the best of both worlds.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 4:57PM
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miclelee12

Just imagine your cordless like a show piece and show your device when anyone enter in your kitchen area. You can keep attractive image in mind of kitchen visitors and you can listen the ring of device when anyone want to get in touch person who act in kitchen.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 7:20AM
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