Outlets & Cords.Ways to hide them without an appliance garage

gwentmMarch 17, 2010

Outlets for electrical cords are needed for so many different things in a kitchen- mostly countertop appliances and portable phones but also chargers, TVs, computers, etc. I am interested in suggestions on how best to install outlets whether in in backsplashes, under cabinets, inside cabinets and drawers, grommets.... to minimize the visibilty of both the outlets and cords. What has worked best for kitchens without appliance garages? Pictures would be a big help if you have them.

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Unplug and put away the appliances/cords. This is what my M-I-L does.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 6:54PM
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First, I realize that this post does not answer your concerns. Now, could you perhaps tell me why you are apparently offended by the aesthetics of a common household power outlet? I don't even notice them, unless I have a cord in hand.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 7:46PM
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Some people have located a quad outlet or two in a particular kitchen cabinet. Place all chargers, etc in that cabinet. Other than that, even with plug mold you'll just have the cords hanging down. If the kitchen has a desk area for computer, phone base station, etc, put outlets below the desk with a grommet in the desk. Also place outlets above the desk for seldom use items (easier than reaching under the desk) For most back splashes, I would much rather have designer outlets on the wall than plug mold. For a stone display or glass looking tile displays, I can understand going to plug mold.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 9:25PM
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I realize I need to have them of course. The layout of our apartment will be very open after our renovation and the backsplash in the kitchen will (hopefully) be very striking and visible from both the DR and some of the LR. So I just want to maximize the effect.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 9:35PM
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Spencer Electrician, I agree totally with you about wires hanging down. But do you also have objection to plugmold if it is used in an area where the outlets are used only occassionally? Or would you still prefer electrical outlets?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 11:06PM
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It's fine but in terms of best use, maybe not. To plug something in, you have to bend over and look up to fit the plug. Items with transformers on the plugs (cordless phones, low voltage stuff) can easily fall out because of their weight. It does serve the purpose of meeting code however. Sometimes when people have a particular back splash where they use little electrics and hate having an outlet at all, it is a great alternative. Then it is best if an alternate counter (where you work the most) has conventional wall receptacles.

What most electricians really hate is installing it. Bad enough to plug something in. Worse to look straight up installing it for a few hours. Also requires use of a GFCI breaker or feeding it from a kitchen circuit protected by a wall receptacle GFCI.

Also with the looks, even very elaborate back splashes usually look fine with receptacles. Just get the correct color (white, almond, ivory, brown, black, or gray). Drives me nuts when I see dark brown with white devices or a white back splash with ivory devices. Can also get fancy and order Lutron's receptacles in like 24 different colors. Putting the receptacles horizontally and only 1" above the counter top also hides them well.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 11:24PM
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And receptacle inside an "appliance garage" do not meet the requirements for the kitchen counter receptacles in the NEC.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 11:27AM
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Spencer Electrician - Thanks for the detailed explanation. I now understand why electricians don't like to recommend Plugmold. I went to look at the Lutron receptacles at my lighting store and found a color sample that should match perfectly.

There still may be one place where I may want to put Plugmold if possible. Is there a best way to have it installed for efficiency and where it will be the least visibile?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 12:46PM
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Just stub out a 12/2 wire from the other counter top GFCI protected outlets, at the corner of where the cabinets meet the backsplash, at either end. Install it to the bottom of the cabinet and if you have a lip on the cabinet, it will hide the plugmold. Or leave sheetrock open at the top of the backsplash (hidden by the cabinet lip, and install the plug mold facing outward to the sheetrock.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 1:12PM
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Thank you!!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 2:06PM
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