Outlet attached under upper cabinet

seosmpJune 27, 2013


I've seen how some folks have installed outlets flush to the underside of an upper cabinet (rather than in the backsplash).

I have seen low profile outlets, so was considering that, but I will only have 1.5" from the bottom of the cabinet to the bottom of the light rail. I'm worried people will be able to see the outlet when sitting at the kitchen table.

I was wondering whether it would be possible to instead use a Silllite attached to a wood piece under the upper cabinet? So the wood piece would be simply to house the Silllite outlet.


1. For those who have outlets under the upper cabinet - are they visible when sitting down?

2. Has anyone used Silllites under an upper cabinet?

Most of my outlets will be an inch or two up from the counter (so low in the backsplash area), but I was considering having one on each end of a cabinet run flush under the cabinet (so not in backsplash at all).

Thanks a ton!

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I have Plugmold and they are not visible, which was a concern.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 6:13AM
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Thanks - I did consider plugmold, but really only need a single outlet, so want to keep it as simple as possible.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 9:51AM
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Sophie Wheeler

If you are worried about the view from a seating area, then you have more issues than just electrical outlets. The underside of your cabinets will be the standard interior color of light maple unless you upgrade all of them to matching interiors. That will likely be distracting to someone who is worried about the prominence of the outlets.

The solution is install a pancake outlet box with the outlet itself ordered from Lutron to color match the color of your cabinets as close as possible. Then install the UC lighting housings. Then skin the underside of the upper cabinets with a veneer and put on the color matched cover for the outlets and the housing cover for the lighting. The applied veneer will be cheaper than paying to upgrade a whole run of cabinets to matching interior and it will give a much more finished look to the underside.

Just the satin colors!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 10:23AM
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Thanks for the info -- perhaps I shouldn't be worried about the view while sitting at the kitchen table?? Are others not worried about it? With the light rail, maybe it's not an issue... my cabinets will be the standard 18" above the counter, and will have a 3/4" light rail I believe.

I do have a friend who has the finished underside which is really nice, but he has halogen puck lights. I plan to use LED tape.... not sure how that would work.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 10:35AM
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Sophie Wheeler

3/4" is a really small profile for light rail. Especially if you want to hide the lights when seated. You will still see them when seated with that low of a profile, unless you put them directly on the back side of the light rail pointing at the back wall rather than the underside of the cabinets pointing down. The light rail will hide them when standing, but not seated.

With your concerns about the view, I'd definitely plan to skin the underside of the cabinets. It will just look better overall.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 10:42AM
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My cabs were custom, and the cabmaker installed low profile outlets on the bottom, then put a false bottom in the cab so there was no bump. I lost less than an inch of space inside the cab. The bottoms of all my cabs are the same color as the cabs (he must do that standard), but you can't see them unless you stick your head under there. They're 17" from the counter.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 10:48AM
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Thanks - I will ask him about that....

BTW - these particular cabinets will be cherry with a dark stain..... it's sort of like a hutch / beg frig area by the kitchen table that is right next to the family room (i.e. it's one very long open 14' wide area).

Ginny20 - could you post a picture? Thanks!

HollySprings -- I will ask the cabinetmaker but just curious whether that is something that can be added later (the finished veneer)?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 10:56AM
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Here's a photo, but there isn't really much to see. Just a receptacle under the cab. The inside of the cab just looks like the inside of a cab - the false bottom covers the receptacle. Others had said they could put in low profile receptacles, but they said there would be a low box inside the cab. This cab maker put in the false bottom to avoid that.

The UCL's are Seagull Linear LED. I was worried that I should have done them in black wire instead of white, but you can't see them anyway and it doesn't actually make any difference.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 11:20AM
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Thanks! I agree - if you can't see anything, it doesn't really matter. I think if I just use the low profile Sillite (simplex outlet, 1" deep - only available in white) embedded in wood that matches the bottom, that seems like it would work. I would just use a brown cover to hide the outlet.

I haven't finalized on anything - just trying to get ideas in the next few days.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 12:02PM
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