Outlets in the countertop . . .

jakabedyJuly 18, 2008

Our current kitchen has these (ca. 1978) with the big metal covers that spring down over the outlets). I'm thinking this is probably not what is done anymore, and they are hideous, anyway, so I am looking for options.

The kitchen is a large galley kitchen with one side of it actually open to the rest of the room. Sort of an "island", but not with the usual function of an island (no seating on the other side, or actual usable access on the other side). It's an MCM house with an inside garden area -- this is what is on the other side of the "island" and there is a brick wall on the back of the island that rises about 6" above the countertop surface -- gives a bit of a backsplash for the sink, hides the junk on the counter, and holds the groovy planter boxes on top.

The jury is still out on whether we're leaving the brick wall as-is to conceal the countertop a bit, or whether we're shortening it a bit so the island top itself is fully exposed and flat.

But back to the issue. The outlets for this island (the thing is 17' long) are in the countertop. The construction of the brick wall makes it not really possible to move them to the short backsplash area. I'm thinking the other options are a plugmold (but I'm not sure I'll like the look of that in the planned smooth IKEA kitchen) or one of those pop-up outlet towers I saw somewhere.

Any thoughts?

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You can find popup grommets from Doug Mockett that would work for you. Check with your local code.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mockett Power Grommets

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 11:12AM
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Sorry that they're so big but i just learned how to imbed pics from a website into the message. Is either of these what you want?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 11:13AM
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I know Mocketts, but what's the second one, remodelfla?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 11:17AM
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I don't know what you're planning for a countertop, but people will make outlet covers out of granite so they're not quite as obtrusive. HTH. OTOH, those Mocketts seem to fit nicely with the gadgety mindset of a MCM house :)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 11:18AM
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Is the first one of remodelfla's Mockett's too? And I agree with the other posters - it would work well with your kitchen, jacabedy.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 11:21AM
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This is the first one:http://www.mockett.com/default.asp?ID=4&action=detail&partCode=PCS34

This is the second one: http://www.lewelectric.com/images/JPGS%20(350x350)/PUFP-BD.jpg

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 11:30AM
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Thanks remodelfla! This may solve my plugmold dilemma, as we do not have uppers to *hide* a plugmold.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 11:49AM
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Don't get your heart set on Mocketts until you check with your local code. NJ (where I live) requires 20 amp service to kitchen outlets and the Mocketts are only 15 amp. We had to be creative with plugmold and were able to hid one regular outlet. Unfortunately, one outlet had to be mounted on a cabinet side to meet code of an outlet every 4 ft. for an island.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 11:54AM
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those mockets would be even cooler if you could fit them with a round cut-out of the countertop material on top so that they'd be almost invisible. not sure if that's possible....

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 12:12PM
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Don't assume that just because the planters are there that you can't have outlets in the back side facing your kitchen. With direct burial cable enclosed in conduit inside the planter, (just like doing an outlet for outdoors) you'd never see the wires. Chiseling out enough brick to be able to put in the outlets wouldn't be that hard, and your kitchen would be much more useful with permanantly accessible outlets.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 12:48PM
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Thanks, all. You know, the magazines all show these sleek, flat islands with the countertop material wrapping down to the floor -- but they sure don't show where to put the outlets!

And I had forgotten about the every-four-feet issue. We're in an area with not much of a local code (unincorporated county), but I'll be sure to get that sorted out before planning further. There are only two outlets now -- roughly at 5' in from each end on the 17'9" island.

I love the look of the Mockett's. But even if the amperage issue can be resolved, I wonder about the durability of it. It looks like it was designed for an office environment rather than a kitchen. The other looks workable, but it seems to take up a lot of room and looks more like a floor outlet, at least to me.

I may need to look further into using the backsplash that is there now. I looked more closeley at the construction just now. It is simply one row of bricks with a thin plywood attached to it, and the laminate backsplash glued to that thin plywood -- not a lot of room to work with.

But, the entire bank of cabinets could actually come in from the brick wall a bit without compromising the aisle space too much. That would allow room for construction of a false wall there so wiring could be run and outlets inserted flush. I think that may be the ticket.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 1:15PM
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>It looks like it was designed for an office environment rather than a kitchen.

FWIW, they were designed for lab use, where spills are even more potentially damaging than in a kitchen.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 1:24PM
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