Just can't fall in love with PlugMolds, am I crazy?

berardmrSeptember 6, 2012

I admit I loved the idea of plugmolds at first. But the more I think about it, the less convinced I became that it's the cat's meow.

I still need a normal outlet for the coffee maker and cordless phone. I may be wrong, but it looks like the plugmolds can be easily seen from a standing position if you're on the short side.

I'd love to be convinced that plugmolds are the way to go. I'm leaning towards thinking that there are just as many downsides as positives with them, though. My backsplash is a solid beige color and I could probably just color match the outlets and paint them so they blend in.

Ideas, pro and con are greatly appreciated! I don't want to regret my decision (either way) later.

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Some people love them, and some people don't. We thought about them and ended up going with traditional outlets in the backsplash. We had concerns about plugmold's utility for us. We didn't really want to see black cords trailing up to the bottom of the cabinets (some all the time and some just while in use), and we decided we didn't like the idea of having to bend over to find the outlet hole. The downside of having gone with traditional outlets is that you can see them, of course, but they don't bother us as they're something you "expect" to see.

I think it's relatively easy to install plugmold in a way that you can't see when standing, unless you're toddler-sized. If you have a light bar to hide under-cabinet lighting, then the plugmold can nestle behind that out of sight. If your cabinets haven't been made, then you can have the light bar (and doors) made to be long enough to be sure to hide the plugmold.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 11:49AM
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I also have never had them so I can't sing their praises but I have never really objected to outlets and switches in the backsplash area so I didn't consider them.

I did go with hardwired UCL and love them but cabinet area of my kitchen as no windows and I love the extra light.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 11:59AM
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I was set on getting plug molds, but my electrician advised against it because it could be a pain to plug things in if you have to bend down to see the plug slots. Nice idea, but not sure how great it is IRL.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 12:02PM
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Put me in the love them group. We have them all the way around the kitchen *except* in the 24" wide space between our full height built in oven cabinet and the stove. In that spot we have regular outlets. That is the home for the coffee makers sitting on the counter. I knew they would be out and plugged in a lot of the time so I didn't want a cord going up to the underside of our upper cabinets.

Besides that one spot, I didn't want any outlets to mar my beautiful (and expensive) Fire & Ice backsplash (that has not been installed yet!). Hence, the plug mold. Another advantage of the plugmold is no shortage of outlets exactly where you want or need one.

We do not keep any other appliances on our counter. Use them and then put them back away. Even if we did, we would unplug them in between uses and tuck the cord behind the item. i.e. If the toaster stayed on counter it would only be plugged in while it was being used, so the cord up to the plug mold would not be for long. Also, seeing the cord hanging there is visible and would be a reminder to unplug the appliance.

I do not find them hard at all to access. We have the standard kind that faces straight down, although I assume they also could have been installed facing straight out. There is also one that is made to install on an angle which I understand is very easy to use.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 12:13PM
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We are putting plugmold on our island but not under our wall cabinets. The only thing I leave plugged in is the toaster oven and with plugmold the cord would show. A standard outlet is less obtrusive in that case. I am planning my backsplash tile carefully so that the accent tiles will not be in the same space of the outlet/switch plates. I also plan to color match the plates to the tile. I also have a bunch of switches- garbage disposal, dishwasher, ucl and recessed that would be there regardless of what I did with my outlets so plugmold was not the answer for me.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 1:36PM
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We have them..........all around the lab.

Too industrial utilitarian for me.

Would look like my work.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 1:36PM
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P.S. And my husband is 6'6'' so he is not a fan of plugmold under the cabinets.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 1:37PM
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I had an eureka moment about plugmold when I figured out that jm_seattle's beautiful finished traditional kitchen had outlets & plugmold. Just what angela12345 is talking about.

Here is a link that might be useful: jm_seattle's kitchen

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 2:43PM
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"it could be a pain to plug things in if you have to bend down to see the plug slots."

Or just feel for them with your fingers.

The electricity is not going to jump out and bite you (it is pretty far back from the face of the holes).

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 2:47PM
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I have them and love them. But I'm not going to convince you to get them. That's because there's no right or wrong. It all boils down to style. The ultimate reason why you'd want them should be determined by how you value your back splash. Some people want the back splash "pristine." Others don't care. For those who fall in the former, they love them because it keeps the BS "clean" looking.

As far as cords hanging down, we only keep the coffee maker plugged in all the time. It's 15" tall, so not much of the cord is visible. Therefore, it's not an issue. When I was thinking all this through, my solution to the hanging cord was to change the color of the visible cord, if that became an issue. There are wire jackets or sheaths that come in various colors. Of course color matching by paint would probably be easiest and most accurate way to disguise cords. Fortunately for us, the hanging cords when plugged in don't bother us at all, because it's temporary.

The other reason I love them is that I have more sockets available across my work surface. I rarely if ever have cords running across my counter. From mixer to blender to food processor to laptop to portable DVD player to battery charger to cordless phone, none of the cords get tangled or crossed when plugged in, because no two cords lead to the same point. There's always a socket closer to the point of use. I just remembered, the cordless handset is the other thing we plug in all the time. The wire is thin and gray, so it's not really noticeable.

So I wouldn't sweat it. If you want it, you want it. If you don't, you don't. It's not going to be the end of the world either way.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 3:56PM
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I think it depends on how you use your kitchen.

Do you keep things on your counter and have them plugged in all the time? If you do, plugmold may not be the right thing for you. Any of our things that are plugged in all the time will go into a cabinet where there is a standard electric outlet.

If you have just one or two things that you keep plugged in all the time, you may want to consider low outlets (closer to the counter and nearer where the base of the plug comes out of the appliance) for those areas and plugmold for the rest of the area for things that are only plugged in sometimes.

If you think that plugging in something where you can't see it as easily is going to be an annoyance to you, then plugmold may not be the right solution for you.

If you are getting a backsplash that has a good bit going on with it, you may not want to break it up with electrical outlets and plugmold might be good. If it's not a focal point in your kitchen, then it might not matter so much.

There's nothing wrong with deciding that one thing suits you better than something else, even if many of the GW people prefer something. For instance - we are going with a double bowl sink, even though the general GW wisdom advises a single bowl...we won't have a separate prep sink (which most single bowl people do), so it wasn't the right choice for us.

One of the best things about here is that you can read various pros and cons. Reading them helps you to think about how you use YOUR kitchen and what will best work for your sitation.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 5:00PM
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I love my plug mold - but mine is installed a little differently. I just didn't want decorative outlet covers in the work zone - which has a plain stainless steel backsplash. For code reasons, we'd have to have two outlets over the prep counter, so I just said forget it and put up plug mold. I can have about 15 things plugged in at one time if I want to :)

But really, altho I don't leave anything plugged in, there's always an outlet right in front of me when I need it.

Other than style, there is a small defect with plugmold and that is that all of them are pretty much limited to 15 amps per piece. It's fine for me, but if you tend to have a lot of stuff plugged in and on at one time, it could run out. I can do a coffee pot and toaster, but certainly not if combined with a big mixer or countertop oven. Even tho I have a lot of plug-in points, the overall limit is the same as a small circuit. While you can use multiple pieces of plugmold and wire those to individual circuits, they're kind big for that!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 5:26PM
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Ditto w/ berardmr.

I am short and I can see my friends' plugmolds, so I'm sure I will see mine (don't get me started on my pet peeve w/ pendants that aims down - I feel like I'm being interrogated).

I am installing a slab marble backsplash, so definitely no outlets to mar my beautiful stone.

Could this idea pass code?
What about just installing a regular outlet recessed into the bottom of the upper cabinet?

I don't really understand how she installed it...

My only 2 upper cabinets are white, so I'll get matching white outlets.

I have an appliance garage for all the other plugged in items. Nearby is a whole system for lighting/dimming/outlets/usb.
I only need these outlets in the upper cabinets to pass code. I may use it for my immersion blender while cooking when I'm blending up soup or sauce on the cooktop.

If I were you, I would install regular outlets, painted the same color, placed horizontally, lower toward the countertop so they could be hidden by appliances (ie. coffee maker..)


Here is a link that might be useful: outlet recessed into cabinet

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 10:28PM
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huango we installed a regular outlet into the bottom of the cabinets. I don't see why that wouldn't pass code. This is the one we did, it is not recessed in b/c the front of the cabinet is glass and I think you'd have seen the electrical box. I do not think you can see it from the kitchen:

We also installed hidden outlets into the side of fridge/appliance cabinet panels in areas where we had no uppers deep enough to hide plug mold. These passed code. You can tell they are there when up close but don't really notice them from any distance away:

I was quite fanatical about not having ANY outlets showing (we also used airswitches for the garbage disposal and put the under/in cabinet lights on a timer so no switches for those either). However, I am also fanatical about nothing on the counters, so we installed a 36 inch appliance cabinet w/ plugs inside where everything (coffee maker, toaster, mixer) are plugged in and stay plugged in.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 11:25PM
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We have them I will try to post pictures tomorrow. We did not use the commercial plug mold but a thinner profile set at a 45 degree angle.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 6:23PM
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Here are the pictures...
We have plug mold - mounted at a 45 degree angle.
Now you see it -

Now you don't

Our electrician did the details and I just paid for it....
Loving it - especially the 45 trick - not monstrous like some but just enough to make it easier to plug into the wall.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 8:03PM
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I also would prefer not to see the outlets in my backsplash next time around, but i don't plug anything on a permanent basis other than a toaster oven in an appliance garage, which I hope to do again.

I haven't looked into Plug Mold specifics yet, but I take it that's a brand name? IFC green just posted her beautiful eco-friendly kitchen and she used a a different brand name called Task that looks like the outlets and lighting are in the same strip. that's cool, but for all I know PlugMolds may have the same??

Here's the link to her kitchen. Love her backsplash.

Here is a link that might be useful: My one true green transitional kitchen

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 8:12PM
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I considered PlugMolds for about two seconds. I'd find them really annoying whenever I needed to plug something in. I just ripped out a kitchen that had an annoying, inefficient layout. I wanted a kitchen that functioned and was beautiful but wasn't willing to sacrifice the function of accessible outlets for aesthetic reasons. I have a couple of things that are always plugged in. Most of the time I'm plugging and unplugging as I use them. PlugsMolds, IMHO, would have driven me crazy.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 10:09PM
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