Has anyone made switchplates out of tile?

palimpsestNovember 16, 2012

Thinking ahead for my next house, and wondering if anyone has actually cut switchplates out of tile so only the receptacle itself pokes through the backsplash material.

A company called Trufig has a complex system for installing receptacles and switches so that the plate ends up completely flush with the finish material.

I think this could be accomplished similarly in the field if one is using tile, the potential problem being getting a tidy hole in the material that fits snugly around the Sillite or Lutron style receptacle.

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Columbia Gorge makes beautiful switchplates using your material. I know they make them out of natural stone, not sure about ceramic/porcelain tile.

Here are they plates they made us for our bathrooms:

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 5:31PM
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Clay Squared to Infinity makes swichplates that match their field tiles.

Here is a link that might be useful: clay squared

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 5:40PM
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Make sue the plates are actually 'listed' or they are not code compliant.

Lat time I asked one of the stone switch plate makers they just said "what?"

There have even been low cost brass plates floating around that are not listed (and it turns out the metal is thinner than allowed).

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 5:49PM
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A homeowner, or even a professional tile setter, would not have the equipment necessary to cut the holes in the tile for the receptacle. Even with the finest blade on a wet saw or diamond drill you get edge chipping. I would assume if you wanted this precision cutting it would need to be done by laser or water jet cutting.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 5:52PM
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here's another one

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 6:54PM
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The Trufig system is compliant and I think our local code is not more restrictive. The last time I met an inspector on a project he got out, looked at the permit in the window and got back in the car. I don't believe the inspectors around here actually inspect anything. It's a way of making money and knowing that your taxes should be reassessed. That said I try to exceed code.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 7:51PM
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Thanks for the Columbia Gorge. They show tiled-in plates with magnetic backs on their site.

If I used Sillites (connected into GFCIs of course) they are self-contained and code compliant so that would be an option too.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 8:00PM
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Okay, so I will display my ignorance here. Our outlets are the style that have a rectangle cut-out for either the double-plug or the light switch.

Are Sillites or Lutron a different kind of outlet? Would we need to buy new ones and replace these if we got tile plates?


    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 9:18PM
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Lutron would be like what you have. The Sillites I've seen are a round shape.

When Columbia Gorge Stoneworks makes wallplates for you out of stone or tile, they do more than cut out a hole. They make the thickness of the material match the thickness of normal wallplates and shape the backside.

Here is the back side of some of our wall plates with the magnets that allow them to be screwless:

For tile, you will see the same color after shaping if tile has the color all the way through. If the tile is a different color on the surface than the body, you will see the body color where they round things off.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 10:11PM
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Not tile.... but I took a small version of my trusty sample board to Staples and took various photocopies (use Photo setting for best color match) until I was satisfied with the color, then decouppaged them over existing outlets (Levitron giant ones). Next time I would use the cheap plastic ones which are thinner and flusher.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 8:17AM
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Wow, krad and oldbat2b, those outlets disappear in the backsplash. Can you find them when you want to plug something in, haha ? And people were saying in another thread they didn't want Plugmold because they didn't want to have to look for the outlet. Ha ! Looks great !

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 8:34AM
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Nice Decoupage, oldbat! And those tile plates are really very intricate, cloudswift. I may try the decoupage route and if that fails, order.


    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 2:39AM
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Wow!!!! So impressed, OldBat. Very, very nice work.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 8:03AM
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Thanks angela12345! Colorfast - post pictures of yours, would love to see. Gone_South - thanks, it was great fun to watch these turn out so well!! I still have one more outlet to do but colors did not turn out well so I need to get new photocopies and redo.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 9:01AM
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I haven't tried it yet. Just finally ordering tile. Have gotten a finalist for my kitchen! Already have finalists for our bathroom. An end may be in sight.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 2:16PM
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