electrical outlet height above countertop

queensinfoNovember 5, 2008

What is the "proper height for the electrical outlets above the countertop. i think my contractor has put them in a little low an i dont want them to be square in the middle of the backsplash.

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They should be 42" -48" above finished floor. If you have a special tile pattern, the outlets should be adjusted up or down.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2008 at 9:47PM
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the outlets are being put in right now. the floor isn't in and backsplash is not picked out yet, which is why it is tough to tell if they are right.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2008 at 10:01PM
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The bottom edges of our outlet covers are 3.75 inches above the finished countertop. Because the electrical work is among the earliest to be done, your electrician has to take into account the height of the base cabinets, and the thickness of the countertop underlayment, adhesive, and surface material (tile, stone, laminate, etc.). Our outlets went in months before the backsplash tile was installed (a mini-brick), so we just took our chances. If you have a very involved backsplash tile pattern, I'm not sure how to advise you on estimating where the outlets will fall in the pattern.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2008 at 11:52PM
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Circus Peanut

According to my licensed electrician, the outlet height is not governed by code -- you want them high enough so there's no wetness danger, but not so high they impede your backsplash design. I wanted mine lower down so that they're hidden by the various appliances I plug into them.

One good thing to know is that it's honestly not very difficult to move an outlet box (depending on where the wall studs fall), so you will have some wiggle room later if you absolutely have to accommodate your tile design. I was DIY and moved them a few inches here and there so that they fit perfectly into the subway tile of my splash.
The bottom of mine land 3.25" above the countertop:

    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 9:45AM
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Here are mine, on either side of counter cat (one is lurking behind the coffeemaker):

They are both 6" above the countertop.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 3:59PM
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My DH installed ours, and he put them high (bottom of plate is 11" above counter).

I think his reasoning was to make it easier to plug and unplug appliances. (Which it is). The funny (ironical) thing is that since he rewired the kitchen and added tons more capacity to our kitchen- we don't need to plug and unplug appliances anymore!!! :>) But when I do use occasional appliances like the popcorn popper/ breadmaker, etc. it is very easy to plug them in at the higher height.

He also wanted them all at an identical height- AND in line with our switch plates- so that's how he determined the exact height.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 4:09PM
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