What is a switch or outlet cover plate? Well, it is a decorative cover plate used to conceal a wall switch or an electrical ouutlet.
As a matter of fact, a great and easy upgrade is to replace an old single-pole toggle light switch with one of the newer rocker switch styles such as Decora® by Leviton.
Wall cover plates for switches and outlets come in three sizes (from smallest to largest):
- Preferred (also Midsize or Midway), and
- Oversized (also Jumbo).
Typically, the "Standard" size is used for new construction where construction tolerances are tighter. In situations where drywall workmanship is sloppier creating a large gap between the electrical box and the drywall or in cases where removal of an old cover plate leaves an old paint line, then use of the "Preferred" or even the "Oversized" cover plates work well.
The Standard size plate is nominally 2.75" x 4.5", the Preferred size plate is nominally 3.13" x 4.88" and the Oversized plate is nominally 3.5" x 5.25".
Use of a larger wall cover plate can save time and effort in non-standard applications where you would otherwise have to patch, sand and / or repaint the wall around an outlet or switch to use a Standard wall plate.
Cover plates in these sizes are available in the rectangular shape used for GFCI's and paddle / rocker switches such as shown above, and are also available in traditional toggle style wall switch and rounded outlet cover plate configurations.
They are also available in white, almond and other colors.
Also Known As: switchplate, switch plate, cover plate