Top 12 Wall Plates

Wallplates are metallic or plastic plates installed around a switch for protection against the live wires beneath the switch. These plates also serve an aesthetic purpose since they are available in a variety of designs and colors. Wallplates protect the interior wirings from dust accumulations and seeping moisture.

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Wall Plates Buying Guide

One of the most significant disadvantages of installing wiring and switch systems is handling and managing many hazardous live wires that consist of these systems' interiors. Persons living in the house need to be protected from the live wires making up the switches' internal circuits to prevent unfortunate accidents. Additionally, if the wires are exposed to air, the accumulating dust and air may corrode the wire's surface and reduce its life. Hence, to protect the wires and the house dwellers and create an aesthetic effect, wall plates with designs are installed on switches.

Wall plate material considerations

Since wall plates cover the live wires making up the switch, they are made of insulating materials. Insulating materials are used because the wall plates come in contact with the wall plates, and these materials break the circuit, thereby preventing any form of electric danger. Hence, most of the wall plates are made of either PVC or polycarbonate thermoplastic material since these are the best insulating materials. Moreover, these plastics can be easily fashioned into any shape and color, making them the best choice for decorative wall plates. The most popular material choice is thermoplastic since it does not fade.

Looking for flammability ratings

Wallplates are meant for protection from any form of electrical accidents or dangers that are imminent from switches. One of the most pressing hazards in any electrical system is electric fire. Electric fires are deadly, difficult to control, and can spread quickly if not targeted quickly at is the source. Wallplates are the best means for preventing electric fires from faulty wiring, provided the wallplates are of good quality. When buying wallplates, one must always look for flammability ratings since rated wallplates better prevent fires than unrated wallplates. One must look for the UL94 V2 flammability rating when buying wallplates

Decora vs. duplex wall plates

Wallplates need to be chosen according to the switches that will occupy them. Hence, before deciding on the wall plates, it is imperative to determine the specifications of the switches and plugs that will populate the wall plates. Separate wallplate specifications are available for switches and plugs. Broadly, there are two types of wallplate specifications, namely the decora wallplate and the duplex wallplate. The decora wallplates are wallplates with rectangular and block-shaped holes meant to occupy switches and knobs. Duplex wallplates have circular or oval-shaped slots that occupy the power outlets.

Why are oversized wallplates better?

In many instances, the switch area may become a couple of centimeters larger than the intended design to accommodate any extra essential wiring. Hence, it is always better to order wallplate with dimensions slightly larger than the planned switch space to fill the additional area when ordering wallplates.