Find narrow wall switch plate options for an electrical box in tight spot near tiles, trim, or cabinets
The need for a narrow wall plate typically arises when cabinets, trim, or tiles are covering over part of the electrical box thereby preventing a standard plate from fitting into the tight spot. For example, a narrow outlet cover is used to hide the exposed box and butts up against the cabinetry or moulding.
Narrow Electrical Box - Not Made, Not Needed
Customers often ask about narrow electrical boxes, but that is not necessary when using a narrow wall plate. In fact, electrical box sizes are not made in narrow versions because you still need the same clearance around your devices, so you'll want to use a standard 2" handy box in the wall.
Note that anything under 2.25" will not fully cover an electrical box and it's edges. A standard 2" metal box is 2-1/8" wide from outer edge to outer edge.
A 2" wide switchplate will cover the opening of the box, but leave the edges exposed.
Narrower plates will not cover the entire box opening. See images below for examples and always be sure to measure your specific box.
Your device is mounted to the electrical box through an oval shaped screw hole.
This oval opening on the strap of your device is made to allow your switch or outlet to shift up to 1/8" to the left or right.
If you are having difficulty getting a plate to fit next to an adjacent wall or nearby tile, first, try these steps to reposition the device:
loosen the screws mounting the device to the electrical box
pushing the device all the way to the left or right to reposition it as needed
re-tighten the screws
Your cover plate may fit after making this minor adjustment.
Narrow vs. Half Narrow Wallplates - When to Choose
Depending on the type of obstructions, choose between a cover that is trimmed on both the left and right sides or one that is trimmed on only one side (full sized plate with offset openings).
Both options have neatly finished edges with bevels on all sides. Skinny plates are best for a balanced look or if brick, tiles or trim are blocking both sides.
Choose a half-narrow cover to hide surface irregularities around the electrical box such as chipped tile, broken drywall, or lumpy paint.
2.75" Covers - Standard Switch Plate
2.75" Wide x 4.5" Tall - For comparison purposes, an industry standard wall plate is 4-1/2" high by 2-3/4" wide.
This covers an electrical box with a little room to spare around the edges.
A standard plate is 2.75" wide.
The distance from the center of the screw hole to the edge of the plate is 1.375 (1-3/8").
If you don't have a full 1-3/8" on either side, a standard cover will not fit. If some of your electrical box is covered, a standard cover won't fit, and you want to cover what is still exposed, choose a narrow switch plate size below.
If tile or cabinetry is limiting space on a single side only, get a half narrow plate.
2.5" Narrow Switch Plate Size
2.5" Wide x 4.5" Tall - Need an outlet cover, blank handy box cover or light switchplate that's slightly narrower than a standard one?
Get this in-between size by adding a flat plate extender underneath a narrower plate. This illustration shows a 2.25" wide toggle plate on top of a white, 2.5" flat plate.
Perfect for times when a standard size light switch or outlet cover won't fit, but dropping the size down a full half inch is too much.
The distance from the center of the screw opening to the edge of the bottom 2.5" plate on either side is 1.25".
2.25" Narrow Wall Plates
2.25" Wide x 4.5" Tall - These switch & outlet covers are 1/4" narrower than standard covers, yet are still wide enough to read the edges of a single-gang electrical box.
If you've installed wainscoting, board and batten or some decorative trim to your cabinetry, you may need to drop down the size of your cover plate to fit against the new material.
Distance of 1-1/8" from edge of plate to center of screw hole.
2" Narrow Cover Plates
2" Wide x 4.5" Tall - This is the narrowest size for GFCI/Decora Rocker & slider dimmers.
We have narrower sizes for toggle, duplex, Decora rocker, and some others.
This is a popular solution for kitchen island outlets and switches that are too close to a built-in cabinet or tiling edge.
From the center to the plate's edge is 1".
Single gang handy boxes have an opening that is 2" wide, so these narrow covers will cover the box opening, but will leave the box edges exposed on either side (metal box edges are approximately 1/16").
1.75" Narrow Light Switch Covers
1.75" Wide x 4.5" Tall - This is the narrowest duplex outlet cover size available. Also comes in toggle, blank, phone/cable jack and despard.
This is too narrow for rocker switches and GFCI outlets because a block (Decora) opening itself is 1-5/16" and would cut into the beveled edges.
Single gang metal boxes have an opening of 2". Using a 1.75" plate to cover an electrical box will not fully cover the exposed area. Note that narrow electrical boxes do not exist because they would not be to code. You still need the clearance around the electric devices themselves within the wall box.
From the plate's edge to the center of the screw hole is 7/8".
If you have tile, sheetrock or wood slightly covering a portion of your electrical box* and a full-size 2.75" plate will not fit into the space, this is a good option.
*Note that applying wood, tile or other materials over an exposed electrical box may be a code violation - please check prior to doing so.
1.5" Switchplates - Narrowest Covers
1.5" Wide x 4.5" Tall - The narrowest cover you can get for a toggle light switch, cable jack, despard switch or blank box cover.
This size is too narrow for wider duplex outlets, GFI outlets, and rocker light switches because the block opening is nearly as wide as the cover itself.
Distance to the center to the cover's edge is 3/4".
Narrow 2-Despard Switch Covers
1.75" Wide x 6.125" Tall - More specialized but still an option if only needing light switches (rather than outlets, blanks, or cable jacks) in a certain location. Might require replacing existing switches with Despard switches.
Narrow 3-Despard Switch Covers
1.75" Wide x 8.125" Tall - More specialized option when you need three light switches (but not outlets, blanks, or cable jacks) in a location that is tight on the sides but needing extra coverage top and bottom. Will require swapping out current switches with interchangeable Despard switches.
"Half narrow" refers to plates that are trimmed on one side to allow the plate to fit where a standard plate will not.
The overall plate is the same size, but the cutouts for the devices are shifted or offset to one edge.
For example, you may have an existing switch or outlet that sits close to an adjacent wall. If you later add a tile backsplash with a bullnose trim (like in the image here), you may find that a typical cover plate no longer has room to fit between the protruding bullnose and the switch on 1 side.
A half narrow plate will solve this common renovation problem. The plate openings are shifted to one side so that 1 edge of the plate simply reaches the edge of the electrical box, rather than extending beyond it.
The overall plate dimensions are the same, so the plate will extend further beyond the opposite edge of the electrical box.
Half Narrow Single Gang Plates
4.5" H x 2.75" W (same as standard plate - openings shifted to one side)
Designed to just cover a 2" electrical box, these covers have full spacing around 3 edges but a thinner edge on one side. Simply put, the holes for the outlet are offset, or shifted to one edge. Cover may be rotated so that the narrow edge is on the left (as shown) or the right.
The narrow side is 1-1/8" from the center of the screw hole to the edge.
The wider side is 1-5/8" from the plate's edge to the screw hole center.
Plate may be installed with narrow side on either the left or the right.
Oversized offset cover plates have cutouts that are shifted rather than in the center of the plate.
The narrow edge is the same as a standard cover plate, measuring 1-3/8" from the screw holes to the narrowest edge.
Half Narrow Offset Double Wall Switch Plates
4.5" H x 4.56" W (same as standard plate - openings shifted to one side)
Designed to just cover a 4" wall box, these trimmed switch plates have full spacing around 3 sides but a fully-finished skinny edge on one half for tight spaces up against trim, cabinets, furniture or tile.
Rotate the plate to use the narrow edge on either the left or the right to create the equivalent of a 4" double light switch plate (or a 4" double outlet cover).
The narrow side is 1-3/16" from the center of the screw hole to the edge. Find the screw hole where the cover plate attaches to the device, then measure from there to the nearest obstruction to see if the shorter 1-3/16" edge of the cover fits your space.
The wider edge is 1-5/8" from the cover's edge to the screw hole center.
Half Narrow Triple Wall Switch Plates
4.5" H x 6.38" W (same as standard plate - openings shifted to 1 side)
Designed to just cover a 3-gang electrical box, these half-skinny lightswitch plates have full spacing around the top, bottom and one side but a trimmed-off edge on one half for tight spaces next to moulding, other trim plates, cabinetry, furnishings, or tiling.
The narrow side measures 1-1/8" from the center of the screw hole to the edge of the triple cover.
The wider side measures 1-5/8" from the wall plate's edges to the center of the screw holes.
Flip the plate over to use the narrow end on either the left or the right side to create the equivalent of a 6" triple light switch plate (or a 6" triple outlet cover).
Half Narrow 4-Gang Light Switch Covers
4-1/2" H x 8-3/16" W (same as standard 4-gang plate - openings are shifted to one side to create one narrow edge to fit in a tight space.)
Designed to just cover a 4-gang electrical box with full coverage around the top, bottom and one side.
Has single trimmed edge for small spaces where a standard plate will not fit.
The narrow edge is 1-3/16" from the center of the screw hole to the side.
The wider side is 1-5/8".
Narrow edge can be used on either side (left as shown; rotate plate to make narrow side on the right).
Need a 4-gang plate? Find 4 rocker half narrow wall switch plate covers.
For two electrical boxes mounted side-by-side, there won't be enough wall space between the boxes for standard covers to fit.
The solution for covering adjacent electrical boxes that butt up against each other is to use half narrow plates with the narrow edges on the inside. Use the extra room in the device installation slots to adjust spacing between covers by pushing switches farther away for wider spacing and shoving them closer together for tightly placed wall boxes.
Metal Handy Boxes Mounted Side-by-Side:
For metal electrical boxes that are sitting side-by-side, the distance between devices is 2-3/16".
While a standard cover plate won't work, two 2.25" narrow covers will fit adjacent to each other.
For a better solution, update all devices to rocker switches or block outlets.
Then, you can get this wide spaced 2-rocker plate for adjacent boxes.
You may have to loosen and adjust your devices slightly to the left or right to line up with the plate openings. Learn how to adjust electrical devices here.
Plastic Electrical Boxes Mounted Together:
For plastic electrical boxes, the distance between devices in adjacent boxes is 2-5/16".
Use half narrow plates side-by-side to cover boxes installed in this manner.
This approach can be used for several combinations of adjacent wall boxes - single/single, single/double, double/triple, single/triple, triple/triple, triple/quad, etc.
Line Up Narrow Plates for Custom Configurations
Create Your Own Configuration Stacking Narrow Covers: Situate a series of narrow wall plates side by side to cover multiple devices.
Here, we have lined up two 1.75" duplex covers in the center positions and two 2" duplex plates on the outer edges.
Loosen the device's mounting screws to nudge it to the left or right as needed.
Create Undersized Plate Configurations with Inserts
There are many options for converting a rocker opening to fit another type of device. If you need a narrow phone jack cover or cable jack cover, for instance, you can create it by adding an insert to one of our narrow rocker plates.
Use inserts and blank fillers in 1, 2 or 3-gang half narrow plates to create the configuration you need.
Narrow Plate Q&A
Q: Are narrow plates for narrow electrical boxes only?
A: No - narrow electrical boxes do not exist. These plates are fixes for tricky situations in which a standard electrical box cover won't fit.
Q: Can I trim off a wood wall plate?
A: Typically not, because wood switchplates are often backed by a metal bracket and so cannot be trimmed.
Q: Where can I buy switch plates that are thinner than the standard 2.75" wide?
A: Shop narrow covers here. You'll find narrower solutions for covering toggles, rockers, slide dimmers, GFI receptacles, duplex plugs, cable and phone jacks, blanks and more.
Q: How can I buy a narrow cover plate in the odd double or triple configuration I need?
A: For more complex layouts on 2-gang or 3-gang wall plates with one trimmed side, we recommend using in inserts that fit within Decora openings to convert a large rectangular opening to a toggle, cable, or duplex opening in any position on the cover. If the opening shape you need does not exist in a filler strap, then we recommend updating your electrical devices to modern Decora switches and outlets. If you need a large quantity of an unusual size, then having us make a custom wall plate size may be a more affordable option.
The Right Plate for Your Installation
You have a choice of many narrow plates - narrow electrical outlet covers, narrow toggle switch plates, narrow cable outlet covers, narrow rocker switch plates, or even narrow blank wall plates to cover a box until you add an electrical device at a later date. Using insert straps you can create even more configurations - narrow phone jack plates, combination mixed-use wall plates, etc.