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People love kitchens with smooth, uninterrupted walls. These days, modern design is minimalist, and people are looking for new ways to hide light switches, outlets, and anything else that gets in the way of a beautiful tile or natural stone backsplash.
Outlets are one of the most common fixtures in kitchens, because we need them to run appliances, charge our phones, and manage various other tasks.
Finding ways to minimize or conceal outlets is challenging, but there are creative things you can do to keep them out of sight.
Whether you’re able to do it yourself or need to hire a contractor depends on how skilled you are and what methods you use. We’ve put together this list of seven tips for hiding outlets in your backsplash with some DIY and recommended professional work.
Let’s explore some of the best ways to make your outlets disappear or be barely noticeable in your kitchen backsplash.
Before You Start
Before you begin making significant changes to your kitchen, including electrical work, you should research local codes to ensure you’re meeting expected safety and other standards.
Running afoul of codes will come back to haunt you after an inspection or when you go to sell your house. Saving money or cutting corners to save time isn’t worth it in the long run.
Thankfully, not all of these tips involve rewiring your kitchen. Instead, some use colors, caps, and other concealment methods to draw attention away from outlets and other decorations around the room. Let’s jump in!
Tip 1 – Install Pop-Up Outlets
Pop-up outlets are popular in hotels, offices, and airports. They lie flat and are almost even with the ground, countertop, or whatever other surface they’re on.
To open them, you simply push a button, and the outlet plate pops up, usually at about a 45-degree angle, to reveal two or more outlets.
Pop-ups are great, but they’re not common on backsplashes. In addition, installing them usually requires moving them to countertops; otherwise, plugging things in will be difficult.
Still, this is a terrific option if you’re looking for a sleek way to get outlets off your backsplash.
Tip 2 – Use Paintable Outlet Covers
When you buy or install an outlet, you usually deal with two exterior components: the receptacle and the plate cover. Most of the time, both the plate and receptacle are white. 90% or more of the outlets you see are white.
However, you can buy a range of paintable or clear covers to shrink the size of your outlets and help them blend in more.
Clear covers, for instance, make the visible size of your outlets much smaller. As a result, it’s easier to hide them behind a coffeemaker or the container for your cooking utensils.
Tip 3 – Group Outlets Together
One tip for hiding outlets in your backsplash is to group more of them together in one place. While having several outlets around your kitchen is convenient, you probably don’t need that many.
Grouping them all in one spot uses less space and makes it possible to have more uninterrupted tile space on your walls.
You’ll may need to hire a contractor to change the wiring and adjust the outlet grouping, but it shouldn’t take too long or be too challenging.
These days, most people like to keep as many kitchen appliances as possible out of sight to keep their counters clear, so grouping your outlets also makes it easier to know where to go when you have to heat something or break out your mixer.
Tip 4 – Install Outlets Under Your Cabinets
If you want to hide outlets in your backsplash, you can change your outlet design by installing power strips along the underside of your cabinets.
The outlets will still be in the same general area; they just won’t be breaking up the design of your lovely subway tiles.
Tip 5 – Custom Faceplates
If you’ve got some cash to burn, you can spend a good chunk of change to get custom-painted faceplates for your outlets. Essentially, these are stickers or custom faceplates that go over the entire outlet to mix in with whatever your backsplash design is.
If you have a brown granite backsplash, you can order faceplates with the same granite design to make it look like just another section of stone. The same goes for white marble, blue quartz, or whatever else you have.
Tip 6 – Use Removable Tile Cover Plates
This tip is somewhat of a hassle because you have to remove the cover whenever you want to use the outlet. However, removable cover plates are tough to beat when it comes to camouflage.
The removable covers are made of the same tiles or stone as your backsplash.
The company installing your backsplash cuts out a section of tile or stone in the shape of your outlet. The cut-out section goes on and off using Velcro or some other adhesive.
The main difficulty with removable tile cover plates is that measurements and cutting must be exact. This is only a DIY project if you’re skilled with a power saw. If not, leave it to the pros.
Tip 7 – Purchase Matching Outlet Caps
Outlet caps are an easy solution for people who want to hide outlets in their backsplash. This won’t work well if your backsplash is a mosaic design, but it’s effective for uniform colors.
Outlet caps fit over the outlets when not in use and can be plastic, rubber, or another material. You can buy them in a variety of colors or paint them yourself to match the backsplash color.
While they won’t eliminate the outlet from your wall, it will be harder to spot, especially for people who don’t live in the house.
Hiding outlets isn’t always easy, but these tips are a great start for people looking to minimize interruptions in their backsplash.
At the very least, you’ll draw attention away from your outlets, and these solutions are much better than sticking with your normal white outlet and white cover plates.