Norstone Classroom Series - Installing Norstone Around Outlets
Norstone Rock Panels are a great option for a unique stacked stone backsplash in your kitchen or bath. With a range of colors to choose from, your backsplashcan either serve as the perfect complement or accent feature in the space. One of the questions we hear a lot when working with our customers is how to work with the stone around electrical outlets and light switches. Here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve found most helpful when addressing those breaks in your backsplash.
Depth - the first thing you’ll want to consider is the depth of your current outlets and light switches against the stone. Norstone Rock Panels will vary between about .75” and 1.75” thick, so a common solution to minimize the recess of the existing outlet against the face of the stone is to add a 1/2” outlet box extender, which will screw into your existing wall box and provide you with new mounting holes to remount the outlets and switches. Most of the time outlets and switches will remain slightly recessed of the face of the stone, but larger extenders can be used to position them closer to flush with the stone face. Extenders are available in the electrical section of most hardware stores and remember whenever you are working with electricity, shut off the power to that switch / outlet first and use a tester to make sure the outlet isn’t powered prior to beginning work. When in doubt. always consult a licensed electrician.
Cuts - the easiest way to cut a hole in a stacked stone backsplash for an outlet or light switch is to have a one panel terminate into the side of the outlet, and cut the opening out of the adjoining piece. If you look closely at the picture to the right, you’ll see the switch buts up on the right side against a full panel, and then the opening for the switch has been cut out of a second panel which goes above, below, and continues along to the left of the switch. This method is recommended since it only requires a fairly simple cut out of one panel. An alternative option is to cut the outlet hole out right from the middle of a panel, generally using a hand held angle grinder.
Finish - once the cuts are made and the stacked stone backsplash installed around the outlets, the final step is finishing the outlets and switches with outlet covers. Existing outlet covers can always be used, or a variety of covers can be sourced from online merchants in various finishes including metal and stone, which could be used to accent or blend into the installation. If you’ve chosen to extend the outlets to have them sit close to flush with the stone, your finishing steps might also include some precision chiseling or detail work with an angle grinder to get the covers to sit flush against the face of the stone.
If a stacked stone backsplash is on your list of must haves, don’t let the prospect of working around the outlets and switches deter you! Using some basic stone and tile installation principles, and a few tricks unique to the product, you’ll be on your way to enjoying your backsplash in no time.