If I add a tile backsplash to my kitchen, the electrical outlets and switches will no longer be flush with the new tile, and the cover plates won’t screw back onto the outlet. How can I fix this problem?

– Roxanne

Hi Roxanne,

In the past the solution was to remove the screws holding the electrical outlet or switch, replace them with longer screws, and use washers or nuts to shim out the gap between the old wall and new. A safer and better solution today is to add an electrical box extender – available at home centers – to the existing box.

An electrical box extender is basically an outlet box without a back. To install an extender on an existing electrical box:

  • Turn off the power to the outlet or switch at the circuit breaker or fuse.
  • Remove the screws holding the outlet or switch in place.
  • Pull the outlet or switch out from the existing box.
  • Slip the box extender over the outlet or switch and onto the existing box.
  • Screw the outlet or switch back into the box extender.
  • Turn the power back on.

You don’t even have to remove a single wire from the outlet!

Good luck with your project,

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Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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