Advice on electrical switch plates and sockets

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dws2018
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Joined: Tue 8th May, 2018 3:02 pm

Advice on electrical switch plates and sockets

Post by dws2018 » Wed 19th Aug, 2020 10:34 am

Hello! We are restoring a Georgian farmhouse, fairly top to bottom. We are renewing all the electrics, and I'm wondering what the best approaches are for switch plates and sockets in a period home. Most of our hardware is aged bronze, so we were looking at Corston Architectural for the toggle and dimmer switches. Initially we were thinking of matching sockets, but I am wondering whether the sockets should just be white, as they just disappear that way. And whether to do the corston bronze switch plates throughout the house or only just the important rooms? Curious to hear other peoples experiences. Thanks in advance!

MatthewC
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Location: Central/South England
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Re: Advice on electrical switch plates and sockets

Post by MatthewC » Thu 20th Aug, 2020 4:44 pm

Welcome to the forum! Always ask questions, nothing is too silly, and tell us about your house. There's lots of advice and experience (good and bad) here, so also search the old posts.

Advice for a new old house owner:
1. Never change anything in a hurry (except for emergencies) - live in it before you change it
2. No old building is ever square, flat, level or vertical where you want it to be
3. Always tackle the cause of a problem, not the symptom (except for emergencies)
4. Damp proof course salesmen may need to earn a living, but not from old property owners
5. Find contractors who are sympathetic (too many builders say "you don't believe that breathability stuff do you?" and then use cement when you turn your back)

Your question: On our 1860s house we used square brass switches in the posh rooms and white plastic elsewhere, and white sockets everywhere. You're right, you don't really see the sockets but don't forget, you can hardly ever have too many!

Best of luck

Matthew
See my blog - click on the "Contact" thing on the right

Bogart
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Location: Norfolk

Re: Advice on electrical switch plates and sockets

Post by Bogart » Sat 22nd Aug, 2020 9:57 am

And lets have a few pictures too. :D

Allison
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Joined: Sun 10th May, 2020 12:48 pm

Re: Advice on electrical switch plates and sockets

Post by Allison » Sun 23rd Aug, 2020 7:30 pm

I was asking myself this same question, our lime plaster walls will always be white or a lught chalk pastel so we decided white switches/plugs would be better for disapearing. Our house is 1700's so no electric switch will be in keeping. Now all we have to decide on is door knobs! :lol:

a twig
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Re: Advice on electrical switch plates and sockets

Post by a twig » Sun 23rd Aug, 2020 7:52 pm

Or go "smart" and control all your lighting from an app, then no wall switches needed at all :twisted:

Sockets, if you really hate white plastic then you can use the brass sprung covers you'd usually find covering floor sockets, probably only really works on a regency house though.

There's nothing period about it so best just be honest and keep it simple in my opinion. Oh and get a good brand! I've always sworn by Schneider, then MK if Schneider not available. Others may have different ideas.

paulc
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Re: Advice on electrical switch plates and sockets

Post by paulc » Mon 24th Aug, 2020 12:26 am

a twig wrote:
Sun 23rd Aug, 2020 7:52 pm
Or go "smart" and control all your lighting from an app, then no wall switches needed at all :twisted:
No need for an app, just command Jeeves to turn the lights on or off. With everything interconnected, it would be Siri or Alexa rather than Jeeves. All well and good until the internet goes down.

dws2018
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Joined: Tue 8th May, 2018 3:02 pm

Re: Advice on electrical switch plates and sockets

Post by dws2018 » Mon 24th Aug, 2020 9:57 am

Thanks everyone for all the feedback. It does sound like I am on the right path with white sockets.

We are considering Corston for most of our internal hardware, so are thinking toggle switches like this: https://www.corston.com/collections/bro ... tch-bronze
but obviously also the dimmer version where needed. Has anyone had any issues with their products?

We are matching door furniture to this - someone asked about doorknobs, and we are using their poplar mortice knob. https://www.corston.com/collections/bro ... nob-bronze
Had a sample and it feels wonderful to touch, really weighty.

Thanks again for all the good advice!

a twig
Posts: 607
Joined: Sun 6th Oct, 2013 10:18 pm

Re: Advice on electrical switch plates and sockets

Post by a twig » Mon 24th Aug, 2020 9:28 pm

paulc wrote:
Mon 24th Aug, 2020 12:26 am
a twig wrote:
Sun 23rd Aug, 2020 7:52 pm
Or go "smart" and control all your lighting from an app, then no wall switches needed at all :twisted:
No need for an app, just command Jeeves to turn the lights on or off. With everything interconnected, it would be Siri or Alexa rather than Jeeves. All well and good until the internet goes down.
My former employer's system worked fine without internet :) Not having a Siri or Alexa anywhere near our property, spent too long working with IoT stuff :)

Tom-H
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Joined: Sun 18th Jun, 2017 5:46 pm

Re: Advice on electrical switch plates and sockets

Post by Tom-H » Thu 27th Aug, 2020 5:54 am

dws2018 wrote:
Mon 24th Aug, 2020 9:57 am
Thanks everyone for all the feedback. It does sound like I am on the right path with white sockets.

We are considering Corston for most of our internal hardware, so are thinking toggle switches like this: https://www.corston.com/collections/bro ... tch-bronze
but obviously also the dimmer version where needed. Has anyone had any issues with their products?

We are matching door furniture to this - someone asked about doorknobs, and we are using their poplar mortice knob. https://www.corston.com/collections/bro ... nob-bronze
Had a sample and it feels wonderful to touch, really weighty.

Thanks again for all the good advice!
The switch you linked to is known as a flat plate - while these look good, if your wall is not perfectly straight and flat then they will not sit correctly (gaps around the edges). You can usually identify these as the mounting screws are hidden. Another consideration is the back box depth they are mounted in (these come in different sizes) as these switches are usually a bit thicker in the back - if you’ve got an electrician involved, I would get their opinion first.

The dimmers will need a 35mm back box minimum - if the existing are too shallow these can be changed but you will need to factor in this cost.

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