How to Install Outlets and Switches on a Reclaimed Wood Wall

Reclaimed Wood Wall

Adding a reclaimed wood wall to any room of your home makes a beautiful and unique statement. Reclaimed wood has a richness and history unmatched by other materials, and with easy to install panels, it’s possible to get this style anywhere.

The key to a successful installation of any wall material, however, is to allow for switches or outlets. You need to make sure you’re prepared to install them properly. Follow these simple instructions to ensure that your new wall is as functional as it is beautiful.

Reclaimed Wood Wall Materials

In addition to the materials you’ll need to install the wall panels themselves, you’ll also need the following to work with any outlets or switch plates in the design:

  • Tape measure
  • Sharpie or alcohol-based marker
  • Perfect square
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill and drill bits
  • Outlet extender
  • Adhesive and adhesive gun
  • Finishing nails and nail gun
  • Screwdriver

Instructions for Installing an Outlet or Switch on Your Reclaimed Wood Wall

Though the steps are simple, it’s vital to follow these instructions closely to ensure proper installation of outlets and/or switches on a reclaimed wood wall. 

  1. Shut off the electricity to the wall that you are working on.
  2. Install the wall panels that will be adjacent to the panel housing the outlet or switch
  3. Install the outlet box extender by sliding it inside the perimeter of your existing outlet and pushing it firmly into place. This will allow your outlet cover to be installed over the new wall thickness.
  4. Measure from the side of the wall to the side of the box, and from the bottom of the box to the top of the next panel.
  5. Transfer these measurements onto the back of the panel you will be installing over the outlet box. Use your perfect square to get straight, even lines.
  6. Measure the outlet box itself and transfer these measurements onto the back of the panel. You should now have the outline of the outlet visible on the back of the panel where you will make your cuts.
  7. Drill two holes into the area you will cut out to make a place for your jigsaw to start. Make the two holes at opposite corners of the box for easiest access.
  8. Dry fit the panel into place. Check that the two holes you drilled are in the correct position and located above the outlet box.
  9. Cut out the outlet opening on the panel with the jigsaw.
  10. Double check one last time that the panel fits properly into place.
  11. Install the panel as you would any other panel. Apply adhesive to the back and press it firmly into place. Nail the panel securely to the wall.
  12. Complete the rest of the installation of the wall panels to finish the job.
  13. Install the outlet cover, screwing it onto the outlet extender box to give the outlet a finished appearance and to complete the job.

Helpful Tips

Outlet covers come in a wide range of colors and patterns. Choose one that will work well with your new wall, such as a bronze metallic finish, or a switch cover with a natural wood grain look. If you have natural stone or a different metal finish nearby, consider getting an outlet cover with the same material or finish for a cohesive look.

Take the thickness of the wood panel into account when purchasing your box extender. Some extender brands will come in a few thicknesses to accommodate different materials such as tile or wood.

Complete Your Perfect Reclaimed Wood Wall Installation

No matter how beautiful your new reclaimed wood wall installation is, make sure it’s functional, as well. Take the time to properly install your outlets and switches to ensure that your new wall works as well as it looks.

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