Wallplates are covers for electrical receptacles and switches normally mounted on a wall.
Wallplates can be used in many applications in many industries. There are several types available depending on the application.
Blank wall plate - A blank wallplate does not house any device. It is used to cover devices that are not to be controlled by humans.
Cable TV wall plate - A cable TV wallplate houses a cable TV connector.
Data jack wall plate - A data wallplate houses a data connector.
Despard switch plate - A despard is an old type of wallplate that is in use today as a decorative item.
Duplex outlet cover - A duplex wallplate houses a duplex outlet, that is used for plugging appliances such as toasters, hair dryers, etc.
Phone jack wallplate - A phone jack wall plate houses a phone jack.
Rocker / GFCI switch plate - A rocker switchplate houses a rocker switch. A rocker switch turns on and off an appliance such as a light bulb by pressing the switch up or down. The outlet can also house a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) receptacle.
Toggle switch plate - A toggle wallplate houses a toggle switch. A toggle switch turns on and off an appliance such as a light bulb.
Decorative wallplates can be carved or painted to match the environment or decor of the application.
Combination wallplates can be used for two different types of switches.
Screwless wallplates offer a seamless look. They eliminate the channel that can collect dirt around the edge. Check out the video below for tips on installing screwless wallplates.
Video Credit: Legrand via Youtube
Number of Openings
The number of openings in the face of the wallplate determines how many devices can be attached to the electrical receptacle or switch. Wallplates typcially have between one and four openings, but custom wallplates with more than four openings are also available.
The choice of material depends on the application, operating environment, and aesthetics of the environment. Some choices for materials include:
DIN 49075-1 - Cover plates for use with switches, socket-outlets and other accessories intended to be mounted into mounting boxes.