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JLeague

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So I have an electrician out for a rewire quote and he said that he will wire up the sockets, lights etc but I have to provide the light switch fronts, socket faces -which is fine as we wanted flush metal fronts.

So are metal fronts better than plastic or is it just cosmetic?

Also are flush sockets / light switches better or worse than those that stick out a bit?

Any brand that I should buy?

Sorry I don't know the correct terms.
 

hasel5

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Arms
Personally Its your choice but Flush or flat plate normally require a deeper box and all plaster finish has to be perfect to look any good.
Normal flush finish is they way forward and endless choice
But buy cheap and you will get what you paid for
 

James

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It is just cosmetic, flush or proud, plastic or metal face.
I would steer clear of cheep unknown brands etc.
Go for Crabtree, Mk, etc.

Flush sockets might need slightly more depth available behind them to fit, so safest option is to go for proud unless you are happy to deal with a little decorating etc.
 

JLeague

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  • #4
It is just cosmetic, flush or proud, plastic or metal face.
I would steer clear of cheep unknown brands etc.
Go for Crabtree, Mk, etc.

Flush sockets might need slightly more depth available behind them to fit, so safest option is to go for proud unless you are happy to deal with a little decorating etc.
So if I am going for a flush finish then I need to make my electrician aware so he can fit a different box. Thanks for this - really important info!

Thanks for good makes - I was just going to look at what Toolstation / Screwfix etc have.
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Personally Its your choice but Flush or flat plate normally require a deeper box and all plaster finish has to be perfect to look any good.
Normal flush finish is they way forward and endless choice
But buy cheap and you will get what you paid for
I don't intend to buy cheap. It ends up being a false economy. Thanks for your advice. Do you recommend any other brands apart from MK, Crabtree?
 

mattg4321

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Don’t go to screwfix and toolstation. Most of their accessories are cheap tat.

For decorative plates that are good quality at a sensible price I use either Scolmore Click or Schneider Ultimate. MK, although not bad, are not worth the money and some of the others are cheap (sometimes not so cheap) rubbish.
 

telectrix

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screwfix sell BG nexus. reasonably priced and good quality. you can even get them with inbuilt usb sockets so you can charge phones etc. without taking up a mains socket.
 

Strima

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Schneider do some nice accessories.

As has been said, if going for screw-less/flush the plaster finish needs to be perfect. The only time I got them to sit correctly with little effort was on a glass splashback.
 

davesparks

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If you are getting the accessories yourself then make sure you get the electrician to write a list of exactly what is needed.
I always try to avoid the customer supplying accessories because it always seems to end with a box full of the wrong types of switch. But it's not always the customers fault, sometimes it's because what I've asked for isn't clear, I might ask for a 2 gang switch with an intermediate and they supply a 2 gang switch and an intermediate switch but I actually mean a 2 gang switch where one side of it is an intermediate.
 

pc1966

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I like the MK Logic Plus range in white, simple (boring perhaps) but no complaints.

But avoid the MK "Essentials" range like the plague! They are cheap tat at an elevated price and frequencly won't fit normal back box depths!

Metal can look very smart, but I would avoid brushed finish (not smooth/lacquered) as they tend to show up finger marks a lot.
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So are metal fronts better than plastic or is it just cosmetic?
Mostly it is cosmetic, but you do get industrial style metal ones that take a bit more rough treatment for use in garages / workshops / etc. They are not really attractive for a house, unless you are going for a fairly unusual industrial decor!
 
If you are going for flush accessories make sure you specify your electrician installs 35mm deep boxes for all accessories. Many will try to save a bit of work by using 25mm boxes, it's then impossible to change standard accessories for flat plate, or for dimmer switches in the future, without a lot of grief.
I cant stress this enough, manys the time I've been asked to fit posh accessories or dimmers in a house after all the decorating's done only to find the lazy-ass original installer has installed shallow boxes. I would also ask your electrician to install a neutral at each switch position, this will enable future smart switching devices and suchlike to be installed.
 
Metal is purely cosmetic and generally 5 or 6 times the price of white plastic...
I don’t like Fitting flat plate Unless the walls are perfectly flat plaster finish.
i would go for a raised low profile plate like Hamilton hartland
 

JLeague

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  • #13
Metal is purely cosmetic and generally 5 or 6 times the price of white plastic...
I don’t like Fitting flat plate Unless the walls are perfectly flat plaster finish.
i would go for a raised low profile plate like Hamilton hartland
They look perfect. I just noticed - well when you are shopping for switches that some do not have screws to attach?

It looks like I will try convince the wife that we go for these slightly raised ones - I have just checked the walls and you are right -its not perfectly flat.

Brilliant advice everyone - really appreciated.
 
They look perfect. I just noticed - well when you are shopping for switches that some do not have screws to attach?

It looks like I will try convince the wife that we go for these slightly raised ones - I have just checked the walls and you are right -its not perfectly flat.

Brilliant advice everyone - really appreciated.
they have a grid which screws to the normal backing box and the cover plate clips on. Screws or screw less is just a matter of choice
 

JLeague

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to install a neutral at each switch position, this will enable future smart switching devices and suchlike to be installed.
Will this be a major additional cost? I have 13 light switches and I like the idea of future proofing the property as I intend to stay here for five years at least.

I have asked 3 electricians to quote for the job and once I have agreed on an electrician then I would then ask him to add this to his quote rather than ask the other two electricians to requote as well.
 

telectrix

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Will this be a major additional cost? I have 13 light switches and I like the idea of future proofing the property as I intend to stay here for five years at least.

I have asked 3 electricians to quote for the job and once I have agreed on an electrician then I would then ask him to add this to his quote rather than ask the other two electricians to requote as well.
the cost to loop at the switches rather than at the lights ( so you have a N at the switch/es ) would not involve much extra cost. might use a bit more cable and mean slightly wider chases.
 

JLeague

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  • #17
the cost to loop at the switches rather than at the lights ( so you have a N at the switch/es ) would not involve much extra cost. might use a bit more cable and mean slightly wider chases.
Sorry to sound stupid but you have me confused. I just refer to switches as how I turn on/off lights and sockets where you plug items in.

So I should say I need neutral at the light switches and not where the light fitting is in the ceiling or I need neutral at both points?
 

telectrix

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there are 2 basic ways of wiring lights.

1. loop at light fittings. then you have L, sw/L and N at the light but only L and sw/L at switch. this method was the most common from 1980 ish.

2.loop at switch/es. then you have L , N, and sw/L at switch, but only sw/L and N at light.. this method is becoming more common these days, with multiple downlights and/or smart switches that require a N at the switch.

i won't complicate things by explaing other methods using junction boxes that were used prior to the late 70's early 80's.there are other alternatives also.
 

JLeague

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  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19
there are 2 basic ways of wiring lights.

1. loop at light fittings. then you have L, sw/L and N at the light but only L and sw/L at switch. this method was the most common from 1980 ish.

2.loop at switch/es. then you have L , N, and sw/L at switch, but only sw/L and N at light.. this method is becoming more common these days, with multiple downlights and/or smart switches that require a N at the switch.

i won't complicate things by explaing other methods using junction boxes that were used prior to the late 70's early 80's.there are other alternatives also.
Telectrix thankyou for the explanation which makes sense to me - really appreciated.
 

telectrix

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Telectrix thankyou for the explanation which makes sense to me - really appreciated.
a propos of that, what i do now is whehter looping at lights or switches, I run a 3 core/E from switch to light, rather than just a T/E. that way, all bases are covered.
 
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