Article
Electrical cover kits occupy a unique place in building design, addressing a need for functionality that doesn’t compromise style. Additionally, depending on where contractors are installing these devices, concerns about accessibility and the potential to create trip hazards also might need to be addressed.

So, What’s Your Floor Outlet’s Cover Story?

Chuck Ross
Electrical cover kits occupy a unique place in building design, addressing a need for functionality that doesn’t compromise style. Additionally, depending on where contractors are installing these devices, concerns about accessibility and the potential to create trip hazards also might need to be addressed. Fortunately, manufacturers have responded to all these demands with a range of options to meet any particular application’s needs.

While cover kits can be ordered along with the floor boxes with which they’re installed, this often isn’t the case, says Dave Welsh, business development manager for Arlington Industries.

“Floor boxes are almost always purchased separately form the cover – this is primarily due to the floor boxes being installed early in the construction phase of a project,” he says. “The covers are installed very late in the project after the floors and finishes are installed. And, in some cases, the finish of the over is not determined by the designer or architect until later in the project.”

The three major cover categories include surface, recessed and pop-up models. “The surface type provides the devices at the top of the finished floor, and the recessed style provides the devices recessed down in the box,” Welch says. “Lastly, the pop-up style provides a pop-up device that is above the floor while in use and hinges back into the floor when not in use.”

Recessed products are becoming more popular, Welch adds, “because the devices are out of sight and there are no connections on the surface, which eliminates potential trip hazards.”

Finish choices have expanded significantly in recent years, Welch says. “The traditional cover for floor boxes was brass – over the years we have developed many other options, driven by customer requests.” These include metallic finishes like nickel and antique brass, along with a broad selection of non-metallic choices in black and neutral tones.
Photo courtesy of Arlington Industries
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