I am hanging a new wall using Genie Clips. After the clips, hat track, and two layers of drywall, we're talking about an added distance from the electrical boxes of over 3 inches. Quick research has lead me to electrical box extenders, but they only work for so many inches, so I will need to find another way to accommodate that distance.

I imagine the hack way to do it would be to get a thick block of wood and screw it into the stud with a few long screws then mount the electrical box onto that. I don't see any reason why that wouldn't work, but something tells me there's a better way.

Also, is there a way to mount an electrical box directly to the drywall? If so, this would be a more ideal approach for me. Since this is a huge soundproofing project, the added benefit of having electrical boxes that are detached from the studs would be an extra win even though I still bought plenty of QuietPutty.

  • Double layer on the wall? That's a lot of shear weight, so be sure the Genie Clips/Track can handle that weight. Only place I've ever doubled up has been on a ceiling where the second layer used a longer screw so all the load was carried directly to the joist.
    – BMitch
    Nov 21, 2011 at 23:45
  • The Genie Clip installation guide mentions staggering the panels if you're doubling up. Where I would get nervous is doubling up with a layer of QuietRock on top of regular drywall since QuietRock weighs about 80 lbs per sheet. However, the weight capacity for one Genie Clip is 36 lbs, so I am wondering if it's as simple as multiplying that by 24 (my quantity of clips) to get a max weight capacity of 864 lbs spread out over the wall or if there's some sneaky curve that causes that number to be lower. Nov 23, 2011 at 23:16

2 Answers 2


Old work electrical boxes are designed to mount directly to the drywall. They have a flange that rotates out to grip the drywall from behind, pulling the box forward and tight against it:

Old work electrical box

When installing them, it's best to cut the opening with a knife (as opposed to a drywall router, say) so that the box fits snugly in the hole.

  • Do they make these with a flange that handles a double layer of drywall?
    – BMitch
    Nov 21, 2011 at 23:40
  • 1
    if you have a snug fit, use can use the parameter holes to mount the box with screws instead of the rotating tabs. I think the max extension of the tabs is just about 1 inch. I'll have to go out to the shop to measure one. Nov 22, 2011 at 10:27
  • 1
    of course one could resort to the old fashion "hold it" clips on each side of the box. I still got a hundred or so in stock if anyone wants some!!! Nov 22, 2011 at 10:29
  • @shirlockhomes: Can you give me a link to a "hold it" clip so I can see what it looks like? Niall, can the screw attached to the clamp in the Old Work box be replaced with a longer screw? Nov 26, 2011 at 19:52
  • @oscilatingcretin I only have old-work ceiling boxes to hand (no gang boxes) so YMMV: the original screw is 1 1/2" long and looks ordinary so I expect it could be replaced. However, the channel that the flange rests in is about 1 3/8" total length, and if the flange is unscrewed past about 1 1/4", it no longer rests securely in the channel (allowing it to rotate freely instead of being held against the edge of the channel), so that will be the upper limit for the thickness of the wall.
    – Niall C.
    Nov 26, 2011 at 20:43

If you have to replace a box that is against a 2 x 4 after the drywall is up, you can always use these. the screws allow you to adjust the box, even after you mount it. ![Screw on "smart box" style][1]

To remove the existing box just cut the nails off with a hacksaw blade. Slide the old box off and replace with the above box.

As Niall said for what you want an old work box, also called a cut in box or tiger grip box can easily be used. These can come in 1, 2 and 3 gang and also the round 3-O or 4-O. For low voltage like category cable, RG6, speaker controls, etc... no box is required but you can use low voltage rings which come in the same sizes as above.

Another choice is a divided box which gives you the ability to use a 120v device on one side and put low voltage devices in the other side, like Cat5, Cat6, speaker jacks, etc.

Remember, don't work on a live circuit, especially when dealing with dimmers or any devices that have electronics inside them.

I would have put pictures up but I have to wait to get the rep points.

Good luck!

  • So this will allow me to extend my electrical outlets by 3 1/2 inches from where they are now? Nov 24, 2011 at 15:12
  • don't reference other posts as above or below because they are by default sorted by reputation. Dec 2, 2011 at 6:02

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