I have a horizontal surface that borders a room - basically a wall, but with a 6" jog in it about 4' off the floor that serves as a ledge or shelf. I'd like to put a couple outlets on this surface. Would this surface require that I use "floor mount" receptacles (the kind with seals and moisture barriers)?

I get the use of floor receptacles on floors: someone is probably going to run a mop over it at some point, etc. I could see the possibility maybe of someone spilling a drink if they put a glass onto this "shelf". I'm really trying to understand the Code here; I'm not trying to cut corners. A floor receptacle would work. There are more aesthetically-pleasing, cheaper, and easier to install (in my case) options if I'm not required to have one, though.


  • I don't know what code thinks, but I think the outlets would be less in the way and thus more useful on the face of the wall, either above or below the "shelf" - I've lived in a place with one of those. And spills are a real hazard.
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 22, 2020 at 14:32
  • 1
    The relevant code section is 406.5E. Also, refer to this question diy.stackexchange.com/questions/109130/…
    – Ack
    Apr 22, 2020 at 17:29
  • Good link @Ack ... Yes, the problem is any facing-up recep is going to collect dust, drinks and crud into the socket holes. Apr 22, 2020 at 19:47
  • @Harper-ReinstateMonica True, much like power strips and surge protectors. I try to do regular maintenance via cleaning with a vacuum. The new child safe plates should block must and particles dust from getting deep inside.
    – Ack
    Apr 22, 2020 at 20:16

1 Answer 1


You are correct in assuming that your ledge is not a floor. The NEC would define it as a work surface or a countertop. That would lead you to NEC 406.5 (E) & (F) which would tell you that the device installation must be GFCI protected and listed for countertop and work surfaces. Most of the ones that I have seen are the pop-up type. A standard flush mount wall receptacle will not work.

FYI. My other concern would be whether or not this 6" ledge top is a 2x6 plate on the top of a frame. Not that it matters code wise but cutting and mounting into it may pose to be a problem. You might want to confirm how this wall was constructed and plan it out before proceeding to cut holes in it.

Good Luck

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