How much minimal vertical distance is required between the kitchen counter top and window frame for placing an electrical outlet? We are starting a kitchen remodel.

  • 2
    Before you go putting outlets too close to the countertop, think about what you intend to plug into those outlets and how large their plugs are. If you put the outlets too close, wall wart type plugs won't have enough clearance.
    – bta
    Commented Aug 15, 2020 at 2:11
  • One thing to consider is that many plugs are flat-to-the-wall right-angle units and will need clearance for the cord to bend. And of course there is usually several inches of wood below a window opening, making installing a box difficult.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Aug 15, 2020 at 12:13

2 Answers 2


Single gang standard (smallest) wall plate is 2-3/4 inches. That would be with the outlet "sideways", since you're looking for minimum height.

  • To embellish a little more, I have made the cutouts for many outlets in 4" back splashes. So as long as you can get the cover on, you can go to the counter top.
    – Jack
    Commented Aug 14, 2020 at 13:56

Precious little. You can use receptacles built into surface conduit. These can be as little as 1-1/4" high, such as Legrand Plugmold.

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This doesn't have GFCI protection onboard, but you'd use the downline protection feature of a GFCI breaker, deadfront, or nearby GFCI receptacle.

  • 3
    Should probably note that, because it's a kitchen, the circuit at least should be GFCI protected since those strips tend not to be.
    – Ben
    Commented Aug 14, 2020 at 20:59
  • 2
    @Ben -- yeah, you'd have to feed it from an upstream GFCI, but that's really not a huge deal Commented Aug 14, 2020 at 23:03
  • @ThreePhaseEel, not a huge deal, but I thought it was worth mentioning. Otherwise, a good idea for a small space.
    – Ben
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 18:18
  • @Ben Yeah, I added that. Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 18:26

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