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I want to run network cable into a bedroom and was going to use one of those Low Voltage Wall plate and cat 5E wall plate over it. While trying to install low voltage wall plate, instead of tracing inner sides I traced outer sides and cut a wider hole than I needed. What are my options to installing wall plate. I was considering attaching wall plate to drywall cut edges using screws. Would that work ? There is also a stud to the right side of the hole. Not sure if I can use that in some way to fix the hole. Here is the picture of what I am talking about.

Wallplate

Finished Job

Box attached to stud

Finished Job, wall plate just enough to cover the whole thing...

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    would you be happy to rotate the mountbox by 90 degrees ? Put one above another and it might just be a perfect fit, though possibly ugly. – Criggie Oct 8 '20 at 1:42
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    As you progress, please consider posting progress and completion photos. – Criggie Oct 8 '20 at 11:16
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    Do you see those 4 little hole in the corner? Those are for marking the wall for cutting. Hold the wall plate against the wall backwards in the position you want it. Then use an awl, pen, pencil, etc., to mark those 4 holes. Remove the wall plate and connect the dots with a straight edge. Cut the drywall on that line. A perfect fit, every time! – longneck Oct 8 '20 at 13:54
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    @longneck oh man, I wish I had known that. People like me need instructions. – Siva Oct 8 '20 at 15:05
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    That's a fantastic argument for slowing down and seeking out instructions before making any difficult-to-reverse decisions, such as this too-large hole. The instructions were just as available before you made the cut as after. – Reid Oct 8 '20 at 23:32
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Just patch the drywall, and make a new hole. If you haven't thrown the old piece way, you have the patch pre-cut.

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    pre-cut unless he started the hole with a hammer. – Jasen Oct 7 '20 at 3:27
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    This is the best answer, anything short is a gimmick that is going to end up cracking and falling apart. I'd take it a step further and actually expand the drywall hole expose the adjacent section of the stud. Then attach wood support shims across the back of the hole, and cut a new drywall patch big enough to overlap the stud and screw it down. Only thing worse than fixing drywall is is fixing drywall again. – Z4-tier Oct 7 '20 at 11:22
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    Agreed, I just don’t want to mess up stripped wall if I don’t have to. I’ll try other answer, if that doesn’t work I will not the bullet patch the hole. Thanks – Siva Oct 7 '20 at 11:53
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    This is the proper answer for installing the single-gang wall plate (and got my vote), but Jon's answer of going to a double-gang is going to be far simpler. – FreeMan Oct 7 '20 at 13:55
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If you are right up on the stud, a Madison Smartbox will fix this

Madison Smartbox

The smartbox might not be exactly the size of your opening, but the faceplate will cover up the gap.

Cut a hole out of the box for the cable, maybe 3/8" or so - don't use the built in clamp, it will mangle the network cable.

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    I ordered one of these. Cut isn’t flush with stud but i can stick small wood to make it flush and install this box. Fingers crossed. – Siva Oct 7 '20 at 11:52
  • Once the box is securely installed, you can use patching plaster or drywall mud to fill up the gap around the box. – prl Oct 9 '20 at 5:01
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You could possibly expand the hole on the left and a little bit to the right and use a 2-gang box.

enter image description here

Then you'd use a 2-gang keystone plate for your ethernet jacks. enter image description here

https://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-2-Gang-Wall-Plate-Keystone/dp/B004C4ZXBG

Add blank keystones as needed:

https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-20-Pack-Keystone-Inserts/dp/B01AYKR63O

Just for clarity, the hole you would need to make wouldn't be as tall as the existing hole. You'd need to expand on the left and right sides enough to give the clamps something to hold on to.

In the figure below, the black square represents the existing hole that is too big. The red square represents what you would cut to add a 2-gang box.

proposed hole shape

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    Great frame challenge answer - the hole isn't too big, it's not big enough! – Nuclear Hoagie Oct 7 '20 at 16:14
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    I am afraid this won't work. The two gang is wider, but no taller; the clamps will pull the ring into he wall. The clamps must be positioned on the top and bottom so that the device mounting screws are on the top and bottom. – batsplatsterson Oct 7 '20 at 17:00
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    @batsplatsterson The hole must be about 2-5/8" wide while a 2G ring is about 4-3/8" wide. If the additional cuts are done carefully, there's about 1-1/2" of new drywall. If the 2G ring is centered on the oversize hole there could be about 3/4" of support at each corner. That might be just enough to let the clamps work. The center would be entirely unsupported, of course. – Greg Hill Oct 7 '20 at 19:23
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    @batsplatsterson You are correct about the dimensions of the two gang - I edited my answer to clarify the shape of the hole I am proposing. You would need to expand the hole to the right and left enough to give the clamp something to hold onto. – Jon Oct 7 '20 at 19:24
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    Hey Jon , really like your idea. Thanks for the diagram, I am going to try other idea and yours if needed. – Siva Oct 7 '20 at 21:44
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You can easily make the hole smaller using mesh tape and joint compound. Put half of the mesh on the wall all the way around the hole and add as much mud as possible onto tape, then smooth. Might be able to make another pass the next day.

After it dries sand the outside and using a knife to cutout the hole to the rectangle you want. You should be able to get to pretty much the exact size you need.

However an anchor to hold the screw would have to be embedded in the mud, so while this is how we handle outlet holes cut wrong its not a perfect solution for an old work box.

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There are some super-large 1 port ethernet cover plates. Throw a bit of joint compound around the edges, stick the box in with the ears out, get one of the giant cover plates, and try not to touch it.

An example wall plate is here: oversize wall plate

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  • Wow! That oversize wallplate is 75" taller and wider than the regular kind. You could use one instead of a garage door. – Neil_UK Oct 9 '20 at 14:29
  • I think the Amazon listing for that wall plate has a typo. That 75" may supposed to be either 0.75" or 75%. – Michael Karas Oct 9 '20 at 18:25
  • I actually have that wall plate. It is bigger than a regular wall plate, but the screws line up with regular wall plates. – gbronner Oct 12 '20 at 13:13
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I see plastering/mudding in your future, along with sanding and painting, to do this right.

Personally I'd feed one, two, or three pieces of glued backing board into the hole, and pull them against the inside of the drywall. They could be MDF or scraps of drywall. A C shape may work too. This would provide a lip for you to plaster against. Leave enough space between them for your mountbox to slide through (ie the same size as the hole you should have cut.)
Once they're firmly dried in place, apply mud/plaster to the lip to build it up. You might need multiple layers because of the thickness. Aim to bring the level even with the wall but no more. Remember to allow each layer to dry completely.
Once you hit the right level, sand the plaster. You're aiming to match the texture of the existing wall.
At this time you should also drill the plaster and backing plate for screw holes ready for your mountbox. The backing board should take the thread if you drill the correct sized hole for your screws.
Then paint to match the existing wall. If you can't match the paint, you may need to paint the whole section of wall up to the corner.
Once its dry, continue with your cabling project.

And don't sweat it - these things happen. You've now learned to make the smallest hole you can reasonably get away with :)

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    Instead of glue, you can also screw the backing members to the drywall (from the front, same as you attach drywall to studs). You just need to patch over the screws, but, since you're already doing a big patch job it shouldn't be a big deal. Also, you can use the cut out scrap to make fillers instead of trying to build it up with joint compound (in this case it looks like it was cut only a tiny bit too big and might be hard to trim them that small). I speak from experience. Lots and lots of experience :) – Colin Young Oct 9 '20 at 13:49
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Get a couple of pieces of sheet metal, about an inch high and slightly wider than the hole. Put one at the top and the other at the bottom, possibly assisted by some sort of adhesive. Tighten the box down against the metal. Use an extra-large outlet cover to hide the metal edges.

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