I'm installing IKEA Pax cabinets around two walls of a large room. I've removed the baseboards so that the cabinet backs can be completely flush against the wall as required. There are two outlets on these walls with cover plates that stick out 1/4" and thus cause a problem here. I am planning to remove the outlets and cap each wire in the outlet box with a wire nut. But I understand I should still place a cover plate over the receptacle since there are live wires inside. The problem is, almost every cover plate I've found (e.g. this one) are beveled just like the outlet cover, such that they protrude 1/4" from the wall. Even this one, which is flat (no bevel), is 1/4" thick.

A lot of ceiling fan junction boxes come with super thin (and flat) sheet metal covers. I'd prefer something thin and flat like this to install over my unused wall outlet boxes. Does anybody know of an off the shelf product I could use? If not, would it be a bad idea to get e.g. the thin metal cover plate from a ceiling junction box like I mentioned, and trim it to the size of the outlet box (plus some overlap for the drywall) and use that square as a cover? Again keeping in mind the wires inside will be individually capped in wire nuts.

  • 1
    If there is more than one wire coming into the box you should actually cut a hole in the back of the cabinet and then cover it so it can be accessed. It would be good practice to do that anyway. If you join two wires in the same box and cover it you have a concealed junction box which has been against code for a long time.
    – Gil
    Jul 19, 2021 at 2:20
  • @Gil yeah I think I have come to the same conclusion myself. Unfortunately the outlet currently is centered behind one of the vertical support beams of the cabinet. So I will need to move it to the other side of the current stud bay that it's in, which is a 10x larger DIY project than I was anticipating (or have ever done). But, seems pretty straightforward overall. I think I'll use a junction box extender to make the outlet and cover plate to be permanently accessible through the back panel of the cabinet after I've moved it to the next stud.
    – The111
    Jul 19, 2021 at 6:19
  • Two things on moving it to the next stud (or flip side of existing stud, which is likely much easier): 1 - if the new location requires longer wire then it probably won't work, except that if you are just doing a "flip to other side of same stud" and just need an extra 4" or so, move it up (or down, depending on where the wires come from) and you may be able to make it work that way.; 2 - the good part about "behind a cabinet" is you don't need to do a great patch & paint job (which, to me, is most of the work), just put a simple piece drywall in place, held in with a piece of wood Jul 19, 2021 at 15:55
  • and a few screws and you're done. Nobody will ever see it unless the cabinets are removed, and at that time you can deal with it along with painting the whole room (which will probably be needed anyway after a few years. Jul 19, 2021 at 15:55
  • @manassehkatz-Moving2Codidact Thanks. I had considered the length issue too. Now I'm just thinking I'll move the box 6" to the right and use a remodel box (not stud mounted). If I was to try to move it to the left (other side of same stud) instead... how do I get the wire past the stud? I assume it is currently trapped on all four side (between two studs and two drywall panels) so moving in same stud bay would be easiest.
    – The111
    Jul 19, 2021 at 18:10

1 Answer 1


All electrical boxes must remain accessible via simple tools and cannot be permanently covered over. It sounds like your intention was to have the boxes be hidden by the cabinets. That will be an unworkable implementation because of code requirements (unless you are located in some unregulated area with no electrical code in place).

If you must hide these boxes with no intent to actually use the circuits contained therein you should pull the wires back out of the boxes and trace them to their other end and remove the wire from that end as well. This may very well end up being a huge job involved with removing wall covering and/or cutting access holes at periodic locations. All that must be patched afterwards.

A much better alternative, as long as the inside area of the cabinet remains accessible, is to cut a hole in the back if the cabinet just where the electrical box is located. Then install a device called a "box extender" which extends the rim of the electrical box out to match the inside surface at the back of the cabinet. You can then secure the applicable type of cover plate over the extender and against the back of the cabinet. Depending on the location of the receptacles relative to the end or bottom of the cabinet, it may make sense to use the existing location as a junction box (with extender, with or without receptacles) to feed receptacles on the end or in the base (toe kick) of the cabinets, which looks great (like custom built-in cabinets) and is functional too.

Keeping the receptacles available has two additional benefits:

  • Code normally requires receptacles at regular intervals along walls. Since builders generally install the bare minimum number of receptacles needed, removing existing receptacles may violate code, requiring adding additional receptacles elsewhere to compensate.
  • Convenience! Keeping the receptacles available allows use, as needed, for phone chargers, vacuum cleaners and many other uses.

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