This seems like a simple thing to do, but before I give it a try I am hoping for advice here. I bought and installed a new bathroom vanity not too long ago. It came with a piece to function as a backsplash of sorts, about 4 inches high. The problem is that it is just barely too tall and runs into the outlet on the wall. I figure the best thing is to move the outlet. How do I do this as easily as possible?

  • How easy/hard this will be depends on the type of box, how it is attached and whether the wires come up from the bottom and have a spare inch or come down from the top (guaranteed to be OK to move up). Jun 19, 2022 at 23:40
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    Moving the outlet might be more complicated than cutting in to back splash.
    – Traveler
    Jun 19, 2022 at 23:45
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    What about trimming the bottom of the vanity by one inch?
    – MTA
    Jun 20, 2022 at 0:00
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    How much room do you have from the top of the counter to the bottom of the coverplate? With the coverplate off, same question: counter to bottom of junction box? Would you consider a sideways receptacle? When you take the cover plate off, can you tell if the wires come in from the bottom or the top? Lastly, what material is the backsplash? Jun 20, 2022 at 0:09
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    If the back splash is not mounted yet, might be possible to trim it a bit. Moving the outlet will require patching the wall plus painting the patch to match. Older paint is quite hard to match so it is not seen, usually easier to repaint the whole wall.
    – crip659
    Jun 20, 2022 at 1:04

1 Answer 1


The outlet boxes are not movable without major surgery.

Remove the old (which is nailed to the stud behind the wall).

You will have to cut new outlet hole in the dry wall and install it by nailing it to the stud (behind the wall)

Extend the wires.

Alternatively you can cut in to the backsplash.

Use nice cover plate. The fill the space in the part were the cover plate is standing away from the wall due to back splash thickness.

Another way would be, cut in backsplash the size of the cover plate, so it is flat with the wall. The cut in the backsplash could be at 45 Dgr to make it look nice, or even rounded edges.

This solution might have some CODE problems:

Since you say the dual outlet is to low by a inch let it be covered by the back splash, but needs to be disconnect first.

I assume the top outlet would be accessible.

Covert it to single outlet.

Let the backsplash cover the lower outlet.

Now cut the cover plate to size around the top outlet.

Use silicone to protect it and the back splash from water.

  • 4
    One concern with cutting the cover plate (i.e., not moving the box): The bottom screw of yoke holding receptacle(s) is pretty close to the bottom - if in the blocked section it may not be accessible without removing the backsplash, in which case effectively the entire junction box is not accessible - which is a code violation. If it is literally "just the plate" and the box is still accessible (receptacle can be replaced if needed, etc.) then you're probably OK. Jun 20, 2022 at 1:13
  • I wouldn't cut into the backsplash under any circumstance... it's more dangerous, and frankly pretty tacky. It's not hard to move an outlet. Start by cutting the power at the breaker of course, and then removeing the outlet plate and then the outlet. Pull the outlet out of the box and see how much wire you have to play with... hopefully 3-5 inches or so, which is standard. While the outlet is dangling there, look for how the box is attached to the stud... probably nails. If so, now is a good time to buy a claw-style dedicated nail puller. You'll get a lot of use out of this tool...
    – joe
    Jun 26, 2022 at 2:40
  • While you're at the hardware store, here are other things you'll need if you don't have them: - a new outlet box if needed (plastic is fine) - a drywall saw if you don't have one - a repair piece of drywall (most places sell small pieces) - some ready-made drywall joint compound - drywall screws - a drill/driver - a 4" joint knife Again, you may have some of these. Start by pulling out the old box using the nail puller. You can sacrifice it if need be, but if you can save it all the better. ...
    – joe
    Jun 26, 2022 at 2:49
  • Then, using the new box as a template (reverse it so the opening is facing the wall), decide where you want the outlet to be, and trace around the box (probably just extending the old cutout). Cut the drywall on the line with the saw. > I should add that all this is only if you've found that the existing wires are long enough to reach up and into the new box location < Position the new box, and screw it into the stud with drywall screws either right through the wall of a plastic box, or through the holes provided with a metal box.
    – joe
    Jun 26, 2022 at 2:58
  • Pull the wires through one of the lower openings. You may likely have to extend them, and if so you'll need a section of wire (match the existing wire – it'll be labeled on the side... 12/12/3 or something like that - it's sold by the foot) and some wire nuts for the gauge of your wire). > important point! All wire connections must happen within a junction box, so if your wires aren't long enough to make it into the new box with at least a couple of inches to spare, so make sure you have this kind of length from the start). Connect the wires according to the outlet directions on back
    – joe
    Jun 26, 2022 at 3:13

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