How to Extend an Existing Electric Wall Box

How to use an electrical box extender if you are installing wood, stone, tile or any other material to an existing wall. For a better look and for safety you need to bring the outlets and switches out to meet the face your new wall material. There are numerous ways of accomplishing this, partially depending on the material you’re using.

Plastic box extender

Using a combustible material such as wood or paneling you must use an electrical box extender. The extender will provide protection from a potential fire caused by an electrical short or loose connection.

Although, not required for noncombustible material, it is always best to use a box extender to close the gap between the existing box and the new materials surface.

If your existing electrical junction box is metal, you can purchase a metal box extension. You could use a plastic one, provided the screws go through to the existing box.

One critical point is to cut the hole in your new material the correct size. The tabs on the extension need to sit on the surface of the new material.

While extensions are good, They are not my preference. If you’re covering the wall anyway, I prefer to open it up and install a new adjustable box. Check out the Next Page to see how to do this.


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  1. If you are not an electrician you shouldn’t touch anything electrical in your house. You’ll either electrocute yourself of catch your house on fire. Don’t be stupid.

  2. I have to interject here. Sorry you may hire a licensed electrician who painfully studied and took that test to get s passing grade to get his license to practice but he hires all people that are willing to work for 9.00 + up a hour and drive his van with his materials & gas. Who’s to say the guy doing the work knows what the hell he’s doing? I know I’m a licensed electrician and the Great State of North Carolina would Not reciprocate my license from the Great State of New York without me re-taking the whole course over again. No credit for having a previous license! Aint that something?

  3. So you think people should listen to a diy page when they have no training on how to do these fixes? Oh by the way if you are not an electrician and you burn down your house and the find out you were the cause the insurance company doesn’t have to pay. Don’t be stupid get someone who know what they are doing.

  4. I called liscenced electrcian put gfi in bathroom once he left vanity lite didnt work and never attached the bare copper ground from box to on and off swt so so much for that bullshit

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