Mount Hood




 Columbia Gorge Stoneworks, Inc.

  Some of the different materials we can use





This page is to answer some questions as to what materials we can make switchplates from. The main problems that we run into are flatness and glazed or finished surfaces. Since our stone switch covers are 1/4 inch thick the stone needs to be relatively flat for the countersunk holes and radiused edges to look right. A very uneven surface can also be a problem for how the switch or receptacle fits the cover plate. The most variation is around 1/16" from a plane over the area of the switchplate with a little more at the corners. Flatness issues are usually with Slate.

Although we have no difficulty making switchplates from glazed tiles or ones that have a colored finish, when we radius the edges they will not have the same color as the face.

For more information on custom ceramic switch plates.


We can make switch plates from any natural stone that is available in tiles plus many that are not, such as basalt and fieldstone.

This photo is of two blanks of full body porcelain ceramic. The one on the left is the back of the tile and the one on the right is the front side. As you can see the color goes all the way through the tile.



Ceramic switchplate covers

The switch plate on the left is from a tile with a printed finish. Since the color of the base material is very similar to the face it worked out. The switch plate on the right has the same color throughout the body of the tile.


Ceramic cover plates
















We have tried to make glass tile switchplates but there are too many problems with this material to consider it possible. Not only is the material difficult to work with all the work we do to the backside is visible, including the fixture and electrical box that it covers.


Custom glass switch plate

Here is a better photo of what happens when we radius the edges of glazed tiles. If the color of the base material compliments the face of the tile then this type of tile works fine to make switchplates from.



Ceramic switch covers


















This switchplate is made from Honey

Onyx, which is difficult to work with.


Honey Onyx cover plate

This is one of the more interesting stones we have made switch plates from.


A future stone switch cover















This is some of the strangest shaped stone we have used for switch plates. 



Future duplex switch plates




Here are the switchplates after we were finished. Because we needed a flat surface to start with we were only able to get one plate out of each rock.


Fieldstone duplex stone switchplates

















Soapstone switch plate


Soapstone switch plate