Can you put outlets in baseboards?

by Nachum

I would like to eliminate cord clutter for a more refined look in my home and I heard that outlets in the baseboards are a good idea for this. Is it legal to have baseboard outlets and is it a major job? I would like to hear from people who have done this in the past and see if you think it is worthwhile.

can you put outlets in baseboards

Outlets in baseboards

  16 answers
  • I've seen them in some older homes, so it's been done before. You will need an oscillating saw to cut through the baseboard. Here's a link on the history of them and more:

    Here's a video:

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Mar 06, 2023

    Hi there, baseboard outlets are fine according to code. Every time I've seen them it was in much older houses where the electrical was put in AFTER the very old walls so it was just the easiest spot to run new wire and hide it too. I have heard the idea coming back though as it is a way to declutter walls and camouflage the outlets.

    Firstly you will need to pop off your baseboard. I would do this directly under an already installed outlet so you can attempt to run the line down from the old outlet, in the wall, to where you now want it in the baseboard.

    Unfortunately though to code you will have to keep the old outlet in some way whether it stays an old outlet or the outlet is removed and the box is then covered with a blank faceplate. (All connections must be in electrical boxes and accessible.) So.. .that's tough as it kind of ruins you're idea of getting the clutter off of your walls.

    As I don't know your whole situation though. Have you gotten any quotes from electricians? Of course if you're doing a total renovation or a new build the above problem I mentioned wouldn't be an issue.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Mar 06, 2023

    I would say it was a good idea to call in an electrician to give you a price and inform you what you can or cannot do in your home. Ask them what they would need to do, and then when they give you a price, you will be in a position to know whether it is something you could do yourself /or not! Remember your life is important, so don't take risks!

  • Janice Janice on Mar 06, 2023

    I recommend that the first step to take is to find what your State, County, and City codes say about placement of outlet so you don't do something to cause you issues down the line if you were to ever want to sell your home.

    • D D on Mar 07, 2023

      Exactly. Local building codes vary from state to state. Anything CAN be done, but whether or not it may be done is another matter.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Mar 06, 2023

    Yes they can go in baseboards, as others have said, it is usually older houses that have them, I would contact and electrician to see if this complies with any codes.

  • Dee Dee on Mar 06, 2023

    I would first check with your county extension and see if it meets code in your state. If it does, I think it is a great way to keep the wires low. If you know how to change the electrical outlet, then I think this would be a fairly easy project. If not hire an electrician so you do not burn the house down.

  • Nachum Nachum on Mar 07, 2023

    Thank you very much for the replies. I will most definitely call an electrician and see if outlets in baseboards are allowed here.

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Mar 07, 2023

    Yes you can. I have used an electrician to do this.

    • Nachum Nachum on Mar 14, 2023

      Has putting the outlets in the baseboards been worth it for unsightly cords? Any regrets? Trying to make sure it's worth the money and effort. Thanks

  • Seth Seth on Mar 07, 2023

    The ICC code does reference receptacle height:

    1136A.1Receptacle heights.

    Electrical receptacle outlets on branch circuits of 30 amperes or less and communication system receptacles shall be located no more than 48 inches (1219 mm) measured from the top of the receptacle outlet box nor less than 15 inches (381 mm) measured from the bottom of the receptacle outlet box to the level of the finished floor or working platform.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Mar 07, 2023

    My ex husband has a company that does this type of work. Check codes in your area to confirm it is ok. It's not major but if you are planning on DIY then in our area, you have to pass a test with the county to allow you to do your own electrical work. I don't see as how moving the outlet down a foot or so would help with cord clutter. I would advise you to get some cord wranglers and bundlers. You can also get a neoprene sleeve (I've gotten black and white) that zips up and you can put several cords in it for a sleek look.

  • Mogie Mogie on Mar 07, 2023

    Yes you can it is mainly a matter of personal preference.

  • Betsy Betsy on Mar 07, 2023

    Hi Nachum: Yes, you can do this, but if you are not familiar or qualified with doing this type of work, I'd hire an expert. If you do it yourself, and are not qualified, bad things could happen and your insurance wouldn't pay for any damage that could result. Better safe than sorry :)

  • I've seen this in older homes but you should definitely check with your local building department first before calling an electrician. Code these days in most places is 18" off the finished floor height and there's generally a good reason for that. Expect any quotes to be higher as the electrician will be needing to do extra work getting through the baseboards. You might be better served looking into ways to wrangle and hide cords.

  • Jennifer Jennifer 2 days ago

    My outlets are all on baseboards in the living/dining area and bedroom, very old home here. Most things will not reach the plug or it has to be right up on the wall like a lamp, TV, etc... we use extension cord boxes in our outlets. I wouldn't add too many they are really a pain to clean around and the cords will only be able to go one way unless you can install the outlets upright, mine are all sideways.